Like I said before, here's the sequel to Two Spiders on a Web with Gwen (and a few others) trapped in the MCU. The story will focus on some exploration of the MCU world along with incorporating an alternate version of the Far from Home movie. As always leave reviews, criticisms if possible and hopefully you all enjoy this :) I don't have a good grasp on the MCU characters so this'll take a bit of finagling to work.
Credit to duncke for the title.
Side Note - Anyone have any suggestions for a better summary? I always suck at making those...
2 months. Time sure flied.
2 months since they helped save this dimension, since they all got trapped here. Gwen kinda blamed herself for that. Sure she didn't regret coming here to help Peter and the rest of this dimension - and despite their grumbling she was sure the others felt the same - but that didn't change the fact that they were stuck here. No way back and the only chance for communication was telling the other Web Warriors to give their friends and family chat-only versions of their portal watches.
Gwen was lucky. Time passed linearly across dimensions: one second here was one second there. That didn't mean that they were all in the same year, though. Noir was in the 30's and Peni was over a thousand years into the future, just to name a couple. This earth and hers were pretty similar. It was 2023 here while on her earth it was 2018 - a five year gap, coincidentally enough. She also found out she was just three hours ahead of them, which made talking pretty convenient.
Aside from that things were...okay. Sure they were trapped and everything but Mrs. Stark was pretty generous. She set them up with a fancy place in Midtown that they could stay in (rent-free!) till they found a way back. It didn't take them long to set up and make it a decent base of operations for however long they were going to stay here. Gwen had to admit, it was some pretty nice digs.
Not that she stayed over there. She had...different arrangements.
The early morning sun shined through the covers and she flinched softly, "Mmmgh..." Gwen narrowed her eyes and glared at the small gap before turning around and grabbing for the phone on a nearby nightstand. 9:13 am, meaning it was about 6 back home. Too early to call home, "Ugh..." Grunting again, she swung her bare feet over to the ground and stood up with a stretch.
Opening the door, she was met with the sight of May cooking (read: burning) today's breakfast, "Hey, May!" She yawned and grinned when she saw the woman's briefly annoyed look shift to utter relief, "Need some help there?"
"Yes!" She threw Gwen an apron and the blonde slid over next to her, "I was trying to make pasta and it just..." She made a vague gesture. Gwen had seen its use a lot in the 2 months she spent here. It ranged from 'I burned dinner so we gotta go get take-out' to 'so I may or may not accidentally gone back to our old apartment and freaked out the current owners'. The latter happened more times than Gwen would've thought.
On the bright side she made friends with the family. The Millers were even coming over for dinner next week.
"So what do you think? Still think we can save it?" May turned over the pan filled with burnt noodles and Gwen made an exagerrated vomiting noise, "That bad?"
"Let's just say I'm pretty sure even Spider powers won't save me or Pete." They dumped the pasta to the nearby trashcan, "What about omelettes? Pretty sure even we can't fuck up eggs..."
"Oh don't worry, I'm sure we'll find some way." May grinned and bumped Gwen's hip playfully. It was...odd. The May she remembered was old with a head full of white hair and a frumpy updo that screamed classic. This May was different. Not that much younger - Gwen still couldn't believe she was 52 with the way she looked - but she had an energy the May from back home didn't. If it wasn't for her oversized glasses and penchant for oldie sweaters she would've taken her for 40 at most.
There was no Ben here, like Peter said. Gwen would've loved to see what he was like if he could bag someone like this May.
"Pete still sleeping?"
"Yeah. Late night out with the decathlon team." May shook her head, "He said they were meeting up again later then he was gonna go do his thwip thing after. You going with him?"
"Mmm, maybe. I gotta check in on the rest of the group too." Peni, Noir, Mayday, Jessica and Scarlet (cause calling her MJ was kinda weird...) lived pretty close by on swinging distance. She checked in on them at least once a week; mostly to get updates on the whole 'going home' thing and partially to see how they were doing. The more weeks passed the more they antsy they got. Especially Noir, Scarlet and Mayday. Jessica and Peni treated it more like a vacation from work once they actually managed to re-establish contact.
