Peter and Harry have changed, Mary Jane thinks as she rolls over in the massive mahogany bed. They've changed more than she could have ever foreseen, spiraling downward and pulling her with them.
To her left, Peter is lying with his hand draped across her thigh, his fingers light brushing the curve of soft flesh. She hears his light breathing and tries not to look over at him, afraid to see the half-unbuttoned black dress shirt that isn't really a shirt.
Off to the other side is Harry, who is no better; his eyes dance with faint green sparks when they're open and his smile contorts in ways that make Mary Jane shiver. He, more than Peter, knows how much she wants to look away and forces her to stare.
They used to be friends, the three of them, she reflects as she tries to get back to sleep. Friends and maybe more, but never like this, and she wonders where it all went wrong.
A shelf of curios smashed against the floor after Peter slammed into it. Shaking off his dizziness, he glowered at Harry then rammed into him. They grabbed whatever objects they could find, each bludgeoning the other with paper weights and vases and anything within reach, coming at each other with the intent to kill.
Then Harry stumbled backwards and pulled Peter down with him with a violent yank. Their lips smashed together and they bit and snapped violently, suddenly coming in a very different way.
"So that's how you like it?" Peter taunted Harry and slapped the youthful billionaire in the face.
Harry's expression was infuriated and he grabbed Peter's throat, smashing him against the wall, tearing at Peter's clothing and yanking at his belt.
"I'll show you how I like it, you bastard," he growled.
"Been waiting for this a while, have we?" Peter wrestled out of Harry's grasp and threw the other to the floor, webbing his wrists to the carpet before ripping Harry's shirt open.
Harry kicked him in the back and tugged hard enough that the webbing ripped free, leaving his wrists red and bloody. Curling his hand into a claw, he raked it across Peter's face then pushed him down and knelt on his chest.
"Too long," he grinned, flushed, blood racing.
Before long, there came an explosion.
In the mornings, she is expected to make breakfast. Which, in a way, makes sense; Peter has classes early and Harry has to be in at the office, whereas the restaurant where she works doesn't even open until after four in the afternoon. Besides, she enjoys cooking, especially in a kitchen as nice as Harry's.
It's not about the task itself as much as it is about the situation. It isn't a courtesy she does for them, it's not meant to be fun like the time she cooked with Harry, and it isn't a request they ask of her. She knows she is being put in her place, having her role defined for her by the two men whole smile daggers at her while she hands them their morning coffee.
She resents it very deeply but she's too frightened to do anything about it. As she rinses off the dishes while they eat and head for the door, she wonders what she ever did to deserve this.
"I'm still going to kill you, you know that right?" Harry told Peter as they stared up at the ceiling, both mostly naked, totally exhausted and tingling from head to toe, each exhaling breath laced with liquor. "My father..."
"Oh, fuck your father," Peter snapped. "I'm sick of hearing you go on about him. He died. It was his own damn fault. End of story." He leaned over and bit Harry's ear sharply, letting the tang of blood spread on his tongue. "And as for killing me, well, I think I just proved who'd win in a fight."
"What!" Harry scoffed. "Please. I let you off the hook because.. because..."
"Because I make you so horny that you can't even have a proper fight without whipping it out?" Peter smirked and squeezed as Harry blushed.
"Yes," he insisted, amused. "And if you kill me, then who are you going to have hot, angry sex with? Flint Marko?"
Harry glared. "You're nasty! That guy's, what, fifty? Not to mention - sand. Everywhere. That's just annoying." He looked over to his father's portrait. "You know what? You're right. Fuck you, Dad!" He shouted at the picture, slurring every few words. "Shut the hell up and leave me alone - you want vengeance, well that's too bad. Shoulda killed Pete yourself in the first place." He staggered up to the portrait and ripped a huge chunk of the canvas off before he turned and stumbled over towards Peter, inebriated and roughly apologetic. "Sorry about that killing you shit." He straddled Peter with a wink.
"Friends then?" Peter reached up and teased a nipple.
"Hell yes, buddy. With benefits." He glanced at Peter and grinned, dipping down to suck his throat.
"This isn't just about my dad though, you know." He frowned as he pressed in. "MJ. She kissed me then bolted like I was some kind of creep coming on to her, left me alone..."
"What a bitch." Peter's hands slid behind Harry's back while the symbiote snaked around his crotch.
"Thinks she can have it both ways." Harry's thrusting grew rougher and he dug into Peter's shoulders with his nails, as if he could imagine the offending female beneath him.
"I'm tired of fighting over her," Peter admitted after Harry finished and they had settled back down, entwined on the floor, the symbiote still partially attached to Harry in affectionate little wisps. "But I still want her - no offense."
"None taken. Hell, so do I." A thought occurred to them at the same time and they smiled at each other.
"You know, she did start this," Peter concurred and his symbiote moved in agreement. "Half of it's her fault. Deserves a little punishment, don't you think?" He suggested casually.
"Definitely," Harry concurred, his eyes shining with anger and anticipation.
When she sings about love now, Mary Jane can't seem to convey any feeling whatsoever. She knows that if she remains calm and emotionless, then at least she will get through the song; if not, the words will sink in and make her feel all the wrong emotions, cause her to break down. Acting might be her dream, but she's not that good at it yet, not enough to block out the nightmare her life has become when reminded daily of her broken dreams.
The manager asks her what's wrong and she makes an excuse about being tired - not that it's entirely untrue. The whole truth, however, is something she can't tell anybody. Who would believe her if she did? Besides, she reflects miserably as she steps up to the microphone, as much as they have changed and as terrible as everything has become, she doesn't want to hurt the men she used to care about so much, considering how her own mistakes played such a part in their mutual downfalls.
The band starts up and she thinks back to her reluctance to let Peter into her life, the desperation she felt when she kissed Harry, and she wonders if she doesn't deserve this after all.
