1964-08-30 - Nice Day For A White Widow
Summary: Gwen reveals her secret to MJ…
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
mary-jane-watson gwen-stacy 

Gwen is sitting on the porch of the old house, in the swing she and her father had installed. He installed, while she watch and measured.
It had been frightening. Now, she felt it was…comfortable. As if her father was still here.
That made the nights she stayed in bearable.
Her old plastic record player was sitting on a nearby chair, and she was listening to the music. The music was always something she could take root in.

Mary Jane has made it a habit of coming by to check on Gwen. Not every night, thanks to classes and everything else, but pretty often. And so she comes up onto the porch, smiling over at Gwen, "Hey, Gwen, how is?"

Gwen looked up and smiled. "Hey…MJ. Have a seat." She pointed to the wooden rocking chair near the swing. "I have…lemonade and Cokes. Any preference?"

MJ smiles and takes the chair, "Oh, lemonade sounds perfect." She curls up comfortably in the rocker, and tilts her head towards Gwen, "Didn't answer my question, though."

Gwen stands. "Let me get us drinks. I think I'd feel better if I did that, first." She gets up, then steps inside the house. Barely 15 seconds later, she comes out again with two tall glasses of lemonade, ice filling half the glass. She hands one to MJ, then sits down again and sips. She takes a soft breath, then says, "It's…getting better. It's never going to go away, not really. But it is getting better." She smiles wanly to MJ. "It helps with friends."

Mary Jane nods slightly, and smiles back, "Yeah, you know we're here for you, Gwen. Always." She isn't sure what else to say for that, so she sips her lemonade, then looks over at Gwen, "still want to do the band, if we can find a bassist?"

Gwen smiles. It's a real smile, the one she would wear before…all this happened. "YES! Yes, I do! God, MJ, if you only knew how much this meant…" She stopped, then started again. "I…I went and used some of Dad's insurance money to rent an electric viola and a standard amplifier. I was thinking of hearing Jessica play, see if she would like to do it."

MJ grins, "Wait, Jessica wants to join in? That'd be great. I don't… I'm not sure if Steph would be interested. I'd like her in, but I don't know how musically inclined she is." She hmms, "She sounds like she has a lot on her plate already."

Gwen colors. "Well…she was talking about how she played the viola, and I want to hear how she sounds on the electric one. There's something…exotic about her, and the viola is part of that. I want to see what she can do." She pauses, then says, "I've been…working on some songs. A lot of them are…angry. But I was feeling angry when I wrote them."

Mary Jane nods, "Sounds good to me, you need to vent." She pauses, then looks curiously at Gwen as she describes Jessica, "Oh? Exotic?" She gets a little bit of a grin at that, but doesn't say anything directly.

Gwen colors. "You know…the accent, she plays a VIOLA…I swear, I think there's some Gypsy in her. Which ain't bad. She just…" She sips. "She keeps saying she doesn't think her playing is good enough. I kinda want to prove her wrong there." She smiles crookedly.

MJ grins a bit wider, "Sounds like you want to prove a few other things to her too!" She smiles, "That's great, Gwen. And we should get her in to try it, for sure." She pauses, then adds, "You know, Peter actually didn't flake on me, this week." She sounds rather pleasantly surprised by this fact.

Gwen Stacy looks up. "Really? So that whole thing at the church…that wasn't his fault?"

Mary Jane Watson sighs, "Didn't say that, but… he talked to me about it. He was thinking about his parents. And his Uncle Ben. And he… well, he was pretty torn up about it, and had no idea what to do." She looks over at Gwen, "He came over to the coffeeshop to see me, and apologize. And offer to take me to Coney Island."

Gwen Stacy blinks. "Oh…geez, and here I thought…oh, never mind what I thought." She reddens. "Well…don't I feel like a tin-plated witch." She sighs. "I just…I was in a bad place, and thought the worst of him. I have to apologoze to him for that."

