Faith In Humanity -The Battle Royale, part 1

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 Battle Royale

June 19th, 2004:

Before racing home after seeing what and who was on the television screens, Peter made one more stop. His aunt’s apartment. Just to check. A feeling of horrible dread came to him as he raced up the stairs and banged on the door, but his aunt opened it, and ushered him in.

“It’s MJ,” she said with a sigh. “Isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Peter said wretchedly. “She’s in trouble, Aunt May.”

The television was on in a corner of the room. Both of them turned their eyes to that direction.

“I’m scared,” Peter said, but so quietly that May didn’t hear him. Or possibly she did, but she didn’t show it. She walked towards the television and turned the volume down. “You know,” she said. “MJ will be doing okay up there at the moment. I’m not saying she’ll be unafraid, of course not, but she’s strong. Even if she doesn’t know it.”

Peter nodded. Anxiety was pulsing through him.

“And Spider-Man will save her,” May said. “Don’t you think so?” she added in a rather pointed tone, when Peter said nothing in reply.

“Yeah,” Peter said. “Yeah.” He glanced at the television, and MJ’s frightened face looked back at him. He couldn’t take it anymore. “I’d…I’d better go. Sorry, Aunt May.”

“You sounded a bit doubtful,” May said, sounding slightly anxious herself, as Peter headed for the door. “He will save her, Peter. I know it. Even if he’s been going through a bad patch recently.”

Peter stopped and looked back at her, and nodded. “Uh-huh.” he said. He couldn’t think of anything better. “He will.”

“I have faith in him. Don’t you?” she asked, and gave him a look he couldn’t read. Silence hung in the air for a couple of seconds. “Now run along, Peter. Do what you can.” She opened the front door, and Peter stared out into the dark lobby. He blinked, took a deep breath, and tried to force away the fear he felt.

“Yeah,” he said, not knowing what else to say, and looking for something in the madness to hold onto, “I do have faith in him.”

“Good,” May said. “Now go and save her.”

She closed the door.

Peter ran.

Nothing could save you like a loved one’s faith-

*****

June 19th, 2004:

London, 7:30am:

Christine Steinhauer shuffled into the room, a cup of tea in hand. Her cousin Tina- who was thirty-nine years old, but acted twenty- had gone to a Robbie Williams concert in Milton Keynes, of all things. She was staying out for two days, and Christine had declined her invitation to come along. So she was left by herself, staring out of the window.

you keep an eye on her son, Christine

The words buzzed round her brain whenever she felt alone, or unhappy. She wished they would go away.

You never think about New York, or the house, or Harry, anymore. You could have at least written to him and asked if he’d found the diary. He’s probably been wondering all this time how you came across it in the first place, and why you didn’t even tell him about it in person.

She put her tea down on the nearest table, and settled down on the sofa. She found the remote control down behind a cushion.

I wonder what he’s doing now. I hope he’s okay.

She turned the television on.

******

June 19th, 2004, 2:30am:

Ursula Ditkovich turned the television off.

She opened her bedroom door, and walked across the landing. She knocked on Peter’s door. For five seconds nobody answered, and then finally a voice called, “Come in.”

She walked in. Peter was sitting on the bed, a small box in his hands. He looked like he’d just hastily buttoned his shirt. “Is this important?” he asked wearily.

“Do you know already?” Ursula whispered. “About Mary Jane.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said.

“What are you gonna do?” she asked, feeling foolish. “Spider-Man will save her, right?”

“Yes,” he answered. “He will.”

“Are you gonna go down to that building site?” She almost said and will you take me with you, although she didn’t know why.

“Yes,” Peter said. He looked at her, and then he gestured to the shelf by the door. “Ursula? Throw me that key, will you?”

Ursula looked and saw a key lying there among the books. She picked it up, and tossed it to him. He caught it easily, and unlocked the box, but didn’t open it. “Thanks, Ursula. You’d better go,” he said. So she turned, but then Peter added- in a strange fashion, like he was offering advice to a little sister- “Ursula, if you go out tonight- or even if you don’t- be careful. Okay?” He gave her a look. A look she couldn’t quite read. “Be careful. I don’t want you in danger.”

Ursula stared, nodded, and walked away.

She sat in her room, turned on the TV, watched it for a few seconds, and turned it off again. Back on. Back off. She waited to hear Peter running down the stairs. But she didn’t.

