Title: Faith In Humanity
Rating: PG13 bordering on R
Fandom: Spider-Man movieverse
Author’s Notes: A while back I attempted a Spider-Man movieverse fanfic called Everyone Has A Choice, and I never finished it. This is that fic mashed down and rebuilt. It has something bordering on a plot now. :p
Summary: After the Queensboro Bridge incident, everyone involved struggles through the aftermath. Ursula Ditkovich was not involved, but she struggles through the aftermath nonetheless. And an unhappy middle-aged woman, after taking a job at the Osborn manor, suddenly finds herself an unwilling participant in the battle for a young man’s soul.
Emily, part three
27th March 2003
Christine was in the kitchen making Harry’s dinner when a spider ran out from under one of the cupboards, and started scurrying towards her. Christine let out a little shriek, and scrambled to the other side of the kitchen.
Harry came in. “What was that?” he asked, seeing her cowering sheepishly against the wall. “What happened?”
“Nothing,” Christine said, feeling foolish. “A spider made me jump, that’s all.”
Harry glanced around for it.
“Any chance you could get rid of it?” Christine asked. “Please? I’m sorry to ask, but I don’t much like touching them.”
He stamped on it.
“-it, please.” Christine finished.
Harry turned and left, and Christine stared at the smudge on the floor.
Emily David’s Diary, 6th October 1972:
My romantic relationships confuse me. My friends tell me I’m attracted to powerful men because I lost my father, but I always thought that sounded wrong. They were all dead surprised when they found out I was getting married, though. They’re mostly independent types, who can take men or leave them.
Course, they all think I’m marrying for money, too. I don’t know. I mean, I want to marry this guy! I do. But at the same time I feel like I’m on a conveyor belt or something, it’s leading me somewhere and I can’t get off it…
16th April 2003
Harry went to a friend’s birthday party on the sixteenth of April: Christine offered to stay late and clean the house. Some of the rooms were in need of dusting. There were other reasons too, of course- firstly, she badly needed the money, and secondly, she thought there was a very high chance that Harry would come back drunk out of his mind, in which case she wanted to be around to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid. She knew full well that such a thing wasn’t her responsiblity: Harry’s friends, if they were decent ones, should look after him, and if they didn’t, Bernard might well at least check to see his employer got in all right…but she stayed, all the same. She spent a good half an hour talking on her cell phone to her husband until he went to bed, and then she turned her attention to the rooms. She cleaned them, as she had been told, and then…she was left alone in the big house with nothing to do. She went to the kitchen and made herself a sandwich. She ate it. And she thought.
Time ticked by. Five to midnight.
She wandered through to the front room, stood in front of the big antique mirror, and looked at herself. There were still sandwich crumbs around her mouth, and she wiped them away.
She felt strange. It was a on-the-precipice sort of feeling. It was the sort of mindset she associated with being drunk, although it had been a long time since she had gotten drunk. Not since her divorce, at least, and that had been a long time ago.
“My son says he will never go to my husband’s funeral,” she suddenly said to the mirror and the room in general. “And there will be a fucking funeral, probably before the year is out. Everyone knows it. And he won’t go. He won’t care.”
There was silence. She didn’t feel foolish, though, not in the slightest, so she carried on. “He refused to go to my second wedding. He ran off with some slut who answers all his emails, moved out to town, won’t talk to me! My Ricky’s dying, and he won’t talk to me!”
“He hates me,” Christine said quietly, and then a creeping realisation came to her: she was standing in a house not her own, without another soul in sight, talking to herself, and not feeling foolish…because something in the room was listening. She could feel it, feel the goosebumps on her skin.
Something listening and silent and nasty was in the room with her-
The phone rang.
She jumped. It was like waking from a half-asleep nightmare: suddenly most of the creepiness was gone, nothing was listening to her, she was alone again. Nervously she picked up the reciever, not knowing what on earth she would hear.
“Mrs Steinhauer?” came Harry’s voice. “Can you come pick me up?”
She felt more irritated than anything else. And she still felt oddly cold. “You have drivers to pick you up. They work ten til seven. I know that means they’re not around now, but carting you around isn’t in my job description.” Suddenly she felt almost panicked: Harry was at last thirty years younger than her but he was still her boss, strange as that was, and she had just spoken to him like a child.
“Where are you?” she asked wearily.
