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Dissonance, 6/9: Boys

Title: Dissonance, 6/9: Boys
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Spider-Girl
Rating: PG
Word Count: 3,137 words
Summary: May 'Mayday' Parker, daughter of Spider–Man, crosses dimensions and meets the family that never knew her. A Spider–Girl x Spider–Man crossover.
A/N: More adding of an older story to LJ.  Please feel free to ignore, or review if you are so inclined!
Previous Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
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As he lay in bed, Peter’s mind was running in overdrive. The Merker case, I think we’re close to a breakthrough. Maybe I should run the samples through a second time…

A tickle at the back of his neck snapped him back to the present. He looked at the clock on the bedside table. 11:00 PM? Cutting it close if you’re going to study for those tests tomorrow, huh, May? He couldn’t give her too much of a hard time about it, though. Before he retired as Spider-Man, he’d been exactly the same, after all. Suddenly, he sensed her presence at the doorway. Did she need something? He lifted his head in a silent question. MJ stirred beside him sleepily. May gave an imperceptible shake of her head to show nothing was amiss. She mouthed the words, “Good night, Dad,” and blew him a kiss before continuing down the hall.

Peter closed his eyes contentedly. She wasn’t much past sixteen, but already she was more grown up than a lot of twenty-somethings he knew. He really was proud of his little Spider-Girl.

At that moment, his spider-sense virtually screamed. He sat up with a shout. Mary Jane was startled awake. “Peter… what…?”

In the next room, Ben let out a piercing cry. He began to wail piteously. The two of them stumbled out of bed. Peter seized his cane by the bedside purposefully, and set off.

When they entered the nursery, Ben was flailing his arms upward in the crib, as if he were trying to grab a hold of something above him. Mary Jane lifted him and placed him on her shoulder, patting him on the back while bouncing him gently.

“There, there, little man. It’s okay. It’s okay,” she murmured comfortingly. MJ turned to Peter. “Is May home, yet?”

While MJ had been comforting Ben, Peter had been extending his senses all around for whatever had triggered the violent reaction in his spider-sense. “She was just here. I could have sworn that she was heading for Ben’s room just a minute ago…” A feeling of dread stole over him. “Now, she’s just… gone.”


Clack. Step. Clack. Step. Clack. Step. The steady rhythm punctuated Peter’s pacing of the kitchen tiles. Every once in a while, as his frustration built up, he would wave the cane in the air as he made a point. He held the cordless phone to his ear. “You’re sure. You never saw or heard from her yesterday at all?”

No, Pete,” Johnny Storm explained. “We were on a mission yesterday. We haven’t heard from her in a few days.”

“Thanks, Johnny. If you hear anything, let us know right away.” He ended the call abruptly, but as politely as possible.

Peter’s colleague, Phil Urich sat at the kitchen table, simultaneously using his cell phone. “No? Well, call me if you hear from her, okay? Bye.” He ended the call with a beep, and crossed another name off of his list. “I’ve checked with the members of my team,” he told his anxious friend, who hadn’t stopped pacing. “No one has seen her for a couple days.”

Mary Jane was balancing Ben in one arm with yet another phone in the other hand. “Not since yesterday at school? Davida, do you think she may have gone to some sort of study group?” She had called all of May’s high school friends, and even Normie Osborn, but no one had any idea where their daughter had gone.

Between the three of them, they had called nearly everyone ever connected with May in either persona. They looked at each other helplessly in the ensuing silence. Well, silence except for Ben’s quiet whimpers. His young son had been unable to sleep since he had awakened with a scream late last night, and it was now 7:00 AM. Phil had come over first thing in the morning to help out.

There was only one number left to call. “I could do it… I mean, in my guise as the Golden Goblin. They wouldn’t necessarily suspect anything,” Phil offered.

