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It Has Always Been You: 4/5

Title: It Has Always Been You, 4/5: The Offer
Author: htbthomas
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse
Pairing: Peter/MJ
Word Count: Ch. 4 - 1550 words
Summary: A series of vignettes about Peter and MJ’s first days together after Spider-Man 2, and the reactions of the people around them to their new relationship
Chapter Teaser: Nevertheless, she climbed the stairs slowly. Peter has always been so friendly to me. I will be sad to see him go. She twisted her lips wryly. Face it, Ursula, you wish he had been more than a friend.

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

Chapter Links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Chapter 4: The Offer

Listening carefully for any signs of life, Peter peered up the rickety stairwell toward his apartment several floors up. He was hoping to avoid Mr. Ditkovich, as it was the beginning of the month... and once again, he didn’t have the rent. In fact, with no job, it wasn’t looking very likely that he would have the money any time soon. Taking a deep breath, Peter started up the stairs two at a time. Just as he passed the landing of the floor below his, the door to his landlord's apartment started to open. Oh, crap, caught again...

But instead of the weathered face of Mr. Ditkovich peeking out of the doorway, it was the gaunt one of his daughter, Ursula. Looking toward him at the sound of his footsteps, she gave him a small, hopeful smile. “Hey, Peter,” she said in a quiet voice.

Peter gave her a quick, friendly wave. “Hi, Ursula,” he returned without stopping, and hurried up the stairs. Best not to linger – her father might be in there.

“Peter, I have...” Ursula started to say, but in his rush to get out of sight, he barely heard her words.

He reached his door, quickly unlocked the deadbolt and slipped inside. Shutting the door, he listened carefully for any signs of another person in the stairwell. Whew! he thought, relieved when no shouts of ‘Rent!’ had followed him this time. My luck is holding today.

Peter let his backpack drop heavily to the floor, and started toward the bed to sit. But just as he took one step in that direction, his spider-sense tingled, and he abruptly spun around.

“Oh!” Mary Jane stood before him wide-eyed, clutching her hand to her chest. “Wow, you scared me! I was just trying to surprise you...” She let out a shaky laugh. “No chance in that, I suppose.”

He smiled sheepishly. “Yeah, I can't help it.” A thought struck him suddenly, and he felt a flash of concern. “Did anyone hear you come in?”

She thought for a moment, then shrugged. “I don't think so. I got here maybe 15 minutes ago. No one was in the stairwell or the hallway.” She took a step forward and wrapped her soft arms around him. Looking into his eyes with a nervous expression, she asked, “But I really couldn't wait to find out – how did it go?”

Peter hugged her closely and spoke into her hair. “Better than I expected.” He pulled back, still slightly stunned at the day’s events. “J.J. didn't know about us until I got there and saw John and I acting uncomfortable around each other. I think I really shocked him, and that's hard to do.” He grinned.

“No lecture, no chewing out?” she asked, amused. “I didn't even get off that well when John and I were dating.”

He chuckled, shaking his head. “But I am definitely out of a job. Robbie offered to help me find something else.” Taking her hand in his own, he led her to sit on the bed next to him. “You know what? I feel so free! All the constant Spider-Man bashing…” Peter shuddered briefly, and gripped her hand more tightly, as much for himself as for her. “Hopefully I can find a more balanced paper.”

But looking around his dingy apartment, his earlier rush of freedom was replaced with apprehension.“It will have to be soon. I don't have this month's rent, and I don't know how long Mr. Ditkovich will let me stay here.”

Mary Jane gave him a side-long glance, and murmured, “You know, I've been thinking about that...” Eyes twinkling, she kissed him lightly on the temple. “We spend so much time together now, I mean, when you're not out, that there's no reason to have two apartments, anyway.” She cocked her head to the side waiting for his reaction.

He grimaced a little. “I don't want you to have to support me, MJ. I can't contribute to the rent yet. And moving in together? We've only been a couple for about a week.” Embarrassed, he dropped his gaze to the floor. “Isn't it a little soon?”

She touched his chin gently with her fingertips and lifted his head toward her. She must know what a big step this would be for him – he had already spent a few long years alone with only his responsibility for company. Her eyes were full of understanding as she explained, “Soon is relative. We've known each other for years, Peter. It's not like we're strangers getting to know each other first.” She ran her hand along his cheek, trailing it down his shirt. His eyes fluttered closed at the contact, and he let out a little moan. “And you'll get that job soon enough. Rent is easier to pay on two incomes.”

