Episode: Deal with the Devil 1/5(?)
Writers: liliaeth, cat_13145
Characters: Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson Parker, Toby, various police officers
Summary: Peter is brought to a decision that will change his life
Donna's Donuts belongs to another time; a time when you knew everyone on your block; a time when you knew name of local Cop. Lot of things in this neighbor hood have changed since it's opening, but still Donna's offers the same deals it always has, including, as is widely known to pretty much everyone, a 10% discount for cops.
Unfortunately that discount does not count for us underpaid voluntary crime fighters like yours truly. And believe me, I have asked.”
"You’ve got to be kidding me!"
Officers Marks and Tome have done this beat nearly a million times. They always stop at Donna's at eleven. Park up in the car park and go inside. Marks normally buys a bottle of water and whatever kind of fatty and filling kind of donut that Donna has on offer.
Tome on the other hand...well let's just say.
"You can not buy a salad. Girls buy salads. Cops do not."
Tome shrugs. "It's my wife. She's been on this health food kick ever since I got the report from my physical. Just cause my numbers were a bit high… well you know how she gets."
"Who's gonna tell her, man you're a disgrace to the force.” Marks gave his partner a quick slap on the arm. “I'm embarrassed to even be seen with you."
They've left the door unlocked. Not best representation, maybe, but Donna's is the sort of place where nothing ever happens.
You know how it happens, one moment you’re happily sitting there, on a roof, dozing off a bit under the warm noon sun, because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Well, sorry for that, anyway… I first noticed the kid because he was trying not to be seen.
I'd seen him hanging around a couple of times. It's a school day, so he was probably playing hooky, but that wasn’t the suspicious bit. I’d pretty much say the suspicious bit came when he snuck up to the police car, pushing himself against the side, while pulling something vaguely nefarious out of his pocket. (God I need to stop talking to Hank, am I not enough of a nerd as it is?) Toby actually seemed surprised when the door opened. He actually dropped his screwdriver.
And this is where I come in. Who am I? I'm Peter Parker. You might have heard about me, you know, after that big press conference for which I should be getting an Emmy nomination any day now; as most certain to fuck up the rest of your life idiocy.
If you haven’t heard of me, thanks, and please do tell me where you've been hanging out, I'd love to join you.
Whoever said that its fun to be famous, hasn't had their face plastered over every newspaper, magazine and TV station in the country for months running.
They also didn't have a sick aunt, who the doctors are threatening to kick out of the hospital because it’s pretty hard for a Wanted Criminal to get health insurance. (It almost makes me feel sorry for all the times I beat up Ock. Well… not that bad.)
But hey, it's for a good cause right?
Standing up against the man; protecting the innocent and our right to get into gross amounts of property damage without having to do the paperwork. God there's times I can't even remember anymore why I'm still fighting in the first place.
Anyway, back to the kid, he moved like lightening. I started to wonder if he was on something? Next thing I know, he's in the car. Turns out Marks didn't just forget to lock the car, he even forgot to take the keys out
Now I know this kid, as you might have guessed from me knowing his name. He would have been in my class next year, if I hadn't had to give up my job.
So that’s why I know for a fact that he's skipping school today. Flash is probably going to give him hell over it tomorrow. Which would of course, fade away into nothing, compared to the whole, starting a police car, closing the door and somehow managing to drive away with it.
Do you see the uh oh coming on?
"Come on, Marks." Tome holds the door open for Marks, clutching one of Donna's Cesar salads in a brown paper bag. "You know Lorena, if I even ate one donut she’d know. I don’t know how she’d know, some kind of spouse sense, whatever, but she’d know. And once she’d know, I’m in the dog hou…”
"Spiderman's stealing our car!"
No more words were said as the two police officers stared as their car sped off into the street, chased by a man swinging from building to building dressed in a pair of black pajamas.
"Only in New York." Tomes said, softly as he sat down on the curb and grabbed his phone. Lorena was gonna kill him, if the captain didn’t beat her to it.
Toby had spent his life among cars like this. He’d learned how to use a steering wheel on his dad’s lap. But he’d never driven one before. His Dad's a cop, works the beat around Queens. Toby used to ask his dad every night if he’d seen Spider-Man. Once went on patrol with him. His dad had let him wear his cap. They didn't see him. Just found a webbed up petty thief. Toby had tried to get some of the webbing as a souvenir, but it had faded away, just like the night had.
He can't respect his father at the minute. Dad never saw Spider-Man as a hero, just as a pest, who left them with the mess because he wasn't the one who had to deal with the legal stuff. He just left his packages and swung off.
His father's for SHR. Matt, not so much.
