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Birthday Fic: At Least For Tonight, 1/1

Title: At Least for Tonight
Author: htbthomas
Disclaimer: Marvel owns it all!
Comic: Amazing Spider-Man
Spoilers: Post-Civil War, Back in Black arc
Pairing/Characters: Peter/MJ, May/Jarvis
Rating: G
Word Count: 870 words
Summary: Peter Parker feels like he has lost almost everything in the aftermath of Civil War. But he is not alone in his loss…
Author's Notes: Written as a birthday ficlet for jenn_1. She asked for something happy with Peter and MJ pre-One More Day, but my Muse got away from me, mostly due to seanchai reviewing my earlier fic Summer’s End the other day. Got me thinking about Jarvis and May again. Luckily Jenn’s forgiving. :)

Thanks also to van_el and mark_clark for giving this a once-over!

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

He slipped down the dark corridors quietly, letting his senses guide him past the nurses’ station without being noticed. A young doctor glanced up briefly from the file he was perusing as he walked – but only the odd shadows of the night-lighting caught his eye. The man continued walking without a pause, flipping a page over the top of the clipboard.

Peter felt a flicker of relief, quickly quashed, as he rounded the corner toward his aunt’s hospital room. No one here knew the true identity of the elderly woman in the coma… not yet, anyway. But if even the greenest intern recognized his face, the one plastered everywhere since just before the war began… he shuddered.

And then Peter stopped at the doorframe of the room, preternaturally still. Someone was inside. Not Mary Jane, he’d spoken with her only minutes ago as she went for a cup of bitter machine coffee.

He moved his head just enough to see into the room for an instant… an older man, lean and stately, a fringe of graying hair surrounding a bald pate… and pulled back in alarm. Jarvis?

The name struck a blow to his senses. Jarvis? Here? How? A thousand questions rushed through him, accompanied by a jolt of adrenaline. He flattened himself against the wall, almost expecting to find the glowing eyes of Tony’s face-plate lighting the darkened hallway. As well as a squadron of SHIELD cape-killers.

But there was nothing to be seen but the same scuffed flooring, to be heard but the beeping of the life support in the room beside him. Peter took a slow, steadying breath. He gradually moved his head back into the doorframe, readying himself…

Jarvis’ steady gaze met his own, the man’s dark blue eyes stopping him in place.

Peter’s own eyes narrowed, and he stepped into the room, shutting the door fluidly behind him. His thousand questions suddenly narrowed to one. “How did you find us?”

“Sir,” he answered with a nod, ignoring Peter’s rude greeting. His voice was as collected as always. “I believe the question should be, ‘Why didn’t I find you sooner?’”

Peter was in Jarvis’ face in an instant, anger boiling over. “How far away is he? Has he sunk so low he’d attack a civilian hospital?” he growled.

Jarvis simply blinked once, unruffled. “Master Stark is occupied… elsewhere. He is far too busy for such things.” His eyes held Peter’s steadily. “Or to wonder, for example, where his manservant is.”

Sorrow passed across Jarvis’ world-weary eyes, and then a gust of air from the door opening turned both their heads. “Peter…?”

Mary Jane caught her breath, looking from her husband’s scowl to Jarvis’ calm, sad face. “You…” she breathed, and glided across the floor to come between the two men. Taking Jarvis’ hands in her own, she squeezed them tightly. “You came.”

“Yes, Mrs. Parker.” Jarvis’ mouth turned up in a slight smile.

Peter, affronted, came to stand beside them. “MJ?! Can’t you see how dangerous this is? If Jarvis found us, then Tony St—”

Mary Jane simply ignored him, continuing in a shaky voice. “Her condition hasn’t really changed, but we’re not giving up hope.” She looked over at the frail woman in the bed, oxygen mask and cap covering most of her features. “She wanted to call, but she knew she couldn’t – if anyone found out where we were, then they…” Mary Jane grimaced, trailing off. The fact that someone had found them anyway was left hanging in the air.

“Of course, as I was unable to as well. I would have treasured…” he began, but pressed his lips together, face taut with emotion.

MJ lifted a hand to touch his cheek. “She knows. Somehow… she knows. We have to believe that.” Jarvis nodded and gently placed one of May’s limp hands between his own.

Looking between the two of them, Peter felt his alarm and anger dissipate. Here in this hospital room, there was no Pro-Registration or Anti-Registration, no broken trust. Just a shared sorrow over lives irrevocably changed, of precious things lost.

