Disclaimer: I don't own the Marvel characters involved, sadly. O'Connell's mine, though. Whoop dee doo.
Author's Note: Definitely not my best chapter… I was too busy this week to put the effort I should have into this. Anyway, will Otto's Really Bad Night never end? He'll survive it, of course. But barely. And I haven't even gotten to the good parts yet… Also, I apologize… I wanted to get this up Wednesday, but I got caught up with another fic I'm working on that's exclusive to deviantART. It should be up in a few days; go check it out, by clicking on 'homepage' in my bio. It's based on a dream, and has some (very slight) similarities to this fic, hence my decision not to post it on Though I might, later, if there's some demand.
Moonlight Becomes You
Eight – The Unmasking
October 31 - Halloween
Water ran in rivulets down the mirror's surface as the frost melted; Otto reached out to touch the still-cold droplets, to assure himself it was real. It made no sense. And to a keen scientific mind, anything that was unexplainable was something to be investigated. The actuators were silent, their own curiosity piqued. What was behind the mirror that would cause it to freeze like that? Otto ran his fingers along the mirror's edge, searching for the catch. He found an indentation, and with a soft click, it swung open, revealing another room.
After a quick glance back into the den, Otto passed through the mirror, shutting it behind him. The temperature in the hidden room was perhaps a little cooler than the den, not enough to cause the mirror to freeze. Otto had half expected to find something like a meat locker, with bodies hanging off hooks, staring blankly at him with frozen expressions of terror. The stress, he decided, was really getting to him.
Not that what he found was reassuring. Lights kicked on as motion sensors detected his presence, revealing a bat-like metal shape suspended in an alcove. Otto recognized it immediately; how could he not? Norman Osborn had called him in several times to help solve some problem or other with the glider before him. There'd been two of them, a prototype, and a more advanced model. Both had been stolen by the Green Goblin. The advanced model had been found wrecked in an abandoned building. This was the prototype, a heavier glider, but no less effective. Why does Harry have it here? OsCorp spent a lot developing it; why aren't they using it to build more? Otto touched the edge of the glider, then drew his hand back. It was warm. The engine was still cooling, which meant Harry had it here so he could use it.
The hairs rose on the back of his neck. Harry was the Green Goblin. Which meant he had the ability to stand up against Spider-Man – and that he may, in fact, already have the wall crawler in his possession. Certainly, he'd seemed confident that he would kill someone at midnight. Otto searched for a quick way out, in case Harry entered unexpectedly. The actuators found the sliding door in the roof where Harry presumably entered and left on the glider; it would do in an emergency. But Otto wasn't going to run just yet. He followed the wall to a glass case filled with several dozen bright orange and green spheres. Otto stared at them a moment before their identity sank in. They were pumpkin bombs.
Pumpkin bombs. A smile spread across Otto's face. I don't think Harry will notice if I take a few, do you? For the first time that evening, he felt the actuators' approval. Finally, he was taking steps to ensure their escape from O'Connell's clutches. Otto began to carefully place bombs in his coat pockets, trying not to make them look too obvious. He took only four of them, not daring to risk taking more.
Something else caught his eye: A rack of identical vials of green fluid, each marked with the same serial number. This wasn't something Otto had assisted OsCorp with, but he knew what it was; it was the chemical that was supposed to have brought fame and fortune to OsCorp. The performance enhancer. On an impulse, Otto grabbed one of the sturdy vials; perhaps he could find a use for it once he and Rosie were free. They would need money, and if he sold the performance enhancer, he could get a fortune for it.
There was nothing else of interest in the hidden room, and Otto exited through the mirror. The ice, he noticed, was now gone completely, as if it had never been there at all. Otto was still mystified, but now he just wanted out of there. If Harry was the Green Goblin, Otto didn't want to hang around.
But he has Peter… Otto went to the painting that concealed the safe, and let the actuators work on opening it. Peter helped me tonight; he helped me when I nearly destroyed the city. I… I can't just let him die! Can I?
