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Enquiring Minds, 1/12

Title: Enquiring Minds, 1/12: Something to Worry About
Author: htbthomas
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
Pairing: Peter/MJ
Word Count: Ch. 1 - 1250 words
Summary: Peter is trying to work up the courage to propose, but his plans are put on hold when someone tries to make his private life public.
Chapter Teaser: Peter suddenly thought of the jewelry box hidden away in a corner behind a stack of science textbooks. I promised Aunt May I would propose to Mary Jane soon, but if I can't even support myself...

Author's Note: And now we continue with my second piece of fanfiction, originally published in October 2005, though once again I have done a little rewriting to improve the narrative. And this one actually has a plot – *LOL* – as well as the beginnings of my rise to ECQ-dom. It was inspired somewhat by an episode from the fourth season of Lois and Clark: TNAOS – see if you can spot which one… :)

This story can easily stand on its own, but officially is Part 2 of the trilogy that began with It Has Always Been You. These events begin three months later.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Chapter 1: Something to Worry About

Mary Jane Watson woke slowly, feeling the early morning sun on her face. She had slept pretty well, only waking briefly when Peter left in the middle of the night. He always tried not to wake her, bless him – but each time his warm, strong body uncurled from hers, she couldn't help but notice it. And miss him until he returned.

She rolled from her side to her back, starting to stretch her arms and toes. Mary Jane had a morning ritual – she would kiss Peter’s pillow and pray a little prayer that he was safe. She began to turn toward Peter's side of the bed…

But this morning, instead of finding just a pillow, she found… Peter. He was propped on one elbow, gazing at her lovingly, enjoying the sight of watching her sleep. She nearly bolted straight up. “Peter! How long have you been home?”

“Only about an hour.” He gave her a slow, lazy smile – one that told her how much he loved her without saying a word. “You looked so beautiful, lying there as the sun rose... I'm sorry I startled you,” he finished sheepishly.

She yawned. “It's okay. I usually feel it when you return to bed. You were sneaky this time.” She smiled wickedly and poked him in the ribs.

His bare torso recoiled, and he laughed. “Hey! Watch it!” he cried, squirming away to avoid being tickled. Mary Jane crawled across the bed to catch him, but he deftly slid out from under the covers, and danced away out of reach.

“I'll get you yet, Spider-Man,” she promised, adding a villainous laugh.

“I'll go make us some coffee. You can stay here and plot your revenge.” He grabbed a T-shirt and boxers off the floor by the bed, where they had been discarded the night before. Blowing her a kiss, he went out of the room.

“Bet on it!” she called after him. Mary Jane really enjoyed the mornings when he was home. It would be nice if they happened more often, but she had resigned herself to waking alone. He always returned to her, and that was what mattered.

Taking her robe from the bedside chair, she walked to the bathroom. She reached past the shower curtain to turn on the water. As she was waiting for the water to heat up, she caught a glance at her reflection in the mirror. Leaning close to the fogging glass, she noticed the dark circles she had gained from too many late nights. I look tired – I’ll definitely need that coffee. It had been another long night of rehearsal and then waiting up for Peter the night before. When he returned past midnight, they hadn't been in the mood for much more than cuddling.

She stepped into the shower, and started to wash her hair. Maybe I should’ve just gone to bed. I need to have energy for tonight. Tonight was the opening of her new play – she had finally landed a part in a Broadway show. Not a big part, but still, one of the main supporting roles. The director had seen her work in The Importance of Being Earnest, and decided to give her a shot. I’d better wow those reviewers in the audience, or this might be my first and last shot at the big time.

While she was rinsing the last suds from her hair, the curtain opened. Peter stuck his head in. “The coffee's ready when you are,” he said cheerily. Rubbing the water out of her eyes, she saw his grinning face. “Thanks.”

But he didn't immediately leave – instead, he ran a long, lingering gaze over her body.

A shiver ran through her, matching the path his eyes were taking, and she flushed. Even though they had been together for three months, she still felt a thrill every time he gazed upon her. “Care to join me?” she purred.

His grin was the only answer she needed.

- - - - -


Some hours later, Peter stood on the balcony of their apartment. He looked out over the city, alert for any trouble. MJ had decided to take a short nap so that she would be fresh for the opening that evening.

