Story: The Spider and the Fly (chapter 5)

Authors: Final Wind

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Chapter 5

[Author's notes: I owe a big thanks to Yurifangirl who I've rudely forgotten to praise for her editing and advise. She's done a great job since chapter 4 at helping me improve the grammar of the story so as I said a big thanks goes out to her for the help.

Anyway, awkward late thank yous aside, here's chapter 5. It's a little short but I'll have 6 up in a few days and it's a good bit longer. Enjoy!]

Jessica fired three quick taps of her knuckles against the door. It felt strange to her to be so nervous about coming into a house that she remembered as home. Did May even know she existed before last night? She really couldn't tell if her genetic duplicate would have told his Aunt about his female clone. On that note, he probably didn't. While she looked longingly back at Fury ,who was sitting back in the car, wishing she'd asked him how much her aunt knew, the door swung open. In the doorway stood her aunt. Despite what seemed like her best efforts to appear otherwise, it was quite obvious from the woman’s almost red eyes and the tears that seemed to be welling up inside her that she'd been crying. At first they just looked at each other. She looked even more distraught than when May's husband and Jessica’s uncle, Ben, had died just a year ago.

Although it wasn't her fault, not for the first time this week, Jessica felt the weight of survivor’s guilt weighing down on her shoulders. For a few minutes, they stared at each other. The thought of seeing May like this, speaking to her after Peter had died was somehow scarier then any bad guy or monster she'd ever faced. Looking at the person she loved the most in the world, she couldn't stop the though that she shouldn't be here while her real nephew was dead.

"Maybe... maybe this was a bad idea..." Jessica barely whispered. "I'm sorry Aunt May..."

Then, just as she turned to leave, her aunt finally spoke up.

"Are... are you Jessica?" The old lady asked.

The brown haired girl turned to look at her aunt once more. Apart from last night, it had been over a month since she'd seen a passing glance of her while she was rescuing Peter during the whole clone debacle and even then she'd been . Although she'd never actually met her, she had 15 years worth of memories of living with this woman. She just looked back at her aunt, unsure what to say. Just as May was about to speak to her niece once more, she noticed Fury.

"You!" she roared, her frail demeanour suddenly becoming replaced with one overcome with rage.

"It's your fault he's dead! I thought I told you last night not to show your face around here again!" She shrieked at the towering black figure.

Fury sighed.

"Ma'am, like I said last night, I'm trying to honour your late nephew’s wishes. I messed up, I know that. I said my piece to you last night out of respect for him, but if you're not going to listen to what I have to say, then fine, I'll get over it. At least give Jessica here a chance. She knew him better then anyone after all."

With this, Fury nodded to Jessica.

"I'll be back in a few hours to pick you up kid. You two have some talking to do; it’s not my place to interrupt that."

With that, Fury retreated to the government escort car. He took a last glance at Jessica and her aunt as he rolled up the tinted window.

Jessica turned to her aunt. She knew the woman had only entered her 50s, but the events of the last year had defiantly taken a visible toll on her.

May turned her sights to Jessica once more.

"We... we should talk inside, I think." May said, her eyes glued to her feet.

Jessica walked towards the kitchen. The house had been changed a little since she last remembered it. It looked redecorated which was probability due to all the damage it took the last time she showed up.

As she walked into the kitchen she saw her aunt take a quarter full glass of what looked somewhat like whiskey and promptly downed the contents in one go. She then gestured to Jessica to take a seat.

"Never took to drinking really.... I can't remember the last time I've even touched anything even remotely alcoholic." her aunt remarked.

"I know, I don't ever remember seeing you take to drink in all the time I... I mean Peter lived here." she replied.

"So, you do have his memories?" the ageing woman asked.

Jessica meekly nodded to confirm her question.

May then turned to look out the window. Looking out at the birds chirping in the sunny weather, it felt strange to her that the world could continue for everyone else while it came crashing down in flames for her.

"We - we talked about you, you know. Peter told me all about you. He really felt sorry for you. That was Peter though. Always thinking about everyone but himself, just like his uncle...."