“The technology they have in the Avengers Mansion comes directly from Tony Stark. I’d be too afraid they’d have call tracing, or GPS tracking as a standard feature. May is a reserve Avenger. She’s the only one of us with a direct line. Do you think anyone contacting them through the usual channels would get through to any one of the team members without a good explanation?” Peter sat heavily in a chair, taking a rest at last. “You know as well as I do that May’s identity would be compromised if they linked her to us.”

He looked into Mary Jane’s haggard eyes. Mirrored in them, he saw his own worry and frustration. She had suffered this very situation a thousand times over when he had been active as Spider-Man – not for the first time, he thanked God for her strength, thanked God that he had always come back to her. He fervently prayed that their daughter would do the same.

He turned back to Phil. “Do you think you can handle the caseload today? I think I’ll be calling in sick.” He looked toward the bedroom, where his old costume was stored in a locked case. “It’s time to make a house call.”


It was Mary Jane’s turn for the bedside vigil. Ever since Peter had carried Mayday in, he, Mary Jane, and May had taken turns watching over her. When… and if… she wakes up, she’ll probably suspect what we need to tell her…

While Mayday slept, Mary Jane had had time to think about this strange twist of events fate had dealt them. She had never really gotten over what had happened to their little May – she had buried it deep down. It was the typical way she had always dealt with her problems. Push them down deep. Behave as if they don’t exist. It was the way she had dealt with her parents’ problems, her knowledge of Peter’s secret before it became too much to keep to herself any longer…

They hadn’t spoken two words about baby May’s disappearance in years. It was as if the event had never really happened. As a seasoned actress, she had little difficulty concealing her pain and anguish. And as for Peter, well, it was a good thing he wore a mask. Once you knew him, it was very easy to read the thoughts roiling just below the surface. But he had somehow managed to file the tragedy away… to add to a long list of tragedies…

Mayday began to stir, ending Mary Jane’s reverie. “Uhhh…” she groaned. She looked over at Mary Jane groggily. “Mom…? Where am I, what happened…”

Mary Jane took the teenaged girl’s hand and squeezed it gently. “You’re in bed, sweetheart. Peter brought you home last night after you passed out. You are still with us in the Tower… we haven’t figured out a way to send you home, yet.” Mary Jane was not sure whether Mayday even remembered that she was not at home. But it didn’t really matter. Mary Jane couldn’t help but think of Mayday as her own daughter. Hearing herself being called “Mom,” was the most natural thing in the world. And soon, she’ll be gone... MJ had to blink to keep the tears at bay.

The girl shook her head, clearly disoriented. “I… right… I know where I am now…” She turned her eyes on Mary Jane, imploring her to be truthful. “There’s something really wrong, isn’t there?”

Her ‘mother’ nodded sadly. “Peter and Tony noticed something amiss in the samples they took yesterday,” Mary Jane explained. “Your body is slowly breaking down.”

Strangely, Mayday didn’t seem surprised. “I knew there was something wrong… I just couldn’t pinpoint it.” She smiled slightly. “I thought maybe it was just something different in the air here…”

“They’ll figure this out, don’t worry,” Mary Jane reassured her. Even though Mayday had been trying to make light of the situation, MJ could see by the sagging of her shoulders, and the crease between her eyebrows that the girl was fighting very hard to keep from panicking.

Mayday started to get out of bed. MJ tried to forestall her, “Wait a minute, don’t you think you should be resting?”

The young woman’s face took on a stubborn look. “Will it really help? Lying in bed won’t change what’s happening to me. I’d rather be out trying to help find a solution…” She strode purposefully toward the dresser, where some clothing had been laid out earlier. As she was pulling a shirt over her head, an embarrassingly loud rumble came from her stomach. Blushing slightly, she turned to MJ. “But maybe we could find some lunch first?”

I’m glad the weather is good today, Mary Jane thought. This café is so much more pleasant on a sunny day… The three of them, MJ, Mayday and little Ben had a good table, set back a little way from the street.

