May Parker sat at her desk at the medical centre she volunteered at as a receptionist, typing away at her keyboard, trying to re-arrange the doctors' duty schedules so there weren't any conflicts. Well, less conflicts. After a few moments, there was a sudden burst of the summer breeze outside, followed by the sound of the door slamming. She looked up to see who had just walked in.
Stood there was a man in his mid to late thirties, his hair shaved with a very dark hairline poking through slightly, a stubbly beard on his face. He had blue eyes and a few small scars dotting his face. He was wearing a long beige trench coat with patches which had been stitched back together or even replaced, along with a pair of navy blue trousers and black military boots. He was leaning on a black cane with the paint chipped in some places, using it to walk slowly to the desk.
"Can I help you, sir?" May said, smiling warmly at the man.
"Yeah." The man said, his voice rasping "I'm Mac Gargan, I have an appointment with Dr. Stillwell at 4: 30. Is he ready for me yet?"
"Let me check." May said, tapping a few keys before looking back up at Gargan "He's still in with his last patient. Please, have a seat."
Gargan nodded and slowly moved to the green chair in the corner, taking a seat then picking up a magazine, beginning to absent mindedly flick through it. After a moment, a young man in his mid to late twenties with long blond hair in a purple shirt, brown trench coat and jeans with a pair of converse came walking out of Stillwell's office, followed by the doctor in his 40s with a receding red hairline, flecked with grey, with a goatee that matched.
"Well Quentin, I'll go over the results of today's session and see I can find the results we're looking for, give us a good starting point for our next one. Same time next week?" Stillwell said, waving the young man off before turning to Gargan "Mr. Gargan, would you like to come through?"
"Yes I would." Gargan snapped, before coughing as he stood up and slowly moved over to Stillwell's office, following the doctor inside and being ushered into a chair by the doctor's desk.
"So then, Mr. Gargan, or was it Captain?" Stillwell said, picking up the chart and flicking through it "I was slightly confused as to which you preferred last time we spoke."
"Well, I got pulled out of my job as head of security over at Fisk Industries after my injury." Gargan rasped, tapping his left leg with his cane "You can thank Spider-man and that 'Green Goblin' for that."
"Yes, I recall you saying." Stillwell said, jotting a few things down on his chart "To compound that, you were diagnosed with lung cancer eighteen months ago, correct?"
"Yeah." Gargan said, before coughing, adding "Could kill me any day now."
"Well, sounds like you have a problem then." Stillwell said, a smile slowly forming on his face "What would you say if I could make it go away?"
Peter swung through the city, flipping and spinning in mid air as he released each web line before firing the next. After a moment, he reached the high school building, clinging to the wall before quickly dropping down to the ground in the alley. As he flipped up onto the roof, he pressed a control on the silver device on his left wrist, his red and blue suit quickly reverting to an incoherent mass of red and blue, which retreated inside the watch, leaving him in his blue t-shirt, grey hooded jacket, jeans and black converse.
He pulled the strap of his backpack that was hanging loose over his shoulder as he walked out of the alley. He looked around for a second before clocking Harry walking over to a limo, apparently there to pick him up. Peter wasn't that late back, was he?
"Hey, Harry." Peter called, jogging slightly in an attempt to catch Harry before he jumped in the limo "Harry!"
Harry barely glanced at him as he got into the limo, before it sped away, kicking up dirt and exhaust fumes as it did, leaving Peter stood on his own.
"Shutting you out too, huh?" Came the voice of Mary Jane from behind him.
"He just lost his dad, what do you expect?" Peter brushed her off, turning and walking towards the school.
"You know, you're allowed to do your own mourning over your losses too, Peter." She said as she jogged to keep up with his strides "Peter. Peter. Peter, will you look at me when I'm talking to you?"
"What?" Peter snapped, stopping and turning to face her "You want me to say that everything's getting to me? That my uncle dying then my girlfriend having to move to Paris after her dad died and having my best friend shut me out after his dad died? Fine, it's getting to me, happy?"
"You're not the only one he's shutting out, Peter." Mary Jane said "He's even shut out Liz, and they were meant to be dating. But then, you've been too busy recently to know that, haven't you? What is it you get up to?"
"Work." Peter lied, badly.
"If you're going to lie to me, at least make it convincing." Mary Jane said, as Peter began to walk away, calling after him "What's the matter, cat got your tongue, Spider-man?"
Peter froze. How did she know? Had he missed something? Had she seen him when he'd come back from the church? Or later? He knew her room faced directly onto his… how had he not considered that, all those times he'd gone swinging out of his bedroom window?
"I don't know what you're talking about." He lied, just as badly as the last time "I'm not exactly the super hero type, I'm just some nerdy kid from Queens."