She returned to aimlessly gazing out the window into the sunny abyss.

"When he first told me about you, I think I hated you. I don't mean you exactly, just the idea that this sort of thing could happen. It felt like Peter was being punished for doing what was right. But the more I thought about you, the more worried I felt and the more upset I was. You had everything taken from you, your family, your home… even your identity and your past. I should have tried to find you, bring you to live with us here."

Jessica moved closer to her aunt, taking Mays hand in hers.

"I just felt like I'd ruin everyone’s lives if I stayed. After everything that happened to you, Peter and MJ last month I didn't think it would be right for me to stay with you guys. I caused enough trouble. I... I didn't belong here. I'm not even real. Not really."

May looked back at Jessica, a bit taken back at what she had said. A small smile appeared on her face.

"You really are just like him." she whispered. "You shouldn't have gone off on your own. You're just a child..."

"Well, I'm actually only a few months old..." Jessica remarked. "Uh, never mind, we can talk about that later." she said as she noticed the confused look on May's face.

"Maybe you're right, but at the time I felt like I'd just be getting in the way. Plus Nick Fury back there wasn't exactly too keen on me."

May scowled again. "That man... He's as bad as that Norman Osborn. He brought nothing but trouble into our lives. If it wasn't for him Peter would still be..."

May trailed off once more, leaving another short, but noticeable awkward silence.

"So, uhh. I guess things didn't go too well when you were talking to him last night..." Jessica finally said.

"He had the nerve to tell Mary Jane and me that it wasn't his fault that that Octavius character escaped again and killed my nephew. Instead he tried to tell us how honourable Peter was. I already knew that. That boy was ten times the man that Fury could ever hope to be..." May sighed.

Jessica didn't feel too comfortable talking about Fury like this. She knew May had a point about Fury being at fault for Ocks escape but at the same time she knew he wasn't as bad as she was making him out to be. She knew he was just trying to do his job, after all.

"How... how is MJ after the whole...?"

"Mary Jane's barely said two words since Peter died. She was crying all the way through his funeral and that ceremony Peter's other friends organised."

"Should... I go over and see her?"

May thought about this for a moment.

"I think she'd had enough time to think things through. I'm glad you didn't appear on my doorstep straight after Peter..." she looked away for a moment. "If you'd come here straight away I don't think I could have handled seeing you. It's... hard for me at the moment but I'm coping a little bit better now. As for Mary Jane, I'm not sure. It might be too soon, but on the other hand I think she needs someone she can really talk to. We've both tried to be there for each other but she needs someone she can open up to a little more. Maybe she can do that with you."

"What about you Aunt May? Are you ok now?"

May gave Jessica a small smile again. "I learned after my sister’s and Ben’s death. You never get over these things. I'll never stop thinking about them and Peter. But they wouldn't want me to cry for the rest of my life, even if that's what I feel like doing right now. I have to be strong for them, for their memory. As hard as it may be... but I've never even asked you how you feel. I'm sure this past week has been as much of a hell for you too."

"That doesn't matter right now." Jessica told her. "All that matters is making sure you and MJ are ok. That and getting revenge on Octavius..."

May sighed. "We can talk about that later. It's been a long day and I need to let all this soak in."

"Of - of course... I, um. I guess I'll go. I'll be back to visit you in a few days, if that's ok."

May nodded.

"I'm going to go lie down for a while if you don't mind."

Jessica walked with her aunt as far as the door.

"I guess I'll see you later?" she asked.

"Yup. Good-bye Jessica."

They looked at each other for a few moments before gradually hugging.

As Jessica departed, a sense of relief hit her. Meeting her aunt had gone a lot better then she'd expected. As she walked away from the house she realised she had to make a decision. Did she visit MJs house now or did she contact Fury and ask him to pick her up?

After thinking about it for a few minutes, she jogged the two blocks distance to Mary Jane's house.

A new sense of dread swept across her as she reached for the doorbell.

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