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