Drawing the Line (17060 words) by Overlord_Mordax, VickytheSnake
Chapters: 9/9
Fandom: Spider-Man – All Media Types, Spider-Man (Tom Holland Movies), Spider-Man (Movies – Raimi)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Otto Octavius/Norman Osborn
Characters: Otto Octavius, Norman Osborn
Additional Tags: no movie spoilers, villains in love, Fluff and Angst, Mutual Pining, Internalized Homophobia, Spider-Man: No Way Home (Movie)

Otto doesn’t know whether Norman’s (the Goblin’s?) attempt to pull him into a kiss was a ridiculous prank, or a genuine pass at him. Thinking it over in the lab afterward, he only becomes more flustered and confused. Worse still, the Goblin drags him out on a duo heist while the rest of the Six are busy. Its not a date…. is it?

Read it here

Drawing the Line

by Overlord_Mordax

Otto doesn’t know whether Norman’s (the Goblin’s?) attempt to pull him into a kiss was a ridiculous prank, or a genuine pass at him. Thinking it over in the lab afterward, he only becomes more flustered and confused. Worse still, the Goblin drags him out on a duo heist while the rest of the Six are busy. Its not a date…. is it?

Original source: https://archiveofourown.org/works/35852449

Chapters: 9

Words: 17060

Exported with the assistance of FicHub.net

Drawing Conclusions


Chapter 1: Drawing Conclusions


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)



“What’s the matter, doc? You can excuse yourself of murder, but you draw the line at kissing another man?”

Otto, brooding alone in his laboratory in the hide-out of the Sinister Six, couldn’t get the Goblin’s words from earlier out of his head.

They had just gotten back from a heist- a successful heist; Spider-Man must have been busy elsewhere. The six of them were stashing the spoils when Norman had cornered him, grabbing at his hips and putting himself much too much in Otto’s personal space.

At first Otto had assumed it was more of the same annoying buffoonery that the Goblin tended to get up to-he’d initiated a game of ‘keep away’ with Mysterio’s helmet only a few days before.

But just as Otto was about to chide him for his foolishness, he’d pulled the mask off and tried to pull Otto in for a kiss.

Otto, startled, had pulled away.

“What’s the matter, doc? You can excuse yourself of murder, but you draw the line at kissing another man?”

Flushing and sputtering, Otto had thrown up his hands, and pushed Norman away with his tentacles without another word. He had stalked off to his own laboratory grumbling, and grimacing.

He was still there now. Slumped in an office chair, metal arms wrapped around the back of it, staring up at the metal beams of the ceiling vacantly.

He replayed the moment again in his mind.

Surely the Goblin had only been taunting him in some ridiculous jape at Otto’s expense. Failing to pull away would have resulted in nothing more than having his nerves jangled by the man’s riotous cackle.

Certainly, certainly…

Norman didn’t really have any kind of amorous intention toward him. Norman had been married. Had a son.

Maybe just the Goblin…? He did seem to be made up of Norman’s repressed and darker urges. It was still unclear to Otto just to what degree the man’s personas were divided or intertwined. Sometimes the Goblin seemed like a wholly separate personality, and sometimes he seemed merely like the man Norman was when he removed the mask of the social contract; the man he could be without restriction.

So perhaps the Goblin…

Otto broke the thought off there.

What did it matter if it was a genuinely amorous gesture? If Norman or the Goblin or whoever his friend was at the time had been- to use the vernacular- making a pass at him?

Otto certainly wasn’t interested.

Was he?

He had never been a man who concerned himself much with amorous intentions from anyone. He certainly hadn’t considered the idea he might be interested in men. Or in a man.

Not after all those years being bullied in school. Geek, loser, weirdo, lard ass- those had all been levied at him. He hadn’t had much defense of them. But other slurs had been hurled at him in the same breaths. One’s he’d vehemently denied…

And yet.

And yet when he replayed the moment and thought about letting Norman kiss him, the shudder that went through his body wasn’t one of disgust.

No, not disgust at all.

Curiosity, maybe. Maybe even interest. Attraction…

Otto felt the heat rise in his face as he contemplated it, flustered. Could he really be attracted to Norman and the Goblin? Impossible.


Unlikely. Otto was a scientist after all. Bad practice to dismiss a hypothesis out of hand.

He would just have to test it.

… No time like the present. But… let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

It wasn’t like he was going to run back upstairs out of his lab to go try and kiss him. That sounded humiliating. Potentially fatally humiliating. Otto might just die of embarrassment right there if he tried that.

No. Better to start with a… Theoretical model, so to speak.

He let the moment play out in his head again, but this time… he let it happen.

He imagined being grabbed. Kissed. Norman’s lips on his. How would he kiss? Certainly not like any woman had ever kissed him. Rough, probably, and he’d feel the scratch of Norman’s stubble on his face. Maybe he’d have put his hand on Otto’s thigh…

Otto opened his eyes from the imagined kiss to find that his own hot breath had fogged his glasses. He took them off and wiped them with a cloth, feeling his cheeks glowing with heat. And his face wasn’t the only part of him that he found was starting to grow warm.

“Damn it,” Otto growled. “Blast…”

Not the result he’d been hoping for.

Had the Goblin done this to him intentionally as some kind of sick, psychological warfare?

Otto engaged in a brief, violent fantasy of slamming the other man against the wall with his tentacles in retribution- but this thought too somehow ended in lips meeting lips. Breath desperate, limbs struggling…

Now Otto felt even more heat through his body than before.

What was he meant to do now?

He dragged his hands down his warm face, and his tentacles clenched and unclenched, twisting tightly around the back of the chair, threatening to break it, starting to crack.

He forced himself into a deep breath.

He didn’t have to do anything. Nothing at all. Just because he might be attracted to Norman didn’t obligate him to act on it. Besides, plenty of men had fantasies that held sway in the mind that would sour in any attempt to bring them to fruition. Reality rarely held a candle to imagination, pound for pound and pleasure for pleasure.

He took another deep breath and the arms eased their hold on the poor chair.

Yes, Otto would simply file this away under idle thoughts and forget about it, simple as that. After all, it wasn’t as if Norman was going to put him in that situation again. No, clearly it had been a one-off prank. Loathsome, truely. Ridiculous.

But if it wasn’t a one time prank? What then? What if the Goblin decided to make a habit out of teasing him this way? Otto nearly choked at the thought.

What if it really wasn’t a prank at all? What if it had been a sincere gesture?

Otto’s mouth felt suddenly dry.

This ridiculous train of thought was plaguing him to an idiotic degree. Master yourself, Otto told himself. You’re not some impassioned schoolboy, you’re the most brilliant scientist in the world. A man of logic and good sense. You are not going to be brought low by some… some enticing erotic fantasy!!

Otto felt his lips twist into a sneer at the very idea, and he slammed his fist into the desk beside him.

“This is nonsense!” he barked aloud.

That was when the lab door opened.

Otto whipped around to snap at the intruder, coming his fingers through his hair to straighten and smooth it at the same time. He opened his mouth only to see- Norman. Of course it was Norman.






I miiiiiight continue this. But if I do it might get more steamy….. should I keep going?



Drawing up Plans


Chapter 2: Drawing up Plans






With everyone’s support I couldn’t help but want to continue! :3



(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)



By now Norman had shed the goblin’s armor and changed into a different set of work attire; he adjusted the cuffs of his luxury suit with the Goblin’s trademark wicked smile plastered on his face.

“And here I thought the heist went rather well, Otto.” He gestured to his lab. “Or is it something else that’s gotten you all… riled up?”

Otto coughed an annoyed harumph, and hoped- probably vainly- that Norman didn’t actually notice how flustered he was. He crossed his arms.

“And what business is it of yours where the source of my irritation lies?” he snapped. “Doubtless you’re here to redouble it.”

“I’m wounded, Doc. You think I’d do that to you?” Norman’s voice carried the signature near-cackle of the Goblin’s voice, clearly still coming down from the aftermath of the heist despite the discarding of his mask. Not quite back to the mask of a ‘respectable businessman’.

“It wouldn’t be ol’ Gobby who’s gotten you in a tizzy, is it?” The mischief practically sparkled behind his eyes.

Otto scoffed, and adjusted his coat, but he was forced to look away, unable to meet the other man’s eyes in his embarrassment.

“I haven’t a clue what you mean,” he grumbled. “I am not ‘in a tizzy’, as you put it. I’m…. fine. Fine, thank you.”

Norman put his fingers to his chin, looking Otto over with an inscrutable expression. After a moment, he closed his eyes and his smile turned a touch more grounded and sensible.

“Of course not, Otto.” He lowered his hand to cross his arms, walking close enough for his freshly applied cologne to make its way into Otto’s personal space, as he leaned over him to take a look at the desk.

“Was it something you’re working on then? Some ‘ridiculous’ roadblock in your research? I might be able to take a look at it, if you’d allow me.”

Frankly, there wasn’t much on the desk right then, aside from a few spare parts necessary to maintenance damage to his metal arms, and that made Otto feel like a cornered animal. Norman- and it was Norman now, wasn’t it?– wasn’t an idiot, even if the Goblin was a clown. He was a scientist, and he could certainly clearly see that there wasn’t anything particular that Otto was working on at the moment.

He faltered again when Norman stepped into his space. Had the man’s cologne always smelled… like that?

It was a heavy scent, clearly expensive just from the fine notes of it, and applied diligently to cover the smell of gunpowder and cement dust that would cling to him for hours, even after a diligent shower.

Somehow the gunpowder and cement only improved it, Otto thought somewhere in the back of his mind. Perhaps that was what tawdry romance novels were talking about when they wrote of the ‘scent of danger’.

“It was…. Merely a theoretical I was considering,” Otto grumbled lamely. “I suppose I’d value your input when I had something of note to share.”

“You and your theories.” Norman chuckled with amusement. “Something for the group, then?”

He fiddled with the earpiece of his glasses. “For the group? No…. no it’s more of a, ah, a personal endeavor I’m afraid. Not everything I work on is about robbing banks and killing Spider-Man you know.” There was a trace of indignance in his voice as he blustered.

“How could I forget you’re a man of ambition. ” He said the word with a sly quirk of his lips. “But of course. I guess we’ve all got to have our hobbies outside of squashing the spider. But now you’ve got my curiosity up.”

“Have I?” Otto raised an eyebrow, still looking up at him from sitting in his office chair. “I wonder if you’re really interested or just being nosy? Haven’t you got somewhere else to be, Mr. Secret Identity?”

And that was when Norman’s hand touched his shoulder, and he leaned down with a wide smile upon his face. “Not for a bit. It’s good practice to keep the shareholders waiting… just a little bit. Keeps them from thinking you’re too eager to please.”

Otto’s breath caught for a moment in his throat that was, unfortunately, probably quite audible. Damn it, now the man was touching him. Why was he touching him? Was this all part of an elaborate bit?

