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New Spider-Man fic: For Love (post-SM3)

Title: For Love
Author: htbthomas
Rating: PG-13
Summary: "Love can do strange things to a person..." A rash of mysterious crimes all over New York City draw Spider-Man and Captain Stacy into a working relationship, as Peter and MJ try to work out their issues. Post—SM3.
A/N: Thanks to mark_clark and Georgia Kennedy for the beta.

Abandoned: I felt the premise was flawed. :(

Prologue: Tragedy

 The young man stood there in the rain, staring numbly at the large bouquet of white roses decorating the casket, as if he were fixing this moment in his mind forever. Everything about him spoke of regret and despair, eyes much too world-weary for a man so young.  Was he even listening to the minister?

The person watching Peter Parker knew that he had seen more than his share of tragedy in his lifetime.  His uncle had been murdered in a carjacking years ago, and it didn’t help that the old wound had been opened afresh by the news that his uncle’s killer was still at large.  And now to lose his best friend on top of that?  He shook his head sadly at the callous hand of fate.

Behind Peter stood his aunt, another woman well-acquainted with grief. May Parker’s gaze settled on her nephew, a look of compassion on her face.  She kept silent though, seeming to know that empty words would neither comfort nor encourage him.  Together they were steadfast in their sorrow.  Her presence was enough.

On the other side of the ornate mahogany coffin, Mary Jane Watson was nearly as solemn, her downcast eyes avoiding Peter’s.  She had been close to Harry Osborn as well, although how close was anyone’s guess.  Another young life touched so deeply by tragedy – the man watching them had promised himself long ago he would never get used to seeing such pain. 

Finally, George Stacy looked to the side, where his daughter Gwen sat in stunned silence.  All traces of her usual carefree manner were gone, her eyes staring blankly ahead.  She had a recent brush with death herself… and for one heart-stopping moment, he was struck again that if it hadn’t been for Spider-Man, it could have been his Gwen who was about to be buried…

George reached beside him, and placed his hand on hers.  “Are you okay, sweetheart?”

For a moment, she didn’t respond, gaze still locked on the coffin.  Then the ghost of a smile touched his daughter’s lips, and she turned wide, red-rimmed eyes on him.  “Yes, Daddy.  I’ll be fine.”

George Stacy gave her hand a little squeeze, and she turned back to the scene. When she had heard that young Osborn had been somehow caught in the battle between Spider-Man, Sandman and Venom, she had asked if they could attend the funeral.  “Peter wa… is… my friend.  And I feel res—” She’d stopped then, before he could reassure her once again that it wasn’t her fault that Eddie Brock had gone bad.  He’d seen enough hardened criminals in his years in the NYPD to convince himself that some people would never change.

An older gentleman, most likely the Osborn family retainer, suddenly stood and placed the first snow-white flower on Harry’s casket.   His simple gesture touched off a wave of mourners – first Mary Jane, then May, then the others – people quietly paying their respects one last time and then moving on with their lives. 

Even as the people around him began to disperse, Peter Parker remained resolutely in place. Dark silhouettes drifted past his stoic form.  For a few moments, Captain Stacy stared at the young man, hoping to catch his eye, to show his support.  But Parker’s gaze never wavered, his mouth set in a grim line.

It was all too easy to read Peter’s expression.  Don’t blame yourself for this, son, he sent silently toward the young man. You couldn’t have prevented what happened any more than you could have stopped your uncle’s death. He wanted to lay a hand on his shoulder – something about him inspired a bit of a fatherly feeling – but a tug on his hand drew his attention away from Parker.  Gwen was now standing beside him – she must have already placed her flower and was ready to leave.

He nodded slightly, and rose from his chair.  Reaching for a bloom, Stacy placed his own, bowing his head for a moment.  Wherever young Harry Osborn was right now, he hoped he was at peace.  If only he could say the same for the friend Harry had left behind…

He felt Gwen’s hand thread through his elbow, and after a moment, they began to walk toward the car, lost in their own thoughts.  As many times as he had seen a young life cut short, a beloved friend lost… why did it seem as if there was more to this story?  Shaking his head, he opened the passenger door for his daughter and came around to the driver’s side.  As they drove away, he took one last glance at the gravesite.  Somehow he was unsurprised to see the still-motionless figure of Peter Parker against the slate grey sky.

