Faith In Humanity -The Second Aftermath, 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.

FAITH IN HUMANITY
The Second Aftermath, part 3

The World And Superhumanity by Anna D Webb:

The search for the Green Goblin’s real identity had previously been narrowed down to two people: the first being Bart Hamilton, a former Oscorp employee. After being defeated by Spider-Man, he was arrested in costume and locked up- but he had, unbeknownest to the arresting officers, concealed drugs on his person. He took an overdose, and died during the night, before anybody had a chance to properly question him. Because he was the first face seen under the mask, popular opinion had it that he was the only Green Goblin; we now know that he was merely a copycat.

All evidence, which I will examine here, instead pointed to it being Norman Osborn, former head of Oscorp Industries- he is known now to have created the persona. Being the head of the company he would have had access to the strength enhancers Oscorp was allegedly developing at around the same time the Goblin first appeared, and a little digging reveals that Osborn was on the verge of losing his leadership of the company around the date of the World Unity Festival- during which, of course, most of the Oscorp board members were killed. Then, of course, there is the fact that on the same night as the dramatic battle on the Queensboro bridge, Osborn’s body was delivered to his mansion by Spider-Man himself. Few people, though, instantly assumed Osborn had been the Goblin- most newspapers theorized, if they theorized at all, that Osborn had simply found himself mixed up in superhuman affairs (the Goblin’s equipment was stolen from his company, after all) and was murdered for knowing too much. Possibly many people looked the other way when confronted with other facts: the man was a well-known public figure, after all, and his teenage son was still alive and well and vunerable.

We shall turn now, in fact, to the curious matter of Osborn’s son…

*****

June 2nd, 2004:

At nine o’ clock, when darkness was just beginning to fall, Harry Osborn went to Wally’s Diner. He knew Peter wouldn’t be there, Peter had been fired long ago (for constantly being late and/or disappearing in the middle of the day, no less), but he went there anyway. His mind was going crazy. It bounced zanily off different thoughts and ideas, not allowing him to think too hard, or take a thought to its natural conclusion, or feel much else but hate and fear.

The diner was virtually empty. There was a bored kid behind the counter reading a magazine, a couple of old men talking, and a depressed-looking blonde in a table at the corner. Harry ordered some coffee, and sat slumped in his seat thinking.

You have the glider and the bombs and the Oz drugs: really he left all that stuff for you so there’s no point rejecting it now-

You could run away you know, just pack your things and head for London, he won’t find you there, none of them will-

You don’t know what to do, do you?

He stirred his coffee.

And what about MJ? She ran off with Peter, but she’ll hate you after this-

“Harry?” someone said.

He looked up and saw, with surprise, that it was Liz. Liz Allen. He hadn’t seen her for ages. Barely talked to her even when he did run into her. He was surprised he even remembered her face.

“Hello, Liz.”

Without being asked, Liz pulled a chair up next to him. “Haven’t seen you for a while,” she said. “How’ve you been? Anything interesting going on?”

Well, yes, actually, Liz. My best friend killed my father, and now my dead father is telling me to kill him.

“No.”

“Me and Flash just had a fight,” Liz said, oblivious to Harry’s discomfort. “I went out. Didn’t think I’d find you here, but I’m glad I did.” She flashed him a smile. Harry ignored it.

“You two are still together?” he finally asked.

“Yeah. Weird, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Harry said cooly. He took another drink of coffee, and it was then that Liz surprised him. She said, “Hey…you’re not alright, are you? You haven’t been alright for a while.”

“What?”

“I…it’s just…” She backed off a little. “You know…MJ’s mentioned it once or twice. About your dad.”

Harry stared at her. “What did she say?”

“That you miss him.”

Harry said nothing. The voices in his head were going quieter. “Yeah,” he said. “I do.”

“It must suck,” Liz said.

“It does.”

Both of them were quiet after that. Harry finished his coffee.

“So,” Liz said finally. “What’re you doing now?”

“I got my dad’s company.”

“Cool. What do you guys do?”

“You read the papers lately?” Harry asked, and to his surprise she actually nodded. “Remember the whole Doc Ock thing? Man with metal arms?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“That was us.”

“Cool!” she said, and then blushed. “I mean, ur, that was bad, right? ‘Cos it was an accident.”

“Yeah. We lost a lot of money.”

“What happened to him, anyway?”

“Who?”

“Doc Ock.”

“I don’t know. Spider-Man probably killed him.”

Liz looked at him hard, opened her mouth to say something and then closed it again. “Um,” she said. “Um…you know, I dunno where I’m staying tonight. Flash probably won’t let me back in the flat.”