“You are difficult to resist.” Her touch was intoxicating him again, and his hands started to reciprocate with light caresses. “It does make sense...”

“Doesn't it?” she murmured huskily as she kissed his earlobe, and then traveled across his jaw. Their lips met passionately, and he pushed her gently back onto the pillow. Soon his hand was moving slowly up her leg, making a path beneath her skirt, toward her thighs.

“Oh, Tiger,” she almost growled. He had been learning just how to touch her for maximum effect. “We can't even finish a conversation these days...”

- - - - -

Ever since Peter’s door had closed, Ursula had been standing in her doorway, full of indecision. It had taken her several long minutes to finally decide… Yes. She would give the eviction notice to Peter in person, rather than cowardly tacking it to his door.

Nevertheless, she climbed the stairs slowly. Peter has always been so friendly to me. I will be sad to see him go. She twisted her lips wryly. Face it, Ursula, you wish he had been more than a friend.

As she reached the door, she paused. Inside, she could faintly hear murmurs. But no one other than Peter was inside, right? She would have known if he had a visitor. She listened for a long minute… No, it was pretty quiet in there. He's probably studying and talking to himself about it. Her hand settled on the doorknob, and after a moment, she turned it.

The door opened wide, and she stopped, astonished and embarrassed.

Wide-eyed, Peter was stared at her standing in the doorway. Below him, the red-haired girl she had only seen him with a few times, was breathing heavily. They were both quite disheveled – the girl's shirt was unbuttoned to her midriff, her skirt nearly up to her waist. Peter's shirt was hanging from his shoulders, his dark undershirt showing.

The girl turned her body away, covering her face with one hand, and yanking her skirt down with the other. Peter straightened up quickly, and looked mortified.

“Oh! Sorry!” She set the notice on the floor, immediately shut the door and started down with rapid steps. I told him I was going to start knocking! How embarrassing! She couldn't get back to her door quickly enough.

“Ursula, wait...” she heard behind her, but she darted inside her apartment. Her hands clenched for a moment in frustrated humiliation, and then she slumped against her front door. “Goodbye, Peter,” she said to herself softly.

- - - - -

He waited for a moment for Ursula’s response, but when he heard nothing, Peter closed his door. He ran a hand through his hair. He knew he should be angry with her for walking in on him yet again… but somehow, he just couldn’t be. A crinkling sound caught his attention as he shifted, and he looked down the paper beneath his foot. Picking it up, he took a few steps toward the bed… then stopped and twisted the deadbolt.

Mary Jane couldn't suppress a tiny giggle. “Another good reason for moving out. More privacy.”

He sat back down beside her, scanning the paper quickly. She looked over his shoulder, curious, and he handed it to her, saying, “It looks like I will have to move out. I've been behind on my rent here for a couple months. Mr. Ditkovich must have gotten tired of it.”

Mary Jane quickly read through the eviction notice, a thoughtful look on her face. Then she pressed her lips together in disbelief. “Does she always just come in without knocking? She could easily have caught you in costume…”

“It has only been a few times - I usually have my door locked,” he tried to explain. “Don't worry, she has always been nice to me. The only bright spot in this dismal building.”

“You're not the only one who gets to worry,” she poked him in the arm, smiling again. She suddenly came to a realization. “So, if you have to move out now… are you agreeing to my offer?”

Her hopeful expression chased away any lingering doubts he had been harboring. Smiling warmly, he answered, “I guess I am.”

The moment settled between them, and her emerald eyes locked with his blue ones. He felt a sparkle of electricity – this was it, this was real. Peter leaned forward to kiss her again, sealing the deal. Between kisses he murmured, “Now…Where... were we?”

Next: Chapter 5: Coffee and Sympathy

61 days until Spider-Man 3!!


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
Aaw, YAY! It does make a lot of sense, them living together. ;) And aaw, poor Ursula-I like her a lot too; she reminds me of myself.
Mar. 3rd, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I think it makes sense, too - but it does make me wonder what they'll do about that in the sequel. If I'm analyzing the trailer pics correctly, then he's still living in that rat trap. Oh, well. Poor thing can't catch a break...