He was too frozen to pull away.

Instead he stared up at the man, over the upper rim of his glasses.

“I see.” There was a pause as a number of sardonic comments pointing out the over-familiarity of Norman’s gesture collided between Otto’s impressive brain, and his uncooperative tongue. What came out was merely, “Personal space?”

“I’m afraid I don’t catch your meaning.” Norman’s smile was somewhere between genuine and coy. Was he teasing? Or was the goblin peeking through? Or maybe it was genuine. It was hard to tell with Osborn.

Hard to tell. It was infuriatingly hard to tell. That he had no idea what the man’s true intention was was the only thing of which he was certain.

Otto harumphed, and looked significantly at Norman’s hand on his shoulder.

“You’re in my personal space, Osborn,” he drawled. “Are you aware of that, or do your hands merely move on their own?”

“Sometimes they do that, Otto.” Norman said with a smile as he lifted his hand. “You know how it can be. Wandering mind, wandering hands.”

“I’m afraid I would not know,” Otto replied rather testily. Certainly he wasn’t disappointed Norman had removed his hand. That would be silly. “As I have perfect control of both my mind, and all of my limbs. But tell me, where is your mind wandering?”

“The dark halls of my psyche?” Norman retorted with a sly wink. “Or perhaps just wandering over the notes for today’s meeting down at Oscorp. I have to keep the bleating sheep thinking they’re getting what they want, after all.”

Otto snorted derisively. “Of course, it’s all business with you. Ever the ruthless beaurocrat. So thinking of shareholders wanders your hand to my shoulder, does it? You’re like a politician.”

Norman leaned over him, shifting around until he was sitting upon Otto’s desk, a smile on his face. “Now you’re making me wonder. Can you imagine? ‘Mayor Osborn’.”

Otto turned in his chair to face him again, feeling grumpier by the moment. He couldn’t help but look the man over, with his sharp suit, and luxury attire, sitting perched there like some kind of imp, or devil.

“Mayor Osborn,” he drawled. “You know, unfortunately I absolutely can imagine it.”

Norman leaned over. “Imagine the damage we could do with that kind of position.” His voice hitched up in the middle, taking on the sly and gleeful tone of the Goblin. “Enough wheeling and dealing and we could bring this city down.”

There was something disgusting, and yet somehow alluring about both the idea and the way he said it. Otto ran his tongue over his teeth as he failed to distract himself from that.

“We’d hardly be the first criminals in such a position,” Otto sneered. “Forget Tammany Hall, we’d call it Sinister Hall. Shall I put it on the whiteboard, Goblin?”

“Might as well,” he cackled, slapping his hand on the table hard enough to rattle nuts and bolts. “It beats the bullshit Mysterio’s been putting up there the last 15 minutes, doesn’t it? Might as well put something with a bit of AMBITION on the board.”

Otto, who was already tense, jolted at the sharp gesture, tentacles freezing momentarily in surprise, but he shook his head, and grumbled out. “On the board it goes then! I swear, if Beck is trying to get us to rob another damned celebrity for film memorabilia I will pick him up and physically throw him out of the gang.”

The Goblin put his finger upon his lips like he was shushing some great secret. “No, no, don’t worry. It’s not a CELEBRITY this time, it’s a charity auction . It makes a world of difference. I hear there’s going to be a ratty old hat that belonged to CLINT EASTWOOD there, you know. Absolutely worthwhile.”

“Oh yes, I see how that’s completely different,” Otto agreed, dripping with sarcasm. “Well he can do it himself, it’s not worth my time, and it’s certainly not worth our time.”

Bitching about Quentin and his ridiculous film obsession almost-almost- made Otto feel a little bit more at ease.

“I’d have to agree with that.” The Goblin grinned, meeting his eyes as he leaned forward from the desk to once more enter Otto’s personal space. “But, but, but… that leaves us with an opening in our schedule, doesn’t it?”

So much for feeling more at ease. Otto felt his temperature rising the moment the Goblin leaned into his personal space. What was he on about now?

He had an idea what it might be. A thought that was somewhere between a fear, a hope, and a suspicion.

“A hole in our schedule,” he repeated dryly. “I suppose it does. And?”

The Goblin’s smile turned a touch more feral. “I was just thinkin’ maybe we might be able to fill that hole, Doctor~”

Otto nearly choked, feeling his cheeks turn red. That was innuendo. He knew innuendo when he heard it! Or… was he just reading into it too much?

Either way… Otto adjusted his cuffs, and he harumphed in response.

“Well, since I grudgingly admit that you are the lucky holder of the few brain cells in the team not already in my possession- I’ll happily hear your proposal.”

The Goblin leaned on his hand, propped up on his knee by the elbow, and watched his expression with a note of amusement. “I heard there’s going to be a gala at the Mayor’s office coming up. Bigwigs from all over New York’s finest institutions, fancy jewels… pricy hostages.”

Well. That was less… lewd than his hindbrain had been imagining. But it was enticing in another way.

Otto allowed himself to lean forward as well, closer to the Goblin.

“Bigwigs and pricy hostages you say,” he drawled. “That does sound like an entertaining and profitable evening.”

“Plus,” he said with an uptick to his smile, “it’s a chance to get you in a nice suit for the pre-chaos festivities~ Win, Win.”

Otto raised an eyebrow, the quality of the smile causing him to flush lightly. Just what did he mean by that? “Is that some kind of sleight on my fashion sense, Osborn?”

“Dear Doctor, how could I pooossibly think to malign you like that!” The Goblin cackled. “It’s just not OFTEN the two of us get to be a little formal, is it?”

“You don’t consider our alternate business attire formal?” he asked with wry amusement. “I suppose you want me to see how the other half lives. I assure you, before my fall from grace within society I attended plenty of functions which required formal attire.”

The Goblin sighed dramatically “Are you always this stuffy when someone asks you out…”

Otto’s mouth dropped open, for a moment as the other man left the question hanging.

“–to a grand heist?” The Goblin finished.

Otto’s voice caught in his throat again. The man, the Goblin, was certainly teasing him on purpose. There was no way that it was anything but deliberate.

“Stuffy?” he snorted, mostly trying to cover own flustered feelings with grumpiness. “I take offense to that, you know. If its a choice between being called ‘stuffy’ and letting you have your way taking me out- to a heist- I suppose I’ll choose the second option. Grudgingly.”

The Goblin hopped off the table, and bumped his shoulder as he passed. “Then I expect you’ll pack your finest suit for when we paint the town red, Doc Ock.”

Otto watched him go, furrowing his brow, parting shot lost on his tongue. He felt flushed and wrongfooted, and frustrated because he was absolutely certain that was the Goblin’s intention. And yet somehow… he was looking forward to the idea of this. Outing.

Yes, outing. Not date.

“I suppose I’ll see you then,” he murmured to Osborn’s retreating back.

Well. At least he actually did have a nice suit.





Next chapter… fancy suits and painting the town red! 😉



Flying Goblin Air


Chapter 3: Flying Goblin Air


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)



Otto didn’t see Osborn again in the several days between their arrangement and the mayoral gala. It was unsurprising; after all, of all of them, Norman was the one with the most significant connection to the mundane world, what with his business and that came with it. Generally Otto would have been pleased to have the quiet in his lab, but he found himself unable to concentrate on plotting, scheming, or inventing. No, his mind kept being drawn back to Norman, and it drove him to distraction.

By the time the day came, Otto had paced his lab. He had thrown things about. He had grumbled and griped. He had written- and subsequently burned- pages of notes and thoughts on the subject of just what the hell was going on with… with all of this .

“How have I let myself get so tied in knots?” he grumbled to himself as he knotted his tie in the mirror and looked himself over. His handsome, white Armani suit was specially tailored to fit his extra metal arms. Those would remain hidden, however, underneath the expensive black greatcoat that matched his silk shirt. “This had better be fancy enough for him.”

Only because he didn’t want to hear Norman insulting his fashion sense. Yes. That was the only reason.

“Knock knock”

Norman Osborn leaned in the doorway after pushing it open, a wide grin on his face. “Well, Well Doctor Octopus. You clean up nice.”

Otto peered at him through the mirror for a moment before he turned around to face him, feeling the tips of his ears flush at the comment, whether it was meant sincerely or not.

“I did tell you I’m not unaccustomed to such frivololties,” he murmured, surreptitiously looking Norman over in return.

Norman wore a pinstriped deep emerald green suit, because of course , complemented by the Oscorp lapel pins in gold. Handsome, if showy, and very much on theme. Otto could only barely notice the goblin armor under it- and only because he knew what he was looking for.

Norman flashed one of his million dollar smiles at Otto with a nod of his head. “You did mention that, my friend. And looks like you proved it.”

“I’m a brilliant man no matter the field, I assure you, Norman,” he said, straightening his cuffs. He felt himself pinned by that million dollar smile and the frustrating perception that green really was Norman’s color and he did look very handsome in it. But he absolutely refused to let Norman see him squirm. “I wasn’t about to let you think otherwise.”

“Consider me convinced.” Osborn laughed, his hand on his hip as he leaned against the open doorframe. “Ready for a night they’ll never forget? It’s a big job~ We’ve got to get it right.”

“I hope you’re not suggesting that we won’t,” Otto said, finally throwing his coat over his shoulder and stalking over to where Osborn stood. “We have a number of factors in our favor after all, not the least of which is my stunning intellect. Also, Spider-Man should be busy enough chasing our compatriots’ little charity auction misadventure.”

“Hopefully. Provided they don’t get themselves hauled off to the Raft before hor devours are finished being served.” Norman purrs. “Webbed up right next to the pistol from Butch Cassidy.”

“A tragic irony if so- and deeply inconvenient,” Otto snorted. “We’ll just have to hope that they’re a little bit more competent than that. Speaking of which, we should discuss our own plans while we’re in transit.”

“Precisely.” He replied with a wink. “Oh, and… we should take pains not to let my civilian identity be mixed up with yours. Just in case… but once the masks are on…”

He leans over with a wicked chuckle “you can get as close as you want.”

Otto’s face went ruddy as Osborn leaned in near to him. He coughed. “And here I was about to ask if you were planning to play as one of the hostages.”

“I’ve got a plan for that.” Norman purred, watching his reaction like a cat with a mouse. “Don’t worry.”

“Is that so?” Otto sniffed softly and glanced away as he saw Norman watching him so predatorily. It made the fine hairs on the back of his neck stand on end in a way he didn’t entirely dislike. “Forgive me if I’m a little bit skeptical of a plan I’ve heard nothing about. But please, be my guest and take the lead.”

“All I need is for you to pretend to kidnap me and lock me ‘somewhere secure’, while I change and break in with the glider.” Norman said matter of factly.

Otto looked him over again, a smirk growing on his face. He crossed his arms. “Perhaps I don’t give you enough credit, Osborn. I was going to suggest the very same idea.”

