Author: Le1a Naberr1e PM
In the time between the two films, Mary Jane ponders about friends, flames and unrequited loves when she encounters someone who is a little bit of all three.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Words: 1,824 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 07-25-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2501099
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hi! This is my first Spidey fic. It's more movie-based than comic-based but I hope everyone enjoys it. Feedback would be lovely.
Everything had happened so quickly. The disastrous Thanksgiving dinner, then… Peter… Then Harry's father had died and of course, Mary Jane had come to the funeral.
Harry had looked so lost, so forlorn, so alone. She had never really understood Harry's relationship with his father until then. He had complained so much about Mr. Osborne – how he was always busy, never paid attention to Harry except to criticize him… and there had been some jealousy there of the way Peter effortlessly got Mr Osborne's respect.
Much later, Mary Jane had wondered if that was why Harry had asked her out – as a sort of pay back for Peter for 'stealing' his father's love.
In a sense, she loved both of them.
She hugged Harry hard the day Mr Osborne was buried.
"Oh Harry!" she said softly. He had felt so frail in her arms; a small gust of wind might have blown him away.
He hugger her back silently, his arms loose around her and she wondered if he was holding Thanksgiving dinner against her.
"I'm so sorry, Harry." For his father's death. For Thanksgiving. For falling in love with his best friend.
His hand was warm in her hair. He had always said how much he loved her hair. His mother had been a redhead.
"It's not your fault," he said now.
And she knew he had forgiven her.
That's why she had gone to Peter later. When everyone had gone and he had wandered off to his Uncle's grave.
Mary Jane had cried when Mr Parker had died although she supposed he would never know this. She had always liked the gentle elderly electrician who had helped her mend her bike when she was 10 and afraid of what her father would say when she brought it home.
Peter had looked so sad that day. She had wanted to go up to him and hug him but she had been afraid of what Flash and her friends would say.
She really had been a stupid girl in high school.
She hugged Peter Parker now, felt him warm and solid in her arms and it ached to be so near him.
Months later, she asked herself what she had done wrong. Said wrong. To make him not want her. She had been so sure… too sure…
Had she spoken too soon? Not soon enough?
Was it because of Harry? Was that it?
Or – and it made her strange to think this at all, but sometimes she got so sad and so defeated and so aching… that she just had to wonder – was it revenge? For all the times she had ignored him in high school?
Because she had always known, somehow. For as long as she could remember, Peter Parker had been there… in the corner of her eye. All she had to was to turn and see him: watching, longing, hoping… He had been her shadow, a part of her. She had protected him from the worst of the bullying because she felt she owed him something. But she had always ignored him because she didn't want to give him false hope.
It wasn't a nice thing to think of. It wasn't a kind thing. And Peter had always been kind. But sometimes… sometimes, she wanted to think him less than kind. Less than perfect. Less than wonderful and warm and gentle and absolutely adorable. She wanted to hate Peter Parker sometimes. Sometimes she did too. It was good to sometimes have a reason not to want him so much. Not to feel his absence so acutely. Not to cry herself to sleep at night because he wasn't there with her. Didn't love her the way she thought he did. The way she hopelessly did now.
Poetic justice sucked.
She was in one of those bitter moods when she ran into Harry Osborne again.
It was after the first showing of 'The Importance of being earnest.' Peter had dropped a message that morning and wished her good luck. He always seemed to call when she was never around. He had promised to always be there for her – but these days, he was little more than a voice on the telephone.
It was Harry that had come backstage after the show. He asked her out for a drink. Mary Jane agreed happily. It had been so lonely next Janice's crowd of friends that she almost cried when she saw him.
They went to a small café that Mary Jane had only ever looked at. It was too expensive for her.
That had been one of the nice things about being with Harry. There had been many nice things about being with Harry, not the least that he adored her completely. But in the end, she had lived too long with Mr. Watson to trade one sneering, discouraging father for another. She had turned her back on that when she moved to the city. Harry obviously hadn't done the same. And now he'd never get the chance.
