The moment she recoiled from her kiss with Harry, all Mary Jane wanted to do was run. Bolt, leave the penthouse and her betrayal behind, pretend that the moment with Harry never happened and kept silent about the entire affair so that Peter would never suspect.
She wanted to run; but the heartbreak in Harry's voice stopped her. Whatever else he was or wasn't to her, he was a friend, and she couldn't leave him so sad and desperate. On some level, she was aware that remaining might exacerbate the problem.
But what else could she do?
"Please don't leave me," he begged, stumbling up to her as she froze in front of the elevator.
The door 'dinged' as it opened, but she stayed where she was, watching it close again before turning to Harry and looking at him with apology and regret.
"I'm so sorry…"
"Just don't leave me!" He pleaded again, seizing her by the shoulders. "If you leave me my father will come back!"
"You father is dead Harry," she sighed, gazing into his wild eyes with pity.
"No! You don't… he's here, right here, telling me about you and Peter and how you'll leave me…"
"I think you'd better sit down." Taking his arm, the red-head guided him back into the great room and sat him gently on the couch. Turning away and taking a few steps, she took out her cell phone. "I'm going to call Peter," she told him even as the phone was ringing.
Harry didn't respond but buried his face in his hands.
"Don't leave…" he moaned.
"I'm not leaving, I'm right here Harry," she reassured him in soft tones as the fourth ring jangled in here ear and the sound of the phone picking up could be heard. "Peter!" She blurted. "I need Peter!"
"I'll get him," replied a female voice that MJ knew to be Ursula's.
"MJ?" Came a voice a few seconds later.
"Peter!" She could have cried with relief. "Peter, you have to come over Harry's, right now!"
"Has something happened?" He sounded nervous, almost as if he knew.
"Yes… yes, look, we'll explain, just get over here!"
"Ok, I'm coming." He sounded puzzled and concerned, but not overly panicked.
There was a click and she realized he'd hung up. Snapping the phone shut, Mary Jane sighed and flopped down on the couch. Peter was coming over and he would find out what she had done, she realized. She and Harry would have to explain themselves and who knew what was going to come of that, to say nothing of Harry's frightened babblings about his father.
Sitting across from Harry, she looked at the youthful millionaire warily. He was still looking down into his hands, his body shaking as if he were trying to keep something down. Every empty sentiment that came to mind died in her throat – what could she tell him? She didn't know if it would be alright; she didn't even realize the full extent of what wasn't right.
All she could do, she and Harry both, was wait for Peter – and she doubted that even his arrival would help. After all, wasn't that why she had come to Harry? Because Peter, hero that he was, could be so emotionally blind? Nevertheless, they sat in silence, teetering on the edge and waiting for the one who could pull them back or send them toppling over.
When Peter reached the apartment and was buzzed in by Bernard, a room awash in silence confronted him the moment he entered. Mary Jane glanced at him then looked away, while lifted his head up from his hands and fixed him with a penetrating stare. Peter swore he could feel the ground crumbling beneath him and his heart leaping into his throat. Harry remembered; Harry remembered and might do anything at any time.
"Harry?" Peter took a small step towards his friend.
"You took him," Harry whispered, his voice strained. "You took him and you're going to take her…"
"I kissed Harry!" Mary Jane broke in, frantic. Peter looked at her with the hurt and confusion she expected, so she continued pushing forward, the flow of words tripping her tongue up. "I lost my job but you were so… so… well, I couldn't tell you but I had to talk to somebody. And I went to Harry and we didn't mean for anything to happen and I didn't want or intend to hurt you but we kissed. Please, Peter, don't be angry; it was what I needed. It… it…" She wanted to finish her sentence with 'didn't mean anything,' but Harry was gazing at her in hurt disbelief.
Shifting his gaze from one to the other, Peter nodded slowly. "I see." The comment was detached and impassive, said to fill the void of silence rather than signifying any true understanding. "You couldn't have told me?" He asked her quietly, only a hint of reproach represent.
"I wanted to Peter!" She fidgeted with her hands. "But you were… you can be so… I couldn't! You were so caught up in your business and oblivious and it was just… can't you see why I couldn't?"