As she strapped Ben into his highchair, Mary Jane couldn’t help but notice the way he squirmed. Generally, he was a good-natured baby, with a healthy appetite. Getting out of the apartment to go to a restaurant was one of his favorite activities. In fact, he had been acting strangely for the last few days. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. We could have stayed and eaten lunch at home… but Mayday seems to need cheering up.

MJ shrugged off her worries. “So Mayday, with everything that’s been going on since you arrived, we haven’t had much time to talk.” She searched for a light topic, hoping to take Mayday’s mind off of her current problem. “Tell me, do you have a boyfriend?”

The girl’s eyes rolled heavenward, and she took a deep breath before letting it out noisily. “Oh, where to begin?”

MJ laughed. “That big a topic?”

“You have no idea…”

Still chuckling, she disagreed. “Oh, believe me, I might. If your father was anything like my Peter was, his love life was quite a roller-coaster. Am I warm?”

“Are you wearing sunscreen?”

“Ouch. Go on.” She nodded as she started to open a jar of baby food for Ben.

“Well, okay, here I go…” She took another breath. “First, there’s Brad Miller. I had a crush on him for ages, and this last year, he actually seemed to like me back.”

“Oh? So what happened there?”

“Well, he’s not as great as I thought. We had a student at our school who had mutant abilities. There were a lot of people who wanted her to leave, and Brad was one of them. He and some buddies threatened her, and I had to protect her as Spider-Girl. Brad doesn’t know I have seen that side of him. I’m just not that interested in him anymore – I mean, what would he think of me if he ever found out my identity?”

“I guess people are no more tolerant of mutants in your world than they are here,” Mary Jane responded. “That’s too bad.”

“Tell me about it. I mean, I inherited my abilities. Maybe I have the X-gene, maybe not, but it doesn’t matter when you get right down to it.” She took a sip of her water. “I need someone who understands that. Anyway, moving on… next comes J.J…” She looked over at MJ and tilted her head. “Jack Jameson.”

Mary Jane, who had been in the middle of feeding a spoonful of pears to Ben, stopped still at the name. “Jameson? Of the Jamesons we all know and love?”

“The very same. He’s Jonah’s grandson. He was new to our school this year, and started flirting with me immediately. But unfortunately, he flirts with all the girls. A player through and through. Still, that didn’t bother me as much as the other thing I found out about him.”

At that moment, the waitress came to the table to take their order. Mary Jane had to wait until the woman had left to get the next part of the story. “Don’t leave me hanging - what did you find out?”

“He’s also a costumed superhero called The Buzz. He has a powered suit that helps him fly. Apparently, Jonah created it for someone else, and J.J. stole it. The guy was murdered, and The Buzz is still blamed for it. But how can he clear his name without revealing who he is?”

“Peter’s had the same problem over and over again.”

“I know. Anyway, I defended him for a long time, and then I made a mistake in judgment while crime-fighting. The Buzz called me on it, and has been acting like a jerk about it ever since. I mean, really, it was a big mistake, but I made it right in the end.”

“What was the mistake?” MJ asked curiously.

“There is a criminal named Funny Face, totally bonkers, by the way. He broke his mother, Angel Face, out of Ravencroft. I believed them when they said they’d turn away from crime and leave town. Oh, they left town – but only to go on a multi-state crime spree. I was too trusting, and innocent people paid for it.” Mayday’s eyebrows drew down in self-criticism.

“But you said you took care of it?”

“Yes, everyone’s put away now, but… The Buzz and I can’t work together anymore without this tension between us.” She grimaced. “Although lately, it has been a little better… If only I was still in the dark about who he is, the way he is about me. J.J. talks to me at school, and I know he wonders why I give him the cold shoulder. But all I can see and hear is that blue costume and condescending voice.”

The way Mayday ended the sentence, Mary Jane could tell the story wasn’t over yet. “I take it there’s even more…”

“Would I be Spider-Man’s daughter if there weren’t?” Mayday joked. “There’s another guy at school I dated, Chris Jarkoer. He’s a really sweet guy, but it didn’t work out. He came with me to an engagement party, and there was all this mess – too much to go into – and he was scared spitless. Actually, if I didn’t have powers I would have been, too… but he actually had the nerve to brag about what a hero he was later! He would have been twice the man if he had just owned up to his fear. Boys!”

