Summary: Set in Season 3. Springtime. Pete and MJ are the only two of the M-cubed crowd to be relationship-less romantic-wise. Who are they to confide in now, when their significant others are either locked up tight or in the son of the devil-ahem-Harry's arms?
I've decided to make this story full of one-shots of character interaction between Peter/Spider-man and all his character cast. He has the biggest and they each character deserves to be used. Since this series has sadly been cancelled these one-shots will take place mostly in the future to give a little insight to what I expected Season 3 to be like. I know it would've have BRILLIANT with what Greg Weisman had in store for us. Some one-shots might be set during Season 1 and 2 to give highlight to events or different POVs from other characters but it will mostly be on the web of interactions between Peter and others thus the name of this story: The Web One Weaves. Not really originally so I might change it later.
I can't believe he did this! Harry. Here we were: Me and MJ, MJ and I. We were sitting outside the Silverspoon. He told me to meet him and Gwen there. I told him I'd feel like a third wheel, but he insisted and hung up. Something sounded off with Harry when I talked about being a third wheel...
Here we were though: the Hot Red-head and the Science Nerd of M-cubed. What did we have in common? We were both relationship-less that is romantic-wise. I was sure she knew what Harry was trying to do too even much longer before I did.
"So... Harry call you too?" I asked
"Yeah, pretty much," she replied shrugging with a smile. Usually, MJ had a nonchalant voice. It never revealed anything unless she changed her tone. This time it was sheepish.
"Oh, okay..." It was silent-way too silent. And I'm not talking about comfy, more like the most awkward silence the world has ever heard-er not heard.
We both kept quiet our eyes never looking at one another staring at the scenery or the table's now attractive pattern. Around us wasn't helping. Loads of couples or good friends were seated at the surrounding tables. It was either or and MJ and I weren't really of the two choices. We didn't know where exactly we stood. We were friends, but not the best of friends.
I didn't know what to say. I knew the circumstances and the situation of why Harry had done this but I couldn't comprehend it all in my awkward mind. What was with MJ? She was always the one having all the fun. She gave the appearance that nothing got to her. It was both nerve-racking and appealing at the same time. The lack of it was... disturbing, maybe even a little Gobby disturbing. Never mind. I didn't want to dwell on that, but this needed to be fixed.
To finally break the silence that had been brewing for almost a whole minute I and coincidentally she said simultaneously, "So this is awkward." There were chuckles from both of us still tense but we both were under the same position. Again we said, "Harry is so gonna get it." I clamped a hand over my mouth and gestured for her to go on to avoid further embarrassment on both our parts, but she gestured for me to go.
I sighed. "Like I-uh we-said, Harry is gonna get it. I mean setting us both on a blind date of sorts."
The joke was not missed on me. We had been on a blind date before anyways courtesy of Mastermind Aunts Incorporated. She smirked with another sigh from me, a ritual we seemed to have gotten into over the last few months. I had sighed, but then the smirk was happily received by me, not because it was a pretty charming smirk, but it really reminded me of her usual self. Lately she had been acting weird and I didn't get why.
"What's wrong MJ? You've been seeming a little on the quiet side. I mean you're usually all fun and stuff, but now you're..." Great she was back to the stoic face that I was sure hid her inner sadness. This wasn't working. She obviously didn't want to talk. Serious me only worked when I was dealing with big Spidey things. Even so I usually cracked jokes as Spidey to keep it light. Guess it was time to follow that line of work now. I'd later blame my tense brain for not realizing my next mistake.
"So no date? I thought you'd be around with some incredibly charming guy credible to match yourself?" I saw the hurt look on her face and a silent groan erupted in my head. Of course Mark! How could I forget the one guy who had almost burnt me to crisp only about two weeks ago. It had taken me loads of months for me to finally somehow move on about Uncle Ben. I'd still gotten barely over it these days. How could she be feeling about it now with Mark's situation? What was worse was he was alive and well(as well as a human Emmy trophy could be). He wasn't gone, but farther away from her grasp than ever. If he ever gave in to the authorities and played good boy his parole would still be long gone. New York cops don't take well to burnt down buildings apparently.
It was weird to see MJ so open so... vulnerable. Now that I thought about it she was always keeping her guard up. It was a shield meant to hide her feelings. Or was I reading too much into this? MJ was truly that party girl and I was probably giving her emotions a little too much credit.
I needed to say something-her eyes were searching my face for the answer. They finally stopped to give me eye contact then looked away. My mouth was tight. MJ and I weren't too too much of friends and I was glad she started to talk for me.