Fifteen minutes later and Peter was walking out of his room, hair mussed up and yawning. Gwen bit her tongue to keep from saying anything...untoward. So...they didn't exactly tell May the two of them were dating. It felt wrong considering they met her after the funeral and after that they just couldn't find the right time. They couldn't just drop it over dinner, right? 'Oh May this meatloaf is really great and not burnt! Oh by the way I screwed your nephew. Would you pass the sauce?'
So they agreed to not have any PDA while they were here. Not till they found the right time to tell her exactly what the deal was and how far they'd gone.
He just...made it really, really hard when he came out with hair she just wanted to grab and-
Gwen shook her head and forced a grin, "Morning, sleepyhead!" she shouted. Christ, what was wrong with her? Sure it'd been months since they got up to anything but the occasional kiss but could she really not keep it in her pants?
"Mornin'..." He yawned again. Gwen tried not to think about how well that shirt fit him. She was just supposed to be his friend. The Spider-Woman who helped him out when he got trapped so it was totally cool to return the favor. Nothing else.
Breakfast was nice, as it always was. They talked about anything that came to mind from Peter's decathlon meets to whatever criminals they bagged that night. Turned out? Not so much. Apparently Peter was telling the truth when he said this place didn't have non-stop muggings and the prisons really did keep the criminals in. Even the one criminal they caught a month ago - some dude calling himself Beetle - was still serving his time. Back home he would've been out at least twice already.
It was weird. Not in a bad way, but she just knew she was getting spoiled on it. Once she got back home she'd be expecting Stilt-Man to stay in prison instead of breaking out by the weekend.
"So you've got a nerd thing later?" Gwen asked.
"Decathlon thing, yeah." He rolled his eyes, "We're gonna have a trip to Europe in a couple months and we figured we could prepare together."
Oh right, the Europe trip. It was supposed to be a reward for both new students and old ones that got hit with 'the blip'. Mostly she found it weird how they called it that, of all things. That'd be like calling the The Holocaust something like 'the disagreement'.
"Already? Dude it's like two months away!"
"Better early than late." He pointed his fork at her, "Why, what do you do when you have a field trip?"
"You don't pack until the night before, you oversleep then you panic and run all the way over there hoping you don't miss the bus. Duh." Granted in her case it was cause she was too busy doing the Spider-Woman thing. Matter of fact that applied to just about every trip they had. She still remembered missing the trip to MJ's cabin and portaling over there...only to end up right over the lake. Stupid frog even got in her shoe.
"That's...a way." Peter laughed.
"She's telling the truth. That's how I met Ben, don't you know? Both of us putting everything off till the last second. We missed the bus and had to hitchike all the way to where we were supposed to go." May smiled fondly at the memory. That was another difference. Even now May and Ben found it hard to talk about their Peter but here May and Peter talked about him so easily. She wished she could do it too.
"See? May's right. Panicking the night before a trip is like a rite of passage!"
"I'll pass, thanks." He kicked her leg under the table gently and she kicked back. It was the best they could do without May getting suspicious, "Hey, you're visiting the others later, right? Could you tell Peni I want my game back? She said she wanted to check out 'low tech' gaming but she still hasn't given it back."
"I'll be sure to pass it along." She turned to May, "What about you, May? More Salvation Army stuff?" She and the the rest of the Spiders were lucky enough to have friends like Mrs. Stark. The other 4 billion people that came back? Not so much. Apparently bringing billions of people back didn't just automatically fix things. Sure there were people with friends and family who were willing to help them out but it wasn't enough. If they didn't have Mrs. Stark helping them out she was pretty sure Peter and May wouldn't have had this apartment now.
