• Published 8th Aug 2014
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The Amazing Spider-Man: The Web of Friendship - Time Pony Victorious



Peter Parker, intrepid photographer and moonlighting superhero, stumbles into the world of ponies! How will he cope being a pony... without hands?!

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At the Gala

PETER

Peter was on time for a change. He showed up half an hour early in a suit only an Aunt could love. Seriously, she’s the one who bought it. Thankfully, however, she has some good taste which was nice since he was considering a regular t-shirt and jeans. He was wearing a dark blue pinstripe blazer with matching pants with a white dress shirt and a dark green necktie that was on so tight he was beginning to hallucinate from the lack of blood circulation.

Still he looked endearing like a puppy dog wearing a bowler hat and a monocle. It looked like he made something of an attempt to fix his perpetually messy hair and his dress shoes may have been scuffed and scratched up but you could only see them from a mile away and if you didn’t focus on how nervous he looked. He fiddled with his camera like a security blanket and looked around nervously as if expecting someone to kick him out on the grounds of looking poor.

The benefit was some expansion on Oscorp on the scientific front which was impressive given that the last CEO was recently incarcerated for being insane and the company nearly crumbled after that. Peter didn’t feel very comfortable here and it was not just because he had the social grace of a walrus learning how to pilot a jet, but being here just felt wrong.

Everything reminded him of Gwen, especially the small memorial set up at the front of the room done in Gwen’s memory. There was a large picture of Gwen surrounded by flowers and handwritten notes that said nice things about her. Peter’s heart felt like it was being torn out and stung by a passive-aggressive wasp when he realized that the picture was the one he took on her 18th birthday.

She was smiling like everything was right in the world, looking off to the side with an expression that said, Really? You didn’t bring any ice cream?

It felt like a cruel joke to Peter and he didn’t realize he was glaring at the memorial until Mary-Jane said something. She walked up and touched Peter’s arm, making him jump back slightly. She frowned at him, “What’s wrong, Pete?”

Mary-Jane looked amazing. She was dressed in the way models do when they want to blow somebody’s mind. A glittery red dress hugged her body, accenting her curves and womanly features that turned some heads. Her fiery red hair draped over her shoulders in regal curls which was outdone by her bright green eyes. As is customary with Mary-Jane she wore black heels so that she could beat Peter’s height by a few inches.

Peter realized he was staring and looked away, brushing at his hair nervously and hoping that his fly was done correctly. “Nothing, nothing, I was just waiting for you. I tend to get, ah, gassy when I’m trying to be patient.”

Mary-Jane smiled, looking like she could light up the dark side of the moon. “Well then, that’s certainly an issue. I won’t force you to be patient then.”

She laughed which made Pete laugh. “Thank you, I and everyone in this room appreciate it.”

She took a step forward and Peter tried to focus on anything but her. Dozens of people in fancy suits and sparkly dresses milled about around them, they look so bored that if a monster truck drove into this building they’d regard it with the same warmth and emotion as they would to corporate logistics. Still despite all of these people, Peter couldn’t help but feel claustrophobic. He understands the irony of Spider-Man being claustrophobic but try as he might, Peter was never really good with crowds.

He felt as though the walls were closing in on him. Nervously he loosened his necktie even as MJ began to speak, she said, “You know, I didn’t think you’d want to be here, with me after this morning.”

MJ didn’t sound like she was teasing him, her eyes downcast and a frown tugging at her lips. Peter wanted to reassure her but wasn’t sure how.

“No, of course I did,” he said pathetically. “It’s just things in my life… they don’t exactly allow time for, you know, dinner with anyone.”

MJ nodded, keeping her eyes to the ground and appearing unconvinced. Peter scratched the back of his head, this was a lot harder than he remembered. “… You look good,” he said weakly.

She looked up and smiled sheepishly, her green eyes sparkling like the sea after a beautiful sunrise. MJ tugged at her dress nervously like she was just beginning to become self-conscious. “Even if I wasn’t being forced here under penalty of unemployment I’d tell you that, it’s only fair. Here come on.”

Peter raised his camera to take a picture of MJ but she blushed and held up her purse to her face. “No, no, Pete, don’t take a picture of me—“

“It’s only fair,” Peter laughed. “Otherwise how else will I embarrass you?”

MJ laughed, still covering her face and taking steps away from Peter and his malicious camera. “Peter, you’re supposed to take a picture of the event, not me.”

“I’m the photographer, I think it’s my decision what I want to take a picture of,” Peter insisted, still trying to get a good shot of her. “Listen, if you’re worried about how red you look I’ll buff that out when I’m home, I’d do that favor for you.”

By now she was a laughing mess, her face was just as red as her hair and not solely from embarrassment. She moved her purse from her face and to her side. “You’d do that favor for me?” she asked in-between gasps. “So nice, Tiger!”

