Faith In Humanity- Cinderella, part 2

Title: Faith In Humanity
Author: sarah531
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.

Prologue
Aftermath part 1
Aftermath part 2
Aftermath part 3
Aftermath part 4
Aftermath part 5
Aftermath part 6
Emily part 1
Emily part 2
Emily part 3
Emily part 4
Emily part 5
Emily part 6
Emily part 7
Cinderella part 1

FAITH IN HUMANITY
Cinderella, part 2

A letter, 29th January 1972

Hey. I found out where you worked, and thought I’d slip this in your locker. I love the labs, by the way. Very technological. Do you want to go to dinner? If you’re not busy making Frankenstein or something, I mean. I’ll be outside on the steps at nine, kindly show yourself.

-Emily

*****

10th April 2003:

On the 10th of April, MJ recieved a letter. She ripped it open not really caring, glanced at it, and gasped.

It was good news.

Fantastic news.

Who should she phone first? John? Peter? Her parents? Harry? She’d phone them all, of course, but…John or Peter, that was the question.

Eventually she figured Peter wouldn’t be there anyway, and phoned John.

“Guess what!” she almost yelled down the phone. “A modelling agency offered me a job!”

*****

A letter, 31th January 1972

Dear Emily,

Here’s a note for your locker in return. I enjoyed dinner very much. Frankenstein is locked up in his cage for the night: shall we go bowling?

-Norman

*****

15th April 2003:

John was sitting on the sofa reading a newspaper, and MJ was in her room getting changed into her bikini. She wanted to ask John how she looked in it- whether she geniunely had the right shape for a model- but then it occured to her that she would be giving off a rather mixed signal. So she put her jeans and t-shirt on again, and went to meet her friend.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” he answered, with a grin. “You look good.” He rushed on. “I hope you don’t mind, but when I let myself in I found this in the lobby.” He held up a parcel with her name and address scrawled across it. “Yours. Is it something from the modelling agency?”

MJ sat next to him, and took it. “Doesn’t look like it.” She opened it with her nails, and tipped the contents out into her hand- there was a note, and a necklace. A chain with a gold heart on the end. For one split second she thought and hoped it was from Peter, but then she read the note.

Congratulations honey. happy birthday. -Dad

“Hmmmmmmm,” she said. She dangled the chain in the air.

“He got the date wrong,” John said uncertainly.

“Maybe it just arrived early,” MJ answered. She put the chain back in the box. “At least he remembered in the first place. At least he’s making an effort.” She put the box on the floor. “Wanna go out to lunch?”

“Sure.”

As John got up, MJ glanced down at the box. She’d really hoped it was Peter’s present. She also hoped, very much, that he would show up for the party. That he hadn’t- hell- that he hadn’t decided he couldn’t be bothered with her at all.

*****

A letter, 5th February 1972

Suprise! Another note for you.

It’s my brother’s eighteenth birthday on the 9th and we’re having a big family gathering. You’ll get to meet all my relatives. Would you like to come over? There will be cake. Say yes?

-Emily

*****

16th April 2003:

On the day of MJ’s birthday, Peter turned up early in the morning and gave her her present. The party (and it was a proper party- alcohol and all her old schoolfriends and everything) was taking place in the evening, and he told her he wasn’t coming. After her intial flash of anger, she begged him to stay.

“Harry’ll be there,” she said. “You know, Peter…your best friend? Don’t you want to see him?”

“Yeah, MJ, I just…”

“Have you fallen out with him?”

Peter shook his head. “I wish I could come, MJ, but I can’t…”

MJ had to force herself not to frown at him. “Well, thanks for the present.” She almost leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek, but stopped herself. Why wasn’t he coming to her party? Was it because the old high school crowd- half of which had bullied Peter non-stop- were going to be there? That didn’t seem like a good enough reason to her, but to him

That seemed a good explanation. It would also explain why he never went to any parties.

So she smiled at him. “I’ll see you around, then, Peter.”

“Yeah,” he said, in a tone she read as guilty. He smiled at her, but she closed the door then. She took the present through to the sitting room.

One problem with her explanation: he didn’t dare face the old crowd even for her? Wasn’t that somewhat cowardly? She didn’t at all like thinking of him as a coward, but…

She sighed and checked her guest list- she was not as a rule especially organized, but John was, and he had made the list. She found a pen and crossed Peter’s name firmly off it.

*****

The party was in full swing by ten ‘o clock.

Flash Thompson and his girlfriend arrived second, after John did. MJ had had no qualms about inviting him: while she had never forgotten how he treated her, he had improved considerably since high school. His IQ was now at the human level, having moved on from gorilla standards. “Hey, Flash. Hello, Liz.”

“Hello, lovely.” Flash took his jacket off and threw it onto the sofa, and MJ noticed he was wearing a badge. What was written on the badge struck her as pricelessly ironic, considering who else she had invited to the party.

“Uh, Flash? You know Harry Osborn’s coming as well, right?”

“Oh, the richboy? Is he bringing cake?”

“Flash, d’ya read the papers?”

