Peter Parker and Tabitha Lyght became immediate friends. They met a few times a week for a bite to eat and discussed his love life, her sculptures and random things. He learned more about the family that was immortalized in iron and she learned about the elusive Mary Jane, the love of his life. He had a chance to tell her about his feelings before but delayed on it; she had ended up in his good friend’s arms. She was single once more and Tabitha tried to push him into finally telling her his true feelings.
She was surprised to see that someone else was sitting with Peter in their favorite seat at the diner. All she could see was fiery red locks and immediately smirked; this was the infamous Mary Jane or MJ as Peter lovingly called her. Her smile widened when she realized how close they were sitting; he finally did it, she thought as she approached the table.
“Oh; what’s all this? Cheating on me, P?” she kept her smile and winked at him. Mary Jane looked at him with concern as he turned a slight shade of red and laughed.
“Quit it before she thinks you’re serious!” he warned her. Tabitha laughed and stuck her hand out at Mary Jane.
“Just jokes; geez! Anyway! I finally get to meet MJ! I’m Tabitha.” she said and the two shook hands.
“Oh! It’s nice to finally meet you as well! So, you’re ‘Tabby Cat’: the flamboyant artist!” she said as Tabitha sat down. She gave Peter a look.
“You think I’m flamboyant…?”
“In a good way; you should know that by now!”
The three ate and chatted like old friends for at least two hours straight, ignoring the warning glares from the owner. The two women found each other interesting and Peter was glad that they liked each other. The woman who wore a t-shirt as a head wrap was slowly becoming his best friend; it was important to him that she got along with his new girlfriend.
Tabitha slightly glanced out the window only to be greeted by yet another blaring police siren. She watched as it tried to make its way through the chaos of traffic, almost running over a pedestrian. She shook her head.
“Call me a country bumpkin all you want; I still can’t get used to this mess! So much crime here…” she pointed out. Mary Jane could only shrug.
“You’ll eventually get used to it. Besides, it’s not all that bad anymore.”
“That’s right; she doesn’t know that we have a superhero here.” Peter pointed out. She looked at the two. Tabitha had heard of superheroes but she did her best to ignore it. There were no specific superheroes around in Chattanooga or maybe even the whole state of Tennessee for that matter. She always had left the talk of superheroes to the younger children.
“You mean to tell me that you don’t read the newspapers? What about your art segment?” Mary Jane asked. The thought made Tabitha shrug.
“Quite honestly, I don’t have time. P hands me the copy of the arts section personally and that’s it. So… what’s up with the superhero?”
“He’s called Spider-Man…” Peter started but Tabitha’s snorted laugh interrupted him, “What’s so funny?”
“That’s what the guy came up with; ‘Spider-Man’?!” she continued to laugh. Mary Jane slightly shook her head, grabbed a paper someone left on the next table and showed it to her.
“Why don’t you see for yourself?” she smiled. Tabitha’s laugh stopped short as she gazed at the front page photo.
“Oh…” an approving smile crept on her face as she studied the picture. The guy was in a full bodysuit from head to toe, lean and very muscular. A large portion of his chest, his entire head, the top of his arms and his hands were red, along with his feet; the rest of his suit was blue. The red portions of his suit carried a white web design. In the middle of his chest was a black imprint of a spider. The photo gave off the illusion that he was flying from a web however Tabitha had doubts that it was an illusion, “Damn… looking really good in that suit…” she caught herself saying.
“Never mind that he saves the day…” Peter teased her. Mary Jane giggled as Tabitha slightly blushed. She pointed to the string of web.
“That ain’t real is it?”
“Yes; hence the reason he’s called Spider-Man…” Mary Jane said.
“Shut the fuck up…” she studied the picture once more. She paid more attention to the headline this time around: “Friend or Foe”, “Huh; not very popular…” she took note. Peter shook his head.
“That’s my boss’s doing. The editor-in-chief doesn’t believe that people nowadays would want to willingly do what Spider-Man does…”
“Yeah; he’s kind of against superheroes and vigilantes.”
“Ah. Kinda hard to argue his point, though. With all these people with these powers, where does that leave the civilians? Out of a job, that’s where. It’s not fair to the police and the detectives and stuff…”
“It’s not like that with Spidey. He’s there when the police can’t be there; when they can’t fight off villains that have super powers as well. He’s… saved me… twice.” Mary Jane slightly smiled. Tabitha gave her a surprised look.
“Whoa; shut…up; you’ve actually seen him in person? Twice?!”
“He’s a real good guy, Tabitha. Pretty sure if or whenever you’re in need… you’ll see him, too.” Mary Jane smiled wider. The thought made Tabitha blush and laugh at the same time. She had forgotten just that quickly that the two had no idea who she really was… and what she was really capable of.
“This city is ginormous… there’s no way he can do this by himself. Do you think… if someone wanted to help him out, he’d let ‘em?” the idea struck her as soon as it came out of her mouth. Mary Jane gave Peter a quick look but then shrugged along with him.
“I don’t know. They’d have to have powers, of course; I don’t think it would work out with a normal person. I would also think that they wouldn’t have an alternative motive for being his sidekick.”
“… Makes sense…” Tabitha rested her chin in her hand.
She wondered why she had never thought about it until then. Why not use her mutant powers for good; why not become a superhero, herself? She was still at a deadlock as far as finding the antidote so she figured that it wouldn’t hurt to put her abilities to good use. Peter wasn’t totally clear but she wasn’t dumb; he pretty much said that Spider-Man would not reject the help of a fellow mutant. She had no other motive; she wouldn’t even want to be recognized.
It took her two weeks to come up with a design for her outfit. She was in luck that Jamila hadn’t thrown out her old ACUs and asked for her to mail them out. She altered the brown undershirt into a crop top and took in the camouflage pants to fit her more snugly. She applied her lightning ability to make them indestructible. The only thing missing was a mask. She was glad that the one thing she had learned from her mother was how to sew and make things; she crafted a cotton mask out of leftover materials similar to one she had seen one of the children’s favorite wrestler wear. She would have more time to perfect the actual design however for the moment, she just needed something to hide her face.