The actuators didn't slow their efforts at safe-cracking as they answered, Spider-Man is our enemy. Let Osborn kill him; he will be jailed for it, and that will be two obstacles out of our way. It will be better for us all if Spider-Man is dead.
…dead… the fourth actuator agreed. The safe opened, and Otto began to search for papers with his company logo. He saved my life; it's only right that I return the favor! A file folder hidden under a stack of blank company stationary caught his attention; Otto pulled it out and flipped it open. All were marked with the familiar infinity symbol logo, and Otto snapped the folder shut. A cursory examination of the rest of the papers in the safe revealed no other papers, and Otto slammed the heavy door shut. He had what he'd come for. He should leave.
I can't… I can't let him kill Peter, he told the actuators heavily. Silence met his remark; not even the ever-present hum of their presence echoed in his mind, as if they'd withdrawn from him completely. They pulled back, inside his coat – except for the ruined actuator, which tried to wrap itself around his chest, pinching his skin between its segments.
He took it as grudging assent. They weren't going to help him, unless his life was in danger, but they weren't going to stop him, either. Perhaps they saw this as a small act of defiance against O'Connell; the businessman wouldn't approve of what Otto was going to do, but there was no way he could stop Otto. And as long as Otto brought O'Connell what he wanted, he couldn't protest, could he?
There was a briefcase leaning against Harry's desk, and Otto yanked it open and dumped the contents. He set the papers inside, along with the vial of the performance enhancer. If he was going to be wandering around Osborn's home, he didn't want to be seen carrying it all around. He slid the briefcase under his coat, and one of the actuators took it in its pincers. It gave him a misshapen look, but it was Halloween; maybe he could pass himself off as someone dressed as some kind of sideshow freak or something.
Hopefully, this would be simple. Find Peter, free him, and get out before midnight.
Right… Not with the way my luck's been running.
Mary Jane wanted to leave. She should have left once Peter had vanished, but Harry had asked her to say, saying she was the only guest who wasn't sucking up to him, or sizing him up as a rival, or watching him for any slip-up that could be used against him. Then he'd escorted her out of his den and left her alone in the hall, saying he had calls to make regarding the robbery, and that he'd catch up with her later.
So she spent the evening watching the other costumed partiers, feeling like an outsider. She'd attended functions like this with John Jameson, who, despite not being from one of New York's richest families, was an object of interest because he was an astronaut. He'd been uncomfortable, too… but at least they'd been able to be uncomfortable together. Now… she felt so alone. She didn't blame Peter for leaving – she'd have been disappointed in him if he hadn't, actually – but she wished she could have gone with him.
She sighed, and helped herself to another helping of punch, and grabbed a handful of chocolate kisses without a care for the strict diet that was expected of an actress/model. She wasn't going to deny herself the pleasures of chocolate just because of some unspoken rule of image. She decided to hang back from the crowd, staying near the walls, where she could just watch everyone.
The highlight of her night was when she got caught up in an existential crisis during another punch run, when two Spider-Men started flirting with her at the table. MJ just smiled and then beat a hasty exit, pushing past a Phantom of the Opera, neatly skirting some sort of Lovecraftian nightmare, nearly had beer dumped on her borrowed dress by a werewolf, and then ran into a very large, very solid man in a shabby green-grey trenchcoat.
He seemed to have the same idea as she did, to stay at the fringe, away from a crowd that was steadily losing its sobriety. "Sorry," she began, and then the rest of the words caught in her throat. He'd turned at her apology, and her stomach lurched. She knew that face; it was thinner, more haggard, but she'd never forget the face of a man who had taken her captive. From his shocked expression, she knew he recognized her in the same moment. "You-" she began. A hand darted out, closing around her mouth. The other wrapped around her torso and she was hauled backwards, into one of the halls coming off the main room. As he dragged her into an empty room, she couldn't help but wonder why no one was reacting. Were they all so hammered that she could be killed in plain sight and they'd think it was all some big Halloween prank?
