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Birthday Fic: What She Wants, 1/1

 Title: What She Wants, 1/1
Author:
[info]htbthomas

Fandom: Spectacular Spider-Man toonverse
Characters/Pairing: Peter/Gwen, MJ, Liz, Betty, Black Cat
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2,235 words
Betas: Van-El II,[info]foxtwin

Summary: After Peter and Gwen’s first date, Peter can’t figure out why things aren’t quite right.

Author’s Note: A birthday fic for[info]mark_clark


Peter tilted his head, peering askance at Gwen walking beside him. “Did you have a good time?”

“Yes.” She smiled, shyly turning her eyes toward the ground. “It was great.” She didn’t offer any more information.

Peter grinned in return. He was pleased with how their first date had gone. Amazingly, it had been a very quiet Friday night. They had been able to go to dinner and even see a movie – all without one tingle of his spider-sense. Maybe all of the criminals of New York City were feeling the Christmas spirit?

“So, did you like the movie?”

“I liked it. Really exciting.” She kept her attention on her feet.

“Yeah.” He shoved his hands deeper into his pockets. He didn’t remember it being this difficult to talk to Gwen before… Why? They’d surely spent a thousand hours talking at the lunch table… while studying for a test… but this? This was hard.

“Of course, it wasn’t as exciting as swinging from the top of a parade float,” she suddenly added, laughing nervously. “Thank goodness.”

Spider-Man had also saved her that day. “Thank goodness?” His eyebrows drew down worriedly. “Thank goodness Spider-Man saved you?”

“Oh, yes, of course!” She shivered. “It’s just not my idea of a fun time, you know?”

“I guess not.”

Peter spied Gwen’s house just ahead, and picked up the pace, his thoughts whirling. What did she mean by that? What did she think of Spider-Man? What if they got really serious? What would she do if she found out?

“Well, I guess we’re here.” Gwen’s voice broke him out of his thoughts.

“Yeah.”

“Thanks for the movie. It was fun.”

“You’re welcome,” he answered vaguely, mind still recovering.

“Well, good night…”

With a wave, Peter began to turn toward the street, when the realization struck him. Things were different now! She probably wanted a kiss… He leaned forward awkwardly and kissed her on the cheek, a brief peck. “Good night…”

She blushed, and smiled tightly. “See you Monday.”

It was only on Sunday night, in the middle of foiling a robbery, that he realized her expression might not have been shyness… but disappointment.


His reduced-fat turkey sandwich with 12-grain bread was practically tasteless at lunch on Monday. Not because Aunt May’s new cookbook recipes weren’t successful – just that he couldn’t focus on anything very well today.

Gwen claimed she had to study for an English test and begged off. So the ‘geek table’ felt really lonely.

He felt a touch on his shoulder. “Hey, Tiger. You all alone?” He didn’t turn his head, but only Mary Jane addressed him that way.

“Yeah,” he answered.

“Hmm.” She shifted to sit beside him. “Not what I heard around the drinking fountain.”

That made him turn. “What did you hear?”

“Just that the chemistry club was scheduling some extracurricular activities.” Her eyes twinkled. At his flummoxed look, she added, “You and Gwen.”

“Oh! I, uh…”

“Hey, don’t sweat it. I think it’s cute.” She bumped her shoulder against his. “You two just belong together.”

Peter stared into the depths of his lunchmeat. “I’m not sure about that… I think I messed up somehow. She seemed… I dunno… not happy after our first date.”

“Why do you—?”

MJ’s question was interrupted by a sing-song call of, “Petey!”

Peter swiveled his head the other direction, to see Liz Allan flounce over to his table. “Hi, Liz.”

“How are you doing?” she asked, placing a friendly hand on his arm. “Where’s…” She glanced around the table in all directions. “…Gwen?”

Peter blushed, looking back down. “Studying.”

“Without you?” Her hand trailed down toward the back of his hand. “She must not know what a great study partner you are…”

“I think she does.” MJ was suddenly between them. “He’s just not in that class, right?”

“Um, right.” He couldn’t believe that two girls were so interested in who he ate lunch with! A year ago, Gwen was the only girl who ever spoke two words to him… at least, by choice.