Mary Jane Watson nods, "Yeah, I already did, and it's just… Peter's feels like he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders. Trying to convince him he doesn't sometimes, well, I just worry he's gonna crack, Gwen." She sighs, then gets a bit of a wistful look, "We did have a great time at Coney Island. He won me a bear." Despite the seriousness of it all, she smiles a bit wistfully, then looks at Gwen, "Hey, with everything that happened, you didn't know. How could you? And I was pretty nasty to him until he said what he was going through." She blushes a bit also.

Gwen nodded. "I thought some horrible things about him I have to take back. I didn't say them, but I thought them." She slumps in the chair. "He's a decent guy, deep down. He's just so…AWKWARD sometimes. But I suppose that is what you get from the sensitive sort." She chuckles.

MJ nods, "Yeah, he's… well…" She blushes a bit. Oh man, Mary Jane has it pretty bad. But then, that was kindof the running gag in school, where she would tag along after Peter, who was clueless enough to never notice.

Gwen Stacy nods. She bites her lip, looking nervous. "MJ…can you keep a secret? It's a BIG secret, though…but if we're going to do this, I think it is something you should know…"

Mary Jane blinks a little as she looks at Gwen, "Um, sure, you know I would, Gwen. You're my best friend." She peers curiously over at Gwen, "If you say you're Captain Marvel though, I'm gonna thppt at you for not giving me an autograph sooner." She makes a bit of a joke, but it's more of a ha-ha and not all that funny as MJ looks a bit nervous now.

Gwen nods, then finished her lemonade. "I'm going to get some more. Come inside with me?" She stands up, putting out a hand to steady the swing, before opening the front door, holding it open for MJ to step inside first.
She had to do this. MJ was her friend, and if she was right, MJ might be in deep trouble.

MJ steps in at Gwen's insistence, "Okay, Gwen, you're starting to weird me out a little bit here…" She goes into the house, then pauses and turns back towards Gwen, "What's going on?"

Gwen closes the door…then locks it. She goes to the windows, pulling the curtains closed, then checking the back door. The actions are quick and furtive.
She walks back to MJ, then takes a deep breath. "Close your eyes and think of what I looked like. Like…during senior year. Remember one of the nicknames they called me?"

Mary Jane blushes a bit, "Oh, come on, it's silly…" She sighs, and says, "Drumsticks, right? That was just stupid stuff they were saying, Gwen." Because, well, she wouldn't think that about her friend, as she closes her eyes and thinks back to friend's look in high school.

Gwen nods, and Mary Jane can hear the shuffle of clothing. "Okay. Remember how I looked after I got my diploma. Fix it in your mind…then open your eyes again."

MJ concentrates, then nods, "Okay, got it…" And then she opens her eyes.

The leather jacket and baggy jeans are gone. Gwen is standing there in a pair of white cotton panties and a Playtex bra.
Drumsticks is gone.
The stick-figure arms and legs are lined with smooth, curved muscle. She isn't taller, but she is not "Olive Oyl," one of the other names tossed around.
She had a firm, flat stomach, and as MJ watched, Gwen tightened the muscle and a discernible "six-pack," the kind of word bodybuilders threw around, contoured the flat surface.
Gwen was also aware Gwen's chest as a couple of sizes larger, too.

Mary Jane… blinks, then averts her gaze a bit, "Whoa, Gwen, um, when did you start working out? That's pretty impressive." She actually blushes a little, since, well, seeing her friend in her underwear wasn't exactly what she thought was gonna happen.

Gwen sighs, relaxing, the cobblestone belly smoothing out. "MJ, think about it. What kind of physical exercise program would turn me into the love child of Brigitte Bardot and Charles Atlas? In two months, no less?"

MJ blinks, "Well, I don't know… I mean… wait, you're…" She shakes her head and sits down in a nearby chair, "Okay, tell me what you're saying. I want to make sure I understand it." She looks over at Gwen with a curious expression.

