(Chapter bonus)

I wanted to post chaper three but I haven't finished it yet so I'll give you this. it's an in between 2 and 3.

Milk (2% half gal).

Bread (wheat large).

Eggs.

Butter.

"Oh Great," Gwen muttered as she looked at the grocery list of food her Dad made for the umpteenth time. What size eggs did she need to get? Did he want the dozen or eighteen? And he despised the small ones, right? And what about the butter; did he want salted or unsalted? Gwen personally hated the unsalted, it tastes like feet…

Wait a second.

"Why am I in the snack isle?" she asked herself aloud getting judging stares from random old ladies. Then she heard her stomach growl and blushed, "oh right, I'm hungry." But she only had enough for the things she needed. Dang it, she just wanted this day to end. It was going so well until Ann Weying and her groupies stopped her in the middle of the halls after her trip to the nurse.

"You know, it's kind of sad how much of a burden you are on everyone around you, especially Eddie. Maybe that's why he was so quick to fall for me." Ann sneered with a smiled as she and her group closed in on her like a school of Parana nibbling at her self-esteem. "Must hard being so weird that everyone leaves you."

"You know I heard that even Parker is getting tired of her and is diching her for a cheerleader." Gwen recalled the one of the girl's cronies adding. It was just another reminder of the looming loneliness that growing in her heart. She always thought of Peter as a brother, but lately he wanted nothing to do with her.

To add more insult to injury, Gwen spotted the cause of this whole mess in Ann's grip, a pink book with a cover full of doodles and stickers. So close and yet so far, but Gwen was not going to beg for it back.

She refused to beg for her own diary.

Then the words that Ann spoke next made Gwen wish that the cheerleader had stabbed her instead, "you know, Stacy, you must annoy everyone around you. I guess even your nerdy friend doesn't want a cry baby around or anyone for that matter, and if you don't want any of your personal thoughts getting out…" she waved the tattered book in Gwen's view, and swapped it out, "you get it through your broken brain that no one likes you or wants you around…you're just a burden on everyone around you." The girl shoved her as the tears threaten to fall, "after all those are your word."

Ann would have made a great lawyer; she knew how to twist Gwen's words and use them as a weapon and make them sound 'true'. Sound true because that's how Gwen viewed herself and yet she didn't want to see herself that way. Her mind was locked into a paradox, trying to understand something that can't be understood.

On top of the crud cake, though, was the musical they were doing. Why out of all of the musicals did it have to be that one?

A sudden buzzing then went off in the back of her head dragging her from her reveries. She didn't really know why she got it, ever since that she collapsed a month ago; she just hasn't felt the same. It only seemed to come when there was danger.

Gwen looked around and spotted a large teenage boy staring at her. Gwen fought the urge to shiver as he seemed to make his way to her, she quickly placed a grip on a salsa jar and moved to the side of the isle that was clear. She held her breath hoping that he didn't notice her but… he seized the hood of her jacket and she turned to face him glaring and ready for trouble.

"Didn't your Daddy teach you any manners, Stacy? You're supposed to say hi to people you know." A sickening smile spread over the large platinum blonde's face.

Gwen knew a lot of people and would normally give them sheepish greetings in public, but not this kid. People can say what they want about Flash Thompson's cruelty to Peter but he wasn't nearly as bad as this thousand-pound monster.

"Carl King, what happened juvie couldn't hold your massive ego?" Gwen's body was tense but she wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of scaring her. She gave what she hoped looked like a harsh glare. Don't let people know how scared you are her father always told her.

"I got out early for good behavior," He sneered still gripping the hood, giving Gwen no in to punch this guy, he wasn't touching her but her jacket.

"Good for you, now, if you excuse me, I have to go. Eddie waiting for me." She lied trying to rip the white hood from his grasp, but Carl refused to loosen his grip. She didn't want to rip it; it took her weeks to find the right fabric that didn't feel like sand paper or make a noise when scratched at; it was custom made!

"Oh, so soon? Why don't we catch up it's been a while?" Carl said in a fake tone as he smiled still gripping the hat like a tense game of tug-of-war. "How's ol' Peaty boy, anyway?"

"Considering you tried to drown him in the school pool, pretty well." a new voice added into the fray.

The two looked over to see an angry Eddie standing before Carl. The best way to describe the rage in Eddie's eyes was like a thunderous storm ready to strike the waste of flesh that held Gwen's hoodie.

Gwen had only seen Eddie angry like this when he felt that someone was a danger to his loved ones. It also didn't help Carl any that he shared the same first name of Eddie's Uncle. The tall blonde's usual teddy-bear demeanor had turned into fierce protective grizzly; it was one of the things Gwen admired about Eddie. She felt in awe that all Eddie had to do was give is give a look he commanded the room.