With a tap of his finger on his head, he smiled wider. “Don’t underestimate me, Otto. If there’s anyone in this gang as or more clever as you… it’s me.”

IF there were, it would be,” he admitted, slightly grudgingly. “As, perhaps. More, certainly not. But alright. It’s your show for the evening, Norman. How shall we arrive?”

“How do you feel about flying First Class, Goblin Air?” Norman asked with a wicked grin. “I’ll drop you off a block or two away.”

“Oh very subtle,” he drawled, leaning on the wall near Norman. “Can that flying death trap of yours even carry two?”

Otto was immediately struck by how close he would have to be to him, if the answer were yes.

“It’s very sturdy,” Norman said with an ear to ear smile. “As long as you stick close to me, Otto. My ‘flying death trap’ is an advanced combat unit,you know.”

‘Stick close to me’… There he was, certainly teasing Otto again.

Otto put a hand on his hip. “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that this isn’t some half-baked assassination attempt so that you can take over the gang. Bah. very well. So we’ll move in on your glider. So you drop me off, and in the time it takes me to arrive, you stash the damn thing and mingle at the party. Then, when I do arrive- I assume you imagine a direct approach from me. GIven the level of subtlety put forth so far.”

“Where’s the fun in always being subtle?” Norman put his hand to his chest. “Not every plan has to be an insidious takeover, or a quiet break in… sometimes you want a little…”

His grin took on a nasty edge. “Spectacle.”

Otto snorted, but waved a hand dismissively. “Of course you want to draw a crowd. Well- very well. We’ll do it your way this time.”

“The more of a crowd we draw, the more money we can rake in before making our escape,” Norman countered with a wink. “Trust me, Otto. This’ll be fun.”

“You’re a difficult man to trust, intriguing as you may be. So I hope you won’t let me down.” He pushed up his spectacles. “Now then, no point in delaying the ‘fun’ any longer, is there?”

“No, so you’d better suit up and get ready.” Norman grabbed a mask off the wall and spun it on his finger before catching it in his waiting hand. “You’re gonna have the ride of your life.”

The prospect sent such a strange kind of lump to the pit of Otto’s stomach that he genuinely couldn’t decide if it was for or against the idea.

Either way, he was in for it now.



The central area of the hide out had a skylight that had been installed for these kinds of entries and exits, and the two men stood below it. Otto watched Osborn arrange himself on the glider with easy familiarity, and he stood back for a moment.

“Alright, now how would you have me on there?” Otto demanded in a grumble, the hesitant embarrassment gathering in him all over again.

“You’re shorter than me.” Norman said with a raspy chuckle from behind his mask. He gestured to the space before him, which indeed had some foot hooks for a second rider. “so you’ll be standing in front of me.”

Otto glanced down at the glider and nodded curtly. “I suppose that’s true. I see your tech is prepared for a passenger after all. Hopefully my own equipment won’t be a problem with me in front of you.”

He stepped on to the glider, and tried to situate his feet, tentacles wrapped tightly around and in front of him for the moment until he found the best position for them. He became instantly aware of how close he was to Osborn.

Norman hit a switch on his armor, just below the sleeve of his suit, and the restraints closed around Otto’s feet… and Norman leaned up against him from behind. “Alright, wrap those tendrils around me, Otto.” the Goblin purred. “And hold on tight so you don’t break your damned ankles.”

Otto held in a noise of surprise as the restraints clicked around his feet, and his body stiffened as he felt the Goblin’s armored chest pressing against his back, voice purring in his ear. At least there was certainly no way for Osborn to tell how red his face was, since he was behind him.

His tentacles shifted and snaked around Osborn’s body, holding him in a tight, but not crushing hold, the actuators locking a grip into the chassis of the glider itself.

“Break my ankles? I hope that’s not a serious possibility.”

“Not for you, Otto,” the Goblin assured with a low cackle as the machine flared to life under them. “For most men the wind would bowl them over and snap their legs like TWIGS. But with your arms, and my serum pulsing through my veins, we’ll be right as rain.”

Otto felt the thrum of the machine through the soles of his feet and up through his body. It was a fascinating piece of tech, anyway…

“No wonder this thing never got out of trial-phase,” he drawled. “Totally unsuitable for an average human grunt. Luckily, that describes neither of us.”

“The IDEA was that we’d dose the soldiers with the ol’ Goblin Sauce and we’d have a whole platoon of high flying super soldiers,” The Goblin said with a sneer as it began to lift up and out the window. “But the cowards were too weak to take it. Not like me. So more’s the pity, I’m the one who gets to have all the FUN.”

“I’m not certain the military is interested in fun, Osborn,” Otto said, taking a breath as they lifted into the air. “That said, progress will always be held back by the timid and small minded. So I suppose congratulations for your boldness are in order.”

The skylight opened above them showing the dark sky over Manhattan, stars just starting to show.

“It wasn’t boldness that started this.” The Goblin purred “but it’s sure as hell what’s keeping this little venture barrelling full speed ahead!”

And with that… the rockets kicked on, and sent them soaring into the sky on a trail of smoke and flame, cutting a silhouette against the dimming sky as they arched overhead.

As they gained altitude over the city, Otto felt the g-force of it pressing him back against the Goblin, the back of his head pressed into the space between the other man’s neck and chin. Osborn hadn’t been lying, this thing had a lot of force behind it, and if it wasn’t for their superior abilities, they’d certainly be thrown right off. However, all it meant for them was that Otto was now pressed embarrassingly close and intimately with the other man.

He heard the goblin laugh behind him, and a pair of arms clasp firmly on his shoulders as the glider went into a turn towards their intended destination “Comfortable, Octopus?” The goblin’s higher tone purred in his ear.

The breath in his ear made Otto shiver- no, of course it was just the cold wind against his face. He shifted very slightly, under the Goblin’s arms, and the tendrils squeezed him just a little tighter.

“More or less!”Otto replied. “I’m certainly not afraid of heights but this is a hell of a way to travel, Goblin.”

“What can I say,” the Goblin cackled, “there’s nothing like the wind on your face and the fear in the faces of the people below when they see the GREEN GOBLIN is on his way~”

Otto couldn’t help but lean into him as they flew, the city flashing below them at great speed down below, all dark corners and twinkling lights. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. Maybe it was even a little bit fun. Not that he would admit to enjoying being pressed up against him like this. Well, it wouldn’t come up anyway. Just a consequence of the mode of travel.

“You know, I suppose it does have something to recommend it.”



Soon enough, or perhaps all too soon, the ride was over, as they reached the vacant alley where the Goblin would drop Otto off. Though he’d seen it before, Otto was still slightly impressed to witness first hand just how well the glider maneuvered in tight spaces.

It balanced easily, slowly lowering them down with a low whine until it landed with ease behind a stack of boxes outside of some restaurant’s back door. The Goblin tapped his shoulder to get him to look at him as the restraints clicked off.

“Last stop, Back Alley station.” The Goblin snickered.

“Charming,” Otto murmured, as he finally let his metal arms unlock from the glider- and slightly more reluctantly from around the Goblin’s body. His knees only shook slightly as he stepped off, and he ran his fingers through his windswept hair. “Well, I’m glad that I brought a comb.”

“Wouldn’t want to show up to the big party looking like a mess, would you.” He leaned forward and poked Otto on the forehead. “Cute a look as it is, You should clean up and head on down for your big entrance.”

Taken aback by the sudden touch, and by the comment, Otto sputtered, his cheeks flushing as his mouth screwed up like he had just sucked on a lemon.

“Yes, well!” he managed to force out, before realizing he had no idea what to say after that.

“It’s Goblin, not Well.” The Green Goblin purred teasingly “Ta ta, DOCTOR OCTOPUS~. Don’t keep us waiting!” He stepped back into his glider and it’s restraints clicked around his feet. “You wouldn’t want to disappoint me on our big….”

He hovered up into the air, and winked behind the open lens of his mask “heist.”

Otto watched him go, his face burning, mouth screwed up in a confused grimace.

“Madness. Absolute madness.”

He adjusted his coat down over his tentacles, and took out his hat, slipping it on his head as he turned and stalked out of the alley.





Everyone loves a party, am I right? Wonder who’s on the guest list?



Drawing a Crowd


Chapter 4: Drawing a Crowd


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax




This chapter is a little bit on the actiony side– but what’s romance without a action? 😉





The mayoral gala was being held in a glittering midtown penthouse, and the Goblin had no trouble making his way down from the roof access, stashing his glider and the mask, and making his way toward the buzz of music and conversation. An invitation wouldn’t be a problem. Osborn was welcome anywhere in high society after all.

Norman adjusted his cufflinks, and took a deep breath as he put on his best 100watt smile and walked into the buzz of a society party in full swing like a man in his natural habitat.

“Ahh, Norman, you made it!” exclaimed some obnoxious socialite whose name was not worth remembering. As he made his way into the brightly lit, marble-floored hall full of dozens of men and women just as rich and forgettable as she was, she beamed at him in a way that she probably thought was charming.

“I wouldn’t have forgotten it for the world.” He said with a brighter smile than he felt like giving “Sorry I’m late, the traffic was killer out there.”

“It’s a terrible shame, isn’t it? I keep thinking about getting a helicopter.” She had a laugh like sandpaper on cement.

“Osborn, there you are, have you met Melissa yet?” Another smiling face asked. He was from some charity tha Norman was nominally on the board of. “She’s just joined us at the outreach center.”

“Of course, of course.” Norman purred, glancing sidelong at her “I couldn’t possibly forget such a charming young lady. We were just catching up.”

He chuckled, “We got to talking about how it’d be easier to travel by air nowadays than drive in New York.”

“Oh absolutely!” he agreed, exuberantly, putting a hand on Norman’s shoulder. “It’s a nightmare! And it’s not like people like us can just take the subway after all.”

The woman titted at the idea as if it were an especially funny joke.

There was the flash and click of a camera going off somewhere nearby.

Norman’s eyes tracked towards the sound of the camera as he kept the bright smile going. “I can’t imagine.” he drawled in response.

A rather beefy ginger-blond man with a badly fitting suit and a press pass had a camera aimed right at Osborn and the annoying duo. Seeing Norman look up at him, the man lowered his camera and smiled crookedly as he strode over.

“Eddie Brock, with the Daily Bugle, sir.”

“The Bugle, huh?” Norman laughed, and offered his hand to the young man “I should have known Jamison would send one of his photographers here. I’m a little surprised it wasn’t Parker!”

“Parker? Tch, said he had ‘other obligations’,” Brock snorted. “Some of us take pride in our jobs, am I right, Mr. Osborn? Hey, lemme get a close up of the three of ya while I got you here.”

The photographer waved for them to group up- just as Norman saw a familiar silhouette pass through the open double doors of the gala hall. The tentacles weren’t out yet, but Doctor Octopus had arrived.