MJ laughed again. “It’s not just the boys, I fear. Whoever you choose is going to have a real tough act to follow, compared with your dad.”

“Don’t remind me,” she continued with a sigh, “that’s probably why I’ve had a few crushes on…” Mayday lowered her voice, “older guys.”

MJ got a concerned look on her face, and started to speak, but the younger woman held up a hand. “Now, don’t worry. They’ve only been crushes, I promise. I’m only sixteen, and I know it all too well.”

She continued, “I have always had a little crush on Psi-Lord…” She paused before saying the name, “um, Franklin Richards.”

“Little Franklin?” MJ had been wiping a little food off of Ben’s chin, when she stopped, surprised yet again.

“I know! I met him yesterday, and it was so weird, but cool at the same time to see him as a little boy.” She smiled and sighed. “He probably has never thought of me that way…” She shook her head, and gave a self-deprecating laugh. “He’s older for one, and has so much more experience than me. I’m afraid to let him see me out of costume. I don’t want him to dismiss me as a little girl.”

Mary Jane placed some finger food on Ben’s tray, just as their meals arrived. They waited again, until everything was served before Mayday continued her rather compelling narrative. “You said older guys. Who else?” Mayday seemed to hesitate. Mary Jane started to pick up her fork, and then thought better of it. “Should I start eating, or do you have another bombshell?”

Mayday began, “Just one more – well, it’s… you know, this is going to be harder than I thought. My parents don’t really know about this one, though I think my mom suspects. And seeing you and Ben sitting across from me…”

“Go ahead, honey. How bad could it be?” Still, she kept the fork on the table.

“It’s Normie Osborn,” she said in a very quiet voice.

Osborn?” MJ exclaimed in a voice slightly too loud. She lowered her voice before continuing. “No wonder you haven’t told your parents! Peter would have a conniption!”

“I know. My dad already doesn’t trust that Normie has truly tried to put his family’s Goblin past behind him. And now that V-…” She choked on whatever she had been going to say, and went on. “Never mind. I thought I loved him, but he rejected me. Said he was too old for me – which was true. I’m embarrassed about the whole thing now. We’re still good friends. You remember that engagement party I mentioned? Normie and my friend Brenda are getting married pretty soon. I hope they’ll be happy.”

“Is it safe to eat again?” MJ asked, a little bit seriously.

“Yes, go ahead.” Mayday looked at her food – a soup and salad combination – and turned a little pale. “You know, maybe I’m not as hungry as I thought. Do you want me to entertain Ben while you eat? I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”

Gratefully, she said, “Oh, yes, please. I’ve almost forgotten what it is like to eat a meal without a hundred interruptions…” She dug into the food with a smile.

Mayday got up, came around the table and lifted Ben out of the highchair. She placed him on her knee and began to bounce him up and down. “Who’s a good boy? Do you like to play horsey?” she coaxed in a high-pitched voice.

Usually Ben loved these types of games, but whatever was bothering him suddenly doubled. He began to cry.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot. I’m a stranger to him, poor guy.”

Mary Jane took him in her arms gently, and rubbed his back until his crying faded into sniffles. “He usually isn’t afraid of strangers,” MJ explained, puzzled. “But he hasn’t really been himself the last few days…”

They all stilled abruptly. Mary Jane felt a tingle pass through her, and she shivered. What was that? She looked around, but no one else in the café seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary. Ben and Mayday were another matter. Their attention seemed focused on a point a few feet above the table. She looked up… and saw a ghostly green image of a man in a tall collar and cape.



Next: Chapter Seven

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
liliaeth
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this here, I'm glad to be able to reread this.
htbthomas
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting, even though I knew you'd already read it! ♥
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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