Next: Chapter 1: Friends


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
This was an amazing start, Barb. I can't wait to see where you take this.
Jun. 1st, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to see either! No, JK. But there are several details I'm still deciding on as I work through it. It's a definite WIP, this one.
Jun. 1st, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
Oo! Another fic from the ECQ herself! Nice start here, Barb. I'm interested to see where you'll be taking this!
Jun. 1st, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Yep - I bet it came as a bit of a surprise! Only Mark and Jenn really knew I was working on it.

I hope you do like it. Thanks for reading this one, too!
Jun. 1st, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
A very interesting start. I'm glad to see both Captain Stacy and Gwen here. Even though they didn't know Harry at all or that well, it was nice for them to go to the funeral. George's thoughts about the key people in Harry's life was fascinating, especially his observations on Peter. If the good captain knew about Peter's other duties, he would be surprised to learn how responsible Peter feels. I wonder if you'll touch upon that during the course of this story.
Jun. 1st, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
I think Capt. Stacy is a fascinating character. I'm glad they brought him into the movieverse so I could play with him!

You'll have to wait and see how much Capt. Stacy does learn. Thanks for multi-reviewing!
Jun. 2nd, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
This is pretty cool. I can't wait to see where you will take this.
Jun. 2nd, 2007 11:10 am (UTC)
Excellent! I hope that it will be a good story - a little intrigue, a little action, a little romance... :)

Thanks for reading!
Jun. 2nd, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
Yay, fic! Looking forward to seeing the rest. :D
Jun. 2nd, 2007 11:12 am (UTC)
Oh, great! I hope that you'll really like it - I know you have a fondness for supporting characters. :D

Jun. 5th, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
OH man was this good and far to short..am I demanding or what..hehe..Oh I felt so bad for them all. I hated that Harry ended up dying, loved that he came to help out but ouch that was painful. You wrote the scene as it should be a dreary sad time for them. I liked seeing things through Captain Stacey's eyes kind of off from everyone else.

Ready to see where this will go..need more Spidey Avatars for this...
Jun. 5th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
Oh, you might be demanding, but I practically begged you to read, so that's okay. :D

Using Capt. Stacy's POV was fun to do, he's a major character in this story, and I need a break from Lois all the time in the SR stories! I'm planning to jump POV around in this story as well.

Thanks, sweetie! *hugs*
Jun. 5th, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC)
I'm very interested to see where you are going with this! I liked seeing Peter through Captain Stacy's eyes. This really helps the reader feel the overall tone of grief and loss, to realize how much Peter has had to endure. And of course the sadness I feel about Harry, too. You are very good at writing different POVs. I'm hooked -- anxiously awaiting the next chapter!
Jun. 5th, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)
Harry's death is very sad, unfortunately, also very canon. So as much as I'll miss him, I decided to move on.

I'm glad you liked the different POVs! My recent set of Superman stories have all been through Lois' POV, so it's been kinda nice to go back to a rotating POV. Yet another one is up next (sometime this morning).
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
I'll be looking for it!

I'm embarassed to admit that although we own the Superman Returns DVD, I've never watched it. Hopefully this summer I can catch up on the DVD backlog.
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
I hope you do get to watch it! My friends list here is mostly people I met through the SR fandom, so if you like it, I hope you'll check out the stories.

Anyway, I posted the new chapter a little while ago. :)
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
I see the new chapter and can't wait to read it!

I have little ones, so I try not to watch anything potentially violent/scary until they are in bed, but I'm definitely going to try to watch SR soon.
Jun. 5th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
*sniff*!!! :(

Okay, so, it's confession time. I read Chapter 1 before reading the Prologue by accident! Whoops. It took nothing away, however. It just showed me some more pieces and granted me further insight.

And it made me sad! Poor Pete!
Jun. 5th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's okay... I think the first few chapters would be okay out of order, but you gotta read them from Ch. 3 on correctly. So we're good!

Yeah, that funeral scene was a heart-wrencher! And I instantly needed to know why the Stacys were there! :)
Jun. 7th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
Very interesting start! I look forward to see where you go from here.
Jun. 7th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
Thanks for double reviewing! I hope you don't mind if I only respond here, though. For some reason it's easier!

I'm glad you liked this beginning. It's a scene that really niggled on me, and I wanted to view it from another perspective. :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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