1964-08-21 - Coney Island is the Consolation Prize.
Summary: Peter tries to explain why he stood up MJ. She's more worried about the funeral for Captain Stacy. Cue the lies.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
mary-jane-watson peter 

The coffee shop where Mary Jane Watson works is one of those places with the chimes on the door and those things are so chipper and friendly they can't help but put someone in a good mood. On normal circumstances. But on a day like today there's not much that's going to put a pep in Peter Parker's step as he comes through the door. His hands tangle unmercifully as he looks for her, not sure of what to say or how to proceed.

Mary Jane is in her uniform, which consists of a red-and-white vertically striped matching shirt and long skirt, though she can, at least, wear sneakers for her feet. When she sees Peter, she has a conflicted expression on her face, before she looks over at the manager, "Hey, Phil, can I have my break now? Please?" She smiles a bit towards Phil, who then nods.

At which point MJ fixes Peter with a look, and walks over towards a booth, sitting down and waiting for him, fingers steepled in front of her as she looks a little bit too much like a supervillain about to destroy an unruly minion.

Cautiously, Peter slides in to the booth, groaning inwardly. "Look, MJ, before you say anything, I am so, so sorry I didn't meet you on Friday night. I meant to. And then I got caught up in traffic." Cut to a flashback of Spider-Man bouncing over a car. "I should have called," he adds. Cut to a flashback of Spider-Man being choked by some random thug with a telephone cord. "I feel terrible that you were waiting on me." Cut to a flashback of Peter Parker running down the street towards the coffee shop to meet her, only to find she had gone.

Mary Jane keeps her voice calm, "Peter…" She tries to choose her words carefully, "Friday night, I'm not upset about that." She then looks at Peter, "I am upset about the next day, though. What happened?" Her eyes narrow as she looks at him, "Because it should have been something world-shattering to make you miss that."

Oh crap. He didn't think about a lie for that one. Think quickly Pete. He can't use May, she was there. He already used traffic. Darnit! This whole time he's sitting there, looking stupid. "I didn't know what to say or do. I didn't want to be a mess for Gwen—I figured it was hard enough as it is. Losing a parent…that's rough for me. I lost my parents. I lost my uncle, too. And I didn't want to make it about me, or have her think of that with me there. And so I hesitated."

MJ sighs a bit, sensing the truth behind the words, even if the overall effect is to lie. "Damnit Peter, why didn't you just say something? You know I know about all that." She reaches across the table, placing her hand out there towards him, "We could have talked about it, and Gwen would have understood that." She gives Peter a wry look, "You know, you're not in this alone. You have friends."

Peter reaches out to take her hand, "Well, that's just the thing. It's not really about me. This was about Gwen. Being a friend is having a stiff upper lip at times like that. Or reaching out to her, letting her know that I've been there. I didn't really do either."

Mary Jane squeezes Peter's hand, "Well, you could have just talked to me. I'm your friend too, Peter. And I'm Gwen's best friend. So this is where you talk to me about your feelings too, since I could have told you it wasn't making it about you with all you've been through." She pauses, then looks at Peter with a wry expression, "Goofball."

Peter squeezes her hand back before he places it back in his lap. "Sorry. I just didn't want to be a burden to you guys. How is Gwen holding up?"

Mary Jane Watson sighs, "Not the best, but I think she's getting through it. There's… something strange going on with her dad's death. Not sure what, exactly. But it's odd." She pauses, then blushes, "She also wants to start a band, since she's been doing the drums still. And I've been playing the guitar and singing, so."

"Yeah, she talked about drumming. I think it'd be pretty awesome for you guys to play together. Really, you'd just need a bassist," Peter says before going back to the first thing MJ said. "What do you mean by that?" he asks.

MJ hrms. "I… honestly, I don't know. But there were a couple strange folks at the funeral. I mean, cool people, they were nice, but, it just seems like there might be something more than I thought to it. Especially with how they talked to Gwen."

Peter shakes his head with confusion, "What did they say?" It's not clear if it's Peter or Spider-Man who is talking now. Luckily, it's only he who realizes that they are both one in the same. His hazel eyes burn a bit, getting that feeling that this might be something he needs to look into.

