Alright, let’s start at the beginning one last time.
My name is Gwen Stacy, and for the last four years, I’ve been Spider-Woman. I used to say that I was the one and only Spider-Woman, but that was before a few years ago, when something strange and wonderful happened. I was dragged across dimensions to another New York, like mine but different. There, I met other people, like me. Because I wasn’t alone in having been dragged there; two other versions of my best friend, Peter Parker, had been pulled there as well, along with two other Spiders. And the local Spider-Man—another version of Peter—had just been killed. But he had a successor—Miles.
Miles helped us return home, after he learned to be Spider-Man. And then I got something literally dropped in my lap. A gizmo or goober, as we call it, that would let me dimension-hop safely.
So what was the first thing I did with it?
I called Miles up for a visit. Because we were friends.
And then, slowly, we became more than friends. It took a while, because, well, superheroing isn’t exactly good for your dating life, and we’re literally redefining long-distance relationships here, but, well, after saving the world—multiple worlds—a few times together and having nobody else to really talk about it with… who else can we talk about it with?
So we started dating when he was fifteen and I was sixteen. It was hard, sure, but it’s so weird and so nice to be able to explain that you weren’t able to make a date because you were fighting an evil mad scientist with plans to unleash an army of clones across the city (again), and have that just be accepted. So that helped. It helped to have someone to talk to, to hold onto when you’re freaking the hell out over the local evil crime lord playing with your life, to have surprise backup when you need it… to make out with on the highest rooftop in the city.
Yeah. That was nice. Really, really nice.
And I gave him a great sixteenth birthday present: Me. Sure, I had some nasty bruises from a fight I’d been in earlier with my version of Doc Ock, but we didn’t mind at the end of the night. And that was our first time together… but not our last.
Which is how we ended up here, now, in his bed, in his parents’ apartment, necking. I portaled over to his dimension after nearly getting killed by some gangsters in my reality, found his room at his school empty, and swung over to his place. I needed my boyfriend.
And he was there.
Miles’ hands were leaving lines of fire across my skin and his lips felt feverish as we kissed; he hadn’t needed any explanation beyond, “I almost died and I need you.” Dating in the superhero community: I give it five out of five stars for not needing complicated explanations.
His hands were just fumbling with my bra strap when suddenly the door opened.
“Miles, what is go—Oh my god!” came, and we both bolted upright.
I looked at the door to see a tall, fit man, dressed in a police officer’s uniform, obviously Miles’ dad, standing there and looking at us in shock.
Without thinking, I grabbed the covers and yanked them up over me—which tossed Miles out of bed and onto the floor. He landed reasonably gracefully… but dressed only in his boxers.
Oh, it was pretty obvious what we’d been doing.
He hopped to his feet, stammering, “Oh, uh, hi Dad… When did you get home?”
“Miles—what—who—” he stammered and then looked at me, huddled in Miles’ blanket… and dressed only in my bra and panties. My suit and webshooters were on the floor… somewhere.
I tried to smile, like this wasn’t the most awkward thing I’d ever had happen to me. “Uh, hi, Mr. Morales!”
That seemed to get through to him, and his face set a bit. “Mr. Davis. Officer Davis. My wife is Ms. Morales.”
“Oh,” I said, and gave Miles a look, as he awkwardly pulled on a shirt and handed me one of his.
“And who are you?” his father asked as I pulled on the band shirt. He glanced between us, and I felt my face flush, before he said, “I think I know what you are to my son.”
“Uh, yeah, hi Dad,” Miles said sheepishly. “So, um… this is… my girlfriend…”
Mr. Davis looked us both over. “I can see that. And does your girlfriend have a name?”
“Gwen!” Miles blurted, at the same moment I said, “Wanda!”
We looked at each other, and then back to Mr. Davis, who was… skeptical.
“Uh huh. Want to try that again?”
I swallowed. “We, uh, we met at school!” I added, trying to get past the awkwardness by giving at least some of the truth.
“Uh huh,” Mr. Davis said evenly, looking back and forth between the two of us—and then his eyes snapped back to my face.
And he paled.
“Gwen? Gwendolyne Stacy?” he said in a tone of recognition.
Uh oh. I suddenly realized that I’d never bothered to find out anything about my counterpart in this dimension. I mostly came here for fighting supervillains and dates with my boyfriend, or dates while fighting supervillains.
Mr. Davis… Officer Davis… was staring at me in shock. “No… it can’t be…”
I gave him the biggest, broadest smile I could manage and said, “You’re probably thinking of someone else—”
He looked me over and said, “No. I could never forget your face.”
“Why, dad?” Miles asked, taking my hand.
He glanced at the two of us. “How long has this been going on? How is she here? What is going on?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, trying to play dumb. “I’m one of Miles’ classmates—”
“No, you’re not!” Mr. Davis blurted. “You’re dead!”
I blinked. “What?”
“I was one of your father’s pallbearers! Don’t you remember? Nearly ten years ago? And then…” he swallowed and looked me up and down, “and then, less than a year later, you died!”
Miles made a noise. “Uh—”
“I remember seeing Captain Stacy’s daughter and telling her we’d catch the guy who killed her father!” He pointed a finger at me. “Don’t you remember me?”
“My dad’s alive!” I protested. Only because I saved him. In my universe.
“How? I helped bury him!”
Miles tried to jump in. “Dad, she’s not the Gwen you know!”
“Miles, how—what’s going on!? I come home