"But you could tell Harry," he replied flatly.
"You aren't there for people!" Harry broke in, rising suddenly and going over to confront Peter. "You weren't there for me, for her, didn't tell me anything! You killed my father!" Agitated, he stepped backwards and gestured towards Mary Jane. "And then you take her from me when you can't even be there for her?!"
"I didn't kill your father!" Peter pleaded, afraid to move in case it angered him further, particularly with MJ present.
"Harry…" MJ whispered. "I don't want to mislead you…"
He, however, kept his attention focused on Peter. "You could have explained! You never tell me anything! You just lie and keep quiet – and he's always there wanting revenge and why shouldn't I take it?" Harry sucked in a deep breath. "You leave me alone when it counts the most and give me no reasons, no explanations when I need them so badly. Did you think I wouldn't remember? Was that it? Was that what you were counting on? That you would never have to explain yourself?" He looked over at Mary Jane. "And if you didn't want to mislead me, you shouldn't have come, shouldn't have kissed me!" His accusation rang bitterly.
Turning away from both of them, Mary Jane burst into tears, wetting the arms of the couch with her sobbing. Harry clenched his jaw and looked back at Peter, angry and contemptuous.
"I'm sorry," Peter muttered. "And that's not enough, I know. And I will explain, I'll try if you'll let me. But do you really want to listen to your father?"
"Who else should I heed?" He snapped. "He's right; you'll leave me alone, always taking people from me…"
"That's a lie, Harry. That's a lie and you know it," Peter told him, but without any accusation or anger in his voice. "I have never wanted to take anybody from you and I don't want to leave you alone. All that I've done, as wrong as it has gone, was done with good intentions."
"The road to hell…"
"You don't have to tell me, Harry!" He took a shaky breath. "I know. I know, I've made mistakes. But I was trying to keep you as my friend, do what I had to do without hurting you." Harry scoffed. "Believe me – I would never do anything like that to your father or you on purpose. It just… everything went wrong. I've made mistakes; I won't say that I haven't." He paused, nervous at anything that might sound like an accusation. "But I think it's fair to say we all have."
Instead of lashing out, Harry slumped and looked at Peter desperately. "I don't want to be alone Peter. He's always demanding, wants control, wants more, but he's there. And I don't want to be alone," he repeated.
"I wouldn't leave you alone." Peter walked up to him and touched Harry's should. "As long as you don't push me away. OK? We'll get… we'll get all of this sorted," he replied, though he wasn't sure how. "And you won't be alone."
Harry looked into Peter's eyes, as if he were searching for something in their depths. He seemed afraid and nervous, yet it wasn't the same as before. Then, before Peter's spider-sense could even twitch, Harry's arms slid behind Peter's back and pulled Peter's body against his own, drawing him into a kiss.
Peter nearly jumped from the sudden sensation, but Harry's arms held him tightly and refused to let him break away. The mouth on his own was warm, not entirely unpleasant, and though Peter could taste traces of Mary Jane's lip balm on Harry's lips the flavor didn't both him as much as he might have assumed it would.
Judging from the gasp he heard off to his left, Mary Jane did not feel the same.
"Harry!" She gave a strangled cry. "Harry, what are you doing to Peter?"
Peter broke away and looked over at her; she looked moderately horrified while Harry had a look that fluctuated between hope and trepidation. Peter's body was racing up at down with sudden pleasure at the sensation of Harry touching him. When he saw MJ's mortification, however, his heart stopped, sensing he had come to a moment of crisis.
Stepping away, ever so slightly, from Harry and towards Mary Jane, Peter held out his hand. He could barely believe what he was about to suggest, but it broke his heart to alienate either and he could see only one way out of it. Had Harry not made the first move, he should never have suggested it. But emotion ran like a current between him and Harry and him and Mary Jane and Harry and Mary Jane and all three until it seemed like the only way that made sense.
"We've all been selfish," he intoned again. "But he was there for you in ways I couldn't be. You said so yourself. It would not be a betrayal to kiss and kiss alike, if…" He let himself trail off.
Then Harry stepped up to his side and held out his hand as well.