Before the black mood that had caused Peter to don a matching suit began to settle over him again, Mary Jane turned into him, slipping an arm around his waist. “Let’s give him a little time…”

He let himself be led to a chair on the other side of the room, MJ taking a chair beside him. She gently laid her head on his shoulder and they sat together silently while Jarvis stood almost unmoving by Aunt May’s bed, his thumb gently tracing gentle circles on the back of her hand. How much longer could Jarvis afford to stay here? Doubtless he had planned his visit to the second.

He turned his focus to the city lights outside the window, wondering how long any of them had – before they were found, before May was permanently taken from them. This was what he had always feared, a life of danger for not just him, but his friends and family, too.

Before his thoughts got too dark again, he felt MJ’s hand snake into his, and he enveloped it with both palms, letting her presence soothe him, at least for tonight.

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

Is your birthday soon? Request a ficlet!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the fic Barb! I enjoyed this, though I wanted to cry in the worst way. This little scene could have fit so well in the comics, great job.
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad! Yes, it was a bit of a tear-jerker. There's been so much pain in ASM lately... :(

*hugs* Happy Birthday!
Aug. 4th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
This should have been in the comics, and I don't know a higher compliment to pay than that.
Aug. 4th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you... if only they would deal with Jarvis' reaction in the actual titles... it wouldn't have to be one of the Spidey titles, either... Mighty Avengers, New Avengers, Iron Man... Sigh.
Aug. 4th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
This was a wonderful fic, Barb. You could even expand on it if you wanted to. This really adds to the pain that is going on in Peter's life right now. Hopefully there are good times ahead.

It was nice to see Jarvis interacting with the Parkers again. He must be suffering just as much as Peter and MJ. I totally understand why Peter was concerned about Jarvis being there. It shows that he doesn't care about the current state of affairs concerning powered people, Jarvis cares about May. Very touching and sad. If only they could do this in the comics.
Aug. 4th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
I love the deep concern Jarvis always seemed to show for May and the Parkers. I miss that.

Thanks for your help and the sweet review! *kiss*
Aug. 4th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
Awwww, your sweet and I was happy to do it.

Aug. 5th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Aww. *hugs Jarvis* I love the idea of Jarvis coming to visit May in the hospital (and not telling Tony -- though, honestly, I can see Tony knowing and choosing to ignore it; he likes May, too).

Also, I love Peter's early suspicion turning into sympathy, and his worry about seeing "the glowing eyes of Tony’s face-plate" in the hallway.
Aug. 5th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
*needs Jarvis icon but has no spots left*

I love him, too, and you're right. Jarvis is a man of few words, and he may or may not be there with Tony's knowledge. I would like to think that Tony has chosen to ignore it, but the current incarnation of 616 Tony scares me a bit. ;)

Thanks for the review! ♥
Aug. 5th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
You wrote more Jarvis/May!

Oh, it's so sweet, and sad, Jarvis visiting May when he can't really be with her. I want this to happen in the comics -- it's so perfect.
Aug. 5th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
I want it to happen, too! *sends waves to the current writers of all the possible titles to that effect*

And it's definitely thanks to you that this plot bunny visited me. ♥
Aug. 5th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)
That's an incredibly cute May icon ^^

And I'm glad to have helped inspire such a lovely little fic. The world needs more love for Jarvis and May, together, and individually.
Aug. 9th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
Oh, this was wonderfully sweet and sad! Poor Peter, having to sneak around just to visit May in the hospital. :( I love how the tension and fear slowly drained away as the scene went on, though, allowing them to all share a moment with her for a short while.

Looking between the two of them, Peter felt his alarm and anger dissipate. Here in this hospital room, there was no Pro-Registration or Anti-Registration, no broken trust. Just a shared sorrow over lives irrevocably changed, of precious things lost.

What a beautiful paragraph! But to think that they can only escape from the divide over registration in the face of tragedy ... *sniff*

Anyway, great ficlet! A fantastic present to jenn_1--and the rest of us, too! *grin*
Aug. 9th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Christine! I didn't even think you'd be able to read this... but I suppose all you really need are the basics of the ending of Civil War.

I am very saddened by the split between the heroes right now. Everyone is so suspicious of everyone else, and they're thrown in a new wrinkle recently that makes it even more nerve-wracking...

You were right, these birthday ficlets are so much fun!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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