Norman’s smile turned a touch more genuine as he noticed, and he looped his arms around the other two socialites and flashed a smile.

“Some of us indeed, son,” he purred. “You seem like the dedicated sort. Keep that camera at the ready. These parties can win you some real credit with your boss.”

“Thanks so much, Mr. Osborn, sir,” Brock grinned and started snapping pictures just as Norman saw Otto reach the center of the gala’s floor.

With a flourish, Doctor Octopus’ tentacles pulled away his coat and hat, leaving him standing exposed at the center of the crowd. Another metal arm flashed out back behind him, and slammed the doors with a bang, alerting the attention of all the partygoers immediately.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I assure you, it is in your best interest to remain calm,” he announced to the suddenly silent crowd. The normally quiet doctor loomed large, and threatening now.

Norman tensed, took a few steps back and let his hand drop towards his pocket, his fingers grabbing for his phone.

“Doctor Octopus?!? Here??” He hissed, feigning terror with skill despite his amusement, and pushed the socialites out of the way as he perhaps… a bit too obviously, started dialing 9….1….

A metal claw suddenly gripped his hand tightly- but not too tightly. The good doctor turned to him with a rather unctuous smirk.

“I think not Mr….. Osborn, is it?” he sneered, and grabbed Norman by the waist with another tentacle, as he turned to threaten the crowd. There was caution- or perhaps it was almost tenderness- to the way the doctor held him, but it was doubtful anyone in the crowd woul notice. “And I suggest none of you make any stupid moves either, lest you come to know my ire.”

Osborn made a good show of trying to thrash out of the tentacle, the look of fear mingling with a stubborn attempt to hide it believably clear on his face as he pushed at the metal coil.

Perhaps there was the trace of a flush though? Or maybe it was just the light. “Let me go , you creep. Do you know who I am?”

“I believe I just addressed you,” Ock said, sneering at him. Meanwhile, another tentacle flicked out a blowtorch and melted the door’s mechanism, effectively welding it shut. He pulled a bag out of his coat and tossed it on the floor. “Ladies and gentlemen, it is in your best interest to fill this bag with valuables, while I dispose of this troublesome Mr. Osborn.”

“Oh no you don’t!” Brock had gotten it in his head to try to surprise the doctor with a chair over the back of his head. Otto snapped it up in a tentacle and splinted it.

“Don’t be a hero, Brock,” Osborn hissed through teeth, glancing furtively at him with a note of concern. “Don’t throw your life away, you can’t trust these supervillain psychos to care about collateral damage.”

“A little late for that advice,”Ock snaps, and swats Brock away with a tentacle like he was an annoying fly. As the shocked crowd watches, he drags the squirming Osborn to the back of the hall, and wrenches open the door.

Osborn made one last reach for his pocket… before he was torn past the door with a strangled shout. “NO!”

The doctor pulled the door shut behind them with another slam, and there was the terrible sound of his actuator’s claw dragging over the marble for a moment.

He smirked at Osborn. “Get changed.”

Osborn hopped up, a manic grin plastered on his face as he quickly began to change, cackling as he did so from the privacy of the back hall. “Without a hitch, Octopus! Without a hitch!”

Otto’s gaze lingered on Osborn for a moment as he moved to the back of the hall- and then he quickly turned, and slammed back into the gala room.

From behind the closed door, the Goblin could hear Doctor Octopus threatening and cajoling the crowd as he waited for his partner to arrive.

And with the donning of his mask Osborn was no more… and the Goblin hit the seeker on his gauntlet to call his glider through the wall of the luxurious hallway… leaping upon it to stash his party clothes, and fly out the great window to circle the building with a booming cackle….aiming for the great window at the head of the party’s ballroom.

“Well, well, well!” he crowed as the glass shattered around him “are you all gathered here just for lil’ old me?”



Just as Otto was thinking that it might have been wise to have brought some mooks for this operation, the Goblin swooped in through the shattered glass.

“You’re late , Goblin,” he grumbled, turning his glare away from the businessman he was holding by the lapels, and toward his partner in crime.

“Why, Ockky, I wanted to give you a little chance to ENJOY yourself!” The Goblin cackled. “You should thank me for letting you kick off the festivities, you know! And I’m sure the fine people of New York appreciated your brand of party favors~”

“With the way they’ve been behaving, they might enjoy a few of yours better,” the doctor spat, throwing the businessman he was holding to the ground, and keeping his wallet. “Maybe one of your pumpkin bombs will help to put them in more of a generous spirit.

Crimes like these always excited mixed emotions in Otto. On the one hand, there was a part of him that felt humiliated to sink to the depths of a common criminal. On the other hand, men like these, inferior fools who thought themselves above him, had pushed him around all of his life. And it was a thrill to be the one pushing.

And there was a thrill to be doing it with Osborn.

The Goblin soared over them all, his glider spewing hot flame from it’s engine as it circled them like a bird of prey looking for it’s next kill… he shifted his foot, hit a button on his gauntlet and out flew a circular bomb shaped like a pumpkin… complete with a painted grimace of a smile.

“Who’s feeling GENEROUS today?” The Goblin cackled. “Haven’t you heard it’s better to give than to receive?”

Otto couldn’t help but smirk at the way that seemed to cow the few remaining resilient among the crowd. Mooks, it seemed, were not necessary. The fearsome reputation of Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin did that well enough.

‘Click’ went his finger on the goblin bomb. “Alright, let’s start with the richest and work our way down! Toss those goodies in my handsome compatriot’s bag and MAYBE some of you will survive~!”

“But YOU will not survive!” a voice like tarry concrete suddenly cut in. A sticky black string of goo splatted against the Goblin’s bomb, and jerked it away. Otto’s gaze followed its path.

Squatting in the window was a hulking black monster with white patches for eyes, and a drooling, fang-filled mouth.



Putting on a Show


Chapter 5: Putting on a Show


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax




There’s some PG violence in this chapter perpetrated by our boys. I promise as the author that no one is seriously injured. :p



(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)



“Blast it all!” Otto hissed as his gaze landed on the strange black creature squatting in the window.

“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me,” The Goblin said, before he started cackling. “Isn’t it a little early for Halloween?” he crowed to the figure. “Why don’t you head on back to the hole you came from, and let the ADULTS finish talking.”

The sheer hypocritical bravado of the Green Goblin daring to taunt someone else about it being early for Halloween nearly killed Otto. Literally. He was so dumbstruck he almost failed to avoid the pumpkin bomb as the fang-jawed interloper whipped it at him. Luckily his reflexes were good, and he caught it just before the timer wound down, whipping it toward the window where the black creature squatted.

“Indeed!” the doctor sneered as a shower of plaster and broken glass exploded next to the intruder’s head. “Why don’t you crawl back into whatever sewer birthed you, abomination!”

It snarled, and leapt away from the explosion, and toward the Goblin- but not quite in time to avoid taking some shrapnel to its ugly face.

And the Goblin took exactly that opportunity to whip his glider around in a broad arc to try and clip the bladed edge across the monster’s face. “Nighty night, knock-off spider-man!”

The creature was struck against the jaw, and Otto seized the moment to slammed a tentacle across the back of its head as it reeled backwards, then grabbed it by the chest and threw it heavily across the room. He scooped up the bag of loot they’d taken from the cowering millionaires.

“Well, Goblin, what do you think? Shall we take our leave or teach this oil stain a lesson he won’t have the opportunity to forget?”

The Goblin cackled, and a port opened at the front of his glider-a dozen small missileheads primed and ready for launch.

“Why don’t we make it a bit of a GROUP learning experience, eh? If this wanna-be hero wants to get in our way, I’m happy to teach him a little… responsibility.”

And with that, the missiles launched, whirring through the air with a sound like a banshee’s shriek as they arched about, aiming for a dozen different targets around the room… including the big monster of a man.

Otto braced himself with his tentacles as explosions rocked the room- most of which were centered on the hulking monster himself, and unfortunately, the walls of the penthouse. It seemed that he’d used more of those black webs to redirect the missiles.

The black-suited beast-man was breathing hard, and there was the smell of something scorched coming from him. However, there was also a sharp crack that started to travel up the wall.

“Reckless!” The doctor snapped, his lip twitching in a smirk despite the mostly feigned irritation. There was something somehow attractive about the Goblin’s sheer chaotic energy. “You’re going to bring the building down around our ears, Goblin!”

“Then let it fall!” The Goblin cackled, rising into the air before swooping back to grab Otto in his arms, and hefting him onto the glider itself. “Let it fall and CRUSH them while this half-wit hero watches in vain!”

The doctor smothered a strangled noise as the Goblin suddenly grabbed him up into his arms on the speeding glider. It was easy to forget, knowing Norman in his civilian identity, how strong the serum had made him. Nearly as strong, perhaps stronger, than their nemesis Spider-Man, and thus capable of easily lifting both Otto and his admittedly somewhat heavy arms. And now he was being held like some kind of maiden.

Ridiculous. Absolutely foolish.

He wrapped a tentacle around Osborn’s waist, and clung to his chest with a hand, grimacing, as he caught his breath.

“Time to make our daring exit, I believe,” he growled out.

Below them, their ‘audience’ was beginning to panic in earnest now, as chunks of ceiling began to fall.

“You want to play hero, sewer boy?” The Goblin continued to crow as the glider flew backwards towards the window, his eyes wide behind his mask and his grin all the wider. “Then play hero! Tick tock! They’re COUNTING ON YOU.”

As a parting gift, he dropped one last goblin bomb towards a screaming socialite-and turned the glider to blast off into the night with their stolen riches.

From his position in the Goblin’s arms, Otto watched the bloom of bright explosion from the penthouse as they soared away from it, streaking through the night sky. He watched, too, as the tar-black beastial man was shot out by a tongue of flame and debris- it looked like the idiot had taken the brunt of the explosion himself again. Well, he almost certainly wouldn’t be coming after them; that was something.

The doctor’s eyes were drawn from the lingering flames, to the Goblin’s bright eyed mask.

“Well! That was a touch more exercise than we expected,” he grumbled, not entirely unhappily.

The Goblin looked down at him, their eyes meeting from behind the bright lenses. “Oops.” he laughed, his grin all too apparent even behind his mask. “I guess I went a little overboard trying to impress my hot date.”

The cold wind on Otto’s face immediately stung all the harsher as he felt himself flush quite spectacularly at what was certainly merely the Goblin’s clownish and hyperbolic language.

He struggled to move his tongue for a moment and then blustered out, “So this is your idea of a date, is it?” He searched for some further acerbic comment to add, but his brilliant vocabulary failed him for the moment.

“A little mingling, a few explosions, a little physical exertion, ” The Goblin said with a low chuckle. “What could be better to get the blood pumping? It’ll be memorable won’t it? Only thing that’d make it better is a drink and a little… quality time.”

