Author's Note: Okay, so I haven't really been doing much for a while. There's not really a good reason, I just haven't. I'm in a little bit of a slump right now, trying to find the right words to write Unnoticeable. I saw Captain America: the Winter Soldier and it helped me out a little, gave me a good idea of what the Marvel Cinematic universe will be like.
No spoilers here, but it's pretty incredible. Now, onto the pairing. For the last few chapters, Spidey's been at a disadvantage. So I decided to just write something fun, that I've been wanting to do for a while now. Victoria Hand was a great character, she really was. She did what she thought was right and even though she wasn't always on the right side, she more than made up for it in the end. I was upset when Marvel just bagged and tagged her, that was it. Yes, she got an Avengers statue in her honour but I feel like nothing came of her death.
Some of my most enjoyable moments were the banter shared between herself and Spidey, the tension was unbelievably thick. Seriously, it was like a school yard crush, girls and boys teasing each other. So I wanted to shed a little more light on Victoria, who was an interesting character. I don't know what to make of it, so here you go. I hope you guys at least get a nice laugh, that'll be enough for me.
Disclaimer: Any and all Marvel characters belong to Marvel and in turn Disney, I do not own them or have anything to do with them in any way. The same can be said for the DC side of the spectrum, any and all DC characters are owned by DC. I make absolutely no profit from this, it's just a bit of fun.
It was a bright, warm day. A day free of any attacks or drama, world ending catastrophes or cataclysmic events. A day where superheroes could just sit back and relax, enjoy the quietness and simplicity of the moment. All of them sat around the long dining room table, smiles and joyful expressions beaming with pride and humour.
And Victoria had to sit in and advise them all, acting as the unofficial organizer of the… whatever kind of Avengers they were. There were so many teams running around with the name, it was hard to keep track of, even for her. And she knew that they didn't trust her, none of them did. Heck, the only reason she was even allowed to partake was because of Steve Rogers.
The patriot had given her a second chance, after her initial stint of craziness with Norman Osborn. Victoria was still trying to figure out what that had been about, poor judgement on her part or sheer desperation? Suffice to say, she'd have rather forgotten about it.
The woman sat quietly as laughter was shared, stories and jokes passed around among the team of superheroes. She shifted in her chair, crossing her long and slender legs as she went over a few notes concerning the team's financial status. They were all being paid, rather generously for their services to the world.
Well, save for one. Victoria's eyes flickered up, the colour hazel peering out over her slightly triangular glasses. They met and connected with a wide, white pair of blank lenses, staring at her with hidden intensity. Immediately, Victoria was the first one to break contact. She stared back down at her notes, forcing herself to concentrate on her work.
It was a regular occurrence, almost happened every day. She and Spider-Man would spend seconds, minutes at a stretch, just staring at each other. And Victoria knew it was because he couldn't trust her, had the most reasons out of everyone not to. She had seen it first hand, the hatred Norman and the web-slinger held for each other.
Such a blood feud that even when Norman practically owned the world, he still wanted Spider-Man. Not locked up, not killed by his own twisted spin of the Avengers, no. He wanted the wall-crawler to know the true meaning of pain, unmasked right in front of him and then killed slowly but surely. And Victoria could understand why the vigilante didn't trust her; she probably wouldn't either given the same circumstances.
Finally, Victoria finished sorting through her paperwork and raised her head to address the table. "Okay, I have this week's pay checks. Just hand them out accordingly, spend them on whatever it is you super people spend money on." She weakly joked, attempting to appear friendly as she handed Luke Cage the small stack of checks.
The tall hero did as was told, handing them out amongst his team mates. "What? Like we don't buy regular people things?" Luke muttered with an arched eyebrow.
Ms Marvel eyed her pay check before placing it down the front of her costume, not having pockets was a real annoyance for her. "I'm not complaining," she replied.
Ben Grimm took his next, grinning broadly as he read the printed figures. "Right there with ya, Carol." He agreed, watching as Iron Fist barely even glanced at his pay check.
Wolverine did the same, money not being his thing. But when he glanced over at the web-head, sat across from him and twiddling his thumbs, the mutant couldn't help but crack a smile. Sure, it was kind of messed up that Spider-Man didn't get paid but it was also fairly hilarious, as that was just his luck all over.
"Maybe you should start takin' tips, webs." Logan mocked, receiving what he thought to be a glare from behind Peter's mask.
Jessica Drew nudged the webbed wonder, a bright grin clearly present on her face. "Flash a little somethin' somethin' my way and I'll let you in on my cut," she snorted.
Spider-Man soaked in the laughter, managing a small chuckle as he loved a good joke. "Ladies, please, I'm not a piece of meat." He jested right back, flexing his arms like a professional body builder.
Jessica Jones paid the man no mind as she fed her baby girl, slowly allowing her to eat of a small plastic spoon. "Says the grown man in skin-tight spandex," she added.
A collection of whistles sounded from the group, with Barbara Morse offering him a sincere smile. "Don't let these guys get to you, Spidey. But there does seem to be a lot of pictures of your butt on the internet, I mean, do you pose or…?" She couldn't resist, finding the web-slinger's silence hilarious.
