Mary-Jane Watson shifted uncomfortably in her bed, trying to get comfortable without waking her boyfriend up. Her slightly rounded belly already made it nearly impossible to relax, every position either collapsed her lungs, put pressure on the baby, or just wasn't comfortable.
"MJ? You feelin' okay?" Peter's sleepy voice came from beside her. MJ sighed.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you."
MJ rolled over to face her boyfriend, who reached his arms around her and began gently rubbing her lower back.
"Thanks. I just can't get comfortable tonight. I think it's the heat." MJ said, leaning her forehead against Peter's bare chest. He kissed her messy hair.
"I'll fix the AC tomorrow. For now, I'll open the window." Peter retracted his arms and swung his gangly legs out of bed so he could pad over to their bedroom window.
MJ heard the window slide open and looked over to see her boyfriend silhouetted against the city lights. He was looking down at the street, the lights glinting off the faint sheen of sweat on his muscular chest.
"Going out?" MJ asked, sitting up.
"I was thinkin' 'bout it." Peter replied. "I need some time with the other guy to just straighten stuff out. Clear my head."
"Okay." MJ replied, laying back down.
Peter looked at his girlfriend fondly and padded back over to the bed. He leaned down and kissed her forehead tenderly.
"I'll be back before you wake up." He whispered, touching MJ's stomach gently. When MJ looked up again, he was gone.
"Be careful out there, Tiger." MJ replied, knowing Peter heard her as he swung away.
Peter changed into the suit on top of their apartment building. It was the easiest place to stash his PJ bottoms, since no one came up there except for MJ, and that was usually so she could retrieve and wash the clothes he left up there.
As he swung away across the city, Peter tried to organize his thoughts. So much had happened in the last few months, it was hard to keep up with.
It had begun just after Jonah had given him a raise. He was just leaving the bugle and called MJ's cell to tell her the good news. Someone else picked up her phone and told him that MJ had fainted during dance rehearsal. By the time he swung there, she had regained consciousness. Peter thought she should see a doctor, but MJ ignored him.
That had been the first fight.
The second had come after his web slipped and he'd fallen four stories and through a window... He barely made it in their bedroom window before he passed out from blood loss. Luckily, MJ knew where the zippers were on the costume. Even luckier, the hospital was right down the street. Even luckier than that, MJ was a damn good actress and knew how to lie well. But man, she'd laid into him after they got back from the hospital. His ears were ringing all night.
After that, there were fights almost every day and night, usually ending with Peter swinging out the window and MJ crying in their room. After a week straight of that, MJ had told him the news. He could still see scene playing out in front of him.
"MJ, why is this us? We never fight. Now, we can't even hold it together for a day at a time." MJ sighed and went into the kitchen to cook dinner. The kitchen was her first escape; she could make him feel guilty by cooking. She looked utterly exhausted. Peter followed her. He waited as she grabbed a pot and filled it with water.
"Do I not make you happy anymore, MJ?" Peter asked quietly.
MJ jumped and knocked over the box of spaghetti, then leaned against the stove, starting to cry for the billionth time that day. Peter sighed and picked up the box, setting it on the counter before retreating into the bedroom. He grabbed the suit and changed quickly, trying not to cry himself. He didn't make her happy. He didn't make her happy when his entire existence was devoted to her happiness.
"I'm pregnant, Peter." came MJ's quiet voice from behind him. Peter froze.
"I went to the Doctor like you asked. Almost three months."
Peter felt his breath speed up. He'd never had a panic attack before, but there was a first time for everything. He began to move toward the window.
"Peter, please..." MJ pleaded, eyes filling with tears again. Peter stopped. She was just as scared as he was.
With great honor...
"That's wonderful, MJ. I'm so happy." He pulled her close and held her tightly in his arms.
"You're not... mad at me?" She sobbed.
"'Course not." He soothed, tangling his fingers in her hair and pulling her in for a kiss. Their first in a week.
Back in the present, Peter sighed, the feeling of panic taking over again. Both him and Mary-Jane knew the risks of having a baby, and they decided to be as discreet as they could. MJ dropped out of her show and no longer complained when Peter went out at night. Spiderman worked double time to make the streets safer.
Aunt May had beamed ear to ear when they broke the news, but took him aside later.
"So, Peter. Anything else you want to tell me?" She looked at him expectantly.
"We're not getting married, Aunt May." He said firmly. "It's not the right time." Aunt May pursed her lips.
"Peter. With great power-"
"-Comes great responsibility. I know. I'm putting off marriage for for her own protection, not because I want an escape route. You know how much I love her, Aunt May."
"All right, Peter. I trust you to know the right time." She patted his cheek then bustled back into the parlour with some lemonade for MJ, already in a tizzy over being a grandmother at last. Peter sighed, feeling uncomfortable.
"What did she say to you? You've been tense ever since." MJ said on their way back home. He refused to fly with her anymore, so they took a cab.
"I'll tell you when we get home." Peter sighed.
"All right, Tiger. Keep your secrets." MJ laughed before looking tenderly at her little bump that had developed. Peter followed her gaze, feeling panic rise up inside of him.
When they got home, MJ immediately set in on him.
"What did she say, Peter? I know it's bothering you."
Peter ran his hands through his hair, feeling trapped.
"She said... she said that we should get married." MJ took in a deep breath.
"I don't want to..."
"Thank god." He couldn't help his sigh of relief.
"It's dangerous, and we have enough stress right now." She continued. Peter couldn't help it. He crossed the room in two strides and kissed her full on the mouth. She was so perfect...
The smell of smoke interrupted Peter's inner thoughts, and he looked up to see an apartment complex ablaze across town. Screams echoed from the street below. He slung his way over to the scene and dropped down to land in front of the fire marshall.
"Good to see you, Spidey!" The portly Marshall yelled over the sound of the sirens. "The fifteenth is partially collapsed, my men can't get in! We've already evac-" The Fire Marshall found himself talking to thin air. Spiderman was already swinging through a fifteenth floor window.