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Enquiring Minds, 6/12

Title: Enquiring Minds, 6/12: Gotta Make A Living
Author: htbthomas
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
Pairing: Peter/MJ
Word Count: Ch. 6 - 1440 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: A few minutes later, Watson’s cab pulled up to the entrance. She paid the fare, unlocked the door, and went inside. The lights went on in her place soon after. She appeared in the bedroom, and began to shed her clothes. He knew he was being a voyeur, but hell! This was one of the few perks of his job.

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

Chapter Links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Chapter 6: Gotta Make a Living

God, what a week. Peter felt as if the whole universe was conspiring against him. Once he had decided to propose, every good moment to do so was filled with rescues, or assignments, or...

Perched high on the face of a building, he put his head in his hands. Frustration seared through his veins – for all he knew, the next disaster could be waiting around the corner. And he was tired. So tired of constantly swinging back and forth between the life he wanted and the one that had been thrust upon him. Screw it, the city can wait. He launched himself into the air, heading toward home. He hadn’t spent any quality time with Mary Jane since their lunch ‘date’ a week ago.

It didn’t take him long to arrive at the balcony. His spider-sense tingled a little, but he deliberately ignored it, willing the city to deal with its own problems for once. Alighting on the rail, he peered carefully through the windows. Mary Jane had probably only been home from her show about a half-hour, so she was probably not yet asleep. A light was on in the bedroom. Wonderful, she’s still up. He stepped over to the window, gave it a tug, and... found it locked. Sheepishly, he tapped on the windowpane. Mary Jane came out of the bathroom, rubbing at her wet hair with a fluffy towel. She was only dressed in sleep shorts and a nightshirt with slender straps.

At seeing him there, she smiled, unlocked the window, and gestured for him to come inside. As his feet touched the floor, she wrapped him in a hug. “I’ve missed you this week,” she murmured, tugging his mask off and bringing his head down for a kiss. Her warm lips slid sensually across his own, and he pulled her closer to him. When the kiss ended, she continued, a soft inquiry in her voice, “Are you too tired, or would you be interested...?”

His lips traveled down the line of her jaw to her neck. “You read my mind...”

- - - - -

Andy set up his tripod exactly, adjusting the camera so that it pointed directly at the bedroom window. He had found a great location on the roof across the street. The edge of the wall was crenellated so that he could shoot through the indentation, yet still hide himself from view.

It hadn’t been difficult to find her building. He staked out the theater and followed her cab home. He hadn’t been able to follow her into the building, because the main door had locked behind her. He couldn’t very well buzz every apartment to find hers. Besides, he didn’t even know what her voice sounded like. There was always an easier way… He perused the nameplates over each button. One read: Watson (in type), then Parker (written underneath in pen). Bingo.

He waited until the next morning, dressed in a delivery-style outfit, and buzzed the apartment. A female voice came over the intercom. “Yes?”

He picked a nameplate at random. “I have a package for Johnson.”

“I’m sorry, you have the wrong apartment.”

“This isn’t Apartment 103?”

“No, this is Apartment 506.”

“Oh, sorry, thanks for your help.”

“No problem.”

Once he had the apartment number, he knew she was on the fifth floor. It wouldn’t be too hard to figure out which one was hers. She kept late hours as an actress. Just wait for her to come home and see which lights came on.

After watching her the next night, he knew hers faced the street. And what luck - the building across the street had a roof at just the right height.

As he was waiting for Watson to come home for the night, he wondered just who “Parker” was. Her roommate? Her live-in boyfriend? (He could be Spider-Man... If not, would he be in for a shock.) He was pretty sure she wasn’t married yet, not so soon after ditching Jameson. But he hadn’t seen anyone else enter or exit the building with her. And he had certainly not seen anyone through the windows other than the girl.

Andy made sure his good camera was loaded correctly, and took a few focusing shots. He then checked his backup camera. Both seemed ready to go. Just a waiting game, now.

