by M. Scott Eiland

Peter Parker was rarely surprised by anything these days--his uncanny Spider-Sense made sure of that. Thus it was that he was stunned into complete inaction when he was walking down his street early one July evening and was grabbed by a slender arm that shot out of an alley he was passing. Before he knew what was happening, a warm pair of lips was busily meeting his, and he was too stunned to do anything but cooperate for a few moments. Eventually, a familiar scent tickled his nostrils and caused him to grab her wrists and force her back--which took no small effort on his part. He blinked and stammered, "Mary-- Mary-Jane?"

"Got it right in one, Tiger." The redhead relaxed for a moment, and Peter automatically released her, knowing she meant him no harm. When she was free, Mary-Jane moved with lightning speed and ripped his shirt open, revealing the red and blue costume underneath. Peter gasped, but did nothing else--the damage was done. Mary-Jane smirked and amended her comment, "Or should I say--'Spider'?"

"How--what--why?" Peter was babbling from the series of shocks, not the least of which was that aside from being nearly as strong as he was, Mary-Jane seemed a bit more. . .aggressive than she had been.

"A magic axe and a badass Wicca, a really killer spell, and to save the world." A dark-haired woman slipped out of the shadows and grinned at the stunned superhero as she commented to Mary-Jane, "You were right, he is something special. If I didn't have someone waiting at home for me, I'd be moving in on him myself." Peter still looked stunned, and Faith shook her head and added: "That Clark Kent act worked fine against Mary-Jane Watson, actress and college student- -but you've got to do a lot better than that to fool a Slayer. You two have a lot to talk about, so I'll get scarce until tomorrow night- -I'll meet you both here at ten sharp." Faith noted that Mary-Jane had pounced again, and she chuckled inwardly as she turned and walked away, calling out, "Try not to break the furniture--it tends to attract attention."

The only answer from the alley was a low moan and the sound of rustling clothing.


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