Faith In Humanity- Cinderella, part 3

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
Cinderella part 2

FAITH IN HUMANITY
Cinderella, part 3

A letter, 19th February 1972

Where WERE you this afternoon? You could have told me. I hung around in the cold for ages.

-Em

*****

18th April 2003:

Rosie was attempting to find a photograph of Emily. She didn’t know why. It was one of the jobs she’d been meaning to do for ages, and had finally got around to. Give some orphaned kid a picture of his mom.

She left the boxes she’d been sorting through and went to her old desk- it seemed good a place to look as any. She took out the drawers, and found a pile of photographs in the bottom one. Ah.

She took them out and went through them. There was one of her…one of her and Otto…one of a bunch of their old schoolfriends…and another one…and there was Emily. She wasn’t in the foreground- she was standing behind a smiling Rosie. And she didn’t know the camera was on her- she was just staring off into the distance. But all the same, Harry would likely be pleased to have this. And she herself didn’t really want it.

She held it carefully in her hand, found an envelope and put it in there. Then she put it in her handbag. She’d give it to him next time she saw him.

Then, despite herself, she took the photo out and looked at it carefully. It must have been taken before Emily had married Norman- that made sense. It looked like it was taken when they were both rehersing for the drama society’s play, Cinderella- Emily had had the starring role. She’d done quite well, as far as Rosie remembered, despite the fact she herself had been pretty jealous of Emily winning the part.

Emily didn’t look sad in the photo, really- just thoughtful. As if she was considering her future very carefully.

*****

A letter, 19th February 1972

Sorry, Em. But you know I’m busy. I forgot. I’m sorry.

-Norman

*****

19th April 2003

Every day MJ wore one of the two charm bracelets she’d got for her birthday. But- and she hated herself for it- she mostly just wore John’s. Peter’s wasn’t as…pretty, and the mask creeped her out. It made her feel like a shallow little girl, but…well, there was also the fact that maybe John wouldn’t like her wearing another man’s birthday present. That was what she decided her explanation was.

Her most major worry at the moment, though, was a modelling show she had coming up. Clothes by a up-and-coming designer. She wouldn’t have to just sit while they took pictures- she’d have to walk across a stage, smile sweetly, and not screw up. Some of the other models there would be professionals, people who’d been doing this since they were little…while she was just a pretty face.

Not you’re not, she told herself irritably. You’ll be fine. How could you screw it up? It’s easy. Just walk across the stage- back straight, head up- smile -make sure there’s nothing stuck in your teeth- and make sure you don’t fall over on your high heels.

If, indeed, she was to be wearing high heels. She might get the swimwear instead, or something. If there was to be any swimwear.

You are shallow, she told herself crossly. You have a roof over your head and money and a good job and good friends and a lovely…close friend who’s a boy, and you’re sitting there worrying about swimwear and high heels.

A police siren wailed outside, quite close to the house. She glanced out of the window, but only saw the car tearing past.

*****

Light Up Broadway! magazine- Mary Jane Watson interview, November 2003:

Interviewer: Keeping ahold of your personal life- that shows a very mature attitude, young lady. I’m impressed.
Watson: Thank you very much.
Interviewer: So, what are your plans for the future?
Watson: In truth, I don’t know. I would really really like to act for the rest of my life, but…I don’t know. I’ve always had this thing, I think, where I try to prove things to myself and just end up…screwing it all up. And I don’t want it to happen again.

*****

21st April 2003

On the day of the show John accompanied MJ to the venue. She wasn’t wearing either charm bracelet- she was wearing an old set of gold ones her mother had given her for Christmas once. Her mother herself, though, was working and couldn’t come. Her father was quite obviously not going to show up.

John went right into the dressing room with her.

“I’m so nervous,” MJ declared. She was worried about her nervousness; how the hell would she ever be able to get on a stage and act if this was going to be what she always felt?

“You’ll be fine,” John said warmly. “You’re the most beautiful girl here.”

“Aww, John.”

