Barbara (htbthomas) wrote,

Best Wishes, 9/11

Title: Best Wishes, 9/11: Pretend
Author: htbthomas
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse, post Spider-Man 2
Pairing: Peter/MJ
Word Count: Ch. 9 - 1230 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: They left together, and immediately, Louise hailed a cab. It stopped in front of them. “Get in,” she said with a devilish grin on her face.

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

Chapter Links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Chapter 9: Pretend

“Aunt May, did you get a hold of my Uncle Spencer yet? I don’t think we have an RSVP for him,” Mary Jane asked, continuing to sort through the cards at May’s kitchen table.

“No, dear. He is very busy at court this month. I have left several messages with his secretary, though,” May reassured her.

Mary Jane frowned nervously. “I want to make sure he knows we’ve changed the date and location of the wedding to May fourth at City Hall,” she fretted. “He is, after all, performing the ceremony.”

“Don’t worry, Mary Jane. I’ll keep calling twice a day until I get an answer.” May went back to making sandwiches; Mary Jane continued marking names on her list.

Peter moved his head into view from behind the corner of the wall. He had been standing out of view of the camera. Giving the two of them an ‘all clear’ signal, he came to sit at the table. “Harry was definitely watching during that one, but it’s off now.”

May deflated a little – Mary Jane, a seasoned pro, just kept working. “Or whoever it is. I hope they take the bait, Peter.” Mary Jane was still insisting that they didn’t have enough evidence to be sure it was Harry.

May seemed to agree as well. “I can’t believe that that nice Harry would try to ruin your wedding! You three were such good friends. I hope it really isn’t him.”

Peter grimaced. “People change, Aunt May. The need for revenge can twist a soul beyond recognition. I’ve seen it all too often in the time I’ve been doing this.” Peter looked over at what Mary Jane was doing. “Does it look like everyone got the new invitations?”

“Yes, and they turned out even better than the other set. Looks like everyone can make it…” she stated, but then gave Peter a piercing look. “As long as the groom can make it.”

Peter put his arms around her. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Not even if six of the world’s worst criminals showed up at my doorstep.”

She cocked an eyebrow. “What about twelve?”

While May smiled indulgently, he lifted her off her feet and into his arms. A long kiss was his resounding answer.

- - - - -

As the curtain lowered on their final curtain call for the evening, Mary Jane’s beaming face fell slightly in exhaustion. Time to get out of costume and makeup and get home to rest. There seemed to be so much to do with only three days until the wedding. And she needed her beauty rest so that she would be stunning.

Her castmates in the chairs beside her seemed giddy and ready to stay up all night. They would probably go out clubbing until the wee hours, sleep in until an ungodly hour and start all over again with another performance.

Am I getting old? she wondered. There had been a time when she would have gladly joined them in partying all night. But that was before Peter, before her life as a superhero’s support system. A tiny corner of her being missed that carefree life.

But I have never been happier. Her life seemed to have purpose. She was no longer ‘half alive,’ as she had put it to Peter a year ago. She smiled a secret, contented smile and finished removing her stage makeup.

Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder. She looked up and saw Louise standing over her, grinning. “MJ! The stage manager let me come back here. How’s the blushing bride?”

“Hey, Louise.” Mary Jane was genuinely happy to see her. “Nervous. Tired. Elated. You know, the usual.”

“I hope you’re not too tired to have a cup of coffee with your best friend,” she cajoled.

She started to decline, but then accepted. “Sure, I think I can drag myself over to the coffee shop.”

They left together, and immediately, Louise hailed a cab. It stopped in front of them. “Get in,” she said with a devilish grin on her face.

“Wait. Where are we going?”

“It’s a secret.”

“I don’t know, Louise...”

“You’ll see. The MJ I know wouldn’t let a little thing like a secret get in her way.”

That was more true than Louise would ever know. “Fine, I’ll trust you.” Mary Jane slipped across the back seat.

As Louise got in, she gave an address that Mary Jane didn’t recognize. It was in a part of town she had never really been to. She had a sneaking suspicion that she knew what was going on...

“Here we are!” Louise declared brightly.

Mary Jane got out of the cab and looked up at the sign above the door. U.S. Male. “Oh, no...” she groaned.

Louise grabbed her by the arm and led her inside. Lights were flashing, music pounding. There was a very well-muscled male dancer on the stage dressed in cowboy gear. Women were hooting and hollering in the seats around the stage, as he gyrated his calfskin-clad hips.

But they didn’t take a seat at one of those tables. Mary Jane was led to a party room in the back. They opened the door...

“Surprise!” Mary Jane was surprised, mostly to see several friends from the shows she had been in, as well as a couple girlfriends from Midtown High. Louise had gone to a lot of trouble to arrange this.

“Wow, guys! You all came!” Their energy was contagious. Peter probably won’t be in until much later, anyway.

“How could we pass up another chance to party with our MJ?” her old friend Liz Allen enthused.

A few drinks later, she felt positively nostalgic for the high school party girl she had been. Laughing and joking like a teenager was doing wonders to lift the worries she’d had recently.

“I still cannot get over the fact that you are marrying Peter! That you left that gorgeous astronaut for ‘Puny Parker!’“ Liz laughed heartily.

“Well, appearances can be deceiving, Liz. And he’s not so puny anymore, if you know what I mean,” she suggested naughtily.

“You are so bad!” Louise slapped at Mary Jane’s forearm.

A minute or so later, a couple of handsome servers rolled an oversized cake into the room. Mary Jane turned to Louise. “Not the biggest cliché in the book!”

Louise smirked, “I couldn’t help it – you missed the cake at your last wedding!”

The top of the cake popped open, and the requisite male stripper rose up wearing... a Spider-Man costume. Mary Jane’s mouth opened in shock.

Louise, Liz and the rest of her friends waited a minute to gauge her reaction. There was total silence except the pounding of music from the main room. Then Mary Jane burst out laughing.

Everyone clapped and laughed in relief that Mary Jane hadn’t lost her sense of humor. The dancer jumped out of the cake and struck a classic Spidey pose. “So, Mary Jane,” he said in a voice much too low in pitch, “you want to go swinging with me?”

She cocked her head to the side, and said cheekily to the pretend Spider-Man, “Sure. It wouldn’t be the first time.”

The girls all danced with him, until it was proved without a doubt to Mary Jane, You can dress a guy up in red and blue, but there’s nothing like the real thing.

Next: Chapter 10: Trap
Tags: fanfiction, spider-man

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