Flash shook his head, but Liz was clearly more well informed. “Flash, you’re wearing a Spider-Man Fan Club badge- and that’s the guy who Harry thinks killed his father.”

Killed his father?” Flash repeated, in a tone that suggested he intended to have a heated debate with Harry when he got there. “Spidey would never do that.”

“Just take the badge off,” MJ said firmly, “because I don’t want a fight breaking out.”

Flash took it off and put it in his pocket. “OK, fine,” he said. “But Osborn must be losing it. Can’t he pay for a shrink?”

“Flash, how about you just don’t talk to him at all?”

John came in from the kitchen.

“Oh.” MJ said, glad for a change of subject. “Guys, this is John.”

John shook hands with them. “I’m a friend of MJ’s.” he said. “D’ya want anything to drink?”

*****

While Flash and Liz got down to some serious drinking, and other guests started to arrive, MJ opened some of the presents. John’s was first.

“Oh wow– I wanted one of these!”

It was a silver bracelet with four charms: a kitten, a flower, a heart and a book with her initials on it.

“I love it, John! Thanks.”

He took her wrist and carefully put the bracelet on. Then he looked in her eyes- this would be the perfect moment for a kiss, but-

Harry’s here!” Flash yelled from the other room. “Osborn! I want a word with you.”

MJ hastily got up and went through the doors. Harry was standing there holding a present, and Flash had his hand clamped on his shoulder.

“Osborn, d’ya really think-”

“Flash!” a voice yelled. But it wasn’t MJ, or even John- it was actually Liz, sitting on the sofa with a drink in her hand. “Flash! Get back here.”

“Osborn, lemme just say- you’re wrong, man. Wrong in the head.” Flash announced, and went back to his girlfriend. MJ let out a breath and went to Harry. He placed the present in her hands.

“What was that about?” he asked evenly. “Why does the resident caveman think I’m wrong in the head?”

“It’s nothing- he just-” Honesty was the best policy. “He just read your Spider-Man articles and doesn’t believe them-”

Harry shot a look in Flash’s direction: it was such a murderous look it frightened her, and the fright didn’t go away like it normally did. “I mean, he doesn’t think Spider-Man is capable of murder.”

“Maybe I should go over there and tell him what I think, then?” Harry said angrily. He didn’t wait for a reply, but started walking.

“Harry!” MJ grabbed him. “I agree with him, actually, on the Spider-Man thing- you’ve never wanted to beat me to a pulp, have you?”

“Of course not,” Harry said, caught off guard. “But he’s a bastard anyway, MJ- you remember what he used to do to Peter?”

“Yeah…”

Harry glanced around the room. “Speaking of which…is Peter here? Is he gonna come at all?”

“No and no. Sorry, Harry.”

Harry shrugged. “Well,” he said. “Happy birthday, anyway. I’m gonna get a drink.” He headed off for the drinks table.

“Harry, please stay away from Flash,” she added. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed two things: John carrying an armful of her presents to the center of the room and, secondly, Liz staring straight at her and Harry with something like jealousy.

“Alright. I won’t talk to him.”

“And don’t talk to Liz either,” she whispered. “I think she likes you. That’ll give Flash incentive to beat you up even if the other thing doesn’t.”

“Why the hell did you invite him, MJ?”

“Maybe it was a dumb idea.”

“Hey, MJ!” John yelled. “Come over and open a present. You’ve got generous friends here.” There was a slightly drunken roar from around the room.

MJ went to him and gradually opened a few presents, showing off to her small crowd with exaggerated faces and dry comments as she did so. They were the normal stuff like books and clothes- and then she spotted Peter’s present.

Maybe she’d open that later.

*****

A letter, 5th February 1972

Dear Emily,

Sorry, but I can’t. Something has come up, and I need to stick around in the lab every night for, well, a long time. We’re working on something big and I need to be there. I hope he has a nice birthday, though.

-Norman

******

She opened Peter’s present towards the end of the party, when people were starting to leave. Flash went home at midnight, and Harry not long afterwards. MJ seriously hoped Harry wouldn’t go after Flash and try something, although there wasn’t an awful lot he could try seeing as Flash was twice his size at least. She was a little worried. Eventually she sneaked away from her remaining guests and phoned his house: the phone was answered by one of his servants who told her he’d gone to bed.

She opened the present then: it was the only one left after all. Her heart actually beat a little as she opened it- a silver box fell into her hand. She opened it.

Another bracelet. Almost the same as John’s. She was vaguely disappointed, and displeased with herself for feeling that way.

She held it up to the light and took a look at it. Five charms dangled off it: heart, eye, spider, book, mask. The mask made her feel uneasy, like he’d put that in to tell her something. Tell her she was living behind a mask? Maybe…

Maybe not.

“Hey, you got another one,” John said, coming to sit next to her. “Who’s that from?”

“Oh, just an old friend.” She slipped it into her pocket, shrugged, and grinned.

“They’ve started a dance competition in the other room,” John said cheerfully. “D’ya want to dance?”

“Sure.”

She let him grab her hand and dance her out of the room.