"We're all we have," he pointed out quietly. "We shouldn't leave each other alone."
Mary Jane looked at their hands, considering. Then she took them both, one in her left and the other in her right, and let them lead her away from the mask-filled great room, down the hall to Harry's room, dark and quiet as a sanctuary.
When Harry first woke up, he was disoriented and nearly tumbled off of the edge of his bed. When he was alone, he was used to sleeping in the center of the mattress. Not only was he off to one side, but he moved and found the mattress to be surprisingly occupied.
By two people.
He bolted upright and looked over to see Mary Jane directly on his right, hidden beneath the covers, and Peter off to her other side, bare to the waist with the blanket wrapped around his legs. His mind racing, Harry still hadn't figured out what to do when Peter's eyes opened and looked up at him, smiling.
"Uh… morning, Pete?" He managed. "Shit!" He ran a hand through his hair. "I'm so sorry about this! Look, I'll go get dressed and leave you and MJ alone…"
"Shhh." Peter leaned over MJ and clamped a hand on Harry's mouth. The young Osborn fell silent and stared at him, afraid to even move. "There's nothing to be sorry about," Peter grinned. "You were great. And weren't you the one saying you didn't want to be alone?"
"Peter… I…" He looked panicked, then felt his body relax. It was warm, the morning light was soft and his best friends were there, with him in every sense of the word. Mary Jane with her fierce beauty and fiery personality, and Peter, cute but demur, quiet and shy – he'd wanted them both, in different ways, for a very long time. They hadn't said no, not this time, they wanted him, loved him, cared about him, weren't going to use him. He'd begged them to stay – and they had.
It seemed too much like a dream, so he reached over and kissed Peter to experience its reality. When they parted, Peter cast his eyes down towards Mary Jane, still breathing slowly on the bed.
"We should wake her up," he whispered.
Harry nodded an agreement, then slid down and began pressing his lips to her back. Peter kissed her chin, neck, forehead, chest, working the covers down from beneath her chin as he did. Harry bit her earlobe, Peter nipped at her jaw and her eyes fluttered open.
"You two," she smirked, "should go and make breakfast. Then you would have to bite me."
"But you taste much better," Harry teased, giving Peter a wink. The boy blushed in return.
Mary Jane laughed and sat up, leaning against the headboard with Harry and Peter on either side. Taking a deep breath, she yawned then sighed.
"You realize this whole thing is about to get a lot more complicated?" She looked at them semi-seriously.
"Oh, I don't know," Harry replied, reaching around her back to muss Peter's hair. "I think it's easier when one doesn't have to choose."
"What do you think, Peter?"
"I think I have class I need to go to if I don't want to fail," he laughed, throwing the covers off.
"A true romantic," Harry rolled his eyes. "Just don't stay away too long – we still have a lot to talk about you know." He looked at Peter with gravity, though not anger. "You do still owe me an explanation."
"I know, I know. Over dinner, maybe?"
Harry and MJ nodded. "Sounds good to me," MJ added.
""It's a date then," Peter grinned as he pulled on his pants. "I'll see you guys tonight!" He dashed out of the room and they heard the clatter of the bay windows shortly after.
Still lightly clad, Mary Jane looked up at Harry. "So, how about breakfast?"
"More omelets?" Harry smirked.
MJ laughed. "Whatever you like," she replied as he got up to shower. "Tell me though, Harry – I know about Peter, but when did you get so built?"
"I've been working out," he winked as he stepped inside and turned on the water. "And by working out I mean cheating by using my father's formula!"
"Harry!" She gasped.
He leaned out of the doorway and gave her a grin. "Relax! That's a good thing. That way, whenever you have kids, you know they'll have powers of some sort!" He ducked back into the shower and Mary Jane shook her head, rolling over to get an extra fifteen minutes.
She had been wary; but Harry was better now with Norman gone, a balance to Peter in so many ways. Her boys, she thought to herself and smiled at the idea.
Her boys, for now and for always.
A/N: Just a little fluffy AU threesome in time for the holidays. Might stay as a one-shot. Might get a future 'mini-sequel' if I feel up to it. Either way, I hope you enjoyed and have a happy 2008. :)