Fandom: Spider-Man, pre-Spider-Girl
Word Count: 1,052 words
Summary: Peter and little May shop for Mary Jane’s birthday gift.
Author’s Note: A birthday fic for dragontail. It turned out to be more Peter and May than Peter/MJ, but your stories about your daughter inspired me. :) Thanks to mark_clark for some alpha help.
“Daddy! Look at this!” Little May tried to let go of Peter’s hand, and after a slight catch on his sticky palms, she pulled free with a slippery tug. She ran toward one of the department store’s toy displays.
Peter walked up behind his four-year old daughter calmly, smiling fondly at the way she lifted on tiptoe to look at the higher shelves. “Don’t you have enough of those?” he asked, leaning slightly on his cane.
May picked up one of the Transformers, and then turned to give her father a bewildered look. “I don’t have this one yet.” The silver and pink robot glittered in her hand.
“But, sweetheart…” He gently retrieved the toy from her fingers. “Who are we here to shop for?”
Her eyes lowered and her voice grew very quiet. “Mommy.”
“Do you think she’d like a Transformer?”
May’s chin lifted, and her eyes glittered for a moment… but then she shook her head with a frown. Quickly, she tilted her head and tried another tactic. “For my birthday?”
Peter laughed. She knew that Daddy was her best source of new pretties… but they really were here to shop for Mary Jane’s birthday present. “Tell you what. You help me find the perfect gift for Mommy, and we’ll see about this baby.”
“Okay!” She smiled brilliantly, looking almost like a tiny version of her charismatic mother. Her reddish brown hair and blue eyes were just enough different to make her unique, though. He didn’t look forward to the day when she would be dating… what a heartbreaker she was going to be! It would certainly be a different experience than he’d had in high school…
Of course, that was only if she didn’t inherit his spider-powers. Peter and Mary Jane been watching May carefully from the moment she’d been born… and so far she seemed just like any other healthy, precocious little girl. He watched her wander ahead of him with a fatherly smile.
The two of them browsed through the clothing section with only half an eye. Mary Jane was always better at picking out her own clothes, anyway. They didn’t go near the appliances – he’d be in the doghouse a whole month if he tried to give her something like that for her birthday. In the furniture department on the second floor, May enjoyed bouncing around on the bedding displays, but they were no closer to finding a gift than when they started.
With a sigh, Peter took May’s hand and started to walk back toward the down escalator. “C’mon, Mayday. I just know your mommy’s gift is in here somewhere.”
At the bottom of the escalator, something caught May’s attention, and she took off toward the jewelry counter. But before Peter could hustle to keep up with her, a buzz like the sound of a thousand hornets hit his temples, followed by a flash of red in his peripheral vision.
His spider-sense didn’t go off as frequently these days – now that he was retired – so when it did, it was like a slap upside the head. He lifted his eyes in alarm to see a small blond-haired boy with a red T-shirt climbing the shelves of the display in the wall ten feet away. Where are his parents?
Peter shot an anxious glance at May, who was peering through the glass at the gold and silver – but there was no time to tell her to stay put. The boy’s hand slipped from its grip and he began to topple backward with a yelp.
Peter leapt into action, using his cane to vault over the table beside him, and ricochet off of the adjoining wall. His fingers adhered to the side of the shelving unit and he scooped the boy out of the air with his other arm. He let go of the wall quickly – he didn’t want to be noticed more than necessary, and lightly touched down on his good foot.
“There you go, son,” Peter said, setting him down. The boy blinked, his mouth open in shock.
“Oh, my God! Aaron!” A woman ran up to grab her little boy and hug him tight, her cell phone dropping from her fingers. “You could have been really hurt!”
Peter moved to slip away, making sure to catch sight of May again. This woman had proved how easy it was for something terrible to happen when a parent’s back was turned. The mother called out to him, stopping him for a moment. “Thank you! I saw you catch him… that was amazing!”
Peter blushed and tried not to meet her eyes. He wasn’t so long retired that people would have forgotten Spider-Man. “You’re welcome. I’m glad he’s all right. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my own little girl.”
“Of course…” she answered ruefully.
Peter knew he had been abrupt, but he wasn’t sure how much she had seen. And he did need to get back to little May. He needn’t have been concerned. A moment later, the mother launched into a worried lecture about safety, pulling her boy along toward the exit.
May was exactly where he had seen her last, mesmerized by some item in the display. “Have you found something, sweetheart?”
“Oh, Daddy,” she breathed. “It’s so beautiful…”
He followed her gaze to a small heart-shaped locket, opened to display two slots for tiny photos. Peter smiled. “A perfect choice. Then she can wear both of us close to her heart.”
The locket paid for and placed in a gift box, they headed for the exit, May skipping along with the bag around her wrist. Just then, his cell phone trilled in his pocket, and he reached in to flip it open. “Hello?”
“Hey, Tiger. I’m at Mario’s. Are you on your way?” They had agreed to meet for a family birthday lunch at MJ’s favorite Italian place.
“Uh, yeah, we should be there pretty soon…” Peter reached for May’s hand to guide her toward the doors, but she was suddenly gone. He turned in a frantic circle—
And spotted her an aisle over. Playing with the Transformer. Oh, right.
“Um, actually… could you get us a table?” He watched as May proudly held up the toy, making it soar through the air. “We’re running a little late.”
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