Log: Peter and Mary Jane Watson-Parker Who; Peter, MJ, and Mary Jane's dad When; June 17th, morning Where; The Bronx What; Peter and MJ go to tell MJ's dad that they're married. It doesn't end well, but Peter and MJ leave before Peter can break Mr. Watson's FACE. And they get ice cream.
It was kind of like jumping into a really cold pool without looking first.
The trip was totally and completely spur of the moment. They'd gotten into the car before either of them had time to think it over. With things shaping up to be considerably more peaceful, they had no excuse not to go see MJ's father. And tell him that she was not only with Peter Parker, but married to him.
Peter had never met Mr. Watson, but he knew already from living next to him for so long that he didn't like him. But he was still MJ's father, and when they moved back to the city, they'd be next door to him, unless he moved. Might as well suck it up. Even so, Peter hesitated when they pulled up. They'd left May with Elvyran today (which seemed to thrill Ran to no end; he loved kids and May was positively ecstatic to be so high off the ground when he picked her up), so there was nothing between Peter and MJ, and Mr. Watson.
"So." Maybe they could wait outside and see if he would come to them? "Do, we ... do we knock? Maybe we should call, I bet we should've called first."
Yeah, he'd moved. The Watson family was scattered now, ever since her parents divorced. Philip and Madeline separated, Gayle married and moved out and then she got divorced ... some new family lived in her old house. Her mother died in the apartment where she'd moved. Her father... was less settled. He'd been moving from place to place for years. At first he was just crashing with friends and fellow scholars, but life had just gotten harder for him. The more he drank, the more he sank into his depression, the harder it was for him to get out of that rut and work. He couldn't hold a job----claimed everything was beneath him. He'd keep something for a few weeks, a couple months, and end up getting fired for his behavior. He was a deeply intelligent man. He wasn't a bad, man, either. Not... not really. A little. The fact that he never saw her unless he wanted something really bothered her, but she was also grateful. He hadn't exactly made her life easy while they lived together. She has a couple of scars to prove it.
She never called to tell him about the wedding. She thought about it, yeah, but given what he'd said to her after her wedding to John fell through the second time, given what he'd said to her about the debacle with May...? She didn't want him to be there. A part of her would always be tied to him, but she was trying to break away. Trying to figure out that she didn't always have to prove herself to him. That it wasn't her fault, it just wasn't possible to gain his approval. He thought she was stupid (how could she have come from such smart stock?), thought she'd picked a horrible choice of career because she had no talent, thought she was a slut for getting herself pregnant. Yeah. She hadn't told Peter everything. Fuck it, Peter didn't know anything. She said some things, he overheard things at their house from time to time, but she was pretty tight-lipped about it all, especially recent conversations.
He was living in an apartment in the Bronx these days. Dingy place, but it wasn't the worst dump he'd ever lived in.
When they got to the door, MJ looked to Peter and compulsively straightened his collar. Tried to avoid fixing her own appearance. "Okay. So... we tell him. I'm sure this will go just fine, Pete. No worries. He's the only parent I have left, and I want him to meet you, at the very least. The only thing he knows about you is that you were the brat who lived next door."
"Oh, goody. God knows I love the brat next door image." MJ didn't have to fix her own appearance. Peter was nervously doing it for her, smoothing back her hair and tucking it behind her ears before tugging his own shirt, making sure it was straight. "So ... who knocks?"
But she didn't have to, because that was when the door swung open. Thin door. Thin walls. Philip Watson could hear everything out there. He was tall, and probably was attractive at one point. He hadn't aged well, he had stubble that couldn't quite be counted as a beard but was pretty damn close. Dressed sloppily, like he wasn't planning on leaving the house today.
"Mary?" The fuck?
MJ shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. "Hi, Dad."
Peter flinched, and to MJ, it must've looked like he was about to scuttle right up the wall. He cleared his throat, brushed some invisible dust off his shirt. "Hi, Mr. Watson."
"Mister." Philip hated that. It was like rubbing his face in the mud. He'd never finished his PhD, he'd never gotten that most sought-after doctorate. He liked to say he was still working on it but that wasn't really the case. "Huh. Who are you?"
MJ sighed softly. "Dad, you remember Peter Parker..." She was cringing in advance.
Philip's expression darkened. "Yeah. I remember Peter Parker. Damn idiot, you are."
Peter bristled. "I remember you, too, Mr. Watson. You were that jerk next door who never shut up." It was a knee-jerk reaction. Sorry, MJ.
Philip gripped the door frame and looked down toward Peter. "You're the son of a bitch who knocked up my daughter."
Peter hated being so damn short compared to everyone around him. What was this, the six mile high club? Not fair. "I prefer to think of myself as the son of a bitch who married your daughter." ...Oops. Not supposed to come out that way, was it?
