1964-08-05 - Band Leaders and Drummers and Girls
Summary: Peter and Gwen catch up as Pete prepares for college.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
peter gwen-stacy 

"Razzafrackin' jerkface motor pool wrench jockey jacking up the costs to fix a frakin' American car come home to a crapstorm…"
Gwen is not happy. Dad found out about the car. She should have known how much trouble she was in when the first words out of his mouth upon seeing her was "GWENDOLYN MAXINE STACY!" Tom Sawyer was right. When they use your full name, it means trouble.
So, here she wa, hauling garbage out to the trashcans and trying to make the bags look heavy. She had to do a lot of that. Make things look more difficult than they were. Dad had mentioned something about "finally eating some food" but that was the extent of it.

Gwen plopped the trash bag into the trash can and sighed.

The glamour of being a superhero.

"Hey Gwen," Peter Parker says as he makes his way down her driveway. She doesn't live too terribly far from him and he wants to come and say goodbye before he heads off to college. Granted, he's not going too far. Only a couple of miles as the crow flies, but going from Senior year to his Freshman year of college is going to bring quite a few changes, he has a feeling.

Gwen looks up and blinks. For a moment, she is completely startled. The last time she saw Peter, she had been wearing a Ship-n-Shore dress and was fighting off puberty. Peter really hadn't seen her since…well, since she had starting looking like trouble.
And then, of course, she had still been a skinny girl.

"Uhm…uhmmm…HI!" Okay, that was bad, Get your rear in gear. She looks around, blushing furiously, the leather jacket's zippers kingling slightly. "I…geez, Peter, how are you doing?"

"Not bad," Peter responds with hands jabbed deep into his pockets. His head tilts as he looks to her awkwardly. She sure looks different. "I was just heading around the neighborhood, saying goodbye to old friends. I'm headed to college in a few weeks. A lot of us are, I guess, and I was just catching up with old friends."

Gwen nods quickly. "Yeah, uhm…where are you going to college?" Jeez, Peter had always been so smart. He could pick and choose. Meanwhile her father was extolling the virtues of a community college and Gwen couldn't argue because her grades weren't exactly stellar. "Are you going to Harvard? MIT? Oxford? Princeton? One of those, surely. You were always a smart guy…"
She's rambling. She should stop. She CAN'T, but she should.

"NYU actually," Peter replies. "Heading into the city has always been what I have been hoping for, and I really liked it there. What about you? What are your plans for next year?"

Plans. Her plans. If you listen carefully, you can actually HEAR God laughing.
"I'm…actually going to Queens Community College." She pumps a fist half-heartedly. "Go Stallions." She smiles wryly. "NYU sounds great, Peter. I'm sure you're going to…do great things there."
Oh My God, she is DYING here.
"uhm, you look good, by the way."
GEEZ! What are you doing? Abort! ABORT!

"Go Stallions," Peter says with a chuckle. As she compliments him, he raises his eyebrows, "Well, I've been doing a lot of kickboxing." He gives a little fake move with an awkward chuckle. "It's a good workout and good for defense." And a good excuse for sudden weight gain and muscle tone from the last time he saw her years ago. He tries to wear his clothes a bit baggier to hide it.

Gwen nods. She wears her clothing a size too big, as well. Except for her bargain-basement costume. "Well, that's another smart thing to do. Maybe If Flash Thompson shows his stupid face again, you can give him what-for. for once."
She realizes she is standing a little close to the garbage can and steps away from it.
"I'm…trying to put together a band. I got into percussion in a big way. I'm not ever going to be able to front a band, but I really like it. It's not chemistry, of course, but I think I'm pretty good."

"Well, Flash was always kind of a jerk, but I mean, all people grow up, right?" Peter says, defending the guy who has caused him a lot of torment in the past. "A band? Wow, that's really cool. Why can't you front a band?"

Gwen laughs at that, actually laughs. "Come on, Petesky. Can you see me fronting a band? That's like…Ringo Starr being the go-to guy for the Beatles. I'm a drummer, Pete. Always gonna be, and no drummer ever led a band." She shrugs. "I don't mind, really. I never had the presence for being the front girl of any band. Just…being a spearchucker, third row from the back."

"My aunt likes Gene Krupa. She has a ton of his records and he's a band leader," Peter says with a shrug of his shoulders. "That's not really rock music, but never say never." Pause. "What made you think to start playing the drums?"

Gwen snickered. "One year, in high school, I got band class. After listening to a bunch of girls making fun of me, I just wanted to pound on something, so I took drums. Found out I liked it, that I was pretty good at it." She smirked. "And my aggression went way down, so dad put up with the noise."

"Aggression?" Peter says with raised eyebrows. It seems the couple of years they have spent without seeing each other has changed them both. "You never seemed all that particularly aggressive to me." He shrugs, "That's good you get it out, though, I mean."

Gwen snickers. "You think BOYS can get mean, GIRLS can outdo them in mean any day of the week and twice on Sunday. They can spread rumors, get you in trouble, set you up…and then say it's your fault because you had the bad judgment to be a cop's kid. Flash is mean, but he's not very bright. SMART Mean is a lot worse." She shrugs. "I got in a few fights, which didn't help. And Dad, well, he felt he had to be tougher on me because he couldn't be seen as playing favorites."

Peter shakes his head, "I never said…" His nose wrinkles as she goes on to talk about getting into fights. "Is…everything okay with you, Gwen?"