Mary Jane looks at Peter, "I… honestly, the night was such a blur with everything, but there were two people. One woman, her name was Jessica Drew, it seemed that she knew something about what happened. The other was a man, I think his name was Kwabena." She gives a brief description of them, then adds, "It just seemed… odd, that they both knew Gwen's dad so well, I guess."

"Jessica Drew. Kwabena." Peter nods as if he's going to beat the living daylights out of them. But then, he raises his eyebrows and shrugs his shoulders, "Well, that is kind of weird. But, I mean, maybe there's a reasonable explanation for it."

MJ gets a bit of a look towards Peter, "Hey, they were friends. But… I think there's something more going on, okay?" She doesn't know why Peter has that look, but she clarifies, "I mean, they were helping. I think they're looking into something fishy. They didn't DO anything fishy."

"Right, right," Peter says with a nod, shaking his head. "I mean, if there is something weird going on it's good that they're looking into it." His response comes even as he is pondering ways to find this Jessica Drew and Kwabena. The phone book seems a likely bet.

Mary Jane nods, "Okay. So… when are you going to stand me up next?" She makes it a bit of a joke, as she gives Peter a wry look, as she… doesn't look upset any more, once Peter explained himself. Her lips quirk into a smile, "And where? I need to make sure that I'm in the right place that you won't be, right?"

"When, well, whenever you'll let me, really." Peter smiles with just a twinge of sadness. He really would have liked to have taken her out on Friday. "Where? I was thinking maybe Coney Island, since then at least you'll have something to do."

MJ blinks, "Coney Island?" She smiles, "Okay… you're on tiger. When?" She tilts her head, looking intently at Peter as she has a where, now to pin him down on when he won't be there. Though, well, hope springs eternal.

Hey, Charlie Brown has Lucy and the football. Mary Jane has Peter and his schedule.

Peter raises his eyebrow, "Well, what's your work schedule? Are you free on Wednesday night?" He does some mental calculus, trying to figure out how much he can afford. The answer is zero. How much will he spend? More than zero, most likely.

Mary Jane smiles, "Well, not anymore. Apparently I'm going to Coney Island." She tilts her head at Peter, and looks rather happy, "I haven't been to Coney Island in… wow, not since I was a kid." She mmms, "I can hardly wait."

Peter smiles and nods, "Well, I'm excited too. And, if I do well on one of those booth games, maybe I can win you something cheap and ridiculous." He chuckles, his mood has lightened quite a bit—he was so worried coming in here, but now he is glad he did. Even if he had to lie about why he didn't show up. In fact, everything he tells everyone is at least a partial life. A lie by omission.

MJ cackles softly, "Finally, Big Stuffed Teddy Bear, you will be mine!" Then she laughs a bit maniacally, enough that the Green Goblin would be proud, before she grins and winks at Peter, "Oh, this is going to be great. Is it Wednesday yet? Because it should be Wednesday." Then she starts thinking… possibly on how to make it Wednesday already through some weird applied physics experiment.

Peter smiles, genuinely happy that the idea of being stood up seems to be behind her. He needs to make this one happen. He has to. But the nagging feeling of something about Captain Stacy's death just doesn't sit well with him. Like always, he is of two minds.

Mary Jane Watson smiles back at Peter, "Hey, did you want something to eat? I gotta go back on shift, but I do have a bit of a tab, since I work here." She knows Peter does have money problems, after all, but she never would try to hold that over him as… well, she's not too much better. And a gift is a gift, right?

"Nah, that's alright. I have to get going anyhow," Peter could totally use something to eat. It would save him some much needed money which could help him with his bills, but he won't take it from MJ. She struggles just like he does. "I appreciate it, though. Maybe next time we can both have something."

MJ gives Peter a wry look, "Come on, at least take a slice of pie home? Fresh baked apple from this morning?" And she gives Peter The Look. She normally doesn't give Peter The Look, but her eyes go a bit wide, and she bites her lip a bit, meeting his gaze with hers…

"Yeah, Apple pie would be great," Peter replies, unable to deny the effect of the look. And for the first time, he kind of gets that she really is pretty. It's hard when you grow up with someone to notice how much they've changed, or how much you just never noticed. And Peter recognizes something that he didn't realize about himself, which is good because this scene is ending soon and it'll help set him up for some future disaster for maximum effect.

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