The sound of her breathing is hypnotic. I would loose my focus if it weren't for my tentacles, talking with me, tricking me as they have done before.
"Otto, we know you want to stop whoever did this," Sarah tries.
"But not at the cost of another person dead at my hands," I counter. This has been going on for an hour.
"But you wouldn't be the killer, we would do that for you," Kris explains.
"No! Stop trying to trick me!" I yell.
"Trick you?" Bethany asks.
"We wouldn't do that," Liz sounds innocent, but I know this game.
"Stop it!" I turn my head to them.
Sarah comes around front, "But, Otto, we could help you stop them."
"And then you and MJ wouldn't be bothered again," Kris finishes.
"We don't even know who did this," I whisper.
"We'll find out," Bethany points out.
"And then we can take care of everything, and things will be back to normal!" Liz is the one who always spoke of keeping things the same, "normal" in her thoughts.
"I won't kill them," I hiss.
"Then we won't kill them," Sarah pushes.
"Just make them know who's the boss," Kris adds.
"You know, who calls the shots," Bethany zips to my side.
"And that's you, Otto," Liz finishes in a harsh sounding whisper.
I turn around to them, the best I can. They're right. We do need to teach this person, this spineless coward who's the boss. And to do that, we need to teach them first hand. But right now MJ is the only thing that concerns me.
'It worked!' Kris is excited.
'Told you!' Bethany rears up to show superiority.
'You told me nothing,' Kris counters.
'Shut up,' Sarah demands.
'It worked, that's all that matters right now,' Liz points out.
'And Otto's happiness,' Bethany points out.
'When is that not a concern?' Sarah sighs.
'Look! She's waking up!' all four turn to see MJ stirring.
"Otto?" I hear someone's voice calling for me, weakly.
"MJ!" I turn and see her looking at me.
"I'm sorry," she whispers.
I stride to her side, "Don't be."
"Why not?" she looks at me sideways.
I stroke her hair slightly as I answer, "Because I can always use some company."
Her laugh is weak, but noticeable.
There's a beat of silence and then she speaks again, "I had a dream."
"What was it about?" I want to keep her talking, to hear her beautiful voice.
"It was about the attack," this hits me like a bullet would, piercing my heart. Adding more pain, she continues, "It wasn't my dad in the car. It was his car, but it wasn't him."
This gives me a lead. But would I really risk something like going into public to find her dad? If it meant catching this man, I'd do anything.
"I remember Peter disappeared a few seconds before the car pulled up. He had said something about going inside to see if we forgot anything. He's really something sometimes. He probably saw the car and went to get changed into his hero outfit," I nod, agreeing with her notion. That kid really is amazing.
"Is that all you remember?" I push a little.
"Yeah, sorry," she sees my disappointed face.
I put my indifferent mask on, "No, don't be."
She places a hand on mine and Sarah comes to my side.
"Hello there," MJ greets Sarah.
MJ has gotten better over the years. She's more used to the tentacles and can even tell them apart by name.
The others come over and she just stares at me.
"You know, you're something amazing too, Otto," she smiles.
"But I could never be Spiderman," I point out.
"Who said I wanted you to be Spiderman? You're great as Otto Octavius," she makes her feelings known.
"What about Doc Ock?" I ask, looking away.
"I can live with him too," I look back and she's smiling at me.
Right now I look at her and almost think that I'm with Rose again, but that passes quickly. Right now I'm okay with things the way they are, at least until I can catch the man behind this!