Osborn’s voice had that same throaty purr as it did the day he’d pinned Octavius to the wall with that ‘tease’ about the kiss.

Otto felt his body fill up with heat the same way it had when he had been thinking about that kiss, and he wanted to give in to the terrible part of himself that just wanted to go along with it. But he also felt the sting of fear that it was all just a lengthy joke, like some girl in high school inviting him to the prom just to tell him he was worthless and humiliate him for daring to believe. Part of him was terribly afraid to live that reality out again.

But Doctor Otto Octavius was no longer some helpless teenager. He was a powerful, brilliant man, as feared as he was respected. An honored scientist, and, as the night’s events more than proved, a terrible criminal. If the Goblin dared to humiliate him, Otto would simply have to pick him up bodily with his tentacles and smash him repeatedly against a wall.

“Well!” Otto finally sputtered out. “What are you waiting for, you’re the one driving, so if you have plans you’d better go about them without delay!”

“If you insist, Doctor,” The Goblin purred, as the glider took a sharp turn.

“And you’re going to carry me all the way there, I see,” Otto observed, unable to distract himself from the fact that he was still largely cradled in the other man’s arms as they flew. It was a distinctly different sensation than flying on the ‘passenger seat’ of the glider had been; certainly an even more intimate one.

“Would you like me to put you down?” The Goblin grinned down at him. “It’s a bit of a drop, and I WOULD hate to lose out on your company.”

“Don’t you dare , you goblin! ” Otto snapped. He felt his mouth pucker like he’d sucked on a lemon as he looked up at Osborn with mixed annoyance, and a trace of amusement. “You never do take anything seriously.”

The Green Goblin’s arms tighten around Otto, holding him firmer against his chest as he smiled down at him “I take the occasional thing seriously. Maybe you’ll get to find out, Ockkie~”

The doctor squirmed a bit as the Goblin’s arms tightened around him, and he felt himself flushing again. He redirected his flustering into annoyance, and grumbled out, “ Must you call me by such a ridiculous appellation?”

The two of them flew from the glittering high towers of midtown into the low, slumping rough, rowdy district on the outskirts of Queens.

“You don’t like it, Doc?” The Goblin purred “That’s what you’re sayin’ but I think your face betrays you~” He brushed his hand over his back as the glider dipped lower. “I think you like it.”

Despite the layers of clothing between them, Otto felt his skin prickle as Oborn shifted his hand on him. It was almost a caress- could that be the intention?

He sighed a breath that fogged his glasses and looked away from the Goblin’s mask. “You would say that no matter whether I protested or not, certainly.”

The glider came down in what seemed like an alley just as abandoned as the one that Otto had been left in earlier in the evening, but in this case, Otto happened to know the appearance masked a very different reality.

The Goblin landed, stashing their stolen goods on the glider as he hopped off, and tapped his gauntlet to send it hovering somewhere safe from prying eyes, or greedy fingers.

He grinned at Otto behind his mask, and finally let him go. “Maybe I’m just that confident. Maybe you’re just that obvious.”

Otto clambered to the ground, held up by his tentacles before he allowed himself to his feet and dusted off his suit. “Between the two of us I am the more subtle in any competition you could pick. Not that I suppose it is known to be either of our specialties.”

He glanced at the forlorn and rusted door in the alley’s brick wall with a familiar gaze. Of course the Goblin had brought them here.

“Who needs subtly when you have raw sex appeal?” The Goblin leaned in uncomfortably close. “Eh?”

The doctor felt his skin prickle again at the sudden intimacy, and he gave the Goblin a look down the end of his nose.

“And whose would that be, mine, or yours?” He didn’t give Osborn a chance to answer though, instead, quickly rapping out the secret code on the metal door with one of his tentacles. “I see you chose someplace where we could, shall we say, be ourselves, for the evening.”

“I wouldn’t choose anywhere else,” The Goblin purred. “I’d like to properly celebrate tonight. No stuffy suit for me. No pretending and no interruptions.”

There it was again… all of that sounded very…. Intimate.

“I suppose when you put it like that.” Otto harumphed and carefully fixed his hair as they waited to be let in.

The door opened a moment later with a bruiser of a bouncer standing filling the doorway. He barely gave the two of them a glance over before he stepped aside to let them in. Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin were well known and well regarded in the circles that frequented the bar with no name.







Happy new year! New chapter soon!



Drawing Close Together


Chapter 6: Drawing Close Together


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax




Alcohol consumption in this chapter.

The so called ‘Bar with No Name’ is a super villain bar that some readers of the comics may be familiar with.

😉 Happy new year, all.



(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)



Otto waited for Osborn before he strode past the bouncer, and down the cement stairs into the belly of the beast. Osborn followed him, walking with a confident and almost predatory gait.

And why wouldn’t he? He was the Green Goblin, one of the most feared supervillains in New York City. A terror of the skies. And he had Doctor Octopus at his side…

It seemed like it was a quiet enough night, comparatively. People knew not to cause trouble at the bar with no name. Even super villains needed a place to relax from time to time, after all.

Shocker was sitting at the bar nursing a beer. A half-dozen guys in the uniform of some mook guild were sitting around playing poker. The Rhino was off by himself in a corner drinking Jack Daniels like it was water, judging by the number of empty bottles in front of him.

Heads turned when the Goblin and Octopus strolled through. Shocker even gave them a friendly wave. Otto tried not to roll his eyes.

The Green Goblin waved back, a sharp smile behind his mask. “Shockie, Rhino. What a surprise! I thought you were still at the Raft for that little incident with the mass transit authority!” he crooned as he headed for the bar.

Shocker grinned. “Big break out. They lost power for an hour. Whoopsy.”

Otto shook his head and followed the Gobin to the bar. “Congratulations on your freedom, then,” he grumbled. “Try not to waste it this time.”

“Lucky lucky.” The Goblin snickered as he settled down onto a stool and waved for the most expensive drink in the house. Like a show off. “The raft seems to have so many problems like that, wouldn’t you say Otto?”

Otto settled down onto the stool next to Osborn and let himself get comfortable. “I can think of a number of improvements that they could make. Not that they are asking- nor am I offering.”

He leaned an elbow on the bar, looking over the expensive bottle that the bartender was pouring from at Osborn’s behest. The absolute arrogance of it. He rather liked it.

But he did hope that the Goblin wasn’t going to drag them into a lengthy conversation with the dull witted Shocker.

“Let the feds fail to work it out,” The goblin cackled, and bumped his shoulder to the doctor’s. “Today we drink to VICTORY.”

Otto bumped his shoulders back in return, thrilling a little even at the short, shap contact, though he told himself that he wasn’t.

“To victory indeed,” he agreed. “Not a bad little operation for such an improvisation.”

The Shocker was still definitely listening in on their conversation, but at least he seemed to know better than to interrupt for the moment.

“We had it planned well enough,” The Goblin rasped, his hand straying a little closer to Otto’s even as he spoke. “The only hitch was that lumbering hero-wannabe who tried playing Spider-man while the webhead was elsewhere.”

“Whoa, you guys ran into the Venom?” Shocker interjected. So much for him knowing better than to interrupt.

Otto picked up his shot glass, swirling it in his hand, and looked past Osborn at the other criminal. He didn’t both to ask the qustion. Either Shocker would go on, or he wouldn’t. He took a sip of his drink instead. It was good stuff. Probably not worth what it cost as far as taste alone, but good, definitely.

The goblin tipped his drink back and past his mask, swallowing it with a low chuckle. “Is that what that walking mud puddle calls himself? Venom?

“That’s what I heard,” Shocker nodded. “Some weirdo in a black Spider-Man get-up with a face full of teeth has been putting guys in the hospital. Calls himself Venom.”

“Wonderful,” Otto snorted, watching the Goblin sip his drink. “Well, now it’s him in the hospital. If we didn’t outright kill the cretin.”

“We collapsed a penthouse on him,” The goblin sneered, bragging. “Our Mr. Venom had taken the brunt of a dozen miniature warheads and a pumpkin bomb. It’ll at least slow the man down.”

He grinned widely, and his hand actually wound it’s way over to rest on top of Otto’s. “Giving us PLENTY of time to celebrate the goods he couldn’t stop us from getting away with! hah!”

“N-not a bad haul either,” Otto agreed, embarrassed to hear his own voice hitch slightly as Osborn’s hand moved on top of his own. They were right in front of Shocker. The man was a terrible and notorious gossip. Had this been the plan all along? The doctor nervously threw back the rest of his drink with his free hand, feeling the alcohol burn down his throat and send a flush through his body.

The Goblin raised his drink to his lips, glancing sidelong at Otto with a wicked grin on his face. “The brains of the Sinister Six strike again,” he purred, as his fingers closed around Otto’s.

Otto was not a drinking man, and the one shot of good whisky was enough for it to start going to his head. He let the alcohol smother his urge to pull his hand away from Osborn’s out of nerves, allowing himself to enjoy the touch in an embarrassed sort of way. The Goblin was definitely trying to humiliate him. He’d have to pay for it later. Later.

We do indeed,” he agreed. “Though I want to make it clear that those brains are at least 60/40 in my favor. At least.”

The Goblin cooed, “oh honey . I suppose I can’t argue with that. You bring the brains… and I bring the pizazz~” Despite everything, despite the crowded bar, The Goblin leaned over to rest his shoulder against Otto’s “isn’t that right, Ockkie?”

That was about the time that the alcohol brought back Otto’s thoughts of the other day, and what it might be like if he let the other man kiss him, stubble and all. He felt suddenly very warm, and he wished that neither the crowd, nor the Goblin’s mask were there, and that he could find out.

He pushed the thought away- but not the Goblin- letting his own shoulder rest against him. One of his tentacles wound itself around the seat of Osborn’s barstool.

“Well I’ve never claimed pizzazz, and you’ve certainly got that- whatever it is.”

“It’s a certain flair for the dramatic. A note of showmanship,” the Goblin grinned, “to help make a real name for yourself in circles like ours, so full of weirdos and freaks in masks and tights.”

His fingers trailed against the back of Otto’s hand, towards his wrist.

Otto felt himself shiver at the touch and he glanced at the Goblin again, looking him over as if scrutinizing the mask could give him insight into whatever the man was thinking.

“Why don’t you dramatically buy me another drink, Goblin, I don’t think the first one has well enough prepared me for your level of ridiculousness.”

“Dramatically buy you a…?” The Goblin broke out into a laugh, before announcing; “BARKEEP, give my DEVILISHLY HANDSOME DATE another round!” He gestured with flair towards Otto. “He’s parched from our rigorous… heist~”

This nearly killed Otto. Well…. He HAD asked for it. Of course now the entire bar was staring at them. He closed his eyes, and his tentacles swayed around him like menacing serpents, daring anyone to speak.

There was silence in the bar for a long moment, aside from the sound of ice cubes, and a drink being poured and set on the counter.