Gwen nods.
Just come right out and say it.
"Remember the Clarisin bombing? I was there. I was tricked into going there, to help an ex-boyfriend. He was killed in the bombing. I think…I was too, but it didn't work. And I woke up like this.

"Mary Jane, I'm a superheroine."

Mary Jane… stares a bit. "Wait, you're a… what?" She pauses, "Um, you really aren't Captain Marvel though, right?" She shakes her head a bit, looking rather shocked as she just says, "Wow." Okay, processing this is going to take some time.

Gwen shakes her head, chuckling. "No…I don't have powers like that. Mine are of a different type exactly."
She reaches out her hand towards the barbell holding the kitchen door open.
And then a thin, white tether-line launches from Gwen's inner wrist to hit the barbell. She tugs. Just a tug. But the ten-pound barbell JUMPS from the floor towards Gwen, who catches it easily in…
…two fingers.

MJ's eyes go wide, "Holy… how did you do that? I mean, is that, that looks almost like webbing." She blinks, "The tensile strength alone, and you caught it with two fingers? That's got to be, um, a lot!"

Gwen chuckles. "It *is* webbing. And with some clandestine tests, I have a pretty good idea of how strong I am. I can also climb walls and ceilings, too." She paused, then said, "This…feels a little weird like this. Would you…like to see the costume?"

Mary Jane nods, "Well, sure… I mean, I'm assuming you don't fight crime like that, right?" She actually smiles a bit to Gwen, taking it pretty well all things considered.

Gwen GAPES at MJ…then begins to laugh. It comes out in bursts of laughter, jagged sprays of mirth that drive her to her knees. She thinks she is able to get it under control, but then looks at MJ and off she goes again.
It is the first outward display of emotion since her father died.

MJ grins, "Well, you'd definitely stop criminals in their tracks… and just about everyone else too." She whistles a bit, then can't help but laugh herself, looking glad that Gwen is actually happy about something for the first time in a while.

Gwen gets it under control. After four minutes. And on her third attempt.
"OH…geez…ah, God, MJ, I feel all husked out. I don't…I don't know where that came from."
She gets to her feet, taking deep breaths. "WHOO…okay. Okay, it's all out." She smiled, and there is something of the old Drumstick Gwen in the woman in front of MJ. "Okay…okay, costume. Hang on."
She goes to her backpack and opens it, then pulls at the back of the inner lining and it comes loose. She pulls the costume out and slips into it. It doesn't take very long, but she eschews the mask, choosing only to pull up the hood. She turns to MJ, then bites her lower lip. "What do you think…?"

Mary Jane smiles, "You look great. Definitely super-heroish." She nods a bit, "Making me a little jealous that I don't have any powers at this point… but well, I think I'd be horrible with that much responsibility." She shrugs a little, but hrms, "How long have you been doing this, Gwen?"

Gwen suddenly looks somber. She sits down on the couch with a sigh. "A week, maybe two." She looks up. "MJ, before you consider how cool they are, let me tell you…how much it cost me. I think I got them during the bombing at the Clarisin Pharma building a month ago. Somehow, I made it home from there…and probably looking like a charcoal briquette the entire time. I remember eating the fridge empty when I got home. I think that was why I woke up without a scratch. Johnny, my old boyfriend…he wasn't so lucky."

MJ blinks, then sits down next to Gwen, placing a hand on hers, "Oh no…" She sighs and squeezes Gwen's hand, "I'm so sorry hon." She bites her lip, looking rather worried for Gwen, "That's… wow." She looks torn between wanting to geek out about what Gwen can do, and concerned for her because of what she just described, "Is that Clarisin Pharma the reason you got your powers?"