Peter snapped a picture before she could do anything and gleefully held the camera out of reach as she lunged for it suddenly. “Peter, no, why did you—“

He looked at the display and smiled, showing it to her. “Aw, you look like a wittle cutie-patootie.”

The picture was modest. MJ was smiling in mid-laugh in front of a glittery starlight room. Most people look weird when they laughed but either MJ was absurdly photogenic or Peter was the best photographer in the universe because she just looked perfect in this.
Mary-Jane was about to try to take his camera again when a gruff voice called out, “Parker, Watson!”

The two stood at attention, MJ went over to Peter’s side and stood ramrod straight as Jameson approached them. They were both biting their cheeks to keep from laughing but it didn’t help that MJ continued to try to steal Peter’s camera with their arms folded behind their backs.

Jameson was dressed in a nice black three-piece suit with a bright white bowtie that made Peter wonder if he was about to rattle off a game-show showcase with Drew Carey or bust out a song from Les Mis.

“Oh, hello, sir,” Mary-Jane greeted with a polite enough smile but had to cover her mouth so she wouldn’t laugh. “I didn’t know you’d be here.”

JJ grunted as he fixed his bowtie. “Me neither, it was last minute, that’s why I sent you two, so I wouldn’t have to be here. Speaking of which, what’re you doing? Shouldn’t you be working?”

Peter held his camera behind his back so JJ wouldn’t see the picture he took of Mary-Jane. He wasn’t sure what to say to placate him, but again Mary-Jane came to his rescue. “We were—are, sir. Clearly, I was just discussing to Peter here about how much I hate Spider-Man. You know, with his daring-do, devil may care attitude, such a stuck-up.”

Mary-Jane scoffed to prove her point and prodded Peter in the side to get him to agree. Peter nodded, scoffing for good measure and rolling his eyes. “Yeah, such a horrible guy for saving people without the prospect of reward or fame.”

If JJ noticed his sarcasm or stopped listening once Mary-Jane mentioned Spider-Man he didn’t let on. Merely nodding as if she’d said something smart. “Well then, keep up the good work!”

He sauntered off, taking two cups of wine from the passing server and walked off elsewhere. Mary-Jane sighed in relief once he was out of earshot. Peter pulled out his camera and stared at it for a bit, quietly enjoying her laughing expression.

“So, Spider-Man, hm?” Peter said with a forced expression. “A stuck-up?”

Mary-Jane turned around and brushed her hair behind her ear. She made a face but looked Peter straight in the eyes. “Probably, I dunno. So far all I know is that he’s out saving people, I said all that to calm Jameson.”

Peter nodded but held a sad look in his eyes as he glanced at the tribute for Gwen Stacy. “That’s what he does… save people.”

They made their way into the main room. Mary-Jane wanted to ask Peter what he meant by his last comment but he made it clear that he didn’t want to talk about it. He kept himself preoccupied by taking pictures of everyone there, every time she asked him something about Spider-Man he’d pretend to be interested in his camera.

It was that quality of Peter that intrigued Mary-Jane. On the outside he was this goofy, perpetually late, timid guy but if you looked hard enough and saw past his silly façade you could easily see the cracks in his armor. The way he’d just look out the window sadly, just staring at the horizon. Or the way he’d get defensive and panicky when people brought up relationships or even if girls got close to him.

Even though they’ve been getting close for a while, Mary-Jane felt like she was standing at the edge of a vast ocean and the only thing she knows about it is derived from a single cup of water. It would’ve been easy just to turn around and leave the ocean alone but she wanted to take the plunge, to jump into the scary, frozen abyss. Mary-Jane’s ears turned pink as she remembered Peter’s compliment.

Peter didn’t notice, thank goodness, and kept his scrutiny on his camera taking pictures seemingly at random. Mary-Jane never really understood the appeal of photography, to her it was just taking a still of life, frozen in time. It wasn’t introspective, it didn’t overtly teach anything. But even she could appreciate Peter’s photography skills.

Every picture she saw of Spider-Man easily painted him as this masked crusader for good. This selfless hero who throws himself between danger and innocent civilians because it was right. Ironically enough, it was Peter’s photos that gave her this near-obsessive drive to find out Spider-Man’s identity.

It wasn’t even to oust him to the public but just to sate her curiosity. Just so she could personally thank him for his work and apologize that the burden has to fall on his shoulders. It seems a bit strange considering she’s at some random fancy-pants party for something she barely cared about instead of investigating the Web-Head. Well, when she heard that Peter was going to be here, Mary-Jane couldn’t help but volunteer.

There were dozens and dozens of people here; people from big name companies or stockbrokers or just general science geeks excited at the prospect of the latest scientific innovation by Oscorp, which had the resources and technological advances equivalent of China. It was quite exciting but Mary-Jane couldn’t help but feel uneasy.

Three major super-criminals came from Oscorp in just a year. You’ve got the giant man-lizard formerly Doctor Connors, the man comprised entirely out of electricity which was recently revealed to have come from Oscorp as well, then you’ve got the former CEO of the company in a decked out suit of armor and horrifically mutated.