Otto picked it up, and took a long sip. “Thank you, Goblin. Very dramatic indeed. Plenty of… what did you say? Pizzazz?”

“Mm hmmmm.” The Goblin’s smile was wide and wicked behind his mask as he raised the glass to his lips. “I did tell you that’s how I did things, in the field and in life.”

“You did indeed tell me,” he agreed, swallowing the rest of his second drink and feeling it go immediately to his head. “Or perhaps warn is a more accurate characterization. You warned me. Either way, I’m tempted to get you out of public to avoid you causing even more of a scene than you already have.”

“Don’t want the rabble knowing of our forbidden tryst?” The Goblin purred, his hand once more resting upon Otto’s .

“The rabble know better than to meddle or speculate about the business of Doctor Octopus, whatever it may be,” he growled arrogantly, hackles up and glaring around the bar. He watched the Shocker look away nervously. “Beyond your ridiculous jests, I have a few words best said to your face, Goblin, and I doubt you’d appreciate an unmasking in mixed company, tempted as I am to do so in any case.”

Emboldened by the alcohol, and patience tested by the evening long of teasing, one of Otto’s tendrils brushed its way across the jawline of Osborn’s mask, somewhere between a caress, and a threat to rip the thing off there and then.

Osborn shivered visibly, his shoulders twitching, and his smile grew even wider. “Maybe we’d better take this elsewhere before you start stripping me, hm? Wouldn’t want to shock poor Shocker, would we?”

“One of the few crimes I am not interested in committing this evening, I concur. Besides, another drink and you’ll smash that ridiculous glider of yours into a wall, I’m sure.” Otto stood, and looped a tentacle around Osborn’s arm to pull him up with him, ready or not.

It actually staggered the man briefly, as his feet dragged for a moment before he hit his stride. “Someone’s getting forceful” he cackled. “Things are looking up for ol’ Gobby tonight!”

Otto flushed deeply, but wrote a haughty sneer on his lips to cover it as he dragged Osborn past the watching- staring- crowd and back toward the stairs and the door. Anyone who met the doctor’s eyes as he passed by the full force of his glare. The Goblin had absolutely publicly humiliated him, and Otto intended to extract payment swiftly. A for their drinks-the bartender could put them on their tab.

“Looking up, you say,” Otto drawled, as he pushed the door open with one of his tentacles. The cold night air rushed in and hit his flushed face with a chill. “You’re certainly an optimist.”

“I try to look on the bright side,” the Goblin said, squirming in his tendril’s grip as he hurried to follow along. “After all… you’ve got your coils on me now, don’t you?”

Otto pulled him outside into the alley, and pushed the door shut with a slam behind them, still holding Osborn tightly. Not tight enough to hurt, but certainly tight enough to be difficult to escape, even with the Goblin’s considerable strength.

“You’ve been needling me all evening, Goblin,” he hissed. “Surprised when I respond?”

He dragged him deeper into the alley, where a narrow track ran between buildings, just wide enough for the doctor’s broad body and harness.

The Goblin looked up at him, tugged along despite the scuffing of his feet against the stone. “I was beginning to think you never would,” he said with the same smug grinning tone he’d had all evening. “Have you given any thought to my question?”

Otto pinned Osborn up against the wall of the alley, facing him, the two of them quite close. Otto could feel the heat coming off of his own face in the chill night and could smell the scent of alcohol on the both of them. His tentacle brushed the Goblin’s mask again, pincers tugging at the edge of it.

“Remind me what question, Osborn.”

“Do you really draw the line at kissing another man?” The Goblin’s smile was evident, and the purring flirtation clear in his voice as he stood there, pinned by the great coil against the wall and squirming in it’s grip.

The hot feeling buzzed through Otto’s body like electricity, and with a deft yank, he sharply pulled the grinning mask off of the Goblin’s face to look him in the eyes. Osborn had been teasing him all night. No, for days. And Otto simply couldn’t take it for a single moment longer. Their bodies were nearly pressed together already in the narrow alley. Otto’s heart thundered in his chest, as for a moment he just stared at the face of the other man, an answer hanging stubbornly unsaid.

Norman Osborn’s handsome face was uncovered. His eyes still held that mischievous sparkle they always had when he was in one of those… goblin… moods, but… perhaps it was a little clearer than the manic and frenzied expression he wore on heists. A little more in the middle… if still grinning from ear to ear.

His hand struggled it’s way out from the coil; he grabbed Otto by the lapel and yanked it to pull him firmer against himself.

“You should make the call, Otto,” he said with a low purring tone, “or I’ll just keep teasing.”

Otto knew it was true, and he couldn’t take it for a single moment longer. It was time to collapse the waveform of schrodinger’s humiliation.

Echoing his earlier promise to himself for retribution, he slammed Osborn hard up against the wall, and pinned him chest to chest.

With more desperation than conscious thought, he pressed his lips to the other man’s.

Osborn made a noise of smothered delight, and grabbed firmly on the tentacle that pinned him to hold it in place as his lips roughly met Otto’s in a fierce and passionate kiss. The kind of kiss that nicked lips and left marks.

Otto felt the heat that had been threatening to overwhelm him all night rush over him like a tidal wave as the two of them kissed, their bodies tight against one another, lips and teeth and tongues searching and eager.

His hypothesis had been correct, it was nothing like any kiss that he had had before. He didn’t want it to end, not only because it was the most exciting kiss that he had ever had, but also, if it did, he would not have to figure out what to do afterward .

Norman’s stubble was rough against his face, and his lips pressed roughly to Otto’s own in desperate desire. His fingers pried the tentacle free enough that he was able to grab Otto’s shoulders and pull him roughly to his body with a low growl.

A low noise escaped Otto, murmured almost directly into Norman’s mouth as he was pulled rough against him, deep passion rolling through his body. Finally, he had to gasp for air and found himself cheek to cheek, and eye to eye with Osborn, breathing hard.

“Does that answer your question?” he demanded.





Ahhhhhhhh <3 Finally, eh? But what will happen next?



Drawing Out Admissions


Chapter 7: Drawing Out Admissions


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax




Thank you all for so many wonderful comments. It makes me happy to know that people are enjoying reading this as much as I am enjoying writing it.



(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)



Otto stared Osborn down with a steady, intense gaze, faces close, breath hot. Already as the seconds ticked by it was harder and harder to believe the kiss had happened. He felt a desperate urge to do it again to prove that it had, but he restrained himself as he waited for the other man to speak.

Osborn kept his gaze locked on Otto’s, his face tinged a bit red despite the broad grin on his face. He swallowed; words failed to come as he opened his mouth-a shock for the Goblin- and he just brushed his fingers along the tendril with a nod while he found his voice.

“I’d say it answered it and more, Doctor.”

“It had better,” Otto growled back, taking some satisfaction in noticing the flush in Osborn’s face as he broke eye contact. It was nearly impossible to shut the Goblin up for even a moment, and it seemed like this at least had managed it. “I expect you’ve been enjoying yourself, driving me to distraction for days with this…. This .” He waved a tentacle in emphasis, unwilling to let the other man up from where he’d pinned him against the wall.

“What can I say? I’m a man of passions. But I think I enjoyed that even more” Norman purred, his smile growing just a touch more pleasant and playful. He leaned in, and his lips touched Otto’s briefly again. “I wouldn’t say no to an encore.”

After days and hours of frustrated indecision, Otto didn’t have to be told twice. He pulled Osborn closer to him again, and pressed his mouth to his, kissing him with perhaps a little less desperation and a little more determination this time. Would it be as exciting as the first? Or had it simply been the novelty that put such a shine on it?

Norman’s lips were still eager, and his face just as scratchy as it was before, and as Otto bodily pulled him into his body, he returned the kiss with just as much passion as he’d given the first time.

It was almost a shock when Otto enjoyed it as much the second time. As far as datapoints went, so far, they were consistent. Here he was, enjoying kissing Norman Osborn in a back alleyway. And Otto had thought his life had taken a strange turn when he’d fused metal arms to his body. But now things were really strange.

He broke the kiss slowly, lips lingering on Osborn’s for just a moment overlong, before he looked at him through glasses fogged and sliding down his nose slightly.

“I had initially theorized that this was some kind of prank,” Otto admitted in a rather thick voice, still cheek to cheek with Norman. “But I think you’re enjoying yourself too much for that to be the case.”

“It’s all fun and games until someone catches… feelings isn’t it, Otto?” Norman said with a sly smile, “and I think it’s safe to say the damage has been done.”



That was a new datapoint.

Otto had assumed, perhaps a little on the emotional defensive, that whatever this was with Osborn that it was… well…. Purely physical on the other man’s end. That Norman might actually be interested in a relationship between them… that sent him reeling.

“Ah.” He felt himself flush all over again. A tendril reached up and adjusted his glasses as he searched for the right words. “So it is, I suppose. And was that before or after you asked me on this…. Date?”

“Before,” Norman said, prying his arm free to adjust the cuff of the Goblin’s suit, something Otto had seen him do often with his business suits back at the Sinister Six’s base. “Before that little tease of mine, too.”

Otto loosened his grip on Norman so that he could adjust himself, but he didn’t completely disengage from touching him. Not that there was a lot of room to do so in the alley, even if he had wanted.

So, Norman had had a crush on him? Somehow the thought was both flattering, and embarrassing. He hadn’t noticed at all. He supposed there must be signs in retrospect… Somehow Otto had missed all of them up to this point.

Well, it wasn’t as if he had been looking . No, the attention came from an entirely unexpected quarter. Unexpected, but he found himself thinking, not entirely unwelcome.

Otto took a breath and looked Osborn over again. His smile. His somewhat boyish features. The flush in his face.

“Before,” he repeated. “Well… shall we perhaps get out of this damned alleyway and somewhere more comfortable to discuss this… turn of events?”

Otto’s pulse quickened at his own suggestion. Imagine. Going somewhere alone with Osborn to discuss…. Feelings.

Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

But not entirely unwelcome.

“If you insist Doctor.” Norman’s smile took on a bit of mischief “but i’m loathe to break this necessary proximity.

Otto’s mouth wrinkled into something somehow between a scowl and a smile.

“Incorrigible flirt. Don’t break it, then. I-” he hesitated a moment. How much did he trust the man? Well… enough for this , anyway… “-I have a personal safehouse only a few blocks from here. We can walk. No one on the street tonight in this area will recognize Norman Osborn”

“Bold assertion,” Norman purred. “But I trust you here. I’ll call the glider and throw a coat over the ol’ armor. shall we?” He offered his arm.

“As you like it.” Otto linked his arms with him, feeling almost painfully aware of the touch of Norman’s body against his, even through so many layers. They eased out of the alleyway and back onto the shadowy street, where there was more room to breath. Once they did he started to peel off his coat to offer it to Osborn.

