Contrary to what everybody thought, Gwen Stacy didn’t die. She fell in a profound coma and was rescued by Agent Coulson’s team. S.H.I.E.L.D. decided that it was too dangerous to bring her back as her old self as she would become a target, so they erased her memories replacing them with new ones. They took care of her for months and gave her a new life; a new identity. Her new life away from Peter Parker and/or Spiderman was supposed to keep her safe. But what happens when the circumstances of life get her tangled with him again?
It had been four years. Four long years and it still felt like yesterday. He still thought about her all the time, heard her voice, even saw her face. Everywhere he looked there was something that reminded him of her. No matter where he went, she was always with him, he could almost feel it. Except that she wasn’t. As much as he wished that everything he saw and felt was real, it wasn’t, she wasn’t there anymore. And it was his fault. Some people think that four years were more than enough to get over somebody. Those people are idiots. Those people don’t know what it’s like when someone you love more than you love yourself just vanishes. You never get over something like that. There had been other girls, of course, but it was never the same. It was never as real and meaningful as it was with her.
He had managed to go on with his life and be somehow happy. After having taken a sabbatical year he worked hard and got accepted in NYU. It was hard to be a college student during the day and superhero during the night, but he made it work. He had moved to Manhattan to be closer to school but still saw Aunt May regularly, at least twice a week. He had a job as a photographer in the Daily Bugle and, fortunately, he was about to graduate. And every sunday, after visiting Uncle Ben, he went to see her. He sat in front of her gravestone and just talked. He told her that he missed her and that he was sorry he couldn’t save her. He told her how his week went, he talked about school, about his friends and about Aunt May. He just chatted.
That sunday he had spent a little less time with her because he was meeting his study group after lunch. He wish he could’ve stayed longer but there was a class that was kicking his ass and he really needed to study. He decided to take a coffee to stay awake and focused before starting to study. The coffee shop in front of the library wasn’t very crowded, luckily, so he could sit and enjoy his coffee for at least five minutes. A few minutes after ordering his usual he was handed a cup with the name ‘Peter’ written on it; his name. He turned around and looked for a free table when something — better said, someone — caught his eye.
There was a red headed girl sitting on a table by herself. Her back was turned to him, so he didn’t see her face, but he could still see there was something about her. Although he was possitive he had never met any redhead before, there was something about the way she sat, the way she took sips of her coffee and the way she hold the papers in her hand that looked kind of familiar. Before even realizing what he was doing he had already approached her and muttered an 'exuse me’ so lowly he didn’t even hear himself. But apparently she heard him, because next him he knows she was looking at him with a sly smile on her face.
The moment the girl faced him Peter froze. He had to take a couple of seconds to blink and make sure he wasn’t hallucinating. “G-Gwen?” Her name slipped through his lips almost immediately, because he could’ve sworn that girl sitting right in front of him was Gwen Stacy with a different hair color. Her eyes, her nose, her lips; it was her. But that wasn’t possible. Peter had to remind himself that Gwen was dead. He had seen her die in his arms, he had been to her funeral, he had cried for her.
The girl looked confused. She raised her eyebrows while she waited for him to say something else, but he didn’t. He was paralized, and even though he formed the words in his throat he couldn’t make them reach his lips. After what seemed like hours, the girl finally spoke. “Um…I’m sorry. Are you looking for someone named Gwen or are you calling me Gwen for some reason?” She asked, leaving her mug on the table. He shook his head lightly, suddenly recovering control of his body. “N-no, sorry. You just…You look exactly like someone I know.” Peter answered, realizing how weird that sounded.
Despite his awkwardness, the redhead seemed amused. She raised her eyebrows again and rested both of her arms on the table. “And who is she? The girl who broke your little heart?” She asked teasingly, without realizing how right she really was. Peter lowered his sight for a moment before answering. “Yeah. Something like that.” For just a second, her eyes softened. But as soon as Peter looked at her again she recovered her playful smirk. “Well, I don’t remember breaking any photographer-slash-cute guy’s heart lately so I think I’m clear.”
Peter frowned and tilted his head to the side. “How did you know—” He was soon cut by her pointing at the camera hanging from the strap around his left shoulder. She then started laughing. Her laughter was fresh, genuine and tremendously contagious. He soon found himself laughing while scratching the back of his neck. “I’m-I’m Peter. Peter Parker.” He finally introduced himself. The girl stopped laughing but kept the smile on her face. “Nice to meet you, Peter Parker. I’m MJ.” After a few seconds of silence she ofered him the seat in front of her, which he gladly accepted. At that point, Peter had completely forgotten about his study group.
A/N: This is what happens when you can’t get over the death of a character. I’ve been playing with the idea of a TASM fanfic for a while and I’ve tried really hard to find a FC for MJ that I like but I just can’t ship Andrew with any other girl than Emma. Sorry, I tried. I still don’t know if I should write a full fanfic or just release little prompts like this one. Btw the gifs are not mine. I took them from gif sources and just added the text.