leaning in

yeah, but i don't want them to hate me

that's funny
Gwen Stacy stacyexperiment
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The House for Wayward Superheroes- Queens, NY-Tuesday evening
Gwen was having the best god damn week.

Peter had been on the news doing Spider-Man stuff, so Gwen waited outside on the porch for him to come home because she was that excited. "Okay," she said when Peter was barely at the mailbox, "brace yourself. Aunt May has gone insane."

"Oh, god, what now?" Peter asked, totally moving a little more slowly as he neared the steps, like going slower would stop it.

"I just want to warn you," she said.

"Gwen, I'm so tired. I've- seriously, I've had such a day."

"I just want you to brace yourself for this," Gwen said. "We have a new roommate."

"Johnny, I know," he said.

"On top of Johnny Storm."


"Shhh," Gwen told him. "That's why I wanted to tell you so you wouldn't have a tantrum in front of him." Also because this was amazing and she felt bad that Peter was having a tough day but seriously all of this was totally great if you were her.

"Who?" Peter asked tiredly.

"Compose yourself."

"Who? Is it Doctor Octopus? Because tht's the only..."

"Breathe," Gwen said as she opened the door for him. "Compose."

And sitting in the armchair was Johnny, and on the couch was Kitty Pryde, her mom, and Bobby Drake. "Hi, sweetie," Aunt May said, reaching to take Peter's hand. "Come with me."

She led him to the kitchen, and Gwen stood in the doorway because she could, and also because she wanted to hear everything.

"What's going on?" Peter asked when they were clear of everyone. Aside from eavesdropper Gwen.

"Okay. This is going to... You're probably going to think I'm..." Aunt May began, and said, "I think we should take your friend Bobby in, too."

"Bo- what? Who?"

"Bobby. The ice powers? Your friend."

"I barely know him," Peter said awkwardly.

"I thought you were friends."

"Well I know him."

"He doesn't have a home," Aunt May said, getting to the important part.

"Why? What happened?" Peter asked.

"His parents kicked him out," she said. "I called his mother. She's just an awful woman. She kicked him out for being a mutant. He can't help what he is. He can't... He needs a home."

"But... I don't really know him," Peter said again.

"Now you will. He's Kitty's friend," Aunt May replied.

"Yeah... he should stay at Kitty's?"

"I think Kitty is on thin ice all on her own."

Gwen looked over into the living room, where everyone but Johnny was looking deeply uncomfortable. So she walked over to the doorway of the kitchen and cheerfully said, "Everyone totally knows you're talking about them."

Peter sighed. "How is this going to work?"

"He'll bunk with Johnny. We'll figure out the rest," Aunt May said.

"It's like our own little Avengers mansion," Gwen said excitedly.

"I don't know..." Peter said, but he'd lost this one. He'd totally lost here.

"You need to be Spider-Man," Aunt May said seriously. "I need to do this. I've learned... I need to help the way I can."

Yep, he'd totally lost here, but he seemed pretty okay with losing after that. "Yeah, okay," he said, and Gwen gave him a hug because seriously, all the superheroes living in her house.

So, being in Fandom Gwen only heard about the things that had happened here secondhand through either Peter or MJ. From what she understood things had been weird with Kitty ever since that whole 'accidentally declared her love for Peter in front of his girlfriend' thing during the Ultimatum Wave, and that she was having a really tough time at school now that people were so anti-mutant. But she still agreed to stay for dinner, and it was awkward enough for most everyone that it probably wasn't too awkward for her.

"Okay," Gwen said, standing a little at the table, "just so we're all clear, I am off limits to you."

"Gwen," Aunt May said warningly.

"I'm just saying," she said, and sat back down.

"And there's no hanky panky in the house," Aunt May said. "That goes for any of you. Especially you, Mr. Storm."

"What?" Johnny asked, surprised.

"I read the gossip sites."

Gwen was going to laugh and totally tell Fandom's Johnny all about this and it was going to be great.

"The thing about those sites, Aunt May, is... they are absolutely, completely true," Johnny said.

"Even what's-her-face on the dance show?" Bobby asked.

"Oh, man, she was annoying."

"Well, alright," Bobby said, leaning over the table to give Johnny a high-five.

"You're all gross," Kitty said.

"Okay, I have to ask," Peter said. "How is the world-famous Johnny Storm of the world-famous Fantastic Four and the world-famous Iceman formerly of the world-famous X-Men going to live here and go to school here and not raise suspicions?"

"Let me see what I can do," Aunt May said.

This led to Gwen and Kitty escaping the house to walk to the store, and returning a little while later with a box of Clairol. Despite all his talk about dyeing his hair yesterday, Johnny wasn't so keen on the idea today, especially not when Gwen insisted that they also had to do his eyebrows, and that someone needed to get video of this. It was made only slightly better for him when Aunt May sent Peter off with a razor to take Bobby into the other room so the girls had enough room to work their magic here.

"Let's see it," Kitty said when they'd finished washing the dye out in the sink.

Johnny, now with black hair, looked into the mirror a little horrified. "Ugh!"

"It's nice!" Gwen said, because she'd picked out the color. It was less about doing something he'd hate and more about knowing that she'd totally use that color on herself, and she was blonde, so that'd totally work on him, right?


"It works," Kitty agreed.

"I'm going to cry."

Kitty looked over her shoulder and called into the next room, "How's it going in there?"

"Iceman 2.0," Peter said, patting Bobby's buzzcut as they stood in the doorway.

"This is a national tragedy," Bobby said. It was still holding his hair in his hands. He looked miserable, but he was kind of adorable with it.

"Least you got the head for it."

"I may cry."

"This is a secret indentity?" Johnny asked. "You think if Robert Downey Jr. walked down the street with a shaved head no one would recognize him?"

"Look who thinks he's more famous than he is," Gwen said.

"Just don't light yourself on fire and no one will know," Peter told him.

Johnny turned back to the mirror and frowned. "I loved my hair"

"You know who you sound like?" Peter asked.


"My cousin."

"You have a cousin?"

"I do now."

[Do you know how happy it makes me to have a happy catchup for once? I never get happy catchups. NFB, NFI, OOC okay. Taken from Ultimate Spider-Man #5 & 6!]


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