That surprised the man, who it seemed had been about to hit his gauntlet to call his glider….but the offer of the coat brought a smile to his face again. He turned a little red and laughed. “Whatta gentleman,” he cooed, as he shrugged the over-large coat on. “It’s enough to make a guy feel special .”

“You did say you wanted a coat didn’t you? and I had one on hand,” he shrugged, grumbling.The ‘gentleman’ comment made him flush a little. He did try to be one- just not usually with another man. Now that they were officially on a date, it seemed he found himself reflexively treating it like one. Would it wound Norman’s pride to do so? Otto was suddenly very aware that he had no idea how to date another man. “It would have been rude not to offer.”

Norman buttoned the coat down, and smiled at him with a disarming cheerfulness. If his pride was wounded, he certainly didn’t show it. Maybe Otto was fine. “We wouldn’t want to be rude on our illicit date, would we?’

“I’m hardly looking to make a bad impression,” Otto told him, slipping his arm around Norman’s shoulders. Without the coat, his metal arms were plainly visible. But in a neighborhood like this, police enforcement was nonexistent, and certainly no civilian was going to approach him. “That would be a shame after all the work you seem to have put into getting me to go out with you.”

“People are going to wonder what poor kidnapping victim Doctor Octopus must be dragging home,” he joked as they headed out of the alleyway. “Whispering amongst themselves about what your devious plot could be~”

He snickered, and looped an arm around one of the tendrils “….I put a lot of work into it, Otto. I’m delighted you noticed.”

“How could I not?” he asked, walking confidently as he could down the dark street, arm in arm with his- with his date . He allowed himself to make an admission. “If you’d put less work into it I damned well would never have taken your meaning.”

“Shockin,” Norman smirked, “Given your superior brilliance in all things.” he teased lightly, walking a little closer to the man.

The edge of Otto’s lip twitched in a smirk, and he harumphed almost good-naturedly. “You’ll forgive me if I don’t feel too ashamed of myself for failing to pick up on the amorous intentions of my fellow criminal, a once happily married man, and a father.”

Norman’s arm suddenly looped around his, and Otto found the man leaning against his shoulder as they walked. “What?” he purred with obvious amusement, “A man can’t swing both ways? And as for being a father-I think Harry would like you, Otto. You’re a real hoot at dinner parties!”

Norman laughed, but the idea that he might be so serious as to introduce him to his son-even if it was a joke- shocked a choked noise out of Otto, which he covered with a cough.

“Flirt,” he accused. “You terrible flirt. I suppose I never considered… ‘ swinging both ways’. Typical romance isn’t the sort of thing that crosses the mind of a preoccupied scientist terribly often, Norman. Let alone something more… fringe.”

“What can I say?” Norman drawled, “I’m a debauched businessman, and I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I like, and what I don’t.”

Otto flushed at the thought, leading Norman toward a row of old tenement buildings. Just what had Norman been thinking about him? And for how long? He walked along as if this were all a dream. As if it were the most normal thing in the world. As if he didn’t feel like a stiff breeze might bowl him over.

“Well, Norman, I must confess that I have not devoted a lot of time to that study myself,” he murmured, as he him up a crumbling set of old cement stairs toward the apartment where had his safehouse. “So I am intending to pick your brain on the matter once we have a moment to sit down.”

Norman smiled quite broadly. “Are you? So you’d call this ‘study’ a collaboration, then?” He chuckled, his arm tightening around Otto’s as he looked over at him “Alright, pick my brain, Doc. We’ll see if you like what you find.”





A kind and talented fan is working on a Russian language translation of this fic, so if you are a Russian speaker or know someone who is, please check it out! https://ficbook.net/readfic/11599655/29799219



Safe as Houses


Chapter 8: Safe as Houses


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax




Otto and Norman get a little quiet time together.



(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)



Otto’s safehouse in the old tenement was the entire sub-basement floor of the apartment. The landlord and he had an… understanding, and Otto had done quite significant renovations on it by himself. It was certainly nicer than the rickety old staircase leading down from the laundry room would have had someone guess.

“Mind the steps, Norman,” Otto murmured, still arm in arm with him. He unlocked the door via a camouflaged keypad and a 10 digit code, and the metal door behind the wooden one opened.

Norman stepped down the last stair, and raised his eyebrow as he eased into the safehouse “Well, well well. You never told me you had a place like THIS, Otto, Honey.”

“It takes the ‘safe’ out of safehouse if too many people know about it, you realize.” Otto flushed a bit when Norman called him ‘honey’ but tried not to let it show as he ushered the other man inside, and closed the door behind them with a tendril. There was a beep as it locked.

Visible was a neat living room, with a couch, bookshelves, coffee table and other necessities, and an attached galley kitchen, with a bar between it and the main area. Otto had added quite the collection of modern kitchen appliances to the original architecture. If Norman was paying attention, he would probably also notice the security cameras in key locations of the area.

“Homey, well decorated, packed with the latest appliances…” he grinned wickedly “and secure, secure, secure. A guy could get comfy here, even under the electronic eye.” He gestured to one of the cameras.

“We return to the ‘safe’ in safehouse,” Otto said, bustling toward the kitchen- he loosened his grip on Norman to allow him to follow or stay as he liked. “If someone comes in here without my permission I damned well want to know who it is.”

“So you can find them and tear them limb from limb in due time?” Norman chirped cheerfully, following Otto into the kitchen with a cross of his arms. He waved at one of the cameras-and blew it a kiss behind Otto’s back. “For later.” he said, out loud.

Otto put a hand on his hip, looking back over his shoulder at him. “I beg your pardon?” He opened the refrigerator with a tentacle, which deftly pulled out a bottle of wine.

“Nothing, nothing.” Norman chuckled, his eyes traveling to the wine. “Going to wine and dine me, Doctor?”

“I can make something if you’re hungry,” he said, setting the bottle on the counter. “As it was, I admit I was just going for the wine. It’s polite to offer a guest a drink after all.”

“I agree on that,” Norman smirked. He leaned on the counter with a nod. “After all, I’d offer you a glass of the same if you ever crashed your way into my office… invited or otherwise. I accept.”

“Lovely,” Otto nodded, leaning on the counter across from him, almost unconscious about the way he reflexively mirrored the gesture. One of his tentacles produced a corkscrew attachment that popped the cork on the bottle, and another grabbed a pair of wine glasses from a nearby cupboard. He poured them too large glasses of a red so dark it almost looked black.

He offered Norman the glass with a hand, stem dangling loosely between his fingers.. “Cheers.”

Norman took it, and raised it with a sharp smile “Cheers, Otto.”

The two clinked their glasses together, and he watched as Norman sipped his.

Otto swirled the wine in his glass around for a moment, watching it whirl before he sipped it. He’d gone a bit into autopilot. This was just what one did on a date…

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a date, Norman,”he admitted. The drinks from the bar still buzzed in his head, loosening his lips and his usual guarded nature. It wasn’t something he’d talked about. It wasn’t something he would normally admit. It felt like a show of weakness.

“And how long is that, Otto?” Norman asked pleasantly. “It’s been a good long while for myself too, you know.”

“Since… just before the accident, actually,” he mused, thinking back on it. “I had just broken things off with my fiancee.”

“With your fiance?” Norman asked pleasantly as he sipped his wine “I didn’t know you were engaged, Otto.”

“Is it difficult to believe?” he murmured, sipping his wine. It was a time he rarely thought about any more. He was surprised he could even remember her face when he thought about it. The pain was still there, but it was dull. Almost nothing. The memory of a memory. “Years ago, I had a normal life. A promising career. A promising relationship.”

Norman sipped his wine, and somehow his other hand had found its way onto Otto’s arm, fingers resting half curled against his wrist. “Not exactly surprised.” he smiled. “Just curious.”

Otto felt the hairs on his arm prickle as Norman touched him, and the sensation drew him out of his rather melancholy reverie and back to the moment. “Hmph. Curious. Well, now you know, I suppose.”

“Now I know,” he chuckled. “… just like you know that not that long ago, I had a wife. We’re even.”

“So we are,” Otto drawled, shifting his hand slightly so that his fingers brushed Norman’s curiously. He hadn’t often had occasion to touch the man’s hands, despite working closely with him, and he traced the shape of them gently, and thoughtfully.

Norman’s hands were smooth, his fingernails well manicured, but the trace of callouses from his ‘out of office’ activities with the Sinister Six had formed along the ridge of his palm. He turned his hand, catching Otto’s in it with an amused smile.

“Well. The past is the past.” He sipped his wine. “and now we have… the future.” he winked “and whatever fun we choose to have in it.”

“Whatever fun indeed…” he murmured. “I have to ask, Norman, is this something that you’ve had experience with? Dating men, I mean.”

“Here and there.” Norman said pleasantly “mostly back in high school… and college. I had one steady boyfriend in College until we broke up over something I can’t even remember.”

He waved his hand “I imagine you haven’t?”

Otto found himself surprised somehow that Norman so casually admitted to it. Not that Otto supposed he felt there was anything wrong with it. It was just that the way he had grown up, it had been instilled in him that it was something to be ashamed of. Then again, Osborn was so often shameless.

“Ah, no. No, I admit that I have not.”

Osborn flashed a broad smile at him, his fingers returning to Otto’s as he clasped his hand.

“Well.” He purred “You’re lucky. You get me as a first kiss with a man.”

“I’m lucky, hm? Are you particularly talented, or just being your typical egotistical self?” he asked, flushing a little as he felt Osborn’s hand on his again.

“What do you think?” Norman asked with a wide grin “you’re the one who kissed me, Doc. what’s the review?”

“A review,” he sputtered, half amused and half taken aback. “Are you planning to publish the results in a scientific journal?”

Norman laughed, really more of a delighted cackle, and slapped his knee “MAYBE, maybe I should, eh?”

“Somehow I doubt it will be accepted, even if you have a very thorough peer review,” he haraumphed. “That said… I suppose you’re not all talk. Certainly if other men are better kissers I suppose I would be gratified to meet them.”

Was that flirting? An attempt? Otto didn’t think he was very good at it but…

Norman flushed. He actually flushed, and his smile turned a tough wild “Doctor, I assure you I’m the best of the best. We can test again soon enough, if you’d like the proof.”

“As a scientist I am deeply invested in the replicability of test results.” It was the alcohol. It had to be the alcohol. Otto was having fun.

Norman Osborn sipped his wine. “As something of a scientist myself.” he drawled “I have to concur, my friend. Replicability is deeply investing .”

Otto picked up his own glass and drained in, rolling it between his fingers once it was empty. “Then I suppose we’ll have to… run more tests. You know, Norman, you’re not terrible company.”

“Not terrible, hm? Well. that’s a start,” he chuckled. “Maybe next time I can work my way up to spectacular, hmmm?” He was joking around,but his smile was genuine. “Glad you’re having as much fun as I am.”