"Yeah, we're setting up another fundraiser." May's smile was strained. Even after all the stuff they did there were still people who were out in the streets. Husbands and wives who found out their partners moved on, parents who never saw their kids grow up like that Ant-Man guy. A part of Gwen wondered why Tony didn't just turn back the clock before she remembered his daughter. He couldn't just give her up, and as much as a part of her wanted to cry about the needs of the many she agreed. She couldn't imagine that snap making it so that Peter never arrived in her world.
"Need me or Gwen to show up again?" Peter asked. The two of them did some guest appearances sometimes. Helped people open up their wallets more when bonafide heroes who actually fought that purple sack of shit turned up and did some flips.
"Not for now. You show up too much and people get tired of it," May said, "Thanks for the offer, though."
They went their separate ways after that. Peter with his nerd thing, May to start planning and Gwen to the Spider-Lair. She did a quick runaround patrol, mostly out of habit. The last time she'd seen a crime in progress was over a week ago and that was just a guy who nabbed a bike. Not exactly something that could fill an entire comic issue, if you caught her drift.
She passed by an office building and did a cheeky wave. Back home she was much more popular than before but the whole one year in prison thing, plus all of Jameson's bullshit, still followed her around. Here there was none of that. Peter never got a negative rep and being attached to the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man label meant most of the city was pretty cool with her and the other Spiders.
...Except maybe Noir. Most people just saw him as a crazy guy with a trenchcoat and a gun. That seemed more school shooter-y than Spider-y.
She landed on the side of the apartment building and crawled in through the window, "Honeys, I'm home!" She shouted. She was pretty sure most of them used the window. The door was more decoration than anything.
The place was big - much bigger than the apartment she was staying in, at least - with five rooms for each of the new tenants. She'd been here long enough to see how each Spider decorated their rooms. Noir's and Jessica's were sparse with little in the way of decorations or personalization outside of what was already inside. Peni's was a complete mess, filled to the brim with wires and tech that it more resembled a workshop than an an actual room. She'd even gotten rid of her bed and replaced it with a workbench. If she ever needed to sleep the beanbag or SP/dr's cockpit sufficed.
The one that most reminded her of home was Scarlet's; mostly cause it was what MJ back home had. Posters of (differently named) bands, a guitar propped up on the corner and even a a few vinly records of Taylor Swift; cause apparently she was a universal constant even though the Beetles weren't. Sometimes it was hard to remember that she wasn't actually her MJ.
"Sup, Gwen?" Mayday waved from the dinner table. She was the only on in the apartment's main room. The place definitely looked live in. Like the different rooms each Spider had carved out their own little corner. She ignored the dismantled gun and bullets (Noir's) on the corner along with the neatly stacked row of combat knives (Jessica's) as she walked to where the younger Spider was.
"Hey, 'Day. Where are the others?"
"Noir's out on a case and MJ's doing her...thing." Mayday shifted in her seat awkwardly. Apparently she was bonded to something called the Carnage symbiote, which was bad news judging by the name alone. Despite her flashy costume she apparently fell more in line with Noir's and Jessica's brand of heroism than her and Mayday's. Considering she was an alternate of one of Gwen's best friend and Mayday's mom they didn't like to think about it, "Jessica and Peni are in their rooms."
"Any more luck with the whole 'getting back home' thing?" Not that she was in a particular rush. She wasn't attending college now and with contact re-established she never felt lonely. She just hoped MJ didn't replace her before she got back.
"No..." Mayday stirred her cereal listlessly, "We talked to Dr. Strange but he said he can't do anything right now. Apparently we just have to wait for 'the dimensional barriers to repair themselves'. I think he's pretty happy about it, actually. Last time he saw an alternate dimension this big demon thing called Dormammu tried to take over. Apparently he was even worse than Thanos."
"How'd he stop it?"
"Made a bargain." She stretched her arms above her head and yawned, "So how's it living over with not-dad?"
"Same old. Still haven't told May." She sighed and sat across from her.
"Why? I'm pretty sure she'd be cool with it from what I know about her."
