Barbara (htbthomas) wrote,

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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!!
Tags: fanfiction, spider-man

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