Gwen Stacy nods. "They were doing genetic experiments. One of them got loose…and infected me, or whatever it did." She looks down to the hand. "Yeah…well, it gets worse. It was supposed to look like a protest, but the leader…RAY…"
The one-syllable name seemed to drip venom so much, it seemed like Gwen actually had fangs for a moment there.
"…he was using it ti steal stuff from Clarisin. Their research. Well, I put the kibosh into that. He hoped the bomb would kill me, but it didn't. And…"
Her voice falters for a moment.
"…and he was the one who killed my father…"

Mary Jane winces at that, "Bastard! I'm guessing he's still at large, too, isn't he?" She blinks, then looks at Gwen, "Wait, is that why you were talking to the other people at the funeral? Jessica and um… Kwabena?" Her eyes narrow a bit as she seems to be putting things together.

Gwen Stacy nods slowly. "Jessica is a…mentor, of sorts. She knows a lot of things about a lot of things. And Kwabena…my father knew him. From his notes, they met at the bombing. Dad impressed him as someone to be listened to. That…bit at the eulogy he said was about him." She sighs. "MJ, I'm sorry I'm dumping all this on you, but with what we're doing…I feel I would be hurting you by not making you aware. Ray knows WHO I am…but he doesn't know WHAT I am. What I've…become."

MJ nods, "Well, I can't leap tall buildings in a single bound… but what do you need me to help with? Because I can, really. I mean, I'm not just a pretty face, right?" She looks over at Gwen, "Don't tell me that I should do is just worry or moral support, I can be helpful."

Gwen looked to MJ, then down. "I got a good look at Ray. I got a sketch made by one of the police sketch artists…I told him it was a guy who was following me." She pulled open the backpack, taking out a sheet of heavy bond paper and unfolding it gingerly. She looked at it, grimaced, then handed it to MJ.

The scary thing was how…AVERAGE he looked. But the closer you look, the more you get the feeling of something…OFF about him. Something utterly blank in the eyes.

"You see him…you run like Hell. Because I think he'll go after anyone close to me."

Mary Jane nods, "You got it. I'll make sure to steer clear of him." She wrinkles her nose, "This guy looks sick. I just… ugh, I don't understand why people would do that."

Gwen Stacy nods. "If you ever START understanding, THAT is when you need to worry." She looks around. "Right now, he is costing me everyone I love or care about. So he's REALLY riding my last nerve. I just have to stop him before he hurts anyone else.

MJ hrms, "Well, if I see him, I'll make tracks the other way and give you a call first thing." She shivers a bit, then hands the sketch back to Gwen, "Geez, and here I was just thinking of when you wanted to start rehearsing for the band."

Gwen Stacy smiles wryly. "Yeah. I think we need that, too. With all the weirdness, something normal like the band…that is something I need, too. Something normal to balance against the crazy. Maybe, when they put Ray in a concrete box, I'll sleep a little better."

Mary Jane smiles, "Definitely. If nothing else, we can jam while trying to find a bassist and maybe a second guitar." She chuckles, "Like the Beatles, you know? Because Paul is very hot." She then blushes a little bit.

Gwen Stacy snickers. "Yeah? Let's see Ringo take the gold in every Olympic event." She looks around. "I hope you don't mind me wanting to name the band after you."

MJ blushes, "Well, it is catchy I guess… I just want it noted that it's your idea, Gwen." She smiles a bit sheepishly, "I just worry people will see that and think I'm that full of myself."

Gwen Stacy sighs, but is still smiling. "Let 'em think it. No one who knows you would believe that about you, MJ. That's a promise.'

Mary Jane rolls her eyes, "Yeah, I know. But if we ever become famous, everyone is getting told it was your idea." She chuckles and shakes her head, looking a bit rueful at that.

Gwen Stacy nods. "All right. But we need a bass player. Maybe a keyboardist. And I want to hear Jessica Drew playing an electric viola."

Mary Jane Watson grins, "Yeah, maybe we can talk Stephanie into it… I dunno, I don't have that many musically inclined friends. Maybe we can ask around a bit." She hmms.

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