“Your parents?”

“They live in Chicago.”

“Hotel?”

“I’ve got no money. At all.”

*****

Harry led the way down the corridor, turning on the lights as he went. Liz trailed behind, clutching her handbag. She looked rather in awe of the place.

“Look at all the masks!” she said. “And leather sofas.”

“That’s where you can sleep,” Harry said deliberately. Liz only barely seemed to hear him, though. She was reaching out for one of the masks.

“Don’t touch that,” Harry snapped, and Liz dropped her hand instantly. She turned her attention to the portraits hanging on the wall.

“Who’s that?” she said, a note of perhaps fake brightness in her voice.

Harry looked where she was looking. “My mother.”

“Oh.”

While she continued to look around the room, Harry found a blanket and threw it over one of the sofas. He didn’t stop to consider what sofa it was, or what had previously been on it. “Liz? You can sleep here.”

“Thanks,” she said. She flashed him another smile- also possibly fake- went to the sofa, and sat down. “I love this house.”

“Uh-huh.”

“It’s so old and gorgeous.”

“Uh-huh. Thanks, Liz. I’m going to bed. See ya later.”

Liz’s face fell a little bit, but she turned around and pulled the blankets over her. Harry left the room, turning the lights off, and went to his.

*****

The New York Times, Interview with the Train Passengers, June 2004:

When this interviewer brings up rumours of alledged criminal activity- naming, the frequently-in-the-press-‘fact’ that Spider-Man murdered Norman Osborn- the atmosphere goes immediately frosty. “Don’t be ridious,” snaps Anna McDonald, 33. “That’s purely made up by people with a grudge against him, like the Bugle. There’s not a shred of evidence against him. None.” Eleanor is quick to agree. “Wasn’t that whole story developed on the back of one person’s comments?” she says. “Yeah, I remember- Osborn’s son, wasn’t it? One person.” Jonas joins in. “It’s ridiculous. That some newspapers would take the word of a traumatized kid, rather than looking at the facts.”

I ask the train passengers what they make of Doc Ock’s recent death, and confirmation of his identity. “No sympathy at all, really,” Hugo shrugs. “”The man tried to kill us, after all.” Manisha Holmes, 22, disagrees. “I can’t bring myself to hate him, you know,” she muses. “From all accounts he was a brilliant scientist, just driven mad.”

“I do wonder how he died,” Elanor says, staring off into the distance. “If I ever do meet Spider-Man, I’ll ask him.” She comes back down to earth. “Not to gloat or anything, no way. I’m just curious. I wonder if he ever did anything to atone for himself.”

Christopher, who is clearly a man of the world, shrugs. “I doubt it,” he says. “There’s bad eggs in this town. Anyway, the man was a murderer, or at least a would-be murderer- what he did next is really none of my concern.”

*****

Midnight:

Someone knocked on the door.

“Harry?” came Liz’s voice. “I can’t sleep.”

Harry groaned, got up, and went to the door. “Liz? That’s not my problem.”

“I get a creepy feeling in that room.” Liz complained. “Even if I turn the lights on. It’s scary.”

Harry sighed and opened the door. He was, after all, still dressed, and fortunately Liz was too. “Liz, go away.”

She didn’t. “It feels like there’s something in the room,” she muttered. “Watching me. You know that mirror you have? It feels like there’s something standing there.”

Harry said nothing.

“Something really nasty. It was sort of…” She blushed. “Screaming at me. In my head.”

Harry looked at her and saw she actually looked, on close inspection, quite pale and frightened. He felt a tiny spark of pity for her, and sighed.

“Come and sleep on the floor, then.”

She walked into the room. Harry threw her a pillow and blanket, and she awkwardly arranged herself on the carpet.

“Thanks,” she said.

“S’alright.”

He switched the light off. Neither of them slept-

something really nasty, screaming at me in my head-

-they were both wondering if they were anything other than a couple of freaked-out kids, all alone in the dark.

*****

Liz Allen’s blog, June 3rd 2004:

had another fight with flash. nearly threw my fucking dinner at him. i hate it. i hate that we have so many arguements and then just forgive each other and come back together, it’s stupid, and it’s been going on for years. he CHEATS, as well. so do i, but he fucking started it. and i only did a few times, compared to him kissing sluts he just met right in front of me (he does that a lot).

i hate that the defining relationship of my life is such a fucked up one.

anyway, so i ran out, met an old friend from high school. didn’t mean to, but i spent the night at his. hope flash believes me when i tell him that nothing happened.