"Zing," he muttered back to her.
Before more devastating blows to Spidey's ego could be dealt, Victoria felt the need to break it up. "While I'm sure Spider-Man's butt is an important topic, I was actually hoping we could shift the conversation onto something else. Namely, today's public appearance at Stark Tower." She finished as the room lowered in volume for a moment.
Looks and glances were shared between the heroes, some curious and some indifferent. "With so many teams of Avengers running around, Steve has proposed that the public should know who's protecting them. Two separate teams, not including spec ops but heavy hitters and more or less street levellers. Be ready by three o'clock, Stark's penthouse suite." Victoria issued, watching as a collection of nods greeted her.
Almost half an hour later and breakfast had been finished with, each of the superheroes filing out with smiles as they conversed with one another. Spider-Man rose to leave, hoping to catch up with Logan as they had agreed to a quick comb of Midtown.
But he was stopped by a soft voice, anxiousness present just like it always was when she spoke to him. "Actually, Spider-Man, I was hoping we could have a private word." Victoria offered, brushing the black and red strands of her hair out of her face.
Spidey cocked an eyebrow beneath the mask, halting his movement for a moment. "Oh, really? Why? Did you and Norman organize a slumber party? Because I'm not really a spin the bottle kind of guy, unless you're offering, that is." He joked, quite antagonistically too.
Because he always felt on edge when he talked to her, afraid that something would slip out as he babbled incoherently. Victoria narrowed her eyes at him, not appreciating the implied jab he had given her.
"Don't even start with that nonsense; I just wanted a brief minute of your time. Do you think that you can act like an adult for one second? Is that too much to ask?" She questioned, rather exasperatedly.
She always felt at her wits end when talking to him, because he never gave her the time of day due to his paranoia. "Maybe… depends what you're asking," Spidey simply replied.
The two stood closer together, with Victoria motioning to the clipboard she held in her hands. "Right, it's about your services to the team and the payment problem I seem to have. That problem being your identity," she told him.
Instantaneously, Spider-Man shot his arms up in the arm. "I knew it! I knew it! Where's the cameras?! Is Norman watching?! Did you drug me?! When did you drug me?! I've only eaten waffles today, can you even drug waffles?!" He sputtered and streamed, waving his hands like a fool.
Victoria could not stand him when he was being so childish, so she poked him in the chest. "Could you just calm down and stop acting like a four year old!" She sneered right at him.
Spider-Man paused, surprised by the sudden outburst as he lowered his arms. "Thank you," the woman muttered as she rubbed the bridge of her nose.
He had never seen her shout before; she had always been so calm and collected in the right situations. "I was going to say that my lack of knowledge about your secret identity is a real problem, I can't pay you. I can't make out a check to Spider-Man and expect people to just go with it, it doesn't work like that." She explained, watching him fold his arms and possibly give her a glare.
"You do a lot for the team and I respect that, but your constant paranoia isn't doing you any favours. Steve Rogers placed me in charge of this information and I don't take that lightly, Osborn is locked away deep within a reinforced cell. You don't have anything to be afraid of and frankly, I couldn't give a damn who is under that mask." Victoria stated truthfully, pointing directly between his disc shaped lenses.
Spider-Man rubbed the back of his neck, reasoning that her argument held some merit. "Really? Not even like—like a tiny bit of a damn?" He mumbled as she stared up at him, arms folded without a hint of humour.
He towered over her, never realised just how small the woman was, even in those black heels of hers. "Could you just tell me your name?" She deadpanned, clearly reaching the end of her rope.
Spider-Man cocked his head to the right. "Just like that?" He asked, wondering if it was really that easy.
Victoria nodded. "Just like that," she mimicked him.
And for a moment, Spider-Man almost caved. Even going so far as to reach for his mask, seeing a hint of curiosity swell up within Victoria. Yeah, she didn't give a damn… right. But he stopped, lowering his gloved hand with a heavy sigh. He just couldn't do it.
Victoria almost seemed disappointed. "What's wrong now?" She pressed, seeing his arms drop by his sides.
Spider-Man shrugged, his heart not even in the conversation anymore. "I can't do it," he muttered.
Victoria arched an eyebrow behind her glasses, confusion lighting up her face. "You can't do it?" She mimicked him once more, disbelief present in her voice.
"Yeah, I can't do it. I—no, you wouldn't understand. I'm just some big clown; I don't need to be paid to act the part. I'll see you around, Victoria." He began but paused momentarily, deciding it best to keep the information to himself.
He turned away from her, sadness spelled out by his sluggish movements. Victoria could see it, surprised that only minutes earlier he had been his usual wacky self. She reached out on impulse, grabbing him by the arm and halting him in his tracks.
He turned, his blank expression mirroring her inquisitive expression. "Wait, I—why not?" Victoria questioned, the sudden urge to know gnawing away at her.
Spider-Man turned to her fully, nervousness coursing through his veins. "I took money for being Spider-Man once before, a long time ago. It… didn't exactly pan out the way I had hoped, something bad happened. I can't go through that again, I—I'm just not strong enough. It's better this way, anonymity, that's what I'm all about." He regaled, nothing but sheer honesty in his words.
