To Catch A Spider - Part 2

“Actually it worked out pretty well so far.” MJ said cooly. “What? You think I didn’t know? I am not BLIND and she’s 15 and this isn’t my first rodeo. The only difference is I had to raise a wall crawling baby on my own, who could flip a couch during temper tantrum. So there's no pretending going on.” MJ said leaning forward. “I have no illusion that at ANY point in time I could stop her if she truly wanted to do something. I can though, ask her not to. You see I have to have trust in her, that she will do the right thing, that she will listen to to me, talk to me. I also understand that I can’t fully understand what she goes through on a daily basis. So we can agree on that. We also seem to agree … that she IS a child. My child.” She said emphasizing the last part. “So again I ask. Of all the hero's lurking about in the shadows. Why my 15 year old girl?” MJ asked again hoping this time she would get a satisfactory answer.

Niko rubbed the back of his neck, still not understanding the problem. Maybe he *should* use the driving analogy? “Mrs. Ghost-Spider-Girl’s-Mom, it comes down to this—Would you rather her be start at 15 or look back and regret that she wasn’t? How do you get better at something if you don’t train? Were you a great -- whatever it is you do for a living? I’m sure you handle situations now because you practiced and became better. You can’t fully understand what she goes through on a daily basis. I can. Theo can. He probably can,” Niko pointed at Sam. “Our parents, the ones they called Enhanced - the ones who disappeared - aren’t here to give advice or guidance. So who better to do so than others who up until this point may have thought they were alone. Your fifteen year old girl is already out there, I ran into her at least twice, and I would prefer she know how to handle herself than face someone like us if they are not so charming. In just one week, my cousin and I have found 3 progeny with remarkable abilities right here in the city. Who knows how many of us are in the world? I don’t fool myself into thinking they are all good people. I don’t know that there is a minimum age limit for this. 18 is 3 years away.” He counted on his fingers, just too fast to see. “And I am sorry you had to raise a couch flipping toddler on your own, it sounds very difficult, and I imagine she was very stubborn.”

Sam retrieved a folder from his bag while Niko was talking. He returned and sat back down, “Mrs. Watson; Niko is right. There are more and more of us being discovered every week it seems and not all of them are going to be on our side. Some will want to abuse their power. And since our parents are gone, we are taking it upon ourselves to handle them, if and when they decide to act. If you ultimately decide that you don’t want her in that fight, then I of course won’t argue with you. But at the very least, if she can talk with us, spend a little time with us, learn a few things; well maybe she’ll be better prepared and you won’t have to worry about her on her own so much.” He slid the folder across the table to MJ, “I know we came to your home unannounced, so it’s only fair you know all you can about who we are. These are the files on Niko and myself that S.H.I.E.L.D. compiled after Niko and his cousin talked to the news. There’s a business card in there as well, that’s my mother’s office line. She’s a member of the organization. Truthfully, she like you, has some serious reservations about the whole affair. But she also understands what we are trying to accomplish. And I think it would be good for you two to talk, mother to mother.”

Niko curled his lip at the fact that his file was being given out, instantly mulling over if he liked this idea or not. Most ideas which didn’t start out his own fell into the ‘not liked’ category. But then again, how much information could S.H.I.E.L.D. possibly have, and it’s not like he had anything to hide, so he inwardly relented, and tapped a finger on the table impatiently.

“So you have the support of S.H.I.E.L.D.?” MJ asked looking at the folder. “And they are okay handing there information to civilians,” she asked flatly?

“S.H.I.E.L.D. is aware of our activities,” Sam began, “However I do not have permission to share this information with you. But I understand the gravity of our visit. And it’s only fair to you that I be transparent. S.H.I.E.L.D. has had...issues with that in the past. And I don’t want old mistakes repeating themselves. The more we know about each other, the more trust that can be built.”

“Or you could ask.” Niko offered. “But the first question I would ask -- what does Gwen want to do? We can give you files and explain why we think this is the best option, the safest option and it would be a lot of sitting and talking and standing, but as you said, if Gwen wants to do something -- you can’t stop her. So why don’t we ask?”

“Wait so you don't have any backing from S.H.I.E.L.D.? Who's IS backing you?” MJ asked. Niko was going on and on about letting Gwen make a choice but the fact remained she wasn't going to let her kid run of with … the circus apparently. “Convincing Gwen isn't the problem; it's convincing me. Your all grand ideas and saving the world. That's fine. Who do you have that will do the training? Where will you be operating out of?” This seemed very half assed to MJ. “So these documents are legally here is what your saying?” MJ may have not been a super hero but she keenly remembered the fallout, the lawsuits, the laws they wanted to make, hell the attacks on the X-Men's academy! That was when they had seasoned heros! This was already something MJ had been through with Peter but at least then they had the support of Stark, S.H.I.E.L.D. and a well hidden identity.

“We have backing from the Prince of the nation of Wakanda. He will also be personally assisting the team, when his schedule allows. S.H.I.E.L.D’s current interest in us is...well, a bit undetermined at the moment. There are factions that no doubt wish to keep us quiet, to question and probe us. But others, who truly wish to see us make the most of our potential. As I mentioned, my mother is a member and will be a particular asset for gaining help from the latter. We have a few locations scouted for a more permanent HQ, though obviously I can’t share details on that until things are more secured. Until then, we do have a temporary location we are utilizing here in the city. And as you can tell by MY file, I am more than capable of instructing any of the individuals who decide to join us. Not to mention that the Prince likewise has extensive training. The Maximoffs have been training independently for awhile now as well, much like Gwen. Needless to say, we aren’t unprepared. We just...need some polish.” Sam smiled.

Niko curled his lip again, and stopped drumming his finger. “We also have backing from the Stark’s, financial. Tony Stark accounted for this, setting aside funding and initiatives. Sam is more than qualified to train anyone, look at how much there is to read in his file. You do not think we’re good enough; hurtful, but I accept this. Again, I understand your concerns. Understand ours. There is no one else. Everyone is gone. And if you think about it, we did find you and Ghost Spider Girl with what you are thinking are ‘limited resources.’ Consider then how easy it would be for someone who wants to do her harm and has perhaps excellent resources. She’s already not safe.”

“So … I don’t know even where to start.” MJ said rubbing her head. “You guys need more help than you think. Were I anyone anyone else I would have given you both the boot because your sales pitch … woof guys …” She shook her head. “... I will take what you have proposed under advisement and speak to Gwen about it first.” MJ said taking a breath.

Niko took a bite of the Hershey Bar he was holding. “Good. Please tell Ghost Spider Girl that --” He took a brief look at his hand. “I am sorry she fell for an easily avoidable trap which Theo thinks was not fair to set.”

“You’re not helping Niko.” MJ said flatly.

“I am helping. You just don’t want to see it as help. Come on, Sam!” Niko nodded towards the door.

Sam shook his head and stood up. “Look, there’s an address in there as well. Bleecker St. If she decides to meet with us, that’s where we’ll be. Thank you for your time, we appreciate it. Have a nice weekend.”

“Drago mi jes sam odraslja bez majke.”

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