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Best Wishes, 4/11

Title: Best Wishes, 4/11: Agendas
Author: htbthomas
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
Pairing: Peter/MJ
Word Count: Ch. 4 - 1100 words
Summary: It is a month before Peter and Mary Jane’s wedding, and everything is seeming to go wrong. Unknown to the happy couple, help is about to come from an unexpected source.
Chapter Teaser: Even though Laurie was in her kitchen, all alone – her husband had taken her son to the park – she still lowered her voice. “I’ve found a way to thank him properly. I—I stumbled into to finding out his name, even where he works.”

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

Chapter Links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Chapter 4: Agendas

A series of checkmarks lined the side of the wrinkled piece of notebook paper. Laurie ran her finger down to the next name on the list. She quickly dialed the digits, excitement still making her shake a little.

“Hello?” the voice answered. Good, she had been hoping to get Carrie immediately.

“Carrie? Hi, it’s Laurie. From the train.” That was the only identifier the group used when contacting each other.

“Oh, hi, Laurie. What’s up?” The two of them had met for coffee a few times, but didn’t know each other that well.

Even though she was in her kitchen, all alone – her husband had taken her son to the park – she still lowered her voice. “I’ve found a way to thank him properly. I—I stumbled into to finding out his name, even where he works.”

“No kidding? Who is—? No, wait. Better if I don’t know.”

Laurie smiled. It was amazing how many of them had reacted exactly the same. After the way they were all hounded during the scandal, knowing nothing, to know anything would have been a hundred times worse. “Yeah, I think the fewer know details, the better. Anyway, I just found out he’s getting married. Would you help chip in for a gift?”

“Married? Wow, yeah, I’ll chip in. I guess even superheroes have a life. He was the right age, wasn’t he?” She stopped for a second. “Is it to that actress?”

“I—” Laurie started to deny, but thought, if I figured it out, anyone on the train could. “Well, if you must know—”

“There I go again… don’t need to know. Hey, he wants to keep his private life and public life separate. I can respect that. What are we getting them?”

“I’m not sure yet. When I figure out what they need, I’ll let you know.”

“Great. Call me later, then. ‘Bye.”

Laurie set the phone down. What did one buy for a superhero/photographer and his actress fiancée? Between making calls, she had called nearly every department store and gift shop she knew from her own background in wedding preparation. Not one of them had a listing for Parker or Watson. Was the listing in the magazine correct?

There was either an error, or the two were keeping it very quiet. She was afraid to call Parker directly. She didn’t want him worried about what they would do with his identity. It was very important to let him know that they were grateful, and had no hidden agendas.

She sighed and looked to the next name on the list. Thomas Roundtree. Only a few more names to go. She dialed, and got an answering machine. “Hey, Thomas. This is Laurie Peters, from the train. Give me a call at 555-1576. I have a project I need some help with.”

- - - - -

Another evening eating alone. Mary Jane sat at the table, eating a chef salad. All in all, there had been little reaction to the entertainment magazine mention of their engagement. A few people in the cast of her new show who hadn’t already been invited to the wedding congratulated her. Her loose-lipped agent had tried to call and apologize a few more times, but Mary Jane was not returning her calls.

As she ate, her eyes kept drifting to Louise’s package. With everything going on, she hadn’t remembered to tell Peter about it. And she had never been very good at keeping presents unopened. Finally, before she could think twice and feel guilty, she got up, grabbed the package, and brought it to the table. Using a pair of scissors, she sliced open the tape. Inside were a neatly wrapped present and a card. The outside of the card read: “An early wedding gift.” She carefully opened the card to find a small printed note. “Remember, you have all the time in the world to love each other. Love, Louise.”

“How sweet.” The gift inside was wrapped in silver paper. Mary Jane smiled as she pulled it out of the box, placed it on the counter, and studied it.

She threw away the packing peanuts and broke down the box.

She lifted the silver package and examined it from all angles.

She shook it, a little.

She put it back on the counter, laughing at herself. Am I six years old? Either open it, or wait for Peter to get home. It only took a millisecond to decide. With a bit of glee, she tore off the wrapping and opened the carton inside.

It was a beautiful mahogany desk clock. All the time in the world... She knew just the place for this, on the bedroom dresser, where she could see it when she woke up.

After settling it in its place of honor, she sat on the bed. Louise’s gift had gotten her thinking about other wedding preparations. They still didn’t have a reception site, no florist within a ten-mile radius would even speak to them, and oh, yeah! The wedding dress.

She moved to the phone on the bedside table, flipped open the phone book beside it, and dialed the number.

“...a nice day. Hello?”

“Is this Big Apple Cleaners?”

“Yes, I’m sorry – I was distracted by a customer. How may I help you?”

“I was having some alterations made on a wedding dress. Under the name of Watson. Is the dress ready yet?”

“Excuse me, just a minute, let me check my files.”

