"Mr. Parker, it seems like you may have jumped the gun on this one. Miss Watson is perfectly healthy. Dizziness and anxiety aren't unusual in her condition. I've given her a sample of some prenatal vitamins and made an appointment with Doctor Stark for Monday morning. He's a very capable obstetrician, you'll be in good hands. Now, make sure that miss Watson rests the rest of the weekend and that she drinks plenty of fluids."
Peter's head spun as he tried to wrap it around everything the doctor was telling him. He stared helplessly over the doctor's shoulder to where MJ was laying quietly on the hospital bed.
"I can see you're anxious to leave. I'll have the nurse give you some papers on hydration and anxiety. Take care, young man."
Peter nodded in acknowledgement, then walked over to MJ's bedside. He felt tense and ready to be back home.
"Ready to go?" He asked MJ, who nodded and got up. Peter wrapped his arm protectively around her waist and they made their way silently to the front desk. Peter took the papers from the nurse, paid, then escorted MJ out onto the busy street.
"Stay here." Peter said. She waited in the doorway while he flagged a cab. It was a quick trip up the street, Peter handed the driver a five and they got out.
"You look tired." Peter said as the cab pulled away. "Want me to carry y-"
"I'm fine." MJ cut in, pushing past him to the door of the apartment building.
It was an uncomfortable elevator ride up. MJ could tell that Peter was worried, which just made her feel antsy.
"You want dinner?" Peter asked, opening the apartment door for her.
"I haven't eaten today, I probably should." MJ sighed.
"What do you want?" Peter asked, moving to the fridge. "We've got leftover pasta, leftover Chinese, I could make pizza."
"I think I'll just have some yogurt and fruit. My stomach still doesn't feel good." Peter nodded, pulling the container out of the fridge. MJ moved to the bathroom, turning the water on so she could wash her face and brush her teeth. The apartment fell into silence.
When MJ emerged from the bathroom, a bowl of yogurt with sliced bananas was waiting for her on the dining table. Peter was busy washing dishes. MJ sighed. If Peter heard her he didn't show it.
"So." Peter said after a little while of listening to MJ's spoon clinking against the bowl. "The appointment on monday."
"I didn't read what time the card said." MJ replied.
"Eleven forty. I'll take an early lunch, Jonah won't care as long as I give him extra pictures."
"Okay." MJ replied. "Should I wait for you or meet you there?" She was beginning to feel woozy again.
"Meet me. I'll leave money for a cab."
"I'll take the bus."
"Okay." Peter sighed. MJ could practically feel his worried eyes on her.
That night in bed, MJ couldn't sleep again, even with the AC on. She was too wound up about the baby and Peter.
"MJ, I know you're not asleep..." Peter soft voice came through the darkness. MJ ignored him. Peter sighed.
MJ didn't even hear him as he left.
Peter swung across the city, his mind in a muddle. Something was going on with his girlfriend, something was going on with him. Together, they weren't functioning properly at all.
"HELP!" Someone yelled from below. Peter immediately dropped down to help.
A woman was being molested by a guy in a mask. Peter pulled the guy away from her and knocked him out with one punch. He turned to the woman. She look utterly terrified.
"No! HELP!" She screeched, hitting him with her purse before pushing roughly past him to the street and running quickly away. Peter stood frozen, unsure of what was happening. Oh well, there were bound to be haters. He climbed up the alley wall and began swinging around again.
There was a robbery in progress on 48th and 10th. He dropped down and pounced on the guy before he could get away. The police were on him in an instant.
"Get lost!" One of them yelled. The other pulled him away from the robber.
What the hell was going on?
Peter left the scene quickly, a sickening feeling building in his stomach. He dropped down to a deserted street and picked up the first newspaper he saw in the gutter. His stomach dropped when he saw the headline.
SPIDER-MAN: MURDEROUS MONSTER
ON LAST FRIDAY NIGHT, THE FAMOUS WEB-SLINGER ALLOWED A PREGNANT WOMAN TO FALL TO HER DEATH AFTER TRAPPING HER IN A BURNING BUILDING'S ELEVATOR. NO COMMENT HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM THE SO-CALLED SUPERHERO OR THE WOMAN'S FAMILY, BUT THE PUBLIC IS ADVISED TO AVOID THIS MENACE AT ALL COSTS. CONT. ON PAGE THREE.
Peter felt the acid rising in his throat and ripped off the mask just in time to throw up in the gutter. When he had nothing left but dry heaves, he straightened up, trying to stop shaking.
He looked back at the paper. It was a Bugle. Damn Jonah. Couldn't resist jumping on a story portraying Spider-Man as a villain. He used one of his pictures too. Along with a crappy cell phone picture of his swinging in the burning building.
He had to get home. Peter pulled on his mask, staggering a little. After a moment of deep breathing he managed to pull himself together enough to fly home, taking the paper with him. With every toss of his web, he felt more and more ill.
MJ jerked awake as a lound noise came from the next room. She jumped out of bed and hurried as quickly as she could into the kitchen.
The balcony doors were open and Peter was laying limply under the dining table, several chairs knocked over.
"Peter!" She cried, rushing to his side. Oh god, let him not be hurt again. She pushed the heavy oak table a bit further away from him.
She knelt down and yanked the mask off, tossing it aside. Peter's breathing was coming shallowly and his skin was clammy.
"Come on, Tiger... You gotta wake up. Tell me what's wrong." She said. Peter's eyelids flickered, and he moved his arm. MJ realized he was holding something. A crumpled newspaper?
"Read it." Peter croaked, covering his face with his arm. MJ took it from him and began uncrumpling it. It was a Bugle from the day.
SPIDER-MAN: MURDEROUS MONSTER
"I saved all those people... And they call me a monster. The Bugle called me a monster." Peter's voice cracked.