"I know she's cool, it's just..." Gwen paused, trying to find the words, "I dunno, I just wanna know the right time, you know? I'm super cool with May right now and I don't wanna make it awkward with the whole 'I'm sleeping with your nephew' thing."
"You don't wanna make it awkward. She says as she tells his daughter from another dimension that she's sleeping with him."
"That's different! You've been through enough of the alternate dimension thing to know he's not really your dad any more than the other billions of Peters are. For May that's her one and only nephew. Why do you think we haven't told them about you, Jessica or Noir?" Another fib they did. As far as May knew Noir wasn't another version of her nephew, Jessica wasn't a clone of another version and Mayday wasn't her alternate grandchild."
The door and window behind them opened at the same time. Noir walked inside, unmasked face locked in a grimace, while Scarlet crawled through the window with obvious frustration.
"...You two don't look happy," Gwen said.
"Neither of you came back last night. What happened?" Mayday asked.
Noir spoke first, "Case is a wash." He sat on the couch and tossed his mask next to him. Mary Jane sat to his left, rubbing her temples with a sigh, "Got a job to track a guy who was cheating on his dame. I take a couple of pictures, show them to the girl and I get paid. Simple enough."
"I'm guessing something happened?"
"Yeah. Didn't Parker say there weren't many 'heroes' in this place? Cause it sure didn't seem like it." He clicked his tongue, "Apparently the guy was double dipping and got up to more than just cheatin' on his moll. He pissed off some dame in a leather jacket and she punched right through a wall. Got arrested for God only knows what, so the girlfriend wasn't too happy. Apparently she wanted to blackmail him with the photos and she can't exactly do that with him behind bars. Wasted three days for nothing."
"...What about you, Mary Jane?" Mayday asked. Gwen could tell that even now she found it weird to call a version of her mom by her first name.
"Nothing that exciting." She waved a hand through the air and propped her feet up on the table, "I know Peter told us there wasn't much happening here but I thought he was just trying to make it seem less shitty. But he's right - there's nothing happening here. The worst one I ran into was a guy selling dope in an alley. And he wasn't even selling to kids or something so I just left him for the cops."
"And that's...a bad thing?" Gwen asked.
"You're not the one with a whiny symbiote." Yeah, hers didn't talk. She found it kinda weird that Scarlet's did, "Scarlet's getting antsy. Back home you can go to Hell's Kitchen or Yancy Street and chances are you'll find someone doing something that'll land em 20 to life."
"Maybe you shouldn't indulge that thing?" Mayday asked with just a little hint of irritation.
"Save it, Mayday. I've had that talk with my Gwen already. Trust me, this is the best I can do."
"She is kinda right on how barren this place is," Mayday said, "Back home if you don't run into any crime it's cause Dr. Octopus or Canis or whoever is planning something. Here it's apparently normal. It's...weird."
"You think that's weird?" They looked up and saw Jessica and a yawning Peni next to her walking down the stairs. The mecha girl looked like she hadn't slept much, "Was 'lucky' enough to run into a mugging last night. Saved the woman, webbed up the bad guy and...the woman thanks me. She asks for an autograph, asks to take a selfie, it was...creepy. Back home I had a 50-50 shot of getting a grudging thank you or being called a freak."
"That...seems more like there's something wrong with your world than anything," Gwen said. Even in her world she got thanked...about 80% of the time.
"You guys are all weird." Peni plopped down next to Mayday with her own bowl and poured herself a generous helping, "Back in my world I fought monsters like Devilzilla or Scorpiosaurus. Daredevil usually deals with gangs and organized crime."
"Sorry we don't all got fancy robots, kid." Noir scoffed, "What about you, Stacy?"
"No change." Gwen shrugged. Most days ended with her going on patrol (pointless 99% of the time) or just waiting for Peter and May to come back. Mayday suggested finding a job or something to pass the time. Noir was doing the P.I thing, Scarlet worked at a music store, Mayday worked at a store nearby and Jessica did some on-off bodyguard stuff at Starktech. Peni didn't see the point and just made a coin miner for pocket money.