It was quite reasonable to be a little on edge since it seems that Oscorp is literally at the center of every crazy thing that’s happened here. Well, as far as Mary-Jane knows they weren’t the cause of the alien incursion a while back but she’s got a few theories! Even Peter seemed uneasy.

Every time he wasn’t looking down his camera he had an expression of worry on his face, looking around nervously at anyone who approached as if he was about to fight for his life in a few minutes. Mary-Jane’s stomach growled mutinously and the sensation of nausea hit her like a badly worded metaphor.

She was starving. Mary-Jane was so busy with all of her work she barely had time to eat then she had to squeeze herself into this dress (lovely, by the way) and now she’s on an impromptu date. That spelled bad news to Mary-Jane. She was about to turn to Peter to express these concerns but he was grinning at her, holding up a shish-kabob to her.

“You look a little flushed,” he said, handing her the stick. Mary-Jane took it gratefully, studying it. It wasn’t exactly what she was pining for, but it would suffice. “You feeling okay?’

Peter placed his hand on her forehead and she blushed even more. He frowned as he removed his hand. “No fever…”

“Just a bit hungry,” Mary-Jane said, chewing her shish-kabob. “No time to eat these days.”

Peter nodded but made a face like he couldn’t believe she wasn’t able to eat properly these days. It was endearing that he was so worried about her. “Well, after this… do you maybe want to get something to eat? Something better than that shish-kabob.”

Mary-Jane had a hard time swallowing her bite of food. A server passed with a tray of champagne and Mary-Jane grabbed one and took a swig of it. Peter stood awkwardly, fiddling with his camera. “If you want, ya know. I’m just concerned with your well-being, that’s all.”

She waved her hand and placed it on his arm, making him jump slightly. “No, no, of course. I-I would love to!”

Peter smiled in a way that made him seemed way too much like a puppy getting petted. Mary-Jane had to resist the urge the pat him on the head. “Good,” he said, shuffling around. “That’d be nice…”

She was going to say something else but the lights dimmed except for center stage. The stage was slightly so it looked over the room. A large red curtain flowed behind it and a podium sat in the very front of the stage. A man appeared from stage right and approached the podium.

Peter began taking pictures of the stage… but something felt wrong. The back of his head buzzed; his spider sense.

The man lifted up his notecard and began to speak but a crashing noise erupted from the behind the curtain. Then there was a bloodcurdling scream. Everyone’s attention was directed to the red curtain which tore open as a large metal door was thrown through it and aimed toward the podium. Luckily the man was smart enough to roll out of the way as it sliced the podium in two and tumbled into the crowd.

Peter growled as Doc Ock appeared from the stage with his robotic arms carrying him. In his hands he carried a few lead-lined canisters. The radioactive isotopes that the Rhino and his crew attempted to steal months ago!

Three police officers ran up and pulled out their guns but Doc’s arms shot out grabbed them by the waist and tossed them across the room.

Everyone screamed and ran for the exit. JJ, Peter and Mary-Jane were the only ones who didn’t run. JJ was yelling at Peter to snap a picture, throwing a few nasty words at Doc Ock which may have offended him.

“Oh, look,” Doc Ock said with a sneer. “The great J Jonah Jameson. I’ve heard the only prospect your newspaper can get are paper airplanes.”

JJ growled and began to roll up his sleeves. “I’ll show you a prospect…”

Doc Ock’s arm shot out and tried to grab him but Peter was quick to act. He lunged, tackling JJ down just as the arm whizzed past his head and missed entirely.

“Peter!” yelled Mary-Jane.

Doc Ock turned his attention to the redhead but Peter stood up in front of her, arms extended. “Don’t!” he warned. “You’ve got what you want… so leave!”

“Peter, what’re you—“ Mary-Jane started but stopped once Peter gave her a hard look.

“Leave,” he continued, turning back to Doc Ock. “We can’t do anything to stop you.”

“True,” Doc Ock mused. “But that doesn’t mean you need to be alive.”

His arm caught Peter by the throat, choking him and lifting him up slightly. If it wasn’t for his physically enhanced body, he would’ve passed out instantly. Mary-Jane yelled something that was lost in Peter’s blood-filled ears.

JJ tried to charge Doc Ock but he swiped at him, knocking him across the room and slamming into a table. Peter couldn’t tell if he was alright but he was still breathing.

“Let him go!” yelled Mary-Jane. She took a chair, hefted it over her head and charged Doc Ock. It was an insanely stupid and brave charge but she didn’t even get 3 steps forward. He disarmed her grabbed her by the waist and lifted her up.

“Gladly!”

He threw Peter hard against the back wall which collapsed on top of him as he crumbled to the floor. Mary-Jane screamed in horror, but Doc Ock didn’t listen and trudged his way upstairs with her as his hostage.