They waited for her at the stage door, both a little drunk and very angry. When she stepped out, Mary Jane saw the look on Peter's face first and glanced from one to the other, realizing part of what must have happened.
"Harry told you?" She whispered, fearful and confused, remembering the feel of Harry's hand against her throat, slamming her into her apartment wall. Peter mustn't know yet, must not have realized...
"Yeah," Peter snapped, "He told me. Everything."
His eyes were dark and cold and MJ's heart sank inside her chest. Something was wrong, very wrong.
"Everything?" She whispered.
"He knows," Harry responds, his face impassive. "But he accepts me for who I am."
"He was trying to kill you!" She tells Peter, half hysterical. "He said he'd kill you if I didn't break up with you!"
"And whose fault is that?" Peter stepped closer. "Maybe you shouldn't have been such a tease. Maybe you should have opened up so our relationship would have be stronger in the first place and you wouldn't be so eager to find an excuse to break up."
"I wasn't trying to..."
"Oh please," Harry interrupted. "You came to me. You know you did. Whining about how Peter couldn't understand and asking me not to tell him about your problems with your play. Not that he should be surprised - you never were that good."
It amused Peter to note that even in the midst of a clearly threatening situation, MJ could still manage to look hurt about a slight to her supposed acting skills. Advancing on her and closing the distance between them, he grabbed her wrist firmly. She gasped and tried to twist away but couldn't break his hold.
"Now you'll come with us. Quietly," he ordered in a stern tone.
"Or...?" She winced and faintly struggled.
"Or you won't like the alternative." Harry smirked. "That we promise you."
Stepping out of the alley and acting deceptively polite, they ushered her into Harry's car waiting for them at the curb. Peter got into the back to watch her while Harry drove. The moment the doors were closed and the heavily tinted windows hid their actions, Peter webbed her to the seat.
"Just in case," he told her. "You are fond of running away from things after all - Harry and me in particular."
"Don't do this," she pleaded. "Please don't. You're my friends, what's wrong with you?"
"Oh, we're your friends alright," Harry replied sarcastically from the front. "And when we get back you'll see just how friendly we three can be."
"You see, MJ, we're tired of getting played, tired of you going back and forth between us, jerking us around." Peter looked out of the window for a moment, then back at her. "You wanted us both? You got us. Whether you like it or not."
"What?!" She shouted as their meaning sank in.
"Don't act so surprised." Harry made a sharp turn onto his street. "You were the one who started it, always wanting more, wanting what you couldn't have.
"This time, it's our turn - and we want everything."
While she sings her final number for the evening, Mary Jane notices the door open out of the corner of her eye and sees Harry enter. He gives her a smile, cheerful and bright, and she almost forgets to be frightened. Sometimes he comes and watches; he never interacts with her but she swears he follows her, drops in to remind her that he knows where she is and what she does, the sword of Damocles always hanging over her head.
There are nights when he and Peter behave like perfect gentlemen, holding doors and whispering sweet words and touching her gently. Much as it galls her to admit it, no one has ever kissed her like Peter, even if those same lips kiss Harry; and nobody has ever made love to her like Harry, even if he turns over from her and fucks Peter. Some night, the pleasure is ecstatic and the mood forgiving, and for a moment everything is wonderful.
Those nights are rare; most times she ends up slapped and sore, beaten and belittled. As she leaves the club, looking around to see if Harry is still there, she gets on the subway and wonders what kind of night this will be.
"Kiss him!" Peter demanded, grabbing her by the hair and shoving her face into Harry's. "You were so eager to before. What's the matter?"
Tears streamed down her fact but neither showed any sympathy.
"Let her go, Pete. She's not going to give anything up." Harry produced a dagger from behind his back and smiled, teeth bared in a too-white grin. "We have to take it."
"NO!" She screamed.
"Shut her up, wouldja buddy?" Harry asked with a sigh that spoke of impatience and annoyance.
Peter webbed her mouth shut while Harry unbuttoned her shirt, bit by bit. Once it was removed he took the dagger and drew it across her breast. Frightened, she tried to be still and braced against the prick of pain, ready for a deeper cut. A thin line of blood spurted out of the wound and Harry nodded towards Peter.
Swabbing with his finger, he wetted the tip with blood then licked it off. Then, as if everything were in fast forward, they both fell upon her, stripping her of her clothing and throwing her onto Harry's bed.
They penetrated her, one after the other, both at the same time, clawing at her, slapping her, bruising her, doing the same to one another. When they were finally sated, they kept her between them, enfolding her and clutching her not in a cuddling fashion, but in desperation, as if they'd no other way to keep here there.
Mary Jane tried to curl up as much as she could, sore and wounded. She didn't understand it, she wanted to run away and cry and forget the night ever happen - forget the last few weeks ever happened! Nothing made sense and she felt as though she'd been broken into a thousand, million pieces.
Beside her, the symbiote and and goblin radiated a feral sense of satisfaction.
The days move forward, slowly, one by one. Spider-man becomes more violent, but in a city where crime is rampant there seems to be tacit approval. Harry Osborn's business practices become ruthless, but nobody expects anything less from a businessman; he ought to be savvy and practically minded. Every outward appearance is maintained or explained.
Except Mary Jane knows this isn't the case. Mary Jane knows how bad things are and how far they've fallen and how impossible the situation is to fix. She wants a hero, now more than ever, but there are none to be found. She wonders when, if, it will ever end.
Pressed between the bodies of two men she once loved, the remnants of what they once were and might have been but now cannot be, the night whispers the answer.
Been sitting on this one for quite a while. It's a touch on the melodramatic side, maybe, but I thought I might as well post it as not. Hope you enjoyed - and for those interested, the next chapter will be lighter. ;)