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Enquiring Minds, 11/12

Title: Enquiring Minds, 11/12: Remembering
Author: htbthomas
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
Pairing: Peter/MJ
Word Count: Ch. 11 - 1285 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: It was interesting – when Parker didn’t know he was being observed, he seemed a different person. He stood alert, erect, almost like a cat ready to spring. His eyes were scanning the world outside the window with an intensity Andy had never quite seen before.

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Chapter Links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Chapter 11: Remembering

Andy opened his eyes blearily, seeing nothing but a blank wall. Correction, a blank wall with a small framed picture on it. He slowly registered other details about the room. A hospital bed, which he seemed to be occupying. An IV dripping some sort of fluid into his arm. A small table with his camera bag and possessions. A window to the outside, with a figure standing in front of it. Peter Parker, who was looking out of the blinds.

It was interesting – when Parker didn’t know he was being observed, he seemed a different person. He stood alert, erect, almost like a cat ready to spring. His eyes were scanning the world outside the window with an intensity Andy had never quite seen before. Does he really seem different, or is it only because I know now… Parker, rather, Spider-Man, turned his piercing blue eyes on Andy. He didn’t think he had made any sound waking up, but Parker had detected the change anyway. What a great actor he is. He had me totally fooled before. No wonder he and Watson are together...

Andy smiled weakly, and broke the silence. “Parker... how long have I been out?”

Parker’s eyes softened, and he replied, “I guess 12 hours or so. The nurse told me you woke briefly when they first brought you to this room.” Parker came to sit in the chair beside the bed. “Do you remember?”

He could remember the pain and the disorientation. As the nurse busied herself with making him comfortable, he had tried to touch her arm. “Oh! Mr. Vogel, you’re awake. Be careful not to move too much. You don’t want to reopen the wound.”

“Am I going to be okay?” he had slurred.

“The doctors say your wound was pretty bad. They almost lost you, since you had lost a lot of blood – but they were able to operate in time. You’re very lucky that Spider-Man found you. That webbing on your wound most definitely saved your life.”

After she had left, images of the mugging and what had happened after came flooding back.
I wasn’t just delirious. Parker had picked him up and carried him – and not by foot. He still remembered the comforting voice behind the mask. Parker’s voice...

“I remember...” Andy hesitated. “I remember a few things.”

Parker let out a breath. “I thought you might.” He looked down at his hands, avoiding Andy’s gaze. “I’m glad you’re okay. I couldn’t stop him in time – I’m sorry.”

He’s sorry? I don’t deserve a bit of what he did! “It was my own damn fault. I wanted to get back at Spider-Man so badly.”

Parker looked up questioningly. “By running away?” But he must have seen something different in Andy’s face. “Oh. By setting it up.”

The guy’s not dumb, that’s for sure. “I thought Spider-Man might show up if he knew you were in trouble. I didn’t know at the time he was already there.”

Parker got up slowly, and went back over to the window. When he began speaking, it was in a quiet voice. “All I’ve wanted for the past few years was a normal life. I can’t escape what I am, but being with Mary Jane made me hope that I could be happy.” He turned back to Andy. “I love her – I’ve loved her since elementary school. I want to marry her, if she’ll have me.”

“Parker,” Andy began, but a wave from the other man’s hand silenced him.

“Wait. I tried to give it up, once. But I couldn’t – I have a responsibility to use this to help people. If I have to choose between that and Mary Jane...”

“Parker, listen. I may have set it all up, but it came back to bite me in the ass when that other guy showed up. You could have left me there, but you didn’t. The nurse told me that I would have died if you hadn’t brought me here immediately.” Andy went on, “I won’t tell anyone about you. For saving my life, I owe you that much.”

Parker came over to the bedside again and looked directly into Andy’s eyes. After a moment, he relaxed. “I believe you. I can actually feel it, you know, if someone means me harm.”

“I’m a man of my word, Parker. That’s why I was so upset when your girlfriend called me a liar on national TV.” He smiled to soften his words. Gesturing with his head over at the table, he asked, “Can you get my bag for me?” Parker nodded and reached behind him for the bag. After Parker placed it in his hands, Andy started to unzip it, but a sharp twinge from his wound made him wince. “Can you...?” Gently, Peter took the bag and unzipped it for Andy. “Take out the camera and film,” he directed. “If you carefully feel the lining of the bag, you’ll find a small slit in the fabric.”

In a few moments, Parker was pulling a few strips of film from their hiding place. “The negatives?” he asked, still uncomprehending what Andy was about to do.