Since a rescue didn't look imminent, Mary Jane defended herself as best she could: she bit down on the hand over her mouth, and kicked backwards. Her kick caught the side of his knee, forcing an oomf from her captor, but it was the bite that seemed to hurt him the most. He released her, clutching his hand, his face a mixture of astonishment and pain. She would have used the moment of confusion to escape, except that he'd put himself between her and the door, which he'd kicked shut behind him.
Desperately, Mary Jane searched for something to use as a weapon, but there was little to be found in the sparsely furnished room. She was trapped, alone and defenseless, with Doctor Octopus.
He had peeled back the glove on his right hand and was examining it, then he glowered at her. "You've managed to tear out the rest of the stitches," he said flatly. "Well done." Blood dripped down his wrist onto the beige carpet. He yanked the glove back up over the bleeding gash.
She thought about screaming, but she doubted anyone would hear over the throb of the music. "What… what are you doing here?" If she could get him talking, perhaps she could buy some time. Surely, someone would find them before Doc Ock did anything to her!
"What's going on at midnight?" Octavius countered.
That threw her off. "What?"
"Midnight. Has Osborn said what he's planning for midnight?"
Was he here to hurt Harry? She couldn't let him. "I don't know what you're talking about. I haven't seen Harry since early this evening, and he didn't say anything about any special plans."
"No, he wouldn't tell you, would he?" Octavius said thoughtfully. "You'd try to stop him. Not that you could do all that much."
Emboldened by the fact that his horrible tentacles weren't in evidence, Mary Jane said, "Don't you dare hurt Harry! Haven't you done him enough damage already?" She regretted the words the moment they came out of her mouth.
To her surprise, Octavius looked stung rather than angry. And suddenly she wondered if he was the one behind the robbery at OsCorp. "Your defense of your friend is admirable," Octavius said after a moment, "but would you be so protective of him if you knew what he was planning?" He appeared to be thinking something over, eying her thoughtfully. It was akin to the look he'd given her in the coffee shop. Here it comes… Once again, Mary Jane Watson is about to become the Helpless Damsel In Distress (copyright) for… what is it, the third time? She wouldn't go without a fight. "Did you know that your friend Harry is the Green Goblin?" he asked.
Mary Jane had been prepared to launch herself at him, never mind that her last attack on this man had been laughably unsuccessful. But his comment threw her for a loop. "What? No, Norman was the Goblin!" she said.
Octavius arched one eyebrow. "That explains a lot," he said, more to himself than her. "It seems he's taken up the mantle now; you should see what he has hidden in a secret room behind the mirror in his den. And he has the Goblin's flight suit on under that purple robe he's wearing."
Mary Jane was at a loss for words. That can't be right, can it? "In fact," Octavius went on, "Osborn was having an interesting conversation with his mirror about killing someone at midnight, thus avenging his father. Any guesses who that might be?"
Peter… No, he's lying! He just wants to… wants to… What was Octavius trying to pull? "No… Peter's his friend…"
"And Spider-Man killed his father," Octavius said.
She wanted to correct him, but why did she need to defend Peter's actions to someone whose own were reprehensible? Even if he did save us in the end… "Why are you telling me this?" she demanded.
"Parker saved my life," Octavius said softly. "I owe it to him to do the same, even if they don't approve."
Mary Jane was about to ask who they were, then realized he probably meant the tentacles. "I was hoping that Osborn might have dropped some hints to you about where he's keeping Peter, or when Osborn plans to bring him out for everyone to see." Octavius looked frustrated. "This place is so damned big, and there are party guests everywhere. It's difficult for me to look; sooner or later, someone will recognize me."