Gwen blinks, as if suddenly realizing what the conversation was about. Jeez, she was only beginning to realize how messed up she was.
"I'm…jeez, I'm sorry, Peter. I'm just…dealing with some changes in my life. Things are different for me, and…" She looks down. "You're lucky, Peter. You wouldn't have a clue about what I'm going through."

"Maybe not." But maybe, he doesn't add. "But I've never actually had anyone call me lucky and mean it as far as I remember." He looks at her sadly, "I hope it improves for you."

Gwen smiles a little shamefully. "So do I. A Rebel Without a Clue." She looks askance at Peter. "Look, you're going to do great at NYU. You'll get a degree, and you'll get some cushy job, and you're going to be a success. Don't waste it. We spend our lives wondering how we can do great things, but…we get stupid, and someone gets hurt, and…"
She suddenly claps her hand over her mouth.
"Oh, jeez, I'm sorry…"

Peter tilts his head, not quite following her. "I'm sorry?" He shakes his head in confusion, "I don't quite follow you."

Gwen looks down. "I'm…sorry, I didn't know if you knew. Johnny from down the street. Remember…that explosion in Midtown? A few weeks ago?"

"What happened?" Peter asks. Apparently he doesn't know.

Gwen sighs. "He got…he got killed. Someone blew up the Clarisin Pharmaceutical building. Some craziness about the 'military-industrial complex' and mutating animals. He got killed, but no one's telling me how it happened."

Peter looks down to the ground sadly, "Wow, I'm really sorry. That's terrible." He thinks for a moment, before asking, "What did it say in the press?"

Gwen chuckles. "Please. News so whitewashed I'm amazed Tom Sawyer isn't employed by the Bugle. My father was there, and he said it was chaotic. Nearly got his head punched in by a mutant because of how hinky it all was. Of course, my dad looked him right in the eyes, told him to calm the Hell down and he did." She snorted laughter. "He said they found a chameleon the size of a lion, and then the FBI came in and CLASSIFIED everything."

Peter rocks on his feet, "What do you think happened?" He leaves it open ended, hoping to get some insight before he begins to investigate that is on his own.

Gwen sighs. "I think those college students, along with Johnny, ran afoul of some smooth-talking lunatic, and they were…they were tricked. Four college students in jail, Johnny dead, one blown-up building…and the guy in charge just strolls out of the jail after posting bail and disappears like smoke. Like this was all some game to him."

"What does your dad think," Peter asks, again, trying to pump her for a little bit of information. He can't believe he missed this in the papers. He tries to stay atop the news, but it feels like so much is happening these days it can be a bit much to keep track of.

Gwen leans closer. "I have to warn you, Peter…this is all horseback. Completely unprovable. Just what he thinks…he can't prove anything. Like the lead guy from INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS."

Peter nods, "I understand. Sometimes the cops just know stuff, even if they can't prove it. Yet, I mean."

Gwen looks around. Probably to make sure her dad wouldn't overhear her.
"Dad says he thinks it might be industrial espionage. One group trying to steal stuff from Clarisin. Clarisin is being investigated for doing weird stuff, and the FBI took over the investigation. But using something to bulk up a chameleon until it is big enough to go after New York rats is DEFINITELY scary."

"Definitely scary," Peter says with a sort of lost aspect to his voice. He is back after a moment, though, and smiles. "I guess it's a good thing your dad is on the case, right?" And Spider-Man.

Gwen smiles faintly, and is about to say something when The Man Himself steps out onto the front porch. "Gwennie? You get lost out here?" he calls out, good-naturedly. Kinda amazing. Two hours ago, he was all Full-Name angry, and now she;'s back to "Gwennie" again.
"I'm okay. It's Peter. He came by to say hello."
Captain George Stacy steps out, giving Peter a gruff smile. He always liked Peter. Shame he and Gwen never hit it off. "Hello, Peter. Good to see you around."

Pete gives a wave, "Hi, Captain Stacy. Long time no see. Hope the catching badguys thing is going well." That's sort of a lie. He saw Captain Stacy a few weeks ago. He was just wearing a mask.

Captain Stacy nods. "Doing the best I can, Mr. Parker." He turns to Gwen. "Don't be out too long, Gwen. You still have to register."
"Yes, dad."
"Nice seeing you again, Peter." Stacy waves and heads back inside.
Gwen sighed. "Story of my life. Listen, would you like me to stop in and visit Aunt May every now and then?"

"Same to you, sir," Peter says as he gives a wave. "You know, I think she'd like that. I'm working a couple jobs to pay for school and for my room over there, so I won't be able to get back here as much. If you'd be willing to do that, I'd appreciate it."

Gwen smirks. "If I wasn't willing, I wouldn't offer, Pete. Maybe I'll even give her a ride to the market every now and then in my car. I should get it out of the shop by tomorrow. Had to have it repaired after running into a disappearing dinosaur." She chuckles. "LONG story."

"Oh, yeah?" Peter replies with a nod. "You know, I heard something about that. Listen, Gwen, it was great to see you. I really hope things go well for you this school year." He turns to leave with a wave, "Good luck with your band!"

Gwen looks at him with sudden fondness, and for a moment, she is ready to tell him everything. How she died and came back. The smell of roast pork.
But she can't. She can't put that kind of burden on him.
She closes her mouth and just waves. How could he understand?

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