“They’re yours.” He grimaced a little, still not really believing he was saying this. “I guess I can tell the papers that I lost them in the struggle… Without those, I won’t be able to prove the photos are real.”

Parker’s head snapped up, and he looked concerned. “But won’t this damage your credibility? Won’t it be difficult to sell photos now?”

“Buddy, if I was gonna choose between working a little harder to repair my rep, or being dead – well, you know which one I’d choose.”

Parker smiled. “Thanks, Andy.”

“But I wouldn’t mind a photo op thrown my way every once in a while,” he joked. “And look me up if you ever grant an interview.” He suddenly remembered something important. “Parker?”

“Yes?” He had lifted the negatives to study them in the overhead light.

“How many people know your secret?”

He turned his attention back to Andy. “Other than you? Only a few close friends and family. Although a train car full of people did see my face. But none of them knows my name.”

“You know that thing you told me, about how you can sense harm? You might want to see if any of those ‘close friends and family’ have it in for you.”

The pitch of his voice suddenly dropped. “Why?”

“Because one of them – a guy it sounded like – called me on my cell phone the other day. He told me if I wanted to get to Spider-Man, I should put you in danger.”

Parker’s body tensed. “He did?”

“Yeah. When I asked him why he didn’t just tell people Spider-Man’s identity, he claimed you know things he... how did he put it... ‘would rather not have made public.’ Sound like anyone you know?”

“MJ...” Parker said in a stunned voice, barely above a whisper. In a blur of motion, he was gone. The blinds were rattling from his passing, and the window was open. Wow.

The nurse picked this moment to come check on him. “Mr. Parker, visiting hours are...” She looked around the room. “Did he already leave? I didn’t see him pass the nurses station.”

“Yeah, a little while ago. He’s pretty shy and quiet. He must have just slipped past you.” He looked over at the window. “But he forgot to close that before he left. Do you mind?”

Shaking her head, she walked over to shut it. “Get some rest, Mr. Vogel. We want to see you back on your feet as soon as possible.”

As she left, he closed his eyes. Good luck, Spider-Man.

Next: Chapter 12: Loose Ends

37 days until Spider-Man 3!!


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2007 10:09 am (UTC)
Squee! Only a month and a week to go till the movie. I'm on the last chapter. (dances around the room) Okay, I'm going nuts. :D

Anyway, it was nice talk with Peter and Andy, though he's not my favorite person, I'm glad Andy is okay.

Ooo, we sure know where Peter's going... sort of reminds me in a way of SM3, though different of course, Peter isn't in that black suit for one.
Mar. 27th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
Right! This Peter would never do what black-suited Peter ends up doing! Although if he had, then there would be no showdown in BW, would there? Just a fluff fic... :D

But Andy's okay, and he's got ethics... so Peter will be fine.
Mar. 27th, 2007 10:20 am (UTC)
Oo. The revelation of the set-up is made the very next chapter. How interesting.

So, it seems Andy really IS a nice guy - where his life is concerned, anyway. Peter might have the negatives now, but it seems to me that he knows the real threat that's going to befall him. And MY spidey sense is saying that's exactly what Harry wants.

Bring on thursday. I'm ready for a confrontation!
Mar. 27th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, Peter's off to confront Harry... though I won't give away how it goes down. Needless to say, this IS the second of a trilogy... But I promise no Empire Strikes Back ending. :)
Mar. 27th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC)
So good! I can't believe I didn't read this sooner. I loved that Vogel turned out to be a decent guy. And I do hope that Peter will give him a photo now and again.

But the more pressing issue is Harry. Can't wait to see how you resolve it!
Mar. 27th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Even if you didn't read it sooner, I'm glad you are now! :D

Yes, Vogel's a decent guy. A little slimy, but basically decent. Peter definitely gives him photos in the future... but what kind may surprise you!

The confrontation (or the first of, I should say) is next! Don't forget there's a concluding fic to this trilogy!
Mar. 27th, 2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
*finishes reading*

Oh, wow. I haven't seen Spiderman2 or read the previous fic but I find this easy to follow and VERY capturing.

It triggered something in my memory that I couldn't identify until I read your first Author's Note. Lois&Clark TNAOS : where Superman is caught making out with an engaged (or already married?)Lois Lane. Nice one. *grins* Lucky for them the pictured turned out to be false, I'm afraid Pete and MJ have no such luck.