"Has it occurred to you," Mary Jane said tentatively, "that if your presence here was known, everyone would leave? That might… that might put a stop to whatever Harry's planning." She couldn't believe he'd kill Peter. No, Harry would just publicly unmask Peter, not kill him! Harry wasn't a murderer! That was assuming Harry even had Peter, which she found highly unlikely. After all, no one had said anything about Harry having something special at midnight.
"That had occurred to me, yes," Octavius said, somewhat stiffly. "But I'd prefer not to announce to the world that I'm still alive."
"So you want me to go and look for him, is that it? Why should I believe you? And why should I help you?"
Octavius shrugged. "It's your choice. If you don't want to save your boyfriend's life, on your own head be it."
"Maybe you just want me to find him so you can be the one to kill him."
Octavius's grim smile chilled her. "Had I wanted to kill him, I could have done it earlier tonight."
So he was behind the OsCorp break-in… Mary Jane swallowed as she thought everything over. If he wanted her to look, then that meant he was letting her go. She could call the police and end this.
Except… Something about Harry had disturbed her. There was something about him that was different, something indefinable, and it wasn't just the end of his alcohol abuse. I'll find Harry. I'll tell him that Doc Ock is here, and see what he wants to do about it. Calling the police was the more logical course of action, but, after talking to Octavius, she felt she needed to see Harry, to prove to herself that he wasn't what Octavius made him out to be. "All right," she said carefully. "I'll look. Will be you waiting here when I find him?"
"I'll be around," Octavius said evasively. He shifted to the side, opening the door for her in a gentlemanly fashion. Mary Jane walked sedately past him, but as soon as she was out of what she judged was the range of the tentacles, she began to shove her way back to the main room where, hopefully, she could find Harry and assuage her fears.
Otto didn't trust the girl, but he didn't see himself as having much of a choice. She'd recognized him, and he'd impulsively grabbed her and pulled her out of sight. Once he'd had her alone, he realized that she might be the answer to his problems. Now that she knew Parker was here, she could look for him, and perhaps even find him and free him. Even if she called the police, they would disrupt the party enough to ruin whatever Osborn had planned. He wouldn't have to do anything, after all. All he had to do was find his way back to the den balcony and get back to the van.
Assuming she believed him. It was her boyfriend's life at stake; even if she didn't believe Otto, he'd planted the seed of doubt. Otto would have bet his actuators that she was going to do a little investigating. He tried to ignore his conscience, which protested that he was sending her into a situation where she could get seriously hurt. He tried to tell himself that by telling her, he'd discharged his debt to Parker. And she had to know the dangers, right? Being Spider-Man's girlfriend must have driven home how dangerous people like the Green Goblin could be. She'd be careful. She'd help Parker.
Otto wasn't going to just wait around to see if Mary Jane would act as he hoped. He slipped out of the room, threading through the crowd that had spilled into the hallway, head low and shoulders slumped so as not to draw attention.
He found what seemed to be the bathroom, and waited patiently in line to get in. Fortunately, he didn't have long before he could lock himself inside. A glance in the mirror showed why no one had recognized him; soot coated his face, and mixed with the sweat on his scalp to give his hair a dark, spiky look. Otto moistened a towel and cleaned it off as best he could, inspecting his face for damage as he did. He'd been pelted with debris when the catwalk had fallen, and he found several small cuts, though nothing serious. And his breathing came easier, too, so it seemed he wasn't as badly hurt as he'd feared. His pace was paler than it should have been, however, making the rings around his eyes seem even darker. He helped himself to a sip of water, which helped ease his throat. Now, if he could just do something about the damaged actuator…
Someone barged through the door, making Otto jump. Hadn't he locked it? He and the man, who was dressed like some 1920's gangster, stared at each other for several seconds, then the intruder cleared his throat. "Sorry, but I have to – " He pushed past Otto and proceeded to empty the contents of his stomach. The man fumbled around for a towel to wipe his mouth on, and grabbed Otto's coat by mistake.
