Spider-Man: Once In A Lifetime
by Dandy DaniPhandom
(Simulating the style of Stan 'The Man' Lee)
(Responding to the style of Joe 'Quesadila' Quesada)
(Thanks to Steve 'Baby' Gerber, Jovial John Buscema, Rob 'Notanartist' Liefeld, and Long=suffering Lewis Lovahug for their roles in inspiring this fanfic.)
You may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful house
You may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful wife
You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong?
You may say to yourself, “my god, what have I done?”
Enter, true believers, the Baxter Building basement, in the year 2042. Once the headquarters of the Fantastic Four. Now? The last bastion of heroes on the burned-out husk that used to be Earth. The self-christened Lord Mephisto had defeated them all, earth's mightiest heroes, in a valiant battle for Earth... But not all heroes were dead. A rugged resistance remained- its ranks thin across New York City. Jennifer Walters, the sensational She-Hulk, sits on an examination table, undergoing a small mental and basic physical examination from Reed Richards- one of two surviving members of the original Fantastic Four. He wore a normal labcoat- over a rather less normal coating of unstable molecules, colored in blues, with a dull circle where once shone a brilliant four. Sensors dangled off the jade giantess' skin, reading brain function, respiration, heart rates. Only two others watched- the two around her when she'd started talking nonsense. Wade Wilson, Deadpool- clad in red and black spandex, pistols holstered on his hips. He seemed to agree with her. The other, an anthropomorphic duck- usually in a suit, clad in these tough times in a flack jacket and mismatched red and blue shoulder guards, topped with a smiley-face pin on his chest, and a cigar in his mouth... the unmistakable Howard the Duck.
“Jen, I'd expect this kind of thing from Wade, but--”
“Reed, I'm telling you. Something changed. It wasn't like this half an hour ago. It's not supposed to be like this.”
“What is it supposed to be like, Jen?”
“...Mephisto beaten. Badly. We all struck... But... Spider-Girl. There was something there. He... whatever it was, it was his weakness. She beat him back to his realm.”
“...You... believe you're telling the truth, at least,” Reed replied, “But... Spider-Girl? Who's Spider-Girl?”
“...Peter's daughter? Don't you remember, Reed? Jesus, you were one of the people who helped MJ after the girl's birth...”
Howard raised a brow... “Toots, you're sounding crazier than Winda... But I've been through stranger things. Can you tell me anything else about how things went?”
He was curious- he'd met the wall-crawler but briefly, but Spidey'd been a good help to him.
“...wait,” Reed replied, “Mary Jane Watson... Peter hasn't been with her in years...”
“...Reed, they're married, what're you talking about...?”
Howard stepped forward, “Now, I'm not an expert, but I came from the nexus of all realities. Spent... I don't know how long falling through there before I got trapped in this world of you hairless apes. If I can hazard a guess, I'd say something's made time go a little loopy.”
“Hmm...” Reed hummed, “That's... a possibility.” He walked to a console on the other side of the lab... “I am picking chronometric disturbance...”
“Can you pin it down?” Jen asked, “It might coincide with something else...”
“...2007. During the second Civil War.”
“...the deal,” Deadpool realized.
“...what?” Reed interjected.
“Spider-Man made a deal with Mephisto.”
“...That's ludicrous,” Jen replied, “Spidey's one of the nicest guys I know...”
“What makes you think he'd do that?” Howard asked.
“I read ahead in the story,” Deadpool replied simply. No yellow boxes here, but this'll do nicely, he thought.
“...riiiiiiight.” Howard replied, “I think he's lost it. ..well, what was left of it.”
“...oh, come on,” Deadpool said, “Jen used to do it too, before she went all Ally McBeal!”
Something seemed to click.
“...Byrne. John Byrne,” she said, seeming to realize something...
Bewilderment turned to conviction, “...He's telling the truth, Howard. Reed, we need to get back to 2007 and stop Peter from causing all this.”
Howard looked between the two... “...Well... If it is the truth, we can't ignore the opportunity, can we, Reed?”
Richards shook his head, “You're right, Howard.”