A few minutes later, Watson’s cab pulled up to the entrance. She paid the fare, unlocked the door, and went inside. The lights went on in her place soon after. She appeared in the bedroom, and began to shed her clothes. He knew he was being a voyeur, but hell! This was one of the few perks of his job.

Unfortunately, before it got too interesting, she went into the bathroom, leaving the door slightly ajar. Steam began to filter into the bedroom, effectively blocking his view of her. Andy settled into position, knowing she might be a while – but he had plenty of practice in being patient.

Several minutes later, that red and blue blur from the other day landed on the balcony, appearing faster than he could register. He lifted his camera with a practiced movement and took his first shot. Click. Spider-Man tapped on the window. Watson came to the window to let him in. Click. They embraced and she removed his mask! Damn, this was going to set him up for life! Click. But he only had a view of the back of Spider-Man’s head. They began kissing. Click. Come on, turn a little to the side... It was hard to tell in the light of the bedside lamp, he thought the guy had black or brown hair, could have been a dark blond...

They moved to the bed, but Spider-Man’s back was still to him. He laid her down, pulling the straps down on the nightshirt. Click. Suddenly, a gust of wind got him off-balance, and the camera crashed to the bricks by his feet. No time to check it now. He quickly grabbed the other camera, and lifted it... to find he was face to face with the Wall-Crawler himself.

- - - - -

Peter kissed Mary Jane all along the side of her neck, down to her shoulder, Instinctively, they moved toward the bed. He hadn’t bothered to remove his costume yet – besides, she liked to do that. But no matter how hard he tried to block it out, the buzzing in his mind was not going away. Leave me alone! he thought at the world. Can’t a guy enjoy a few minutes with his girl? He set her gently on the bed, and began to pull her nightshirt down. Breaking contact with her lips, he reached to turn off the lamp on the nightstand.

In the sudden dark, his spider-sense screamed at him. It was as if the danger were right on top of him. In what seemed like slow motion, he turned and realized the focus of the sensation was across the street... “MJ! Close the curtains, now!” Grabbing his mask, he flew out of the window, then leaped across the street to land on the face of the building opposite. The stocky man crouching there lifted his camera, and looked up into his mask. He froze, wisps of thinning blond hair fluttering away from his face, with a ‘deer in the headlights’ sort of look.

- - - - -

“You know, the guy who usually takes my picture asks my permission first.” Spider-Man shot out a strand of webbing and yanked the camera out of Andy’s hands.

Andy stood gaping. He was so stunned he couldn’t get any words out – he had never been ‘caught in the act’ before.

Spider-Man popped the back of the camera in a fluid motion, removed the film, and tucked it in the waistband of his costume. He made as if to toss the camera to the street below, but instead webbed it in a small sac, and tossed it back. “I know a guy’s gotta make a living.” His tone quickly changed, dropping to a low rasp. “Leave Miss Watson alone. Get my drift?”

Andy finally found his voice. “A... Are you threatening me?”

“Hey, don’tcha read the papers? I’m a menace!” And then Spider-Man was gone, swinging away down the street.

Andy looked at the sticky mess in his hands with chagrin, then down at his feet. The other camera was still there. If it wasn’t damaged by the fall... Andy turned toward the direction Spider-Man had gone, and smiled. You’re right, Spider-Man. A guy’s gotta make a living...

Next: Chapter 7: Walking Among Us

47 days until Spider-Man 3!!


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
Dun dun dun!

This chapter was actually kinda fun to read. I know you said Andy is an OC, but it seems like he just fits right in with the universe he's been dropped into. Based off Eddie Brock, you said? Sounds good to me!

He's obviously got a little plot thrown in here, though. Exclusive pictures of Spider-Man making out with an actress? I wonder how J. J. Will respond to that. Will he begin to put the pieces together...?