Otto swore softly when he realized what the man had done. He was about to snarl at the man, but the other was slumped over in a faint. Otto sighed and turned to leave, then paused, leaned over to grab the gangster's hat, and put it on, pulling it low over his eyes. Anything was better than no disguise at all…
Otto smiled at the next person in line, a Grim Reaper with a rumpled black cloak. "It's going to be awhile," Otto told him. "You might want to find a convenient potted plant." The man stared at him stupidly, too wasted to really take in what Otto was saying.
"What are you supposed to be?" the man asked after a moment, looking Otto up and down. "Some kinda detective?"
He thought about just walking away, but then he smirked. "I'm Doctor Octopus," he said.
"Crappy costume," the man said. "You don't even have tentacles." He lost interest and went back to staring at the bathroom door. Since the gangster had been snoring when Otto left, he knew the Grim Reaper was going to be waiting for quite awhile.
And it had answered a question for him; he could walk around more freely than he'd originally thought. The people here assumed he was in a costume – a bad costume, which was a bit insulting – and they were too drunk to realize the truth. It gave him the opportunity to get back to Osborn's den without taking the evasive measures he had before. One of the actuators slipped out long enough to do a heat scan, and after being assured that there was no one in the den – or any hidden rooms connected to it – Otto went inside, making a beeline for the balcony.
Otto leaned over the ornately carved stone railing, ready to clamber over, but what he saw below made him freeze. The police… It seemed Mary Jane had called them, after all, and they'd responded far more quickly than Otto would have thought possible. Shit… Now I have to find another way –
This building does not seem to be their destination, the actuators said, as one of the lower arms slid over the side to better see, its camera zooming on the action. They are staying on the street, and are paying no attention to the building. And they are not as heavily armed as they would be if they were after us.
They were right, now that Otto could see for himself. There were only about four cops and two cars, and they seemed interested in an area across the street. Otto frowned; was it his imagination, or were they heading to where Otto had left the van? They're between us and escape, Otto said. And, if we leave the way we came in, we'd be sure to attract attention. I'd like to avoid that at all cost. He'd wanted the police to come, and to possibly help Peter, but he'd wanted to make his exit, first.
We'll have to go out the front door, then, and I'll have to walk past them with you concealed under my coat, Otto said. He sighed inwardly; it meant yet another journey through the ocean of party-goers. Grumbling, Otto left the den, joining the mindless masses. He pushed his way through, noting with some amusement that the Grim Reaper was still in line for the bathroom, and looked ready to live up to his costume. Otto turned a corner, into the packed room that was the heart of the party. He just had to find a way through the crush of bodies to the door at the opposite end…
And then he caught sight of a familiar face staring at him, astonishment suffusing his features. Raymond… It was just his luck to run into one of his former lab assistants, one of the few people who knew him well enough to recognize him even though he'd been changed by his ordeal. From the look on Raymond's face, he didn't quite believe what he was seeing, but he was pushing through the crowd towards Otto, to get a better look.
Dammit… It looked like he wasn't going to make that easy escape, after all.
I don't believe Dr. Octavius, Mary Jane told herself as she wandered the halls. I'm just trying to find Harry. Still, she found herself opening every door along the halls as she searched for Harry. Peter isn't here. Dr. Octavius was just trying to get rid of me while he does whatever he came here to do, and I let him rattle me enough that I left him without even calling the cops! She was furious with herself. She should turn around, find a phone, call the cops…
But she didn't. She had to find Harry first, to prove to herself that he hadn't gone off the deep end. Because, considering her friend's mental state the past several months, it was frighteningly easy to imagine him going over the edge… So she continued her exploration, opening doors into empty rooms, or rooms that weren't so empty, much to her embarrassment, until she came to the door to the master bedroom. It seemed to be the only door in the penthouse that was locked.
