Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
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.
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!!