They really had had more in common than they had known.
They talked about old times. Flash had been kicked out of pro-football, Mary Jane discovered with vindication. Harry had taken over Oscorp and was doing rather well. He had discovered a brilliant professor who was going to make a breakthrough in some new development.
"We're keeping it hush-hush, you know," he said with a wink as he poured her sparkling water. "But between you and me, I'm thinking Nobel Prize."
She was impressed. He had done well for himself. In the beginning, she had classed Harry as a little rich boy, who would never need to do a decent day's work because of his father's money. But when they started dating, she realized that there was more to him than that. A depth, intensity that he hid under the rich boy personage. She had understood that. Understood all about masks.
In the end, he had proved her right. She was proud of him.
Somehow they never got round to discussing Peter. Deliberately on her part but she didn't know about Harry. She didn't think so, anyway. Harry talked a lot more about himself than anything else. It was something that she remembered from their time together. She hadn't minded. She had always been a good listener, a cheerleader. And with Harry it had been endearing.
But it was getting late and she had better start going home.
She told him so and he groaned.
Mary Jane laughed. It was with genuine pleasure that she thanked him for a wonderful meal.
He smiled at her.
"So how's it going with Peter?"
She was shocked. "What?"
It was the way he asked the question so casually. As if …
He rolled his eyes and looked like a mischievous older brother. "You're going out, aren't you?"
"No," she said shortly and she studied the table. She could feel her face twisting with the constant hurting and she didn't want Harry to see it. Especially not Harry.
Suddenly, she wasn't feeling so happy any more. "We're not. Look Harry, I really have to –"
"You should, you know. That's why you left me, isn't it?"
It took a moment for her to process the question. Then she looked up at him quickly. His face was calm but the hurt in his eyes was clear.
"I didn't leave you for Peter, Harry!" She said sharply, feeling guilty and then angry for feeling guilty. As always, Harry was conveniently remembering things that put him in the best light. That was not what had happened at all and he needed to be reminded of that.
"I left you because your –" There was a very dangerous look in hiseyes and she stopped. Perhaps he had not forgotten after all. Harry was always so strange whenever it came to his father.
And it was all water on the bridge now.
"I'm sorry, Harry. Forget it. It won't have worked anyway."
It was his turn to look away.
Mary Jane felt like crying. It had been so nice before. Now she could hardly get away. "I should go-"
"You should see Peter, that's what." Harry burst out. He was still looking away. "He's been in love with you since we were kids."
She felt the blood rush to her face. Then leave as violently. "Really?" she whispered. I thought so too but I guess I was wrong.
Harry snorted. "And don't say you don't care for him. What are you waiting for?" And when he looked up, his face was both accusatory and sad.
Waiting for him to love me, I guess.
She smiled sadly. "Maybe you should ask Peter that."
He looked confused.
"Good bye, Harry," she said finally. "Thanks for dinner."
He was quiet as he saw her off to a taxi. Before she got in, he caught her hand. She looked up at him in surprise.
"Can I call you? Take you for out for lunch sometimes?" He asked very quickly.
She gave him a look.
Harry blushed. "As friends, M. J. We were… you were a good friend to me, you know. I miss that."
In the midst of all the sadness, a little spark of happiness lit inside her again.
"So were you," she said quietly and impulsively, she kissed him on the cheek.
He didn't blush. He squeezed her hand and she knew it would be okay.
She hugged him before she got in. He felt – well not as warm and solid as Peter had felt, and she shivered in her coat remembering how Peter had felt – but at least, less fragile. He really was much better now.
That night, Mary Jane dreamt of her play.
Peter was Mr Muffin (sp?) and she danced across the stage in his arms. They kept swinging from wall to wall and when the play was over, he hung from his knees and kissed her upside down.
The crowd gave them a standing ovation and he hugged her.
He felt so wonderful in her arms. Warm and dusty.
Harry had watched from the audience and had joined in the clapping, looking very happy for both of them.
When she woke up the next day, her pillow was wet but there was a smile on her face.