Harry's just trying to protect his property. I'd lock my door, too, if I had this many drunken strangers in my house. She found herself thinking that if she were one of those heroines in those movie scripts she'd been reading, she'd work the lock open with one of her hair pins or a credit card, and probably find something horrifying inside and meet a horrible, bloody death.
"What are you doing here, Mary Jane?" a voice said unexpectedly. Mary Jane jumped; she would have sworn that she'd been alone in the hall.
"Harry!" she said, smiling. "I was looking for you. I thought you were hiding from all of your guests. Not that I blame you," she added, a little breathlessly. "Your maid is going to quit when she sees the mess to clean tomorrow." Harry smiled, an expression that reminded Mary Jane of some predator baring its fangs. "I just wanted to tell you that," that you have a super villain hidden in here, that he's probably the one who robbed OsCorp, that he's been saying unpleasant things about you that can't possibly be true, "I'm leaving. I feel out of place here, and I stayed as long as I could, but…" She shrugged.
"I'm sorry I haven't been paying more attention to you this evening," Harry said, his face sobering. "I was on the phone with the police about the robbery; one of the smaller labs blew up, and they had to bring in specialists to clean up the hazardous waste." His expression became a cold mask. "Spider-Man didn't get there in time to stop whoever was responsible." Mary Jane didn't think it wise to respond to this. "Please don't leave," Harry said. "I could use the company of someone who won't use this information to their advantage. You're one of my only friends."
Mary Jane felt like a heel. Harry sounded so sad; how could she even think he wanted to hurt Peter? "I can stay a little longer," she told him.
"Good." Something flickered across Harry's face, too quickly for her to identify. "Besides, you don't want to miss the high point of the evening. I was going to have something special for midnight, but if I wait too much longer everyone's going to be passed out and won't appreciate it." He smiled, that wide, predatory grin again. "Why don't you go wait in the main room? It'll be ready in about fifteen minutes. Make sure you get a good spot – you wouldn't want to miss this." He gave her a gentle-but-firm shove in the direction she had come, and Mary Jane had no choice but to head back.
She was glad she was an actress; her training had been all that had kept the carefree smile on her face. Because there had been something in the depths of Harry's eyes, something that had made the hair on her neck stand on end. And when she glanced back, just in time to see him enter the master bedroom, she glimpsed a flash of green beneath the hem of his purple robes. "…he has the Goblin's flight suit on under that purple robe he's wearing," Dr. Octavius had said. "Osborn was having an interesting conversation with his mirror about killing someone at midnight, thus avenging his father. Any guesses who that might be?"
Oh, God… Dr. Octavius was right. Harry was going to do something to Peter – she still refused to think he'd kill him – and she had no idea what to do. I should call the police, she thought again. But she found herself tracing her way back, past a Grim Reaper and a scantily clad demoness who were in the middle of rousing a gangster, who screamed when he saw what was waiting for him once he regained consciousness.
She nearly collided with Dr. Octavius, who was hurrying through the crowd, glancing backwards and not even seeing her until it was too late. "What-" she began.
"I've been identified," he said. "I need to get out of here."
It would be easy to just let him get caught. But she realized that she needed him. She wasn't strong enough to take on the Green Goblin. And he'd said he owed Peter. She looked past Octavius, noticing an Asian man who was watching them intently. "Follow me, play along," she hissed, pushing Octavius into one of the rooms and wondering how many more times she was going to be doing this tonight. She shut the door behind her and pushed Octavius back into the room's shadows. Then, when she heard the click of the door opening, she threw her arms around Dr. Octavius's neck and kissed him. This wasn't easy, since a) he was about a foot taller than she was, b) he was resisting, and c) he had the flexibility of a metal flagpole.
The door had fully opened, and Mary Jane heard a strangled gasp from behind her. She whirled and glared at the man who had been pursuing Dr. Octavius and was now staring at her with a dumbstruck expression. "What are you looking at?" she snapped. "I've only got about ten minutes before his wife starts looking for him, and I don't want to be interrupted!" Mary Jane drew herself to her full height, and gave the man a look of such fury that he seemed abashed by his intrusion.
