"Whoa. Pregnant. Well. That's a… that's a shock," Harry stammered. "Not that I'm not going to step up and help you and the kid! Of course I'm going to do that. If you keep it. I mean, I don't mind if you do, I'd like it but it's totally up to…"
"How do you know it's yours?" Peter interrupted, albeit in a quiet tone while looking at the floor.
"Well, I… we… we, you know, did it too." He lifted his head a little, blushing.
"Well… that's… alright, fine." Harry looked at Mary Jane. "Whose is it?"
"How should I know?" She blushed as well, but more in agitation than embarrassment like Peter. "It's not like I have some kind of automatic sensor that tells me these things!"
"Well can't you get something to tell?" Harry pressed. "There are tests, I know there are. They have those baby-daddy specials on talk shows all the time."
"I don't know." She paled. "Maybe. I don't know if the pregnancy has to be a certain number of weeks along. I mean, I'm sure we could tell once the child was born."
"Doesn't matter." Harry shook his head. "Don't worry. I can take care of it."
"What does that mean?" Peter turned on him with wide eyes.
"Pete, you can barely pay your rent. Even if you did contribute to the kid's genetic make-up, there's no way you can pay for the kid. Clothing, schooling, food, all those things cost money. And I have a lot of that."
"So you can just buy my kid?" Peter looked a little offended and a little panicked.
"You don't know he's yours!" Harry turned towards MJ. "And I thought you were on the pill anyway!"
"Things have been stressful," she blushed. "I've been missing days with… with everything. It's hard to remember stuff like that when you're getting kidnapped and fired and dumped left and right!" She countered. "It's not like I meant to forget!"
"Like you didn't mean to sleep with both of us," Harry countered.
"You were there too," she pointed out.
"Stop!" Peter held out his hands. "This is… look, MJ, I have no problem with… with… I mean…" he looked at Harry.
"With what?" Harry demanded.
"Harry, I know we've shared something, but if I'm going to have a child…"
"Shared something?" Mary Jane interrupted. "What are you two talking about?"
"Before you came over…" Peter started to explain.
"You don't know it's your kid!" Harry blurted. "Maybe I should be the one marrying her!"
"You can't… you were the one who kissed me first! You weren't even engaged to her and now you want to marry her?" Peter could feel his agitation uncharacteristically rising. "At least we were engaged!"
"You still haven't told me what you mean by shared something!" MJ looked between them furiously.
Peter flushed. "Harry and I… I mean, we've been friends for ages and granted I never thought it was a deep as it was but we might have… maybe we kissed a little but that doesn't mean…"
"GREAT!" She screamed. "Two possible fathers and they're both more interested in doing each other than helping me!"
"Well that's a selfish way to put it," Harry snapped.
"You're not the pregnant one!"
"Good! Because if I was, I'd be acting as crazy as you are right now!"
"Harry!" Peter looked mortified. "And we didn't do anything, we only talked a little… I mean, we kissed, sure, but we both still care about you MJ. We don't want to hurt you, we just weren't sure about what we should… or who… it's complicated."
"You're telling me this?" She glared, and then without warning started to sob.
"Oh great," Harry moaned and rolled his eyes. "Told you. Crazy."
"Not helping, Harry!" Peter touched her shoulders. "And you were talking about marrying her?"
"I'm more financially stable and that's the truth!"
"And what about emotional stability!"
"What about the fact that I'm not going to go running out at night and end up getting killed by some guy who can shoot lightning at me or is wearing some bizarre acid firing appendage or something like that! Is that what you want for MJ's kid? Are you really ready for the responsibility that a kid is going to bring?"
"This isn't rhetorical!" Harry burst out. "I am more than you!"
MJ, still sobbing into Peter's shoulder turned. "Stop it! I just… please tell me this is going to be alright." She sniffed. "I don't know what to do. I don't… I need to think."
"Great room. Couch. Let's go." Harry moved slowly on the crutches, while Peter, hindered by Mary Jane, kept pace.
For a while, the only sound was that of Mary Jane crying. They sat close together, but kept looking at one another then glancing away, unsure about where to focus, who to look at or who to address. Finally, it was Harry who broke the silence.
"You know, there is one think we could do."
There was silence for a few moments until Peter replied.
"You like me, right?"
"Yeah." Peter held MJ a little tighter. "I do."
"And I like you. And we both like Mary Jane. And she likes the both of us. I think." He looked down at her. "Right? You like us?"
She looked up at him, her eyes still watering. "Harry, are you suggesting…"
"Just give it a fair hearing." He swallowed. "Nobody has to get married or start a fight or set us against each other or anything like that. Pete, you don't have to stop being Spidey because we can take care of the things that you can't. And MJ, you don't have to keep worrying about making a decision you're going to regret."
"And you?" Peter asked Harry. "What do you get?"
"I get to stop worrying about being the odd man out and ending up alone." He shifted closer to Mary Jane, snaking his hand around her back so that it was resting against Peter. "We can all stop playing this games and messing with each other's minds and just… just relax for once."
"What about the kid?" Peter asked.
