Summary: Movieverse. Set a few months after "It Has Always Been You." Post SM2. Peter is trying to work up the courage to propose, but his plans are put on hold when someone tries to make his private life public.
A/N: I thought it would take me a lot longer to think of a sequel, but I guess you never know. This is inspired somewhat by an episode from the fourth season of Lois and Clark the TV series. However, I am trying to solve it differently and give it a Spider-Man spin.
Chapter 1: Something to Worry About
Mary Jane Watson woke slowly, feeling the early morning sun on her face. She had slept pretty well, only waking briefly when Peter left in the middle of the night. He tried not to wake her, bless him. But each time his warm, strong body uncurled from hers, she couldn't help but notice it. And miss him until he returned.
She rolled from her side to her back, starting to stretch her arms and toes. She then turned toward Peter's side of the bed. She had a morning ritual. She would kiss his pillow and pray a little prayer that he was safe.
This morning, however, she found not just a pillow, but Peter. He was propped on one elbow, gazing at her lovingly, enjoying the sight of watching her sleep. She nearly bolted straight up. "Peter! How long have you been home?"
"Only about an hour. You looked so beautiful, lying there as the sun rose... I'm sorry I startled you," he finished sheepishly.
She yawned. "It's okay. I usually feel it when you return to bed. You were sneaky this time." She poked him in the ribs.
His bare torso recoiled, and he laughed. "Hey! Watch it!" He squirmed away to avoid being tickled. Mary Jane crawled across the bed to catch him, but he deftly slid out from under the covers, and danced away out of reach.
"I'll get you yet, Spider-Man," she said, adding a villainous laugh.
"I'll go make us some coffee. You can stay here and plot your revenge." He grabbed a T-shirt and boxers off the floor by the bed, where they had been discarded the night before. He blew her a kiss, and went out of the room.
"Bet on it!" she called after him. She enjoyed the mornings when he was home. It would be nice if they happened more often, but she had resigned herself to waking alone. He always returned to her, and that was what mattered.
She took her robe from the bedside chair, and walked to the bathroom. She reached past the shower curtain to turn on the water. As she was waiting for the water to heat up, she looked at her reflection in the mirror. I look tired - I will definitely need that coffee. She had stayed up waiting for Peter the night before. When he returned past midnight, they hadn't been in the mood for much more than cuddling.
She stepped into the shower, and started to wash her hair. Maybe I should have just gone to bed. I need to have energy for tonight. Tonight was the opening of her new play. She had finally landed a part in a Broadway show. Not a big part, but still, one of the main supporting roles. The director had seen her work in The Importance of Being Earnest, and decided to give her a shot. I had better wow those reviewers in the audience, or this might be my first and last shot at the big time.
While she was rinsing her hair, the curtain opened. Peter stuck his head in. "The coffee's ready when you are," he said cheerily. Rubbing the water out of her eyes, she saw his face. "Thanks."
He didn't immediately leave, but instead, ran a lingering gaze over her body.
She flushed. Even though they had been together for three months, she still felt a thrill every time he gazed upon her. "Care to join me?" she purred.
His grin was the only answer she needed.
Peter stood on the balcony of their apartment. He looked out over the city, alert for any trouble. MJ had decided to take a short nap so that she would be fresh for the opening that evening.
Today was Friday. During summer session, classes only met from Monday to Thursday, so he didn't need to rush to school. He didn't need to meet any students for science tutoring, either, which was almost the only income he was scraping together these days. A few other newspapers had been interested in his Spider-Man pictures, but none with Jameson's regularity.
He thought of the jewelry box hidden away in a corner behind a stack of science textbooks. I promised Aunt May I would propose to Mary Jane soon, but if I can't even support myself... He let out a frustrated sigh. Mary Jane never let on that it bothered her that she paid most of the bills. She waved him off whenever he protested about it. You have more important things to worry about, Tiger. Let me worry about this, she would say.
In any case, he had wanted to save a little money, or at least be contributing more equally to the bills, before he popped the question. But their lives were already uncertain enough with his dangerous lifestyle. He wanted to be sure she knew that his commitment to her was more than certain.
He had been arguing with himself like this since the day May had given him his parents' wedding bands. He loved her, but couldn't support her. Yet she was becoming so successful in her own right - did she need supporting? It was the 21st-century, after all. He could focus on saving people and getting his degree. But something still didn't sit right. He had to admit he was a little old-fashioned. He didn't want to feel as if he were sponging off her.
He shook his head. Just like every day, no easy answers were coming to him. In the distance, he heard a security alarm go off. Before he headed for the disturbance, he looked in every direction. His spider-sense had always warned him if someone was watching. He had been very careful in his comings and goings, especially since MJ would be in danger if anyone noticed Spider-Man entering or exiting this place.
Everything seemed fine. He quickly changed clothing. Break a leg, MJ, he thought toward the bedroom, then shot a webline across the street to the next building.