Gwen thought about working at the Baskin-Robbins but the manager - Dale - creeped her out. It was like he was staring right through her...
"When are we getting the hell out of here?" Scarlet suddenly asked. All of them turned to look at her, "Not that I'm not having fun here but we do have lives to get back to. Hell, I missed my friend Cindy's wedding!"
"I gotta agree with Scarlet," Noir said, "I was in the middle of something back home and it's not something you put off."
"Hey, I'm frustrated too! You think I like being here and not being with my family?" Mayday asked, "But we can't do anything about it. Even if the Infinity Stones weren't destroyed here doing that snap thing again could just kill us." The alternate reality stones weren't here either. Apparently going back in time was okay but actually crossing dimensions? Nuh-uh, no dice.
"It means we have to just wait," Jessica said, "Let's just count ourselves lucky that we weren't totally cut off thanks to Octavia."
"Yep. This place is fun! Sure the tech is like caveman stuff but at least there aren't any giant monsters or evil aliens running around! Only good aliens."
"Yeah, don't remind me..." Noir muttered.
"Before I go, Peter said he wanted to get his game back?" Gwen said.
"Oh, sure!" Peni ran up and down in a few seconds flat and tossed the game to her. Gwen raised a brow at the cover depicting a Vampire wearing a schoolgirl outfit, "I did some tweaking and upped the gore effects so tell him to look forward to it. Oh, and I added a couple of endings in case he wanted to side with the humans instead. Felt like a really big thing not to include."
She said her goodbyes to the others and swung around aimlessly. She could probably try to find a work again - Mrs. Stark gave them some really good fake ID's - but she didn't know what to do. Work at a music shop like Scarlet? Maybe set up an Earth-19999 branch of her Hero for Hire gig? She could donate all of her proceeds to charity. Though, she didn't wanna know what the IRS (instead of ISR, for some reason) of this world was like...
Her musings were cut off when she saw a familiar head of brown hair down below, "Hello..." She landed on the rooftop and grinned. Coincidence she ran into him but she couldn't discount her luck. Besides, it'd be good to talk to him without May walking in.
She dropped down into an alley and shifted her suit to a shirt and a pair of shorts and sneakers, "Least he can get you back early." She smirked down at the game and put it in her bag. Just act casual and it'd all be cool.
Gwen walked towards him and covered his eyes with both hands, "Guess who?" Peter turned around and blinked when he saw her. She pulled out the game again and held it out to him, "Got your game back. You can thank me later." She winked.
"Uh, Gwen! What are you-"
"Who's this?" Gwen turned to the source of the voice and saw the group he was hanging out with for the first time. A tan guy on the heavier side that sounded like how he described Ned, a tan girl with frizzy brown hair, another guy who looked like he'd been slapped in the fish when he looked at her and a pale blonde that...looked like...a younger version of her. Huh.
"Uh..." Gwen said very smartly.
"Oh, uh...this is Gwen. Gwen Stacy." Peter put a friendly hand on her shoulder, "She's, uh, she's my neighbor! In my new place. She's in college." An awkward pause, "We, uh, we hang out sometimes. You know, neighbor buddies." God, she didn't know whether to cringe or find that absolutely adorable. And she wasn't someone who gushed over cute things a lot.
"Huh..." Same the frizzy haired girl, the same one who asked the question before. She narrowed her eyes, "Why does she look like Betty? She a cousin?" she asked the younger.
"Don't think so." She shook her head. Gwen could tell seeing an older clone was weirding her out.
"Well...you know, there's 8 billion people again. Chances are you'll run into someone who looks just like you sometime!" Gwen forced a grin. God, this was awkward, "Uh...so Peter, introduce me to your friends."
"H-Huh? Oh, well...this is Ned." He pointed to the heavier guy, "That's Michelle, Betty and...Flash." Gwen had to resist the urge to frown. Yeah, she'd heard all about Flash. Apparently being brought back to life after five years didn't stop him from being a dick.