“Oh…” Liz sounded disappointed. “Well, I’ll see you in class later, Petey. Bye!” She gave his hand a slight squeeze, shooting MJ a pointed look over her shoulder.

“Hey,” MJ said after she had watched Liz disappear from sight. “Whatever is going on between you and Gwen… I bet if you set your mind to it, you’ll figure out what she wants.”

“But what if I totally mess it up? What if I do the exact opposite of what I should do? I mean, we used to be best friends, and now it’s so much more complicated…”

The end-of-lunch bell rang, and Mary Jane stood. “Don’t over-think it, Tiger.” She began to walk toward the doors to the main building. “You know what she wants.”


Camera in hand, Peter alighted on the top of the Daily Bugle. He hoped that something on this set of pictures would be worth a paycheck, because he just had to make it up to Gwen. Whatever he had done, he had to do much better the next time.

As he changed from his costume to street clothes, his mind flashed back to what MJ had said. “I bet if you set your mind to it, you’ll figure out what she wants… Don’t over-think it, Tiger…”

Which was it? Think through the problem or don’t!? Wasn’t having a girlfriend supposed to make things less complicated?

He stopped himself. Since when was Gwen a ‘girlfriend’? They had shared a couple of kisses, and gone on one date…

Wait. Did Gwen think she was his girlfriend?

Peter shook himself, and lightly jogged down the stairwell, stomach clenching. Gwen had been ‘too busy’ all day. How was he supposed to figure out what Gwen wanted if she wouldn’t exchange more than a few words at a time with him?

As soon as he got into the Bugle office, he started toward Jameson’s office. Before he could lift a hand to rap on the door, Betty Brant called for his attention.

“Not yet, Peter. He and Robbie are in a meeting.” She gave him a sympathetic look as she typed away at her workstation.

Peter sighed. “How long do you think they’ll be?”

“Hard to say. You can hang out here for a few minutes, if you want.” She patted the corner of her desk.

“Thanks.” He leaned against the proffered spot, placing his camera beside him.

Betty cut her eyes toward the camera. “You get any good shots?”

“Spider-Man stopping the jewel heist tonight.”

“Hmm. I’d say you have a good chance this time…” She stopped typing for a moment, and leaned her elbows on her desk. “What’s been up with you these days? We haven’t had the chance to chat much.”

“Oh… you know, just the average high school stuff… and there’s this girl…”

“Oh, really?” Betty leaned even farther forward. “The one you went to the fall formal with?”

“No, the one who got kidnapped by Venom at the Thanksgiving Day parade, actually.”

“I see,” she said, her interest plain. “So you’re pretty busy, then?”

“Always.” Peter had expected a different reaction – maybe she was getting used to the weirdness of New York City these days. He shot a glance at the windows of Jameson’s office. Jameson and Robbie seemed locked in heated discussion. “And you?”

“Well, Mr. Jameson keeps us busy, too. And, I’m seeing someone now, myself.”

“Oh? Who?”

“Betty? You ready to go get that coffee?”

Peter spun in surprise, recognizing the voice.

“Sure, Ned. I’m totally in the mood for an eggnog latte. Let me log off and grab my things.”

“Hey, Parker.” He waved as he walked up, and then settled himself at the other edge of the desk.

“Lee.” Peter got the distinct impression Ned was marking his territory.

“Boys.” Betty shook her head. “They look like they’re about done, Peter. You can head on in…”

They walked out, Betty’s hand threaded through Ned’s arm. He felt a tiny pang of remorse – if he’d only been a few years older…

“Parker!” Jonah pushed his way out of his office door, bluster at full volume. “About time you got here! You think you can just saunter in here whenever you want?”

“Um, Mr. Jameson, it only just happened…”

“Like that’s an excuse?” He held out his hand impatiently for the prints Peter had in his hand, and began flipping through them. “Hmm… Eh… Ugh…I’ll give you fifty bucks for the set.”

Robbie came to look over Jonah’s shoulder. “Is this the jewel heist tonight? I heard no one got pictures.”

Jonah frowned, glaring at Robbie. “One hundred, then.”


