Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
Word Count: Ch. 8 - 1325 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: “Well, to tell you the truth,” Peter grinned sheepishly, “this is kind of a research trip as well. The restaurant is catering our reception, and I wanted to make sure the food was decent.”
Chapter 8: Drinks
An uneaten plate of food sat on the table before him. Bernard had brought it in a half-hour ago, but every time Harry had tried to bring the fork to his mouth, he had set it back on the table. It had been a week since Peter had found the camera in their apartment. Even though he didn’t feel ready yet, he was somewhat disappointed that Peter hadn’t traced it back to him.
He picked up a glass of water to take a sip. The crystal water goblet shook slightly as he brought it to his lips. Whenever he felt like this – weak, shaky, disoriented – he knew it was time for his next injection. It had only been two days since the last time, and he was nearly filling the syringe to capacity these days...
However, it seemed that May’s camera was still undetected. He knew she and Madeline were working on a second dress, but not where they were keeping it. No matter, Harry thought, there are plans bigger than that to attend to.
He went to sit on the chaise. Filling another syringe, he inserted the needle under his skin. His breath hissed out as the fluid filled his veins like fire.
“Where’d you hear about this place, Pete?” Andy asked as they neared the entrance.
“Well, to tell you the truth,” Peter grinned sheepishly, “this is kind of a research trip as well. The restaurant is catering our reception, and I wanted to make sure the food was decent.”
“You chose the place without knowing what kind of food it had?” Robbie wondered.
The three of them were out together, ostensibly to observe Peter’s “bachelor party.” When Andy had found out that no one had anything planned, he had been shocked. Peter had tried to explain that he wasn’t really interested in the whole strip-club-and-hitting-the-bars-all-nigh
Until last year, I always thought Harry and I would be celebrating this night together... Shaking his head to clear the thought, he went on explaining, “It was all kind of last minute, and we’ve been too busy – so we went by the recommendation of our florist, who is planning several wedding details with us. She said it was nice, but within our budget.”
“Well, I don’t care, as long as it has a bar,” Andy said, pushing his way through the doors.
Robbie gave Peter a ‘why are you friends with this guy’ look as they entered. Peter just shrugged. Unbeknownst to Robbie, Andy was the only person he could trust with his identity.(1) Everyone else just saw Andy as the schlub who had slandered Peter’s fiancée.
“Welcome to Angelo’s. Do you have a reservation?” There were several parties waiting to be seated – a good sign.
“Yes, for Parker,” Peter began to say, but he was distracted by Andy, who was nodding his head sideways toward the bar, not very subtly. “Um, could we just sit at the bar?”
“Sure, right this way.” The hostess seated them at three stools.
Peter took an appetizer menu, and bent over it, while Andy waved over the bartender. “What can I get for you?” he asked.
Andy ordered, “I’ll have a scotch and soda.”
Robbie added, “A tall draft beer.”
Peter looked up to the bartender’s face and said, “Just a coke for me right now, please.”
In the middle of reaching for a third glass, the bartender stopped. His eyes widened slightly, but then he unfroze and continued to get their drinks. Peter had a flash of recognition as well – where do I know this guy?
“Uh, have we met before?” Peter asked him.
The guy shrugged a little, and filled Robbie’s glass. “I dunno. You like the Mets?”
“Yeah, who doesn’t?” he answered with a grin.
“I’m a big fan. Maybe you’ve seen me at a game.” He turned to fill another glass with soda.
He could almost picture the guy with a Mets cap on his head, and it seemed to go with the dim recollection he had. “I don’t get to games that often – work keeps me pretty busy.”
“Yeah, well, good to see you got a night off.”
“Hear, hear,” Robbie agreed. “Slow news night. Thank God.” He turned to Peter. “But don’t tell Jonah I said that.” They laughed together.
The bartender set their drinks in front of them. There were very few other customers in this section of the restaurant. He picked up a glass to wash. “Jonah… as in J. Jonah Jameson? You guys work for the Bugle?”
Andy answered for them, “I just freelance. They have full-time jobs there – senior editor and staff photographer.” Robbie and Peter nodded in turn.
“Sorry to tell you, but I stopped buying the thing a year ago. Too much bad press about Spider-Man.” He looked right at Peter as he said it, seeming to study his reaction.
Peter opened his mouth to speak, but Robbie responded, “Preaching to the choir, here. You are probably looking at the only three voices of reason in that newsroom.”
“There’s no changing Jameson’s mind when it comes to Spider-Man,” Peter added ruefully.
“Too bad. The guy’s a hero in my book.” Changing the subject, he asked them, “Do you want to order anything?”
They chose a couple things to share. Peter was pleasantly surprised; the food was quite good. About halfway through the meal, Robbie turned to Peter and said, “So why isn’t Harry Osborn here? Held up at the office?”
“No, Robbie,” Peter replied with a frown, setting down his fork. “He and I had a falling out several months ago. We’re no longer friends.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Peter. I know you were close.” It seemed as if he wanted to say more, but he mercifully let it drop.
As they were finishing the food, Andy raised his glass in a toast. “To the lucky groom – may you have many happy years together!”
He, Robbie and Andy clinked their glasses together. After he took a swig, Peter looked over at the small television in the corner of the bar. The bottom of the screen read, “BREAKING NEWS – Hostage Situation.”
“Turn it up,” Peter called to the bartender. The guy pointed the remote at the screen.
“We just arrived at the scene of a bank heist gone awry. The robbers seem to be holding several hostages in return for safe passage...”
As one, the three men around him – Andy, Robbie and the bartender – turned to look at Peter. He flustered and looked down at his watch. “Oh, wow, is that the time? I promised MJ I’d be back 10 minutes from now.”
Andy patted him on the back. “Yeah, wouldn’t want to keep a lady waiting.”
Robbie patted the check beside him and said, “You’re the guest of honor. We’ll get this. Go on home, Peter.”
“Thanks, guys, for a nice time. See you tomorrow.” He grabbed his jacket on the back of the chair and headed out the door.
The three remaining men stayed and chatted a while longer, each not really wanting to discuss the unspoken subject. But not one of them took an eye off the television screen until the crisis was resolved.
(1) - See part 2 of story trilogy “Enquiring Minds.”
Next: Chapter 9: Pretend
19 days until Spider-Man 3!!