Fun. He really was having fun, despite the impossibility of it all. Out on a date, an actual date, with his partner in crime. Even knowing how it had happened, it was hard for Otto to understand how he could have possibly ended up here. That said, he absolutely didn’t want to take it back.

Otto was just about to invite Norman to join him on the sofa, when a high pitched tone beeped through the safehouse.

The invitation died on Otto’s lips. “Norman. Something’s just triggered one of my alarms.”





Uhoh. Somebody’s at the door.



Dawing the Line


Chapter 9: Dawing the Line


Chapter by Overlord_Mordax


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)



Otto slammed his way out of the door and back into the alley where the alarm had been tripped. Ordinarily he might have lain in wait, but he was damned if he was going to let some interloper destroy his property if he could help it. Besides, both he and the Goblin were more effective when they had room to maneuver.

His tendrils pried a piece of masonry from the alley, and he hurled it at the dark figure lurking above.

“You are meddling with affairs that don’t concern you, interloper!” he snarled.

Well…. Affairs was certainly one way to put it.

The Goblin came running out into the alley,the bright yellow eyes of his mask turned towards the figure as Norman’s manic smile stretched even behind the grinning lips of the mask itself.

“Well, well.” he cooed as he hit a few buttons on his gauntlet “I’d hate to break it to you, my dear, but we’re not accepting applications for a third in this little menage a deux~”

Somewhere distant, his glider hummed to life and began homing in on its owner.

The black shape started running down the wall, slavering tongue hanging out of its mouth. It snarled something in a hideous voice that sounded uncomfortably like ‘eat you’.

Otto hurled another stone at it with a grimace. “He *said* you are not invited!”

“I’m flattered! But I’m afraid reservations for that are CLOSED.” The Goblin cackled as he pulled a bomb off of his belt, and hurled it towards the monster as it sparked, shrieked ..and erupted into green flame against the wall by it’s hand.

The flames caught the back half of the creature in black as it leapt toward them, moving more like a dog than a person, snarling and slavering. It threw itself at the Goblin, only to be grabbed out of the air by Otto’s tentacles and thrown to the ground.

“Your continued pursuit has become irritating!” Otto snapped. “I have better things to do with my evening than deal with pests!”

The Goblin’s glider finally crested the rooftops, and deployed its bladed edges as it hurtled down to slam into the thing’s side, attempting to pin it to the wall as the Goblin cackled.

“I think I’ve got just the pesticide for our little friend here, Otto!” he crowed, as he reached for a button on his gauntlet. “I’d been saving it for the spider but… desperate times and desperate measures!”

The creature was briefly pinned to the wall, snarling like a beast as it shoved the glider off of itself, dripping black ichor as if wounded. It opened its jaws too-wide, exposing long sharp teeth and roared, as if in challenge to the Goblin, as it picked the glider back up and came at both of them, as if meaning to use the thing as a weapon.

“Well then let’s see it, Goblin!” Otto agreed, eying the creature warily, his arms pulling him up from the ground, more mobile and wary of attack.


The Goblin cackled as he flipped a switch, a small hatch opening at the bottom of the glider as the creature held it aloft. A nozzle pivoted, aimed towards the top of it’s head and sprayed **something** out and against its monstrous flesh.

There was a moment, only the briefest moment before everything erupted in a sharp hissing sound as the potent acid began doing its work.

“Most pests just can’t take their fluoroantimonic acid.”

Otto couldn’t contain a rather satisfied smirk as the annoying beast started to smoke and hiss, black goo sloughing off of its rough body, as it screamed. Tendrils formed from the ooze, and flailed wildly, clearly in pain and fear.

“You know, Goblin, I think that might do-”

One of the black ooze tendrils extended far enough to slam into Otto’s neck and shoulder while he wasn’t paying attention, sending him sprawling.

“Otto!” Norman’s voice broke through the mania as the tendril struck the man, running to try catching him as he commanded his glider’s jets to kick in… lifting the panicking creature and blasting it upwards and away from them… acid and all.

“It better not have hurt you or I’ll render it into a bloody PUDDLE on the floor!”

The tentacles had absorbed much of the impact, but Otto still lay sprawled for a moment in the alley as Norman hurried toward them. He groaned, and tried to focus his eyes.

“That wretched….”

Norman could see that the blow had eaten away a portion of Otto’s shirt, and the exposed flesh beneath was raw and pink, a narrow wound curling up from his shoulder to neck.

“We need to fix this.” Norman muttered, and tenderly rested his hand against Otto’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s get inside. I’m certain your lab has something we can use. Damned monster.”

He looped his uninjured arm around Norman, and used his tentacles to lift him up from the ground despite the lingering dizziness.

“Yes… certainly,” he murmured. “Is that damnable vermin gone?”

Norman nodded. “I’ll have the glider drop him in the damned river. Then he can see just how nasty that superacid can be when it hits water.”

He took off his mask with a wry smile “not exactly how I expected our affair to go.”

“I suppose we should have expected it,” he grumbled, looking over Norman’s face and favoring him with a rueful smile as the mask was doffed. “Even if the spider was busy elsewhere. Well… *hopefully* that will be the last interruption. Damn it.” Otto hissed as they started back toward the safehouse, and the motion of his shoulder pulled on his fresh wound.

Norman looped an arm around him to steady him, taking the strain off his shoulder as he helped walk him back towards the safehouse “Well. Nothing says we can’t finish our cup of wine while we fix you up, hmm?” he purred, “the night’s still young.”

“Still young, indeed.”

Otto permitted Norman to half-carry him back down into the safehouse, where he finally took a breath, and slumped down onto the heavily cushioned couch.

“One day, Norman,” he grumbled with somewhat good humor, trying to get a look at his own shoulder, “One day I shall be able to retire, perhaps.”

Norman stretched and looked around for medical supplies, humming as he did. “I’ll believe that when I see it,” he purred “I can’t picture you settling down for retirement when there’s still science to be done.”

He chuckled lightly as he considered it. “Well, on that account you are probably correct. But I would dearly treasure the opportunity to retire from getting smacked about by presumptuous and overly law-abiding hero types at some point.”

Norman found the first aid supplies in a nearby cabinet. It was quite well stocked, though not surprisingly given the doctor’s typical level of preparedness. There was just about every kind of medicinal drug or cream Norman could name, supplies for minor surgeries, and more.

“You and I can both agree on that.” Norman smirked as he gathered up supplies and sat beside him. “Maybe they’ll come around some day and see that men like us are the ones who get things done~”

He looked the wound over. “I hope none of that acid got on you, Otto.”

“You know I’d like to keep the arm, so I’m rather hoping the same,” Otto drawled. “Painful as I must admit the wound is, it doesn’t feel as though it’s getting any worse.”

“Then we’re lucky.” Norman purrs, “because that superacid would have melted straight through you in seconds… and it’s one volatile little compound at that.”

He looked the wound over. “Looks like he got you with one of the unaffected… tentacles… this shouldn’t be too hard of a fix.”

“Dangerous stuff, Norman. Maybe it’s best you didn’t get a chance to try it on the bug,” he grumbled.

“I was in a manic swing when I came up with the idea.” Norman hummed, “you know how it is.” He readied the disinfectant with a hum.

“Ah… perhaps it would be easier if we removed the ah…. Shirt first….”

Otto was embarrassed at the very idea of disrobing in front of Norman. It wasn’t that he was making an excuse to do so, certainly.

He looked Otto over with a grin. “Maybe it would be… shall I?” His hands rested on the cloth, as he leaned over the Doctor with a sparkle in his eyes.

Otto coughed politely and tired not to squirm at the very thought. “Ah… yes. Be my guest.”

Norman unbuttoned his shirt, prying it slowly and carefully off of Otto, away from the wound as he looked down at his increasingly bare torso. “You know, this wasn’t how I expected to get the pleasure of seeing you shirtless before me, but I’ll take it.”

Otto chuckled nervously as his broad, barrel chest and stomach were exposed, the red whip-like wound tracing over his shoulder and pectoral. Inwardly Otto desperately hoped that Norman wouldn’t decide at this stage that it had all been a mistake.

“I admit it wasn’t my first thought either but I suppose given our activities I shouldn’t be surprised.”

Norman’s face had slightly flushed near the nose and over his gaunt cheeks, his smile stretching a little wider. “We tend to attract attention don’t we?” he purred as he looked him over for a moment while readying the disinfectant by applying it to some gauze.

“Even during elaborate courtship rituals.” He boldly teased.

“I… suppose this has all become quite elaborate, hasn’t it?” he admitted, clearing his throat. “I hope it hasn’t also become… unpleasant. Ah. You may disinfect when ready, Norman.”

Norman smirked. “No, No I’m still having quite a bit of fun. This is as far from unpleasant as things could be.”

And with that, he pressed the gauze to the wound and began to clean it “it may sting a bit~”

Otto hissed as the gauze met the pinkened flesh of his shoulder. It did indeed sting quite a bit. And yet it was far from the worst experience he’d ever had.

“Sting a bit he says,” Otto chuckled, gritting his teeth. “Well, I am having a pleasant time as well, pests and beatings and disinfectant at all. I do believe once I’m patched up I will be requiring that wine.”

“And I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.” Norman purred, his other hand rested on Otto’s unwounded chest as he worked. “… you know, you’re one handsome man,” he grinned. “Is it the right time to tell you that?”

Otto found himself at a loss for words, flushing deeply, an involuntary and bashful smile crawling over his face. “Norman…. Ah…. yes, now would be the right time. Thank you.”

He realized he was leaning in toward the other man.

Norman hummed as he began dressing the wound, which luckily didn’t require stitches, and looked up to meet his eyes as he leaned in a little closer.

“Oh good, I know my sense of propriety can sometimes be a bit skewed~” he cooed, nose to nose with Otto.

“It’s spot on this time at least,” Otto murmured.

When he pressed his lips to Norman’s this time it was without the rough desperation of the first, only hours earlier. This kiss was hesitant, but determined, and lingering without a sense of urgency, as he put his uninjured arm over Norman’s shoulder.

Norman set down the bandages, bending in to press his lips back against Otto’s. It wasn’t desperate and rough as before, either, but it was warmly eager as he kissed the other man, one arm around his shoulder as he half-sat on his lap.

A moment later after the kiss was broken, Otto’s gaze lingered for a while on Norman’s face. He adjusted his glasses fussily, and smiled.

“This is… this is nice, Norman. I’d like to… continue this, if you’d be amenable.”

Norman leaned over to their forgotten wine glasses, and offered one back to Otto with a sly smile on his narrow face. “Otto, I would be **delighted** to.”

He grinned widely “seems the line’s not drawn at kissing a man, or the promise of more.”

Otto took the offered glass and raised it to Norman. “It seems it’s quite a bit further back than that. And I’ll be pleased to continue to test with you just where.”





Look forward to more octogoblin from me in the future. This was so much fun to write, and fun, I think, for Norman and Otto as well 😉



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