Today was Friday. During summer session, classes only met from Monday to Thursday, so he didn't need to rush to school. He didn't need to meet any students for science tutoring, either, which was almost the only income he was scraping together these days. Since he’d quit The Daily Bugle, a few other newspapers had been interested in his Spider-Man pictures, but none with Jameson's regularity.

Peter suddenly thought of the jewelry box hidden away in a corner behind a stack of science textbooks. I promised Aunt May I would propose to Mary Jane soon, but if I can't even support myself... He let out a frustrated sigh. Mary Jane never let on that it bothered her that she paid most of the bills. She waved him off whenever he protested about it. You have more important things to worry about, Tiger. Let me worry about this, she would say.

In any case, he had wanted to save a little money, or at least be contributing more equally to the bills, before he popped the question. But their lives were already uncertain enough with his dangerous lifestyle. He wanted to be sure she knew that his commitment to her was more than certain.

Peter sighed. He had been arguing with himself like this since the day May had given him his parents' wedding bands. He loved her, but couldn't support her. Yet she was becoming so successful in her own right - did she need supporting? It was the twenty-first century, after all. With no financial worries, he could focus on saving people and getting his degree. But something still didn't sit right. He had to admit he was a little old-fashioned. He didn't want to feel as if he were sponging off her.

He shook his head. Just like every day, no easy answers were coming to him. In the distance, he heard a security alarm go off. Before he headed for the disturbance, he looked in every direction – his spider-sense had always warned him if someone was watching. He had been very careful in his comings and goings, especially since Mary Jane would be in danger if anyone noticed Spider-Man entering or exiting this place.

Everything seemed fine… Peter quickly changed clothing. Break a leg, MJ, he thought toward the bedroom, then shot a webline across the street to the next building.

Next: Chapter 2: Pride

57 days until Spider-Man 3!!

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
jenn_1
Mar. 7th, 2007 11:08 am (UTC)
I loved this, wonderful as always. Hopefully Peter can get a job soon... and if I remember right... he may.
htbthomas
Mar. 7th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
Well, I won't give anything away... :)

Thanks, sweetie! Hope the snow didn't get you down.
sean_montgomery
Mar. 7th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
I'm baaaaaaaack!

Peter is still caught in financial woes, but it looks like he's hearing wedding bells with those spidey senses of his. His fear of supporting the both of them, not making MJ do it all herself, is adorable. His worry over someone finding Spider-Man leaping from the balcony is adorable, too, but I think we might be getting ready to head to the plot with that... hmm....

'Nother good start, Barb! Bring on friday! : )
htbthomas
Mar. 7th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
IMO, Peter is just plain adorable all around! :D

Well, very soon you'll have to see if you were right about that wondering... ;)

Thanks for reviewing so early in the morning!
alamo_girl80
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
Okay, since I haven't seen much of S4 of L&C, I didn't get the reference. *sheepish*

I love the normalcy of this scene, w3aking in bed, showering together. So sweet.

Here's a weird notion that popped intomy head: Peter's genetic makeup was altered by the radio-active spider, right? Wonder if that holds tru for his, *ahem* little wimmers? Like, could MJ get preggers with his kid, and if so, what would he be like? Remind you of someone elses little super!munchkin? *hee*

This is starting out great, woman!
htbthomas
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Well, so far there isn't much of a reference. If you haven't seen much L&C S4, though, you'd have to have me tell you. I promise to do that before this story is over.

Like, could MJ get preggers with his kid, and if so, what would he be like?

Well, um, hate to say - but it's been done, and well. The comic is called Spider-Girl (1998-present) and their daughter Mayday is definitely superpowered. I love that comic. I even wrote a fic! Maybe I'll post it here... later. But I am going to be working on one with my friend Georgia Kennedy that is based in the movieverse.
alamo_girl80
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm stupid and typing too fast..

*wimmer = swimmers

Mel <----is gay. *snerk*
htbthomas
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, believe me, I got it. ;)
jenna_knight
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
What an excellent start! You've got a great feel for the characters and you do a really good job of story set up and pacing. I'm excited to see how this progresses.

Now that you are posting every couple days I have no excuse not to read!
htbthomas
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jen! This one is all new for you, right?

I will definitely try really hard to keep up an every other day kind of posting speed. Makes it easier to keep the countdown going, too!
jenna_knight
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
Yep. This one is new for me. Can't wait to see how it turns out!
bistyboo1974
Mar. 24th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
I'm finally here! Sorry for the delay... *offers her humblest apologies*

Mary Jane had a morning ritual – she would kiss Peter’s pillow and pray a little prayer that he was safe.