"Who I saw swinging out of his bedroom window in red and blue tights the other day while pulling on a, frankly, tatty mask." Mary Jane said, smiling in a manner that he presumed was her best attempt at 'sweetly.'
"How long have you known?" He said quietly, moving closer so only she could hear him.
"Well, I kind of found it weird that you disappeared right before Spidey showed up to fight that Goblin guy, and then came back seconds after Spidey swung off." She said "But when you went swinging out in that costume of yours while I was at the window last week, yeah, that was when it all clicked."
He sighed to himself. Now that she knew, there was no making her un-know. Well, Fury probably had a… No, no way of making her un-know. As he considered what to do, the school bell rang.
"So, can you take me swinging?" She asked, her tone slightly excited, as Peter began to walk towards the school building.
"No." He replied simply.
"What about wall crawling?" She asked, her tone slightly calmer this time.
"No." He said again.
"What about-" She began.
"Mary Jane, if you have to ask, then it's a no." He cut her off.
"MJ." She corrected him "My friends call me MJ."
"I didn't know we were friends." He said, half smirking "I thought you were just the crazy naked girl in the towel who wanted to take advantage of my naivety."
She said, nothing, instead grinning as she hit him in the stomach before they walked into the science classroom.
In the church by the Queens borough bridge, NYPD Lieutenant Stanley Carter walked slowly through the old building. After a moment, he walked over to the confessional and stepped inside, sitting down.
"Forgive me father, for I have sinned." He said, his tone cold and detached "It has been three days since my last confession. In that time I have engaged in sexual relations out of wedlock, I have harmed my fellow man, and I have even killed."
"Father?" Stanley said, looking towards the tightly thatched wall, giving little more than a silhouette of the priest on the other side "Father?"
There was no response. After pausing for a second, Stanley tapped on the wall. Nothing.
He stood and exited the confessional, pulling back the curtain on the other side that obstructed the priest from his view. He gasped in horror at the sight.
The priest looked like he had been mauled by some kind of animal, his clothes torn, and his flesh ripped as if by a shark's teeth. The priest was being held in place by some kind of black webbing, some of his wounds dressed in makeshift bandages made of the same substance.
Stanley backed away slowly, before bumping into something solid, falling to the floor, scrambling for the gun in his brown suit jacket. As he managed to raise the gun in front of him towards the solid object, he slowly lowered the gun as he stood up.
In front of him was a young man, around six foot four, maybe in his mid-twenties, barely older than Stanley's own son, with dirty blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He was wearing a pair of black jeans, black boots, a tight black t-shirt and a black leather jacket. The young man's face was covered in a thing layer of sweat and looked gaunt and sickly, as if he were malnourished, but his build and apparent physique ruled that out.
"H…Help me." The young man said, his voice shaky "Please, I don't want to hurt you, I just-"
Before the young man could finish his sentence, he screamed in pain. It wasn't like anything Stanley had heard before. It was primal, like some kind of animal, but unlike any animal Stanley had heard before.
"Run!" The young man yelled, his voice rasping.
Without thinking, Stanley moved towards the young man, slowly bending down to try and help him up. As he did, he noticed some kind of movement. It wasn't the younger man… It was his clothes.
Stanley backed away slowly as the younger man's clothes reformed into a skin tight bodysuit, slowly forming a kind of mask over the man's head as a white spider with long legs appeared on the man's back, the legs going under his arms, a white, rounded-edge square on the top of each of the man's hands. The man slowly stood up, turning to face Stanley, who barely stifled a shock at the large, white, angular eyes that seemed to have their edges moving as if liquid.
"What the hell…" Stanley said, backing away and falling back to the ground.
"I told you to run." The black clad figure said as it slowly advanced, a thin mouth with shark-like teeth appearing in the mask as it spoke "You should've listened."
Stanley barely got out a scream as the creature dived at him, it's mouth open, revealing the large teeth and a long tongue for the split second before Stanley saw no more.
Okay, so this is chapter 21, hope you liked it and sorry it's so short. I had intended to make it a bit longer, but this somehow felt right. Initially, I had Eddie Brock as the patient before Gargan (who will be becoming Scorpion very soon, but it was important to me to make him feel like less of a villain than a victim of circumstance, hope that came across okay), but decided to make the patient Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio instead. Mary Jane knowing Peter's secret was alluded to last chapter, but I only decided while writing this one to have her admit it, initially, I was going to have her feign ignorance for a while, but this way works better in my overarching scheme, muahaha. As for Stanley Carter, he was the Sin Eater in the comics, who was involved in the story which got Eddie Brock fired from the Daily Bugle, so I figured he made an appropriate victim for Venom. Anyways, R&R, please, no flames. B.