In the end, Peter came away two hundred dollars richer. He had plenty of money to buy Aunt May a nice gift, and treat Gwen to a night on the town. The next night, after an easy catch, he found himself swinging past the scene of the heist. The storefront of Merrill’s Fine Jewelry looked virtually untouched - the iron-bars still protected the plate glass window with the jeweler’s name in gilded paint. Christmas lights blinked in random succession around the outside of the display.

Other than ‘in the line of duty’, Peter had never been inside a jewelry store. What if Gwen was expecting some sort of gift? Or was it too early for that?

He spun around a light post and planted himself on the face of the building above. He slowly lowered himself down in front of the window, gazing in at the display. All of these pieces were way out of his price range… but what if he and Gwen went the distance? Would he be actually shopping for jewelry at a fancy place like this someday?

“A Christmas gift for me? I didn’t know we were that serious…” a silky voice disrupted his thoughts, just as his spider-sense noted the presence of another nearby.

“Cat!”

She vaulted down to perch on the ledge above him. “Although, jewelry? I would have expected something a little more personal.” Then she swung down to hang at eye-level. “Besides, you know I could just take any of these little trinkets myself…”

“I’m not going to buy anyth—I’m just making sure everything’s okay—what are you doing back in town, anyway?”

“Can’t I just come check on my favorite man-in-spandex?”

His narrowed eyes weren’t visible beneath the mask but she seemed to catch his meaning.

“Oh, okay… it’s for this and that…” She placed one gloved finger under his chin, and ran it down his chest slowly. “A lady’s got to have her secrets…”

He swallowed. “Not if they’re illegal.”

“Oh, but I thought we had an understanding. I help you out… you help me out…”

It was hard to concentrate with her finger tracing each of the muscles on his abdomen. “It’s not quite that simple.”

“I think it can be as simple as you want it to be, Spider…” Her hand moved farther and farther downward.

“There’s someone else!” he squeaked.

Her finger stopped, but did not move from his body. “Someone as fun as I am?”

“Yes,” he answered tightly.

Her finger finally moved a blessed distance away. “All right.” In one smooth gymnastic move, she was on the ledge above again. “But just remember, out of all my skills… I’m a master thief.” With a wink of one large green eye, she was gone.

He waited until his body calmed down before heading home.


The next Friday, Peter found himself walking Gwen back to her house again. “That was really nice, Peter.”

“I’m glad you like seafood as much as I do.” He grimaced. “And I’m sure my stomachache in the middle of dinner was the hotdogs I had at lunch… Someone should call the health department on our cafeteria.”

Gwen smiled at his jest, easily accepting his excuse for ducking out for a while. “And it had a really beautiful view over the water, too.”

He took his hand out of his pocket and slipped it into hers. “It wasn’t as beautiful as the view I had.”

He felt like a cheeseball for saying it, but Gwen’s blush was even prettier. “Thank you.”

“I could get used to this, you know?”

“The food poisoning?”

“Well, not that, but…” He affected a chivalrous stance, placing his free hand over his heart. “You know I’d suffer any amount of malicious bacteria for you, milady.”

“Oh, stop.” She smacked him lightly on the chest, and he caught it easily, pulling her into his embrace.

He had been thinking about what Gwen wanted all week, and he’d finally given up. But being around all the other girls… and women… in his life made him realize he had to give this relationship a shot.

His lips touched hers, pressing gently into them, and she opened her mouth to him with a gasp. Then she wrapped her other arm around his neck, and kissed him back forcefully. There was no trace of the shy confessional kiss of two weeks ago.

A rush of feeling flooded through him. It was nothing like dancing with MJ, or like the lascivious thrill of Cat’s hand on his chest. It just felt pure and right.

Pulling back, he gave her a sly smile. “Should I stop now?”

Before pulling him back down, she murmured. “Don’t you dare.”

 

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
mark_clark
Jul. 20th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful, Barb, thank you.

I was surprised at first at how awkward Peter and Gwen's first date was but that probably was due to the change in status their relationship took.