"Cool, nice to meet you." She did her best to give them all a pleasant smile. Ned still looked shocked (how much did Peter tell him?), Betty was rapidly accepting that she had a clone and Flash still looked like he got kicked in the balls. Apparently the sight of his bullying target knowing girls was some kind of brown note to him.
Michelle just looked at her with narrowed, suspicious eyes. Not hostile, more like seeing a puzzle that needed to be solved.
"S-So, I'll see you back home. Back at the apartment." Cause they totally didn't live together, no sir.
She turned away and fast walked back home, ignoring the questions they threw Peter's way or Flash's mocking call of Penis Parker. She almost turned around then and there to give that dick a piece of her mind. Sure she knew Peter could deal with it on his own, but months of helping out her Peter with his own bullies made it second instinct. Besides, she hatted bullies in general.
She made it back and collapsed on the couch. Well, that was a disaster. She should've stayed, maybe get to know his friends better. If she was gonna stay here for a while then it wouldn't hurt, right? "Ugh..." She sat up and looked up at the ceiling. But that was before she played peekaboo and started winking. Neighbor friends didn't do that? Did they? She didn't do that back home with the other tenants in her building...
The door opened maybe 30 minutes later and Peter walked in, "...Hey." He sat next to her.
"Hey." Gwen peeked one eye open, "What happened to preparing with your friends?"
"I cut out early. MJ kept asking questions and Flash was being a dick." Of course he was, "Kept saying that he 'saw how I was looking at you' and that 'I didn't have a chance with a college girl'."
"Yeah? Shows what he knows." Gwen snorted, "Don't get how you can still deal with that asshole." She heard all about the Penis Parker DJ debacle. God, what a prick.
"Sticks and stones, Gwen."
"Decades of studies on the effects of bullying prove otherwise." She tried not to think about her Peter, "...Sorry for ruining your hangout time."
"Ah, it's fine. Maybe I'll take your advice and just pack at the last minute." He grinned and scooted together till their legs were touching, "So...how much you wanna prove Flash wrong?"
"If that's your attempt to be sexy I think I you need to work on it a bit more."
His protesting reply was cut off when she leaned forward and kissed him. Peter responded immediately, throwing his arms around her shoulders and pulling him in close. Gone were the days of awkward pecks and stolen kisses. Not that she minded back then, she wasn't exactly an expert either considering her non-existent dating history, but confident Peter was definitely something she could appreciate.
She was so busy appreciating it, in fact, that she didn't hear the front door open.
"...What the fuck?" The pair separated with a small pop and turned to May standing stock still on the door with her hand still on the knob.
"Uh..." Peter mumbled.
"Um..." Gwen said right after.
Gwen's look of shock turned to a smile. She didn't know if that was good or not, "I think you two have some explaining to do." She shut the door behind her and put the takeout on the table, "A lot of explaining to do."
"...How awkward is this gonna be?" Peter asked softly.
"I'm pulling out baby pictures and showing her." May said, completely serious.
"Oh God..." Peter groaned and covered his face with both hands.
Gwen just laughed.
First chapter done. Unless anyone has any objections the first arc will be focused on interacting with some street level heroes like the Defenders. I know a bunch of people want Avengers interactions but...well, how would that work? Hawkeye's retired to the farm, Steve's old, Widow/Stark are dead and Thor went off to space. The closest I can think of for interactions are maybe Hulk, Pepper and Scarlet Witch.
I also had Peter and Gwen hide their relationship/the identities of the other Spiders despite the two month timeskip so we can have some interaction for that. It would've bummed some people out if the whole 'I'm dating Spider-Woman' thing happened off-screen.
1. Would you guys mind if I included Spiders besides Peter and Gwen on the Europe trip? I could definitely involve Jessica since she has agent training and Talos!Fury would consider her useful due to her previous SHIELD experience.
2. Besides the Avengers who do you guys wanna see interacting? I have at least one reader who wants May interacting with Mayday, Noir and Jessica Drew due to their identities, for example.