But what did dad know, not like he was all that much of a hero? A real hero wouldn't take free drinks from a bar, or freebies like Donna's offer, for something they were supposed to do anyway. That's what grandpa said. And grandpa knew a lot more than dad did.
But then daddy had grandpa arrested for helping that one hero. It had just proved what Toby knew already. Cops like dad don't care about anything, but themselves.
Look at these two chumps. Leaving a car unlocked in broad daylight with the keys in the ignition, while they got donuts. They were lucky it was only him who took the car and not some real car thieves.
He nearly drove off the road when something hit the windshield.
Spider-Man was sitting on the windshield and talking to him.
"Mind stopping that car? I'm pretty you don't have a driver's license, and I don't think you have quite the build to fill out one of New York's finest uniforms."
"Yeah. I'd need to gain about 180 pounds"
Toby couldn't get over how much Spider-Man sounded like Mister Parker. Well he could since Mister Parker had turned out to be Spider-Man.
That had been cool. It had been like the biggest thing ever; finding out that the coolest teacher in school, really was 'the' coolest teacher in any school, ever.
He made a right turn.
"So are you going to stop that car anytime soon?” Spidey was still just crouching there. "I could use my webbing to stop you, but you caught me before I had a chance to get my breakfast."
"Why?" Toby demanded. He didn't want to talk, he didn't want to think. Dad said that Granddad was fine, but Dad was a liar.
Toby shrugged. "Cause they're dumb."
"Well now that's not true. I have it on pretty good authority that there's some pretty smart cops out there.."
Yeah right, respecting the cops, who was he kidding?
"Yeah?" Toby demanded, swinging the car violently to the left. "Show me one."
"Turn left." Spidey suddenly said. Toby didn't know why, but he obeyed before even realizing that the other street had been a one way.
"Shit!" he swore.
"Now now, watch your language, before uncle Spidey has to go get the soap out."
"So where are those 'smart' cops uncle Spidey." Toby said, hitting the pedal and increasing his speed..
"Well I used to know this really nice police officer called Captain Stacey. A very good man and a true hero. And then there's Captain Jean de Wolff, one of the best friends I've ever had on the police force. Detective Lamont, some other cops who've helped me out over the years. Right."
Another direction. Matt decided to just go with it.
"You do realize that not all crimes in this city are stopped by superheroes right? There aren't nearly enough of us for that to be case."
Toby snorted. "You know my dad's a cop, Mr. Parker!"
"Yes I know, Toby. And I'm pretty sure he'll be disappointed when he finds out you stole a squad car. But he might understand if you bring it back."
Toby snorted. "you know Solo right Mr. Parker?"
"My grandpa was helping him and a few friends of his hide out, only my dad found out, and when grandpa refused to tell him where they were, he turned grandpa in. Said it was the right thing to do."
Toby gazed up into the mask of the man he'd admired since he could remember. "So tell me, Mr. Parker, you honestly think he'd understand this?"
Spider-Man didn't answer and Matt almost stopped the car just to get him to talk.
"Not everyone who wears a costume is a hero, Toby. And not everyone who calls themselves a hero deserves that title. I know your grandfather probably saw Solo as a hero. I'm sure Solo would agree. I'm not so sure that any of his victims, or any of the bystanders unlucky enough to be around when he starts shooting would agree."
Toby stopped the car, nearly throwing Spider-Man off it.
"What do you care, it's not like you obey the law? Why should I listen to some criminal about what's right or wrong anyway?"
"You shouldn't." Spider-Man said as he took off his mask.
"I don't know your grandfather's situation, I'm sure he was just trying to do the right thing, just like your father was. Sometimes, things are just... complicated.
Matt snorted. "That's what Grown ups say when they don't want to explain things."
"We tend to do that, don't we?"
"You're not a grown up, you're Spider-Man."
Toby worried for a second, and then Spidey started laughing.
"You shouldn't become a criminal, just because your dad did something you disagreed with Toby."
Toby shook his head. "It’s not just him." he said softly. "It's everyone. How do you deal with it?"
Mister Parker looked back and Matt realized he'd never seen the science teacher look as old as he did now.
Toby stared as the black human shaped figure swung off. Then he slumped back in the car, feeling for some reason exhausted. And ready for his dad to come and get him.
Mary Jane Watson Parker had known that being married to Spider-Man would be difficult. But as she leaned against the cracking plastic of the hospital chair and stared down at the woman in the bed, who she could have sworn had shrunk since yesterday, she admitted to herself that she never thought it would be this hard. She loved Peter with all her heart, and May was like a mother to her. It didn't seem fair that she had to risk the two people she cared about most, because of idiots in costumes.