Is that from you or a bit you adopted from the comics? Either way, I ♥ it! Guh! Too sweet!

Leaning close to the fogging glass, she noticed the dark circles she had gained from too many late nights. I look tired – I’ll definitely need that coffee.

Story of MY life! *snorts*

I promised Aunt May I would propose to Mary Jane soon, but if I can't even support myself... He let out a frustrated sigh.

Poor Pete. :( Maybe he should care a tip jar along when doing his Spidey thing. I mean, if Starbucks baristas have one, superheroes should, too. *grins* Seriously, though. He must be terribly frustrated. *hugs him* Being broke sucks.

Everything seemed fine…

*gulps* Why do I suspect that everything ISN'T fine? My Spidey sense is tinglin'...
htbthomas
Mar. 24th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
That was all me... *blush* And the coffee thing, let's just say that I see a lot of myself in MJ, too... I remember those late night rehearsals. *yawns*

Peter seems to always be broke, and it doesn't seem to get better in SM3!

Your Spidey sense is right...
taro_twist
Apr. 2nd, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
Aww, poor Peter, still worrying about whether he should marry MJ if she's going to have to support him. Although yay, she has a part in a Broadway show! It's nice to see her continuing rise to success, especially after the first movie where the future seemed very uncertain for her career and dream wise.

Mary Jane had a morning ritual – she would kiss Peter’s pillow and pray a little prayer that he was safe.

Aww, that's very sweet. :) I guess that's the hardest part of being in a relationship with any superhero, lol--waiting for them to come back safe! It's a nice touch that Mary Jane would have little rituals to help ease the anxiety that must come along with that.

And I loved this little exchange:

“I'll get you yet, Spider-Man,” she promised, adding a villainous laugh.

“I'll go make us some coffee. You can stay here and plot your revenge.”


Whee! Such cute banter.

And Peter, um, interrupting MJ's shower ...

“Care to join me?” she purred.

His grin was the only answer she needed.


Mmmm ... they're not going to get to that coffee any time soon, are they? ;p

Well, it'll be interesting to see how Peter deals with his dilemma of being honorable and asking Mary Jane to marry him now or ... being honorable and waiting till he can contribute more financially to their relationship. Eek! For a gentleman, that's quite a bind to be in. *grin*

Oh, and all of the comics you sent me downloaded fine. :) Now I just need to find some time alone with them ... le sigh ...
htbthomas
Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Actually, I discovered later that in SM3, MJ gets a part in a Broadway show - one of the first scenes has her performing at the premiere. Although the storyline after this is different between mine and that...

I love their banter, too. They are adorable. I didn't go for the angst so much between them, not like Peter and other people...

I will definitely send more of those comics, then. I think the next ones I will send are the first two issues of CW, and the Spidey tie-ins.
taro_twist
Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
Actually, I discovered later that in SM3, MJ gets a part in a Broadway show - one of the first scenes has her performing at the premiere.

LOL. Your fic really does predict SM3 ... I'm beginning to wonder how much the Superman sequel is going to mirror Deja Vu. *grin*
htbthomas
Apr. 2nd, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean... there are lines in the SM3 novelization that I swear are lifted from this trilogy... I wonder who was reading the fanfic? ;D

And if the same thing happens in The Man of Steel... I think I'll die...
taro_twist
Apr. 2nd, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
And if the same thing happens in The Man of Steel... I think I'll die...

At that point, I think you should just go to Hollywood and start making the movie sequels yourself. ^-^
htbthomas
Apr. 2nd, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Ya know... I almost said that myself. ^_^ Wouldn't THAT be a hoot.
mark_clark
Apr. 23rd, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
The life of a college student is hard but the life of one who also happens to be Spider-Man, is even more so. Peter feels a little down because he wants to help support both him and Mary Jane but at the present time, he can't. That also slows down his plans to ask her to marry him.

Peter will somehow find a job and assist MJ with the bills. Unfortunately he'll hit rock bottom before things start to go his way.
htbthomas
May. 26th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Okay, I suck that it's taken me this long to reply to this review. :( I'll go and finish up today.

It is hard for Peter, sometimes I wonder how he manages all by himself in NY. *hugs him*
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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