After about five minutes had passed, she went to his door, and knocked. No-one answered. She pushed it and it opened. No-one was in there, but the box was open on the bed. She peered inside. Nothing.

The key was lying next to it. She picked it up and turned it round and round in her hands.

*****

Ursula ran.

It was dark, and she was nervous. She had a backpack containing her diary slung over her shoulder, and Peter’s warning was echoing in her ears. Oh, she was being stupid. She drew her coat round her, took a deep breath to calm her nerves, and looked around. The streets were crowded with people. Some looked pleased and some looked panicked, but they were all heading in the same direction.

She hailed a taxi.

“Can you take me to the construction site?” she asked anxiously. “The one on TV? The one where, um…everyone’s going.”

The taxi driver looked at her. “It’ll cost you,” he said cheerfully. Clearly, business at the moment was good. “Even if you can’t get through, it’ll cost you. Got it?”

“Yeah,” Ursula said. She had stuffed a few twenty-dollar bills in her pockets before she left.

“Right. Good.”

They made their way slowly through the streets of New York. Everyone seemed to be going in the same direction as them- Ursula could see people walking past, talking animatedly.

She leaned back and stared out of the window, into the night.

*****

When she arrived, all she could see was a huge crowd of people, and a few ambulances and police cars off in the distance. Bizzarely, she was reminded of a rock concert or some such thing. The emergency lights flickering in the distance were the spotlights, and the people and monsters fighting it out on the building site were the band, playing to a full house, and everyone would go home safely at the end. Of course.

She paid the taxi driver, took a deep breath, and made her way through the crowd. She was hoping to run into someone she knew-

not mary jane, because she’s up there

-but she figured it was quite unlikely. She gritted her teeth, and continued on. Working her way through the mass of people was tricky, but she managed it, and she began to head for the ambulances. She didn’t know why.

To get a better view? To try and help out?

Why are you even here?

There was a loud shriek from the people around her. Ursula didn’t join in. She was approaching the front of the crowd now, inching towards the ambulances. One of them was open, and there was a TV in there, repeating back what the reporters on the front lines were saying. The small gathering of reporters weren’t too far away, so it made a weird echoing effect.

Ursula stared up at the building site, and the blurs she could faintly see at the top. She imagined Spider-Man, stopping to rest for a second, was staring back at her, but she doubted it. She peered inside the ambulance. There wasn’t anyone in there. She felt oddly….empty.

A young man, smoking a cigarette, came up to the ambulance. He flicked his cigarette away, and looked at her. “Hey, kid. You hurt?”

“No,”

“Beat it, then.”

He went into the ambulance and didn’t give her another look, so Ursula nervously cleared her throat and stood by the open doors. “Um, are people likely to get hurt?”

The man gave a laugh. “Kid. Look out at the idiots. There’s a huge battle playing out right above them, and they’re just standing there gawking. I’ll be amazed if the body count is lower than twenty.”

Ursula said nothing. As the man washed his hands in the ambulance sink, she cleared her throat and said, “Can I help? With anything at all?”

“You know first aid?”

“No.”

“Then what are you gonna do? Roller-skate? Sing songs?” He gave her a dark, cynical look, and shook his hands dry. “Go home, kid. You’re of no help. Those guys-” he jerked a finger towards the site- “-this is their show. They decide how it ends, okay? Don’t be a moron and hang around.”

He closed the doors on her. Ursula stood there for about five seconds-

WHY are you here

-and then she moved away again. She found somewhere to sit- some stairs- and settled down there, her back to all the action.

“Kid,” someone said.

She barely heard, but she turned around, expecting it to be the ambulance man again. But it wasn’t. It was her father.

Another roar from the crowd. She stared at him and opened her mouth to try and say something, but only suceeded in murmuring, “What?”

“Too dangerous here,” he said, getting straight to the point as usual. “Come on.”

She got up.

“How did you find me?” she asked loudly, above the shouts and screams of the crowd. “How’d you know I’d be here?”

“‘Cos that is Peter’s woman up there. You know her,” her father said simply. “And you like Peter. Obvious. Where is he?”

“I don’t know,” Ursula answered. “Around here somewhere, I guess.”

“We’ll look for him,” her father said.

He marched off without a word, and she followed. She felt cold. She wound her way through the crowd, and the shouting echoed over and over in her ears. She heard other noises, too: some child crying, something being thrown to the floor, some snatch of music from someone’s ipod.

Keep a note of the details, kid, this will make one hell of a story when it’s over-