Speak of which...The hospital room window rose up, and a Figure in black entered.
"How is she?"
MJ cringed. She tried to hide it, but she knew Peter had seen it. He knew how much she hated that black costume. What it meant to her. Oh she understood why he wore it,, that it was a sign of mourning, May, Cap... so she didn't complain. But that didn't stop it from completely freaking her out whenever she saw him in it. She shook her head. "No change." Because all she saw, looking at that white spider, was Venom's jaws. She forced herself to focus.
"I talked to the doctor Peter. Jarvis' funds won't last, and as soon as the cops find out who May is…" she let it hang.
Peter bowed his head. He took the bag he'd left with her and started getting dressed, as if normal clothes even made a difference anymore.
"Maybe... " she stopped talking. Maybe they should head for Canada, like Jessica had done. Or to France like Ben. They could even go to Pittsburgh, visit Gayle. They might be able to hide there. Pittsburgh wasn't New York, and Spider-Man wouldn’t be as big a deal there as he was here. But she knew it was hopeless; there was no way May could travel.
She hated herself for those seconds that she wished that May would just die, so they could move on, grieve, live again. Hated herself, because she knew that if it happened, if May was gone, they'd both be devastated, not just Peter.
She looked at him, standing by the bed, so powerful and yet so helpless. She had no idea what she could do. Where had her strength gone? "You need something to eat." he said.
So did he, but that wouldn’t be what he was thinking about.
"I'm alright." she said, softly taking his hand. What ever happened they were in this together.
"You can't stay in here MJ. It's not good for you."
"I almost... the cops almost had me this morning." MJ whispered. "I was buying a newspaper to see - to see if they said anything about you. And a cop recognized me." She sat down. "I think it was because there was an old magazine in the showroom, with a picture of me on the cover." She tried so hard not to cry. “I ran. And I heard him call for back up. I pushed something in the way and got to the subway, I was on it, right before it left, jumped off at the next stop. I think they lost me." Peter knelt down before her. She managed to stop herself from shaking. "I feel safe here, Peter." But for how long hung unspoken in the air.
After a while Peter let go, she watched him jump out of the window and head off, still dressed in civvies. She tried not to think where he might be going.
“So there you have it, my day in a nutshell. So how do I solve it? Save MJ, save May, get kids to actually listen to me again. Oh stop laughing, they used to listen, I'm sure they did, every once and a while at least.”
“Tell me Bruce. Peter turned to the Gargoyle. "What would you do if you were me?"
“No matter which way I look at it, there's only one way. And..." he shook his head.
"It feels like I'd have betrayed everything any one I admired ever stood for."
"Does Cap really want us to keep fighting? Cap surrendered because he realized we were just causing damage instead of helping people. Scaring people without even making it clear why we were fighting. Aunt May, before I unmasked, she told me something. That Uncle Ben was right that great power comes with great responsibility. But responsibility means something more than that, it means that you don't run away, when someone asks who did that"
Peter got up and patted the gargoyle.
"Thanks Bruce, it's always great talking to you."
He swung down to the alley and walked out, keeping his face hidden beneath his hood. If he was going to do what he was thinking of doing, then...?
He walked on through the streets, looking at the city like everyone else did. Everything seemed so busy down here, hot dog sellers, businessmen and woman hustling about; full streets that made it easy to hide in.
He didn't even bother to pick a police station, just entered the first one he found.
"Of all the idiotic, irresponsible things...I'd expect better from a couple of kids out of the academy, not two of my senior officers." The captain's voice could be heard, over the usual noise of the station. The noise that comes from having people crammed into a small space for a long time and making them wait.
"Getting the car stolen was bad enough but to do it while you were getting donuts."
"Technically, Mam' I had a salad."
"I don't care if you had a flaming pink elephant, Officer Tome. The fact that the name Donuts appears in the shop will make us a laughing stock of the city!"
The desk sergeant tried to feel sorry for Tome and Marks, but failed. the fact they'd been stupid was undeniable. He fought the desire to yawn, gazing at the man making his way up to the counter.
He was young with brown hair and eyes, dressed in blue jeans and a T-Shirt. The sergeant idly amused himself by thinking what the kid could want. His mom lost the dog, or something silly like that probably.
"Can I help you sir?" he asked politely.
"Yes..." The man pulled down the hoodie from his shirt, but didn't look up; he seemed a bit twitchy, as if he wanted to stare around.
"I... "The man looked up and the sergeant nearly choked when he recognized the face.”My name's Peter Parker, I believe you've been looking for me."
to be continued