And if that's true, I wonder if Ursula's in the sequel... *goes to IMDB to check* Yes, she is! And John Jameson, it seems... :D
Mar. 3rd, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Woot! :)
Mar. 3rd, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
Aww... I liked Ursula! Even though she scared me a little sometimes...

So it looks like our favorite Spidey couple is getting a chance to further their relationship. Was there ever any doubt? ; ) Too bad Peter is unable to financially support himself, but I have a feeling that MJ won't mind helping him with the rent. It it means getting to see him every night, then what does she care? : D

Monday can come any time now. No, really. I'm all set to see how his ends!
Mar. 3rd, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
You never really knew what to think of Ursula. She was sweet, but how much did she know? I just found out she'll be in SM3, so maybe we will learn that.

Yeah, poor Peter. I actually deal a bit with his financial worries at the beginning of Enquiring Minds, the next story in the trilogy.

I'm really glad you're enjoying this, Super!Reviewer!
Mar. 3rd, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
Cool, Peter and MJ are going to be living together. But what will Aunt May say?

Poor Ursula, she's not my favorite person, but yeah, she was nice to Peter. But it's a good thing she didn't just burst in a few minutes later... ;D
Mar. 3rd, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
What will Aunt May say? Well, you know, that's the very thing we'll find out next! :D

If Ursula had burst in a few minutes later, she certainly would have gotten an eyeful! Whoa!
Mar. 3rd, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)
Aww, poor, skinny Ursula! *pats her head* How mortifying for her!

But, hmm...the big finale is coming soon, eh? And Spidey's moving in with MJ? Can't wait to see what you have in store for the big finish, Barbara!

Mar. 3rd, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
Ursula was definitely mortified. Poor thing - but ya really shouldn't walk in on people! *waggles finger*

Well, the big finale is only for this one... there are two more stories, which are about twice as long as this one was. And they actually have a plot! :)

But the next one is probably my favorite of the set in IHABY: Aunt May. :)
Mar. 5th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
Excellent chapter but poor Ursula.

I saw in one of your replies that her character is going to be in the sequel. That's awesome. I really liked her. Although I wish she would eat something.
Mar. 5th, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
I really like the actress, Mageina Tovah - did you ever watch Joan of Arcadia? She was really sweet in that - ultimate geek girl Glynis.

I wonder how big her part will be, same with John Jameson - I was talking with sean_montgomery on chat this weekend, explaining the original Venom storyline... and I wonder if they'll do the "John finds the symbiote on the moon" thing from the 90s cartoon or not (since the comics did that differently). Really can't wait to find out. Did you hear Doc Connors is in the new preview tonight? It could be based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comics version...

/end fangirlish speculation

Mar. 5th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
I never watched Joan of Arcadia but I heard that it was really good.

Yes, I definitely read the news about Doc Connors. He's one of my favorites and I was hoping that he would have a bigger role in the third film. I wasn't sure if he was going to be the fourth villain although the last I heard mysterio was going to be in the movie. But then again they might just be trying to throw people off.

As for Venom, I'm only really familiar with the cartoon version. I liked that they incorporated John into Venom's origin and I think that could work really well in the movie.
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Hey, I'm with MJ, conversation is over rated when thigh-caresses are going on. Hee!

This is really good woman!
Mar. 8th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
I would certainly have a hard time concentrating if he were doing that to me! And my husband laughed (laughed!) at me the other day when I said "those eyes..." - like he couldn't believe I would swoon for Peter?

I told him that I like my geeks, thank you! Especially the superhero ones. :)
Mar. 15th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
One of the things the movies got perfect is the great supporting cast of characters; I forgot how much I love Ursula until I read this, but she was great.
Also, she's a hero-- If Mr.Ditkovich had delivered the notice, it would have scarred poor Peter for life. :D
Mar. 15th, 2007 10:23 am (UTC)
Yeah - Ursula! I don't know if you saw the other comments to this post, but it turns out she's in SM3 as well. I wonder how much of a part she'll have... and it just verifies that Peter will still be living in that dump of an apartment when the movie begins.

Hmm, scary Mr. Ditkovitch. I'll have to see if I can work him into my new SM3 fic whenever I decide to write it! :D
Mar. 25th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
Oh, Ursula! I'd completely forgotten about her. I love how you're bringing all of the secondary characters from the movies to life.