"No tests. We don't find out and then we can think whatever gets us through. Pretend its mind or yours or whatever. I mean, if we knew, it isn't like we wouldn't love the kid anyway. I mean, if it was yours I'd be the godparent, right? And vice versa."
"What if I don't have the kid?" MJ postulated.
"Are you not going to?" Harry looked down.
She sniffed. "I've always wanted to be a mom. Maybe not this soon, but… I'm going to have the kid."
"Then it works. Neither of us has everything, but with both of us, well, Pete and I would make a pretty good dad together, right?"
MJ managed to laugh a little. "Yeah, I guess you would."
"Good. Then we can cut the crap that comes from going back and forth and trying to make decisions and then making other decisions by making the decision not to make one." He paused. "And I really hope you guys agree because frankly I'm not sure I have the energy to keep arguing and discussing this and going back and forth about whose cheating with whom."
"You're really serious, aren't you?" Mary Jane looked at him with dry but still-red eyes.
"As a supervillain attack."
"It wouldn't be easy," she sighed. "Every time one of us has a fight with another – and we're going to have fights with each other – we're going to try to use the third against the other."
"Can't be worse than any of the fights we've already had. If you think about it," Harry point out in a lazy voice. "Pete? You're awfully quiet over there. What are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking I'd have a tough time explaining this to Aunt May. To anybody."
"And that's it?" There was worry in Harry's tone.
"No. I'm also thinking that as weird as this sounds, it might, might be the best solution." He looked at one then the other. "Does that make sense? Because it's sounding good in my head, but in the kind of way that something that sounds good in your head could turn out to be an absolute disaster later on."
"I'll repeat, any more of a disaster than any of the previous ones?" Harry looked at him. "We tried to blow each other up over this."
"Well, this and your dad," Peter added.
"Yeah, but also this." Harry sighed. "I mean, I'll understand if you're just too weirded out by this. Or if you have some kind of deep-rooted moral objection to the whole idea. But I love you both and I don't know what I'd do without either of you. And if you want me to go away, I can make myself live with that, if it would make you happy. Ask yourself, though, if you would be happier that way. Because I'm not. Even with one, I think about the other."
He fell silent and waited until finally Peter nodded. "Me too."
Mary Jane said nothing, but moved in closer to Peter and tugged on Harry so that he would follow suit. "So who gets to name the kid?" She asked once there were all comfortably settled.
"I've got some straws in the kitchen," Harry offered. "You know, if it comes down to that."
Harry whistled as he cut the box open with quick, cutting motions.
"You're awfully cheerful," Peter remarked as he carried in another box marked 'shirts.'
"Is there a reason I shouldn't be?" Harry pulled out an alarm clock and a stack of jeans. "Operation went well. Physical therapy is going well." He stood up and pulled Peter towards him by the waist. "Same for my love life." He leaned in and kissed Peter.
"Stop that," Peter said, making a play of pushing him away.
"You embarrass so easily," Harry laughed.
"Cute, isn't it?" Mary Jane added, walking into the room. "He does that all the time. Always has." She walked up behind him and gave him a hug.
"Great," Peter muttered. "Now there's twice the amount of people to pick on me." There was a beeping in the corner and Peter pulled himself away from the sandwich.
"What going on?" Harry turned.
"Police radio. I've got it on the highest setting so this has to be something…" He fiddled with the knobs and leaned in to listen for a moment, then stood up straight. "Gotta go."
"What's happening? What's going on?" Mary Jane asked as he began taking off his shirt and pants to reveal the spandex underneath.
"Nothing good," he muttered. "Convict broke out, somebody by the name of Cletus Cassidy."
"Cassidy?" Harry frowned. "That name sounds familiar."
"It should," Peter said as he took his mask out of a drawer and pulled it on. "He killed over a dozen people before they put him away the last time."
He was out the door right after that, leaving Mary Jane and Harry standing around in the midst of a bunch of boxes in various stages of being unpacked.
"I hate this," Mary Jane sighed. "I shouldn't. He's being selfless. People need him. But I do."
Harry gave her shoulder a squeeze. "At least now we can worry together."
"And when your leg is better?" She looked up at him. "Are you going to follow him out into the night, leave me at home with twice the worry?"
"Leave him out there without protection I could offer when he might need it?" Harry asked quietly.
"I know." She looked down. "You two… you make me feel so selfish."
"I'm sorry. Didn't mean to… anyway." He kissed her temple. "We'll talk about it when I get better. In the meanwhile, we'd better try to get all this cleared off the bed and get the room in some state of order. He's probably going to want sleep when he gets back."
"I know, I know." She sighed and started putting clothing into drawers.
Harry walked up behind her, pressed his hands down on his shoulders and held her. "It scares me too," he admitted. "What he does. Especially because I've felt first hand how thin the line between life and death is. But it's part of who he is. He wouldn't be the same if he didn't do this. Would you really want that? Would that really be the Peter we love?"
"No," she whispered. "I wouldn't."
"Me neither," he agreed before going back to unpacking.
A/N: Another addition to the anniversary flux of updates. Feels like the pace might be a little fast on this fic, but I didn't want to draw it out too much. Hope you enjoyed and, as usual, reviews are appreciated.