So, now that you've got me hooked I'll be folloing this dutifully too. And I REALLY must see Spiderman 2 soon.
Mar. 27th, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
Oh! And did you know that 'Vogel' is a Dutch word?
*grins* it means 'bird'...
Mar. 27th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
And yes I did know that! (I had another Dutch person tell me the same thing, but I knew beforehand. I have a student in my school with that name, and I liked the sound of it. Andy is my mother's nickname from school).
Mar. 27th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay! I get so excited when one of my Supes friends starts reading! :D

If you like this one, you'll like the other one, too. *prods* And Enquiring Minds has only one more chapter, then goes on to one more 11-chapter story as a conclusion.

And ding ding ding - I knew one of you would figure out which L&C:TNAOS episode it was! The specific one was "Sex, Lies and Videotape" which was after Lois and Clark were married. The photographer got the pictures, but then dropped the camera... losing the shots, so she digitally altered them. I decided to take it a different direction. :)

You MUST see Spidey 2 - it's what got me into fanfiction! *begs*
Mar. 27th, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
Vogel sees the light! Yay! I like him now. =)

I wonder what's going to happen. I'm wondering if Peter knows it's Harry, or if he suspects it or something else. I wonder what Harry's reaction will be...
Mar. 27th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Vogel's a basically likeable guy, despite his sliminess.

You don't have much longer to wait to find out the other stuff!
Mar. 27th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
“I won’t tell anyone about you. For saving my life, I owe you that much.”

*pats him* Wise choice, Andy. ;-)

“You know that thing you told me, about how you can sense harm? You might want to see if any of those ‘close friends and family’ have it in for you.”

Meep! Get your rear in gear, oh Webbed-One!

And, OMG! I'm all caught up now! Whee!

But, boo. :( I wanna see if Pete kicks Harry's butt in the finale! *pouts*
Mar. 27th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, you're caught up! It's only a day or so you have to wait... :D

The Webbed-One is swinging as fast as he can in that direction - but what will he do?
Mar. 28th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
I just turned on the TV and I nearly jumped back, Spidey 1 is on AXN... wow, talk about coincidences.

I didn't want Andy to die, slimy little bastard he might be. I like men with a little "bad" in them if you get my drift... hee. At least he didn't end up praying for Peter to die like in the unreleased Eddie Brock trailer. As for those pictures Peter offered him? Um... if I say "Wedding Pictures" will my post get deleted? LOL

I loved how you set up the entire Harry/Revenge scenario, now MJ's at his mercy. I loved the mugger being mugged LOL, did Harry had anything to do with that? I mean did he send the big guy in case Vogel's man had problems closing the deal?

Oh and when Peter was going to propose around Chapter 3, I think... I was ready to punch you in the face when he got called away from the Restaurant... dude, you truly are the Evil Cliffhanger Queen. *bows before Barbara*

I can't wait for next chapter, when are you going to post it?
Mar. 28th, 2007 09:37 am (UTC)
I wouldn't delete your post! But I also will not answer that one... :)

No, Harry didn't set up the second mugger. That was pure coincidence. You'll see how the confrontation goes soon. I've been posting every other day, so the next chapter will be on Thursday.

This was the first story that I started learning the ways of ECQ-dom. Baby steps, if you will. :D
Mar. 29th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Hokay, well Andy is slightly redeemed. :P Lovely work!:D and I can't wait for Harry to get his just rewards. *glower*

Brilliant work, Barbara, as always!:D I can't wait for part 12!!! woo!:D And the sequel!XD - Speaking of the sequel, will you be posting it on LJ or do we just follow the ff.net link? Cuz I'd rather review on here.
Mar. 29th, 2007 09:45 am (UTC)
Thanks! I will be posting the sequel here, starting on Saturday - every other day, just like the first set. And when I'm finished, there'll only be about a week until the movie comes out! Yay!
May. 5th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
A little life threatening altercation can change a man's mind about things and that is certainly the case for Andy Vogel. If Peter didn't help him the way he did, Andy would be down in the morgue instead of a hospital bed.

At least Peter found out for certain that Andy remembered, everything. Their talk was good and they cleared the air about things. In gratitude, Andy showed Peter where the negatives were and give them over to him. Also, Andy told him how he set the whole mugging up and it was by someone who contacted him on his cell. I believe that's when Peter put things together and figured out who that someone was.

Now, his off to see Mary Jane to protect her from that certain someone.
May. 26th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
It's a good thing that Andy was grateful. Peter needs more people like that in his life - people who trust him and would protect him. He does so much for others...
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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