Mary Jane waited patiently. She had found a nice off-the-rack dress, a tenth of the cost of the one John’s parents had bought for her. When she had tried it on, it had fit perfectly. Only now, it was a bit too large. Her newest stage role involved a lot of dancing. Her muscles were better toned than they had ever been - but her dress didn’t quite fit anymore.

“Miss? It looks like we’ll have it ready for you Tuesday.”

“Tuesday? All right, I’ll be in to get it then. Thank you.” She placed the receiver back in the cradle. For quite a few moments, she imagined Peter’s first glimpse of her in the dress. He already looked at her like she was the most beautiful woman in the world – and the thought of drifting down the aisle toward him, his gaze never leaving her face… She smiled dreamily, and lay back on the pillow.

If she had possessed enhanced hearing, she might have heard a soft click from across the room.

Next: Chapter 5: Curiosity


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yet another sign of the ECQ here. ; )

I actually like this Laurie person, though I find it hard to completely trust her. She might be telling someone who has an alternate adjenda... or who might be connected to Harry.

See what you've made me do? I can't trust your characters anymore - knowing you, they might all be in on it! : D

We're getting close to the wedding date. But with the dress made, just how long will it be until the Parker/Watson household discovers their little... intruder? Hmm...
Apr. 6th, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
I know... isn't it awful? You don't know who to trust. And I'm happy for it to be that way, for now. Let's just say that some people are deserving of it, and others are not. I promise you'll know where everyone stands by the end - if you can hang on that long!
Apr. 6th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
Laurie reminds me a bit of you and your ability to track down people from fandom! I would not be surprised at all if I get a call from you soon. ;)

Great chapter. OK, I always jump to conclusions but I hope the clock isn't another one of Harry's tricks. And what an evil cliff hanger. But I should start expecting that by now!
Apr. 6th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
ROFL! I promise that Laurie isn't a Mary Sue! She's based on someone I knew in college. :) But, I guess we definitely share that feature... stalking superpowers. :D

Jumping to conclusions might not be a bad thing - The click definitely means something.
Apr. 6th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
I like Laurie. It's cool that she's getting everyone from the train to help get a gift.

It's nice to go into MJ's life for a bit. But that clock isn't from Louise... (Jenn goes and smacks Harry over the head, very hard I might add) Barb, you're making me want to dislike the guy don't you?
Apr. 6th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's possible to get you to dislike Harry. He's just a poor, confused soul, right? *hugs*

Even after you've read the scene that your icon comes from, you still love him. Don'tcha?
Apr. 6th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yes I do! Don't think I would have wrote Nothing Gold Can Stay otherwise. (hugs too)
Apr. 6th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
First off I love Laurie and all the train people, I wonder what they'll get Peter and MJ and if it'll be signed, just so Peter knows they have his back.

Dude, I think the ECQ was ALWAYS a part of you, click... is MJ going to be kidnapped? Possibly by Harry?

And why when you say her dress didn't fit anymore my first thought was "Oh little May is on her way!" Damn, I'm such a sucker for baby!fics... I'm glad she's not preggers though.

Great chap! Can't wait for the next one!
Apr. 6th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
You'll find out what Laurie and the train people decide to get by the end. I think you'll be pleased. That was actually the plot bunny that birthed this entire fic.

And the ECQ was definitely on the rise during this trilogy. :D

If you like baby!fics... allow me to point you to "New Beginnings" in my Royal Library... It's comicverse and AU, but I think you'll have no trouble with it.
Apr. 6th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
Nice chapter! It's really cool that your OCs seem to fit right in the universe. I like that. :D Can't wait to see what happens next!
Apr. 7th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Hey! You came to comment! Yay!

Thank you for the compliment about the OCs. I tried hard to do that - put them in without taking away from the main drama between Peter and Harry. The next one will be Sunday!
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
Ohh!! Ohh! What is that clicking noise??! Now I'm worried: either Harry forged the present (the bastard!) or Louise turned on M-J and working for Harry. (Either she was blackmailed or she's a horrible person. :P)

And I love Laurie. And all the train people. :D
Great chapter!:D Woo!
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
Well, one of your theories is right. Won't say which. :D

I'm glad you like her! She's a nice sort, really. *hugs*
Apr. 9th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
OH! OH! One of my theories is correct!! BUT WHICH ONE? *runs off to read your update* :P
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 11th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, you already saw what a bad idea it was... :-0

I guess you'll have to wait and see whether the "Listies" are trustworthy!
Apr. 11th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
I like Laruie. I like that even though she's going to put them in danger with her newfound knowledge, she has good intentions...I think...

I could be wronge though.. hee!
Apr. 11th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
I'll spill - Laurie definitely has good intentions. But will she put them in danger? Time will tell!
May. 9th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
It looks like Laurie is trying her best to do something special for Peter now that she knows he's Spider-Man. I wonder how Laurie and all her friends will pull that off but I have a feeling they will.

But that gift that Mary Jane got concerns me. I don't think it was from Louise but made to look like it. Me thinks Harry Osborn had something to do with it and that means trouble. He hasn't been heard from much lately but that may change very soon.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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