“No, seriously, I mean it…”

He suddenly leaned in to kiss her- it happened very quickly. Or rather, didn’t happen, because MJ jerked her head away.

“Geez,” she said. “That took me by surprise.”

“Sorry,” John murmured. “Sorry…that was dumb. Really dumb. Um…I’ll go. Good luck, MJ…”

“I’m not mad,” MJ said. “I don’t…”

They looked at each other.

“I’ll see you after the show,” John said, and hastily walked out of the door. Then he popped back in again, before MJ could say a word, but all he said this time was, “I know you’ll do fine, okay? More than fine.”

MJ opened her mouth to speak, but he ran off, and she couldn’t think of anything to say anyway.

*****

A letter, 20th February 1972

Alright, alright, I forgive you. Although I do think we need to talk. There’s lots of things that can’t be said in notes.

-Em

*****

27th April 2003:

It was the afternoon. MJ hadn’t eaten. She was starving. But John was waiting in the car- maybe he’d take her to lunch. And then she felt guilty about thinking that, because John was not some sort of meal ticket. He was just an adorably sweet guy, who she was not in love with.

“Mom, the doctor said you should take these pills,” she said nervously, and pushed them across the table. Her mother pushed them back again.

“No. We’ve been through this. I’m not taking anything.”

“You’re not well.”

“I’ll be worse if I take those.”

MJ didn’t know what to do, so she leaned her head on the table and didn’t look at her mother. “Please, Mom. Please, please, please.”

“You seen your father lately?”

MJ didn’t lift her head. “No.”

“Me neither.”

The doorbell rang- it had to be John. MJ let him in. “She’s not listening to me,” she said with a sigh, and wandered down the hall. John followed.

And they all sat at the table and looked miserable.

“Mom, you need help,” MJ finally said. “Of some sort.”

“I do not, MJ. I cleaned the whole house yesterday.”

MJ tried pushing the box of pills across the table again; her mother didn’t even react to them. She saw John had walked into the kitchen.

“I’m going to make you some lunch,” he said calmly. MJ admired him a tremendous amount in that moment.

She and her mother sat at the table for at least ten minutes, exchanging nothing more than ‘How’s work?’ ‘It’s good.’ until John came out with some bacon sandwiches.

“Sorry it’s not much.”

“It’s great. Thank you, John.”

They ate.

And then they left.

“Mom,” MJ begged. “Please. I hate seeing you sick.”

“I’m not sick, MJ!”

MJ and John went to the car. MJ sat in the passenger seat, checked her make-up in the mirror…and burst into tears. She couldn’t help it. She was just angry and frustrated, and it was stupid because when she cried she got angry with herself. For no reason whatsoever, her mind flashed back to the night on the Queensboro Bridge, and the moments she’d been sure she was going to die. And then suddenly to several years back, her father keeping her home and not letting her go to parties, go out with friends, her shouting at him You’re not my father I don’t want you as my father…

“What’s the matter?” John asked anxiously. He put his arms around her. “MJ, what is it? MJ?”

“It’s nothing,” she said, rummaging desperately around for a tissue. “God, my family…my family’s so stupid…” And then once more she felt guilty, because the universe was suddenly telling her At least you HAVE a family. She found a tissue and blew her nose, and hoped she wasn’t about to drip snot all over John’s car. She had no explanation as to why she suddenly felt so terrible now. Maybe it was because she now had a job and John and money and everything, and her mother had nothing, and it wasn’t fair and her mother was being so stupid and her father was a bastard leaving and…

“I’m sorry,” she said, barely hearing herself.

“Oh, MJ, don’t be.”

John hugged her. “It’s alright,” he went on. “It’s natural to be upset, anyone would be.”

“I don’t want to cry,” she cried, in a horrible little-girl voice. “I hardly ever cry.”

“It’s okay…everything’ll be okay…”

He leaned in to kiss her and all she really thought was oh christ not now not right when I’m crying I’m all disgusting. But he did. And she found she didn’t care. And suddenly she wasn’t thinking of anyone else.

Why has this taken so long I really do love him-