I also enjoyed seeing the other ladies in Peter's/Spider-Man's life take the news that he was taken. Liz was definitely jealous and Mary Jane, maybe just a little as well but she was happy for him. It seemed that Betty was all right with it especially since she was seeing Ned now. Peter being a little jealous about that was a nice touch. Finally, Black Cat's reaction was a tad on the jealous side as well but she shrugged the news off which wasn't all that surprising.

The ending was wonderful. Their next date they were a little more comfortable with each other despite Peter stepping out for a bit and we all no why. Gwen's last line was perfect.

Thanks again for this.
htbthomas
Jul. 20th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
I went at the date with the idea that Peter would realize how he felt about Gwen, but not really know what to do with the kiss. :) He hasn't ever had a girlfriend, before.

And can't you imagine that most of the girls (except Betty and MJ) wouldn't really take Peter seeing someone else lying down? I'm sure that they'll all continue to make a play for him in the show... :D

Thanks for the fun prompt, and I hope you have a fantastic birthday!
hyperactivator
Jul. 20th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
nice fic.
htbthomas
Jul. 22nd, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
stolenpostit
Jul. 21st, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Oh that's so cute! I love these two on this show. And I liked how you showcased the relationships not only between Peter and Gwen, but also Peter and MJ, Peter and Liz, Peter and Betty, and Spider-Man and Black Cat.

And Peter himself was completely adorable. He's falling head over heels for her but he doesn't really know how to make the transition from best friends to boyfriend/girlfriend.

It was very sweet and lovely. Great job!
htbthomas
Jul. 22nd, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
The idea to show the relationships of all the ladies in Peter's life was Mark's - part of his prompt. It was a good one, eh? :)

I really look forward to what they do with Peter and Gwen in season 2!
professorjulia
Jul. 21st, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
Aw, this was adorable! Very cute, very sweet.

And I have to add, this cartoon has the one version of Gwen I don't actually want to toss off a bridge. LOL
htbthomas
Jul. 22nd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I am to please. :)

I agree - although I do actually really like the Gwen from Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane as well. ♥
emeraldstag
Jul. 24th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
This was so adorable! I loved Peter's interactions with all the girls in his life. :)

If the show is anything like this I think I need to start watching it.
htbthomas
Jul. 24th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
It is definitely like this, especially once the episodes get rolling. If you aren't hooked by the football tryouts episode, then you probably won't be. Seriously.

Need a link?
emeraldstag
Jul. 24th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
I would love a link! You are my media hookup. :)

It looks like a more appealing version than that MTV one they did a few years back, I never got into that one.
htbthomas
Jul. 24th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
http://www.sidereel.com/The_Spectacular_Spider-Man

Click on each episode name, and then click the location you want. I find that megavideo or videoonclick links work best - less Chinese and no paying for the service.

It definitely is more appealing. Greg Weisman is in charge of it (same guy that did Gargoyles), and he's changing a few things, but that keeps it interesting. :)
babettew54
Jul. 25th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Aww, Gwen must have been on cloud nine, especially at the end there! I knew Peter would get it; he's a pretty smart guy!! Nice touch, with all the other ‘women’ in his life making a guest appearance. I liked it a lot. Thanks, Barb!
htbthomas
Jul. 25th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. Mark's prompt was fun to try to figure out! ♥
laramoon
Jul. 26th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
aww! that was just adorably sweet. :) And poor Petey trying to figure women out - just as well he quit and just 'acted' cause he's have been single for a very long time. *giggles*

Very nice!!
htbthomas
Jul. 27th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! I love awkward Peter so so much. :) But nonetheless, he ends up with all the ladies, doesn't he?
laramoon
Jul. 27th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
hehehe! of course he does - he's so adorable! :D
jenna_knight
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
Awww, very cute!!!! Loved it.
htbthomas
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Thanks! I found it fun to write in this verse, too. :)
jtav
Apr. 28th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Poor Peter. You can save the city, but you just can't figure out girls, can you? I liked that you had all of Peter's potential love interests show up here and how Peter mentally contrasted them all with Gwen.
htbthomas
Apr. 28th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
Mark's request was to use all the ladies in Peter's life, so it was fun to work them in as part of the plot! :)

Thanks for reviewing. I'll look forward to seeing some SSM fic from you now. :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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