A mistake in timing and exceptionally bad luck on Peter Parker's part allows his archenemy Doctor Octopus to marry his beloved Aunt May. When she turns up missing, Spidey pursues the likeliest suspect, whose guilt is beyond question…or is it? This is a spinoff of Star-Crossed Lover.
The Standard Disclaimer: All characters involved were created and owned by Marvel Comics. All quotes belong exclusively to their owners. And if I were really making any money off any of this, would I seriously live in a rathole studio typing this story on a library computer!
Dramatis Personae: Peter Parker, May Parker, Dr. Otto Octavius, Mac Gargan, Norman Osborn, Felicia Hardy, Mary Jane Watson
Author's Note: There are three sides to this story: Peter's side, Otto's side, and the truth. This story's unconventional format provides the first and second; it is up to the reader to discern the third. I would also advise you to go to my profile and read "Star-Crossed Lover," if you haven't already. Then go back and read it again up to Chapter 9. I'll be waiting for you right here.
Are you done? Okay! Well, let's begin, and remember, whether old or new, read and review! My personal policy is to answer all reviewers, so after you read this chapter, go ahead and click the button labeled "Submit Review" and give me any compliments, constructive criticism, or questions that come to your mind.
Prolouge: Sober, by Peter Parker
"I am just a witless liar,
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you,
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find the center in you,
I will chew it up and leave.
I will work to elevate you—
Just enough to bring you down."
I've made a few gaffes back in the day, sure. I still do, because there's only ever been one absolutely perfect Person in existence, and He hasn't been around in two thousand years. I'm known in the superhero circles as a guy who can go from failure to spectacular failure with style and aplomb.
However, I believe most people make their big mistakes not in their workplaces, but in their personal lives. How else can you explain the fifty percent divorce rate and the existence of Jerry, Maury, Judge Judy, and emo? Everyone's victimized and betrayed by someone they trust at least once in their lives. Nobody gets away unscathed in this arena. So, I promised myself early on I'd follow my instincts instead of my heart. It isn't easy advice to follow. In fact, I hardly follow it myself.
Here's what I mean. Most of us become infatuated with certain people over the course of our lives. It's normal. That infatuation, in some cases, leads to marriage and the perpetuation of the human race, and more often in modern times, contraception prevents the perpetuation of the human race and modern mores warn against marriage. Once in a while, the infatuation works out and leads to a beautiful relationship, a sense of filial love and commitment taking over after a few months. Much of the time though, it doesn't. Infatuation is temporary, based on nothing more than chemical reactions in the brain. Unfortunately, that kind of attraction makes us do a lot of shit we would not ordinarily do. The solution to toxic people is simply to divert yourself away from them. It's difficult and you learn it the hard way.
I put on the tuxedo, carefully knotting the bowtie in front of the bathroom mirror. Aunt May, sitting on her apartment bed, is already in her pearl-colored dress, folds falling to the ankle. "Thank you for inviting me to your wedding," I tell her. "I was afraid you were going to elope. Nothing would please me more than seeing you happy and in love."
"Oliver wanted to elope," May tells me, chuckling. "He wanted to keep it our little secret. From who, heaven knows."
"Maybe that's not the only secret he wants to keep." I twist a white carnation into a black buttonhole.
"Whatever do you mean, Peter?" She stops laughing.
"I—don't think Oliver is the right man for you." There, it's out. "You know I only want what's best for you, and I fear that if you marry Oliver, things are going to go downhill fast."
May archly replies, "Excuse me, Peter, I am sixty-two years old. I have lived through the end of a world war, the beginning and end of a cold war, the murder of your parents by terrorists in a foreign land, raising a child, the murder of my husband, and two supervillain attacks. I'm far from senile. I know what's best for me."
"So you think Oliver's your Mr. Right the Second Time Around?"
May sighs her exasperation. "If I didn't think he was, I wouldn't be marrying him."
"Do you think you should get to know each other a little longer? I don't think a few weeks of dating is enough for a lifetime of commitment."
"Not for a man your age, Peter. When you're as old as I am, time is of the essence. When you see your contemporaries die, when you see loved ones taken before their time, you get a sense of your own mortality."
"But this Oliver—"
"I understand you're not used to this, but you will have to accept him. The subject is closed."
It is not a good idea to further push my Aunt May after she says the subject of conversation is closed. I move to another topic. "Do you mind if I bring a guest to the wedding?"
"Mary Jane?" May beams, adjusting the circlet of white roses on her pale silver hair. "Lovely girl. You don't know how long Anna Watson and I had been trying to set you two up."
"No, Aunt May," I tell her. "We broke it off. I have a new girlfriend. Her name's Felicia."
She seems disappointed. "We're getting married at my Rosslyn Island in southeastern Canada," she informs me. "Oliver and I have hired a private helicopter, which will pick us all up at the address mentioned at the bottom of the invitation."
I flip out my cell and ask Felicia for tonight's new meeting spot. Who knew I would be doing this?
"Felicia, I have to talk to you about our relationship." I grasp her hands. By now, I'd changed into my costume.
"Are you breaking up with me?" she pouts, and I remember Luke Wilson's unpleasant fate in My Super Ex-Girlfriend.
"No! No, no, no! Of course not! Not at all! I just wanted to tell you that we're in love, and I can't bear to have any secrets to come between us. I want to share the most important part of my life with you."
She rolls her eyes. "I'm waiting."
I pull my mask off, revealing my real face. "My real name is Peter Benjamin Parker. I got my powers when I got bit from a radioactive spider on a high school field trip. Right now, I'm a science major at Empire State University."
"I thought you'd—look different."
How? More like a hero? Like Clark Kent?
"I told you this because I'm about to invite you as a guest at my aunt's wedding. She raised me, you know."
Great. Felicia seems utterly bored. She just found out that her glamorous superhero she idolized was just a regular Joe Blow college student who wants to go to his elderly aunt's wedding.
"The thing is, I need a really big favor out of you. I just found out my mad scientist archenemy is courting my aunt."
"Doctor Octopus?" She perks up.
"Yeah. Worse, my aunt just inherited her very own nuclear reactor and uranium mine. That's why he's rushing her to elope. We have to crash the wedding. Just wear a pastel-shaded dress and meet me at the address on this card. I'll come up with a plan."
"Sure." The corner of her smile twitches a bit. She runs off, yelling "And Spidey, one more thing—"
"Put your mask back on!"
Just another day in the life of Peter Parker, called Spider-Man.