And Ursula definitely does give off the vibe that she has a huge crush on Peter. Poor her, trying to say good-bye to Peter and to be decent enough to give him the eviction notice in person, and then walking in on him and MJ. Eep! I do feel bad for her. Not that I want her with Peter, lol, but she's one of those characters you really do want to see happy--maybe someone can hook her up with Jimmy Olsen, lol. This was an especially touching, and very realistic moment:

Her hands clenched for a moment in frustrated humiliation, and then she slumped against her front door. “Goodbye, Peter,” she said to herself softly.


Aside from that, it was interesting to see things from both Peter's perspective and her own, with Peter being nice to her, but not really paying attention to her. I thought that was very in character, and made him seem more 3D--of course he's a nice guy, but everyone has someone who loves them, but whom they overlook. Moving on from Ursula, though, lol:

But just as he took one step in that direction, his spider-sense tingled, and he abruptly spun around.

Mmmm, spider-sensing your lover's presence. Hot.

And Peter and MJ are moving in together! Whee! Their discussion over the move was great. Peter's objections were all very realistic and true to who he is--not wanting MJ to support him, etc.--but I'm glad MJ won in the end. *grin* This was a great moment:

The moment settled between them, and her emerald eyes locked with his blue ones. He felt a sparkle of electricity – this was it, this was real.

And this one, too:

Peter hugged her closely and spoke into her hair.

I love the ... speaking into hair thing. *grin* It has such an intimate feel to it.

Oh, and I really liked this line, too:

“You know what? I feel so free! All the constant Spider-Man bashing…” Peter shuddered briefly, and gripped her hand more tightly, as much for himself as for her.

I've never thought about that much before, but that really must suck, for Peter to have to work for a paper that is actively working against him. It says a lot about his inner strength that he's able to put up with that.

All in all, another lovely vignette! :D

Mar. 25th, 2007 01:01 am (UTC)
If you liked this, you'll love the fact that Ursula definitely is back with the puppy-dog love in SM3! At least in the novelization. A slightly bigger part, too, if the movie follows the book closely.

Peter has had to put up with the Bugle bashing in the comics forever! And it's never gotten any better, especially not now that everyone knows his identity... the guy just keeps doing what's right no matter what.

Thanks for another highly satisfying review! *hugs*
Mar. 25th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
And it's never gotten any better, especially not now that everyone knows his identity...

Whoaa what? People know Peter is Spider Man in the comics now? Wow, that's a daring leap. When did that happen? *runs off to Wikipedia to try to find out*
Mar. 25th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
LOL! It happened in Civil War #2 (summer 2006), which I would be happy to share with you digitally.

Ah, the all-knowing Wiki... :D
Mar. 25th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
*bows down to Wikipedia*

It happened in Civil War #2 (summer 2006), which I would be happy to share with you digitally.

Ahh ok, so this happened somewhat recently ... I was thinking that it had been an integral part of the Spider Man universe for a while. It seems less shocking to know that it's a new development.

which I would be happy to share with you digitally.

Oo! I would be, um, happy to take you up on that. :) I haven't been following Civil War, aside from reading reviews here and there that say it's horribly depressing, lol. But it would be interesting to see what happens when Peter's ID is revealed ... it's just such a huge thing to happen to a major superhero! Ee! *squirms on his behalf*

Mar. 25th, 2007 01:46 am (UTC)
Do I have your email yet? Shoot me off an email at htbthomas @ livejournal . com and I'll send you both the Spidey issues leading up to it, and the Civil War ones.

Just to let you know... I enjoyed the Spidey stuff in Civil War, but the rest was just :P
Apr. 20th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
Leave it to Ursula to walk in on Peter while he was otherwise engaged. She certainly has a tendency to not knock. But Pete and MJ took in stride.

Unfortunately, Ursula left the reason she wanted to see Peter on the floor. He found that it was an eviction notice. The old Parker luck has struck again. In a way, this could be a blessing since Mary Jane offered to have him move in with her. Now that he doesn't have much of a choice, Peter eagerly accepted.

That ending when they 'sealed the deal' was perfect.
Apr. 23rd, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
It will be a blessing in this fic. Too bad Peter's stuck in the rattrap still with Mr. Ditkovich. But it does make for some fun scenes! :D
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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