Taking his steps in strides, Eddie closed the distance between himself and Carl. The tubby junior looked at the Brock unnervingly as his grip fell and Gwen snatched her hood from his sweaty hands. Then Eddie spoke in a low even tone, "come to think of it, Carl. Didn't I tell you, if I ever see you around my friends again, that I would rearrange that ugly mug of yours?" Eddie began to pop his knuckles and remained completely composed.

Carl tried to stand his ground without looking like he was going to bolt. "You don't scare me, Brock, y-you're all talk!"

"Oh really? So, you think I'm all show, huh?" Gwen gave a fake cough and had her gaze directed to the camera; a que Eddie got quickly meaning this wouldn't be the right place for that.

Then without warning Eddie lifted Carl up by his shirt and looped the boy onto a nearby empty chips rack. Carl king dangled off the ground by the thin fabric as he struggled to touch the ground again. Then Eddie grabbed him by his crewcut hair and forced Carl look him the eye.

"Listen up, Fat-boy, I'm in no mood to deal with you right now, but if I see you near Gwen again, I'm gonna do more than hang you from a display rack. Got it?" Carl nodded in fear hoping that Eddie would let him down, but the blond just left him there dangling.

After a moment, Eddie offered to take her to a different store to do her shopping in. Gwen agreed as she set the jar of salsa back on the shelf and the two of them left. When Eddie helped her bring her bags into the Stacy residence, he decided to ask her something that was nagging him.

"So, mind telling me why you were shopping all alone?" he asked gently as he closed the trunk of his motorcycle.

Gwen rubbed her arm in shame, "I'm just trying to be independent; you know like an adult." She muttered as she saw the concerned look on her friend's face. "I figured it would be a quick trip and I'd be back in time to do my homework."

Eddie let out a patient sigh and gave a half smile, "look, I'm glad you're trying to be independent, but it would be appreciated if you had told someone." Eddie handed her the eggs to put away.

"I told Pete…whose been acting strange all day. You think he's sick?" Gwen relented; hindsight was never on her side. She slammed the cabinet door shut and made a hand washing motion. One of the many sticky notes flew off the fridge and Eddie caught it before it touched the tile and it read:

Dad, don't forget the dry cleaners. love, Gwen

"You noticed too? Here I thought it was just me. It's like he's a completely different person, today or a pod person." Eddie said recalling an old sci fi movie he saw once. he kneeled down and pocketed the note while getting back on topic, "but either way, I want make sure you're safe, especially now that Carl's back." He placed a hand on her shoulder, and she sighed heavily.

"Ugh, I'm such a drain," she finally huffed as she narrowed her eyes toward the floor. She didn't dare look Eddie in the eyes, "all I ever do is make everyone worr-." She was suddenly silenced as Eddie took his hand off Gwen's shoulder and gently mushed her lips closed with his right index finger.

He hushed her, taking his other hand and tilted her head up to look at him. He had a frown tugging his lips, but his gaze was gentle. "I hate hearing you talk like that… Ann's been messing with you, hasn't she?" she took her gaze away again and he released her mouth waiting for her to answer.

"Sort of…" Gwen whispered tightly, but that's all she could get out before the tears overcame her vision. She hated crying in front of others, and like a pressure release valve the tears slide from her eyes. "Sometimes I want to punch her in her perfect teeth." But that might kill her, she added mentally.

"Gwen…" Eddie admonished slightly and then softly clasped his large hands back on to her shoulders. He then brought her closer to him and waited for her to gather herself, it's what he'd seen Gwen's Dad do to calm her. Eddie later adopted the action of hugging her to the point of it no longer embarrassing him. As time went on Eddie became Gwen's confidant and vice-versa.

Then he dated Ann and, slowly, it seemed Gwen distance herself. Eddie didn't notice at first he was too caught up in his crush with the popular cheerleader captain that he didn't notice he was losing his friend and still is…

He waited for her sobs to stop before speaking again and brought her face back into view, "You are not a burden." He stated firmly, and gave a reassuring smile, "If not for you, I'd be stuck with my uncle and you saw what he did to me. Who knows what would have become of me then?"

They both paused briefly thinking gravelly of the hypothetical outcome. Blinking the thought away, Eddie continued while moving a stray lock of hair from her face. "This morning you said something about me leaving; what did you mean by that?"

Gwen took a moment to gather herself, "lately I've been thinking a lot about how our lives keep changing. And I can't help but wonder, what's gonna happen to us in the future?" because you aren't always going to be there were Gwen's unspoken words.

Eddie suddenly felt a wave of dread in his stomach at Gwen's words, or rather what she wasn't saying. "I don't know but whatever the future holds I'm here for you." Eddie told her assuredly and before he could say anything else his phone rang.

It was Aunt May.

He answered it, telling May where he was and then smiled coving the receiver telling Gwen, "May wants you over for dinner, no exceptions."

Gwen let out a huff and smiled, who knows maybe some food would make her feel better. Especially, with her going out tonight.