"Tiger, it's been two weeks. And Mark was a great friend. More than that, he was well... you know." She questioned me with a raised eyebrow. "It's not a perfect Gwen and Pete romance but it was pretty close." Teasing smile, again. I scrunched my mouth questioningly back but sat as she continued. "Harry saying all four of us were going to be here-a foursome,"-knowing smile- "I thought it'd be good to get out and hang. Get things off your mind, ya know?"
Yeah I did know. How many times had swinging from building to building been a release for me? I nodded.
"Well someone's listening. Guess Gwen is teaching you," she winked. She was on full-out teasing mode. She always did this to me. I was used to it, but it still peeved me from time to time.
"Oh and how is your little soap opera going? I haven't heard much from Gwen since she's been tied to the hip with Harry... And why are they dating again? Last I got was the GwenPete go-cart was on the move."
"Hey don't try to change the subject! We need to deal with the Molten Mark problem first. Besides why haven't you asked me this before?"
"Well I was kind of dealing the Mark supervillain thing before so... yeah. And sorry this GwenPete thing is just getting too sizzled. One of you is really gonna get hurt and I don't think there's going to be a top dog this time." MJ was really back to herself and I didn't want to ruin it by bringing back the Molten Man topic so I rolled with it. I did miss her advice over the past weeks.
"Well what am I supposed to do?" I sighed exasperated, "Harry has his own problems and Gwen can't leave him in his time of... uh need." We were getting back to my latest let-down even though she didn't know it. Why did everything lead to a maniacal emerald elf?
"So it's a pity thing?" she asked in that sultry voice of hers.
"That'd be a yes Pete."
Huh, she called me by my real name. I had gotten so used to Tiger. We were getting more serious by the minute and I wasn't sure if I liked it. MJ seemed to agree too so she abruptly said:
"As much as I like to re-enact drama on stage, it's not my thing. Life is short, why waste it moping over what could have been and what-ifs when you can make it your own?" She stood up and snatched her coat flipping her red mane as she did. I gave a slight yip as she grabbed me by the shoulder(faster than my spider sense could even pick up!) saying, "Come on Tiger! Let's have some fun. I'm done sulking over the past. It's been two weeks. Time to get over it and kick it to the curb. We're going to my place. Aunt Anna loves visitors. She'll be thrilled to have you over."
She sauntered off with her black boots clacking on the stone cafe courtyard, barely even checking if I was following. At last minute she turned and gave me a curious face. I was just so stunned by her sudden change of attitude: sprouting life philosophies one moment then spunking up the next second. With a snap of her fingers I was back, probably blushing furiously. The twinkle in her eyes confirmed that.
I caught up to her in almost Spidey speed. "So what are we doing; going to your Aunt's?"
"Yes and no. I've changed my mind. We're going somewhere fun," she stated, "What better fun is there than my favorite restaurant, my treat."
A few blocks down while talking casually about the drama club's first production we walked to a small restaurant with red booth seats. It was like one of those from the 60's except less flashier and roomier. I didn't expect such a place from MJ. I voiced my sentiments, "I didn't think this was your style."
"Well Peter, I didn't think you'd ever resolve things with Gwen. You still haven't, so everything's relative," she said cooly.
It seemed like a low blow to me, scoffing about my current heartache when I had been just helping with her own. I didn't get why she was offended by that. She never gave me any reason to believe such a place was something she'd dine at. The quick person she was, MJ had already sat at a booth. I followed.
She was pleasantly talking to our server. They appeared to know each other as he scribbled on his pad without question MJ's order of a veggie burger. I only ordered a drink.
"It's a new place, might as well try something new as well Tiger."
I shrugged and she looked out the window. There was nobody around, just us and the waiters seemed content with that. I wondered about the familiarity MJ held with this place and it's people. The restaurant wasn't too far from our neighborhood. How many times had she gone here and if so what was the purpose of eating at a greasy small-town restaurant.
The servers came out with our food. I drank my coke slowly and thirstily. Now that I thought about it I didn't get many times when I could just relax. Maybe that's what MJ felt. This deserted place sure did feel like it. The silence here was actually calming and it felt like my spider sense wasn't even apart of me anymore.