She drove her own car downtown to pick him up; she knew she won’t be trusted with any of the cars in the garage. One scratch on those, she thought, and no more wages for her. Possibly no more job.
She couldn’t help but still be a little irritated, though. And, although she hated to acknowledge it, there was a voice in her head saying something major happened in that room back there: you, woman, are being drawn into a world of haunted houses.
“Didn’t you enjoy the party?” she asked.
“It was alright,” he answered, sounding like the stereotypical sullen teen.
“Whose party was it?” She knew it was none of her business, but she wanted to make conversation.
They drove on in relative silence. But as they drove down a fairly quiet street, the lights flickering above them, Christine suddenly felt uneasy. In the same instant she knew why: Harry was the first passenger she had had in her car since the Goblin Incident, and it unnerved her. But she couldn’t very well tell him to get out and walk.
Besides, she had escaped from that just fine. No harm had come to her.
“Sorry I told you to drive me,” Harry suddenly said. “I should’ve walked.”
“No,” Christine answered. “I don’t mind.”
She flicked the radio on, so she wouldn’t have to talk again.
It was a quarter to one before she was almost ready to leave the house for the night. Harry had gone to bed; she only had to gather her things and get back in the car. But as she walked across the mirror room, the phone rang out again.
She stopped dead, and looked at her reflection in the mirror. The phone continued to ring: she leaned towards it warily and picked it up.
“Hello?” she said. “Osborn residence,” she added as an afterthought.
“Hi,” said a girl’s voice. “Is Harry there? Did he get back alright?”
“Oh. Yes, he did.” She wondered if this was the ex-girlfriend, on the phone. “He’s gone to bed. He’s fine.”
“Okay,” the girl said. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Christine answered, and hung up. The room seemed suddenly very silent indeed: she gathered her belongings and left.
29th April 2003
Christine soon put the events of that day- as well as previous frightening events- out of her mind entirely. She did not believe in ghosts, if she did she would go mad. She also made her best efforts to put the inhabitants of her haunted house out of her mind: it worked fine until she arrived at work one afternoon and found Harry slumped on the sofa drinking from a bottle, with two more lying at his feet.
“Are you hungry?” she asked cooly.
“No, not really.” he said, barely looking at her.
“Harry- put those bottles down, will you?”
Maybe it was something in her tone of voice, but he put them down. He scowled at her, however. “I employ you. I can fire you, you know.”
“But you won’t, will you?” Something in her voice trembled, and Harry blushed.
“Never mind. I won’t really.”
Christine said nothing. Harry didn’t put the bottle down, but he did glance up at her.
“This woman at work gave me a picture of my mom,” he said. “When she was younger.”
“Yeah. They went to school together…I only just found out.”
Christine wasn’t sure what to make of that. A few images stirred in her mind: a brunette woman in a black dress, the words since Harry’s mother died. She wondered what precisely was going on, but it was none of her business. In the back of her head, though, she knew she would ask.
“That’s nice,” she said first.
Harry nodded vaguely. “Yeah. It was nice. At least I have a photo of her now.”
“How did she die?”
Harry stared at her.
“I’m not telling,” he muttered angrily, and dropped the bottle on the floor. It hit the carpet with a clunk. Then he snatched it back up again, and looked at her, a weird mixture of anger and fear in his eyes.
“I’m sorry, Harry,” Christine said. And then she added, because she felt she should, “Enough with the drinking- understand?”
Almost in defiance, he took one last drink from the bottle, and glared up at her. “It’s not like it matters,” he said. “My dad used to drink, and it never did anything to him. Took a murdering masked bastard to do that.”
Christine gave up. “I’ll clean up these bottles,” she said. “Sir,” she added pointlessly.
Harry swung his legs up onto the sofa and turned away; Christine picked up the bottles on the floor and went wordlessly through to the kitchen. When she got back Harry was asleep- fighting her annoyance, and the vague sense of despair she always carried in her, she took a blanket from a nearby chair and threw it over him. Then she wandered off to do the dusting.
Emily David’s Diary, 11th November 1972:
When we are married, I expect we’ll argue. Mom always told me that arguing was a sign of a healthy relationship, but I don’t believe her. Her and my dad used to argue all the time. She was a BITCH when it came to him, actually. I was actually surprised that she cried when he died.
Anyway. After Christmas comes the wedding. I shall be married and I shall be happy and I shall be rich. I wonder what lies ahead.