"I'm sorry, miss, I thought… I thought I recognized…"
"And you thought perhaps you could find something to blackmail him with?" she spat. "If you don't get out of here, I will sue your ass," she hissed.
Now the man looked really uncomfortable. "I don't think that's necessary," he said, backing away. "You and your… your lover don't need to do that… I was just leaving… thought this was bathroom…" the man fled.
"Remind me never to piss you off," Dr. Octavius said, his voice strained. "I almost feel sorry for Raymond; he always was a bit flighty." Mary Jane turned. "I don't know whether to yell at you or thank you," he continued. She wondered if he was actually blushing, or if it was just a trick of the shadows.
"It was the only thing I could think of," she said. "Sorry." She wondered if she should tell this to Peter, then decided not to. He might start thinking that she kissed all the super villains, after all, and then he'd never let her get kidnapped. "You were right," she said softly. "Harry is planning to do something to Peter. In fact, he's decided not to wait until midnight – we have about five minutes to stop him."
"We?" Octavius asked sardonically.
"We," she said firmly. "Do you have any ideas?"
Octavius looked thoughtful. "Like you said, clearing the party guests would have some effect. And, no, I'm not going to reveal myself; even if I did, no one would believe me – they're all too drunk, and to them, I'm just another guy in a costume. I have an idea, though…" Octavius removed something small and silver from his pocket, and absently flipped it through his fingers. "Can you distract Harry long enough for it to take effect?"
"I'll try," she said.
"Then go. Do whatever you can to slow him down. And when the crowd leaves, go with them. Don't get involved in this."
Mary Jane wanted to protest. She didn't trust Octavius to help Peter once she was out of sight, but she didn't have a choice. Had Peter ever faced a dilemma like this? "I'll be careful," she said. He just nodded absently, his face curiously blank. She wished she could see his eyes behind those dark glasses, to try to get a glimpse of what was going on in his head. He suddenly snapped into focus and glared at her. "What are you waiting for? Go!"
Mary Jane did. Getting to the main room was easy; everyone was heading that way, and she merely needed to go with the flow. There was an atmosphere of excitement, and Mary Jane wondered what they'd been told.
Harry was standing at the top of the stairs where the railing wouldn't obscure the view from below, looking down at the gathered crowd. At least, Mary Jane assumed it was Harry – he'd shed the purple robe, and his face was concealed by a chillingly familiar mask.
"Welcome!" he said in a shrill voice, unrecognizable as her friend's. He threw up his arms theatrically. "Harry Osborn asked me to give you all a little show, to thank you for your generous contributions tonight." The Green Goblin clapped, and there was a scattering of applause across the room. "And I promise you, it's going to be one hell of a show!" There was a table to the side, and he pulled it over so it was in front of him. Then he stepped back and lifted something that had been out of the crowd's sight: a limp form clad in red and blue, wrists and ankles clasped together by twists of metal.
"May I present: The amazing, the spectacular, Spider-Man!" There were gasps from some of the crowd, but most of them were muttering under their breaths. They thought this was just, as the Goblin had said, a show. "How many of you have ever wanted to know what's behind the mask? Is he old? Young? A woman? A hideous freak? You will see for yourselves in this, Spider-Man's last public appearance."
There were ooh's from the enraptured crowd, drowning out Mary Jane's gasp of horror. He really means to kill Peter! She had to do something… had to distract him… Hurry, Dr. Octavius!
And, with a deranged cackle, Harry began to peel the mask from Spider-Man's face.
To Be Continued…
Sorry; I had to do the Doc Ock/MJ thing. They seem to be the 'favorite bizarre coupling' of the SM2 universe and, while I can't imagine them ever being together, this is my little nod to the couple. Plus, it seemed like a good method of torture that didn't physically harm Otto.