As I drank and she munched, in between mouthfuls, we talked about school, things, anything, life, whatever. MJ commented on JJJ's bossing around. I joked about his temperamental issues. She said Rank's dad was his anchor. I asked if Rand was still putting up with Sally's "wonderful" personality. She teased me about my crush I had had on Sally at the beginning of the year. We let go of everything else and talked about what was on the surface-mainly gossip-nothing skin deep. It was great. Here was a place where things were told as they were and weren't delved into deeper. Mark was forgotten and so was... Gwen, or at least the busted wheel on the "GwenPete go-cart".
All things must come to an end and she finally brought us down to earth.
"Tiger, you're alright." she noted as we walked home.
"I wasn't before?" I half-questioned, half-goaded.
"I'm talking about cheering a girl up. Most guys would try to get to the center of the problem and pester it out of'em or they'd completely ignore it. You went with it and did what I wanted to do. You let it be."
"I was just doing what I thought best. You didn't want to talk about and I knew I wouldn't get anything out of you yet." Whatever had inclined me to do so had felt right.
"A modest and smart guy," she smiled. "The science nerd IQ probably has something to do with it."
"Hey, don't think that us science nerds don't have charm," I jibed getting some laughs. In my voice, I swear I heard some Spider-man included. After the the clash with Gobby and let-down Gwen, it hadn't been a big pastime.
"Don't get me wrong, but maybe you are dating material."
Something within me pulled and I didn't like it. We were swimming in unwanted territory.
"'Cept I'd just be the rebound guy, and-"
"I'd be the fill-in." We understood each other. There was a disappointing resolute note she left with that. The small disappointment I ignored, vanished by her next string of words.
"Seeing as you've got a thing for smart blondes, this isn't a date," she said.
"Yeah..." I paused for her to continue.
"What do we call it then? I don't think Gwen'd appreciate it if I started calling our meetings dates."
It made sense. "Good point. Well considering we're both currently not in a relationship I guess it's sort of a Get-Over-It thing. I mean I'll be waiting for Gwen-not too long of course because I'm going to speak to Harry," (Gees! MJ could give glares that might rival Gwen's Look. I guess it did get tiring waiting for us to get together), "so technically I'm not getting over anything but the fact that I got what was coming. Gwen had to wait now I have too," she gave me a approving nod like I was a pet monkey who ate just the right amount of bananas, "And Mark, well he probably isn't coming back as the same person so yeah..."
"It's settled then, this is a Get-Over-It date."
Nothing more than good friends. I was glad. I needed a friend. My two best friends were currently hanging together like Rhino and his silicon suit. They were tight. I guess I needed somebody too.
We arrived at the Watson residence but by then it was about 10. Ever since Aunt May's heart attack I had decided to take the precaution of coming home early so I could to check up on her. MJ knew the procedure so we departed ways at her yard.
"Duty calls," I saluted her.
She smirked as if considering an inside joke. What was that about?
"'Til next time, see ya Tiger. Say hi to Aunt May for me." With a wink and smile she turned, but then I felt her hand on my shoulder holding me back.
I turned and found her face right in front of me. I mean right in front of me! If I had moved an inch closer...
"Yeah?" I swear I was a little tongue-tied at the close-perimeters.
"Thanks for everything," she whispered with a small smile. From then on I knew I'd remember that smile. It was tiny and held a nervous twinge to it. I felt like there was something more to it, but I didn't want to pry.
"You're welcome." The smile turned into a full-blown grin that had some of her usual spunk to it. She gave a final wave and shut the door.
I turned home, wondering which I liked best. The true grin was mind-blowing. It was contagious and winning. She was truly happy or was she? The tiny sheepish one held more too it though. It felt real-more than her nonchalant voice could ever reveal. I couldn't place my finger on it, but there was something there hiding from our previous conversation.
Speaking of our Get-Over-It date, I'm back where I began. I can't believe Harry did this! MJ and I were completely soapy and mopey about it. Didn't he realize how we would have felt after our break-ups? He had had that thing with Glory go down hill. Didn't he think about the awkward tension that would occur? An anvil could've have fallen like in those silly cartoons and it wouldn't have been broken. Didn't he realize how close we would get sharing this moment? This moment... Huh... A memory of her tiny lip-biting tense smile came back. It was unsettling to think MJ could ever be so feeble, but it was so... human. It gave me a nice feeling knowing that maybe I was possibly the only one MJ had shared that specific side with.
I can't believe Harry did this! But I'm glad he did.
Please do review! Constructive criticism is the best though anything is accepted from one-word notes of gratitude of sayings like, "Cool!" to flames that may fizzle and burst possible new ideas out of the ashes like that of a phoenix.
Thank you for reading(and reviewing)!