To Kavi Darkwolf: "Escaped somehow?" ! You did read the end of the chapter, right?
To Song With No Soul: Thank you for reading, as always, and I don't think it's so gross, but that's just me.
This is the end, believe it or not. Thank you to all my Loyal Minions for their support, and if you're good boys and girls I might just write a sequel.
Chapter 7: Epilogue: The End of Spider-Woman
"Men are at some time masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
--William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Spider-Woman cradled her love's lifeless, broken body in her arms. Tears soaked through her mask. His eyes weakly fluttered open. His voice was strangled with blood pooling in his throat. If this were a superhero movie, James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover" would be playing softly in the background, and they would be bathed in celestial light while they shared their last words and she swore to revenge herself on his murderer. But it wasn't a superhero movie. It wasn't a comic book. It was reality, and in reality, those who die stay dead, and you can't turn back time to undo your mistakes.
"I…love…you…tell…May and Ben…goodbye…for me…" She could now only hear the death rattle from his throat.
"No…" she sobbed. Her attention fixed on the unconscious supervillain still holding him. "How could you! How could you!" She raised her foot, and kicked his fat stomach, one, two, five times. She thought she could hear a few ribs crack. She didn't care.
She thought she could never love Peter. He was too skinny, too geeky, she was out of his league. But his murder broke her heart, burned the pieces down, and fed her its smoking ashes. The guilt helplessly raced through her head: if only I had stopped him the first time, if only I had warned you where he was going, if only I hadn't been so cocky, if only I had taken it more seriously, if only, if only—
She stripped her mask off. "Peter…I'm sorry. I…couldn't stop him."
She knew exactly what he would say. In her grief-filled delirium, she could still hear his voice. "It wasn't your fault. He was insane, he was—and to think I actually wanted him to autograph my Scientific American—Listen to me! It wasn't your fault!"
She started to rock his body in her arms. "How can I live with myself, Peter? I killed you—"
"You have to keep going! It's not about you or me right now, it's about the others, the innocents, who have to be defended from guys like Octavius—"
"No, Peter!" she cried to his voice in her head. "I can't handle it. I can't face your Aunt May, I can't face your Uncle Ben, knowing it was my fault."
With great power must always come great responsibility, Peter had once told her. It was a responsibility she couldn't handle. A responsibility plain old Mary Jane Watson wouldn't have to.
All she could do now was walk away. Walk away from her powers. Walk away from Octavius, walk away from Peter. Walk away from everything—
And a few hours later, a very puzzled passerby would discover a tattered red and blue costume accented with black webbing, lying abandoned in a garbage can…
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing." –Edmund Burke