Victoria offered him a sympathetic smile. "I'm sorry; I didn't know that about you." She responded, not even noticing her hand still lightly resting on his arm.
"Yeah, well, I don't know much about you either. Maybe we should—I don't know, get to know each other a little better?" He suggested, receiving a smirk out of her as she raised her eyebrows.
Spider-Man held up his hands, catching her expression. "No, no! I'm not—that's not what I was doing! I was just—I mean, it'd do wonders for my paranoia if we spent more time around each other—okay, look. If Captain America thinks you deserve a second chance, then that's good enough for me. It's just… Osborn's a sore spot for me, he—he did something a while ago and sometimes… sometimes it's a little hard to forget." He spoke softly, indicating just how personal the issue was.
Victoria rubbed his arm in a supportive manner, but pulled away when she actually realized what she was doing. "I understand, really, I do. I'll drop the matter then, no more prying from me." She joked, doing her best to encourage him to smile even though she couldn't see it.
Something he was grateful for. "So… I mean, Logan's probably long gone by now and it's… nowhere near close to three yet." Spider-Man drew out, motioning for her to walk with him.
Victoria did so, staying by the taller man's side as they left the large dining room. "What are you suggesting?" She pressed, glancing up at him as he pondered for a moment.
"Uh… coffee?" The web-head weakly replied.
She placed a hand on her waist; an eyebrow skewed upwards once more. "And you're not trying to ask me out?" Victoria asked, clearly mocking the vigilante.
Spider-Man shook his head. "Nope, swearsies. 'Sides, I'm pretty sure I heard a while back that you were… uhh… into women. Which is completely cool by the way, I have like ten friends who are in to women. Of course, those friends are dudes and really, they're like three of them, not ten… I don't really have a lot of friends." He babbled, fully aware that he had just knowingly asked her out.
Victoria stared at him for a moment, not entirely sure how someone could let a sentence get away from them as much as he could. "Um… trying to ignore that last part, coffee sounds pretty great. I suppose I'll have to buy, what with your money problem and all." She quipped, making Peter like her more and more.
Spider-Man gave a chuckle, finding a sense of humour attractive in a woman. "Oh and by the way, yes, I am into women. But that doesn't mean I'm not into men too," Victoria almost whispered, her bold claim even making her cheeks glow slightly.
Peter paused and stared, watching her walk ahead of him with a crystal clear smirk. And for once, the Amazing Spider-Man was completely and utterly speechless.
Author's Note: Sometimes it's fun to leave small hints, like this for instance. Spidey's one lucky dude if things progress further, especially if Victoria happens to have her eyes on another woman. Kidding... or am I?
Hercules8: Yeah, I wasn't sure which way to go with the chapter but I thought the animals would be a nice touch. I adore animals, and I believe they have such an awesome sense towards people. I'm glad this was one of your favourites, it quickly became one of mine too!
ARandomSpiderFan: Thanks for the notice, I actually read the issue. I thought it was a great issue, what happened really resonated with me. Plus, not sure if the spoiler warning even matters when it comes to this news, Peter's return has been all over the internet since it leaked a while back.
Guest: While that was a big influence for the chapter, I wrote it with the fact that Donna's mere presence boosted the animals' emotions and thoughts. So they already sensed that Peter was a pure person but coming into contact with Donna propelled that notion to the surface, plus, it's comic books, come on, anything can happen.
Dr Odd: That's a fantastic suggestion, I've been eyeing White Rabbit for a while now and I think you're right. At the moment, she's not exactly worth Spidey's time but if I were to up the stakes a little bit then maybe she can become much more dangerous. Thanks for the review!
manuel01: While a wedding idea is a nice one, I'm trying to stay away from that at the moment. A wedding would seem too rushed and implausible, plus, I'm not entirely fond of them in comics. They're more of a gimmick than anything cohesive, thanks for the idea nonetheless.
amose: Well, given the fact that I'm an avid reader of the comics, have been since I can remember, I'd day yes. I know Spider-Man has the proportionate strength of a spider and I know he can go toe-to-toe with the biggest and strongest opponents. But Donna trumps him in every department. First of all, she assumed that Spider-Man was some great legend, on par with Metropolis' own Superman. So when she hit him, she was not holding back and this is a girl who can bench plus 100 tons. The only thing that saved his life is his own durability, he's incredibly resistant to blunt force trauma.
Hitting Spider-Man, even a superhuman, would be like hitting a concrete slab. But he wasn't able to dodge her attack because he didn't see it coming and his spider-sense wasn't able to alert him in time, Peter's spider-sense is incredibly efficient but it can be overridden in a number of ways. Namely, speed. Wonder Girl was much to fast and her speed alone overpowered his spider-sense. So, Donna is stronger and faster than him. Plus the fact that she was raised on an island of Amazon warriors, trained by her sister, the Wonder Woman. She trumps Spider-Man in skill, speed and strength. I don't think I have to go any further, maybe read up on the characters involved a little bit. Thanks for the review though.