There was a silence. Mary Jane lifted her chin, tried to keep herself looking strong. She'd married him. She was proud of it. Philip, on the other hand, looked between MJ and Peter with this kind of disgusted expression. "The fuck would you do that for?" he asked. He asked Peter this. "She's too stupid to keep herself from getting pregnant and she ropes you into marrying her? You fell for that one hook, line, and sinker, didn't you." He then turned away and made his way back into the apartment. Left the door open. That was as much as an invitation as they were going to get.
"Excuse me?" Peter had the sudden urge to go, 'Don't you know who I am? I'm Spider-Man, bitch!' But ... didn't, for obvious reasons. "I didn't fall for anything." He didn't really want to go in there, if he was being honest. "What the hell is your problem?"
Philip snorted and rounded back toward the door since neither of them were coming in. Mary Jane seemed rooted to the spot. Unable to say anything. "She got knocked up, roped Johnny Jameson into marriage. When that didn't work she went after you. Bad enough she was too much of a slut to know who the father was." He muttered something along the lines of, got herself pregnant instead of going to school, the tramp.
Now that? That was just crossing the line. Peter wasn't a particularly violent person; he was more likely to quip and then jump out of the way, but he's painfully aware that Philip Watson is just human. And that Peter packs one hell of a punch. He's fast, faster than a skinny little guy like Peter Parker should be, grabbing Philip by the front of his shirt. "What did you say? I didn't hear you."
Philip had hands that beat his ex-wife and two daughters, and he wrapped them around Peter's wrists. "You were always a smart guy, Peter. I knew that much. Science, right? You're the kinda guy who'd make a good teacher, wouldn't you?"
MJ knew where this was going and she shoved her hands into her pockets, looking away. "Pete, let go of him. Come on."
Peter reluctantly released Philip, backed away half a step. "What's your point?"
Philip tapped a finger against his chest. "Take it from me, kid, this wasn't where you wanted to go. Mary here wants to be an actress. You hear that? She sleeps with enough directors and maybe she will be, but never on her own. Every girl who doesn't want to bother with a good education wants to be a fucking actress. Mary's got no talent, I've been telling her that for years. You're squandering your intelligence if you're with her. You'll wake up in a few years and wonder what the hell you did with yourself, marrying a woman like that. I lived it. Happened with her mother----and Maddy was smart. Mary got none of that. You won't be able to hold conversations with her after a few months. You'll go insane."
Peter smacked Philip's hand away, scowling. Almost like he was about to bite. "Don't touch me. And if you keep talking about my wife like that, I'll break that hand." And the rest of him, but Peter was going for some self control here.
"I'll give you two years," Philip said, rubbing his hand. That smack hurt. "Two years before you get bored with her or before she fucks someone else. You've been with her how long, on and off? You know how she is."
Peter just shook his head, turned around. "I think we have the wrong apartment, MJ. Let's go home. I don't have the patience." She'd know what he meant, wouldn't she? Please get the hint before he socked her father.
Mary Jane looked up at her father, her eyes glassy and red. Yeah, she got the hint. "This is why I didn't fucking call to tell you about my wedding," she snaps. "I am so done with this. I am done with you treating me like shit. Come on, Peter." And then she was heading back down the hall without another word, slinging her purse over her shoulder.
Peter just glared, slamming the door as he walked out, hearing the wood around the frame crack before he was level with MJ, putting an arm around her shoulder. "You know he's full of crap, right?"
MJ stopped where she was and nodded, trying really hard not to break down. She'd dealt with this for years, she knew. "Yeah. He's... mm. Yeah, I know." She didn't sound like she believed it.
"He is." Peter paused, cradling her cheek and leaning down for a gentle, firm kiss. "Or, as the experimentalists say to the theorists: that man is full of shit. Ignore him. Ignore him and don't believe a word he says."
She returned the kiss but didn't say anything. Just wrapped her arms around his waist, buried her face against his shoulder. She let it get to her. She always did, no mater how angry she got. But she wasn't going to let herself cry.
Peter was silent at first, just holding her. Stroking her hair. And then: "Let's go get ice cream."
MJ laughed quietly, nuzzled his shoulder. "Yeah... yeah, okay. Fuck him. Let's get ice cream." Pete knew just what to say. It wouldn't make her feel better, but it was the effort that mattered. They'd do something sweet and frivolous instead of crying over it. That was exactly what she needed to do.
Ice cream wasn't a cure all, but it tasted good. And it was hot out. "Sky's the limit, up to twenty-two dollars and sixteen cents. Then you're on your own."
"Twenty-two dollars and sixteen cents?" MJ's mouth twitched into a shaky sort of smile. She needed him. That was just how it was. Fuck her dad, they were good for each other. And Pete loved her, damn it. "Tiger, you're moving up in the world."