Guess I'll have to wait 'til monday. Good post, hon! Feel better!
Mar. 17th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
Oops! Actually, he was never meant to be Eddie Brock - I didn't really even know that character when I wrote this! A total movieverse-only newbie. Now I know all about Eddie, and it was strange how I wrote Andy, only to find out later that Eddie was being written as a rival photographer in SM3.

You'll get to see all the reactions in the next few chapters. Hee! Thanks for the review!
Mar. 17th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
Interesting twist. I'm glad that Peter didn't drop the camera. I agree that he would sympathize with the photographer. And I loved the "Hey, don'tcha read the papers? I'm a menace!" line. That was great. A way to intimidate with out necessarily saying anything intimidating. Very clever. Very Peter.

Can't wait for the next chapter.
Mar. 17th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
:D Glad you liked that. The fact that Peter can sympathize with him has both good and bad consequences later on. But I really do see that as an essential part of his character. He wants to see the good in everyone, and usually does. Got him into trouble in the comics (this summer particularly) more than once!

I also like to see him clown around in costume - even though under the joking exterior, there is a backbone of steel. :)
Mar. 17th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
Peter was way too nice. That creep should have been sent to jail or something. I mean photographing them in their appartment?? That guy crossed the line so much he can't even see that line anymore.

Anyways, brilliant work, as usual!:D
Mar. 17th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
True, he should have... but the problem with having a secret identity? Having it found out. Basically, I imagine his thought processes to have gone like this:

Crap! There's a guy with a camera! Why I oughta punch his lights out... but then MJ might be caught in a lawsuit or something...

If I take him into the police, MJ'll have to testify later, and we'll both get dragged into this!

I'll just take the film, maybe if he doesn't have any proof, this'll all blow over...

So there you are. :) But, yeah, Andy REALLY crossed the line.
Mar. 17th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
Yea I get why Peter didn't ruin the guy's camera and why he let him go. But I know he will get his just rewards! *evil laughter* lool:P
Mar. 17th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
A guy’s gotta make a living... my a- (Jenn shuts mouth)

I really like Andy, you know? (Yeah right!) Actaully, you have me picturing Andy as an older version of Eddie but older and fatter. Lol! But I know you had no idea that Eddie was even going to be in SM3.

I'm so glad SM3 is coming in less then 50 days. Only just a little over a week till the book, Wheee!

But till then I really should get some writing done... God knows all the ideas I've got.
Mar. 17th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
Oops, I knew I forgot something, like my name... I'm so so tired.
Mar. 17th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
Actually, you have me picturing Andy as an older version of Eddie but older and fatter. Lol! But I know you had no idea that Eddie was even going to be in SM3.

Was that enough description for you? I feel kind of embarrassed that he never really got described in the first version of this story. Such a newbie, wasn't I? :$
Mar. 19th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Eeep, sorry for late commenting, I got caught up with a Time Lord... ^^; hehe...

And the plot thickens. I wonder if Andy got any good shots with the other camera, I hope not, but to keep it interesting he has to get something. *sigh* poor Peter, the superhero life isn't easy.
Mar. 20th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
Oh, this isn't late at all! Don't worry about it. :)

Well, since you've read on, you know that he did indeed get some good ones! Or bad, as the case may be!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 25th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Peter and his spider-sense are a big deal in this fic. He doesn't know when to trust it half the time. Although he really should!

Oo! My ECQ skills spurred you onto the next! *rubs hands together delightedly*
Apr. 26th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
I knew that Andy was a no-gooknick. If Peter didn't ignore his spider-sense, there probably wouldn't have been a single picture taken. But I can understand why he didn't do anything. Luckily he finally did and confronted the photographer.

Spidey could've done much worse to the guy than just taking his film. Unfortunately, Spider-Man didn't see the other camera, which might have the coveted 'money shot'. The crap is about to hit the fan now.
May. 26th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
The crap is definitely about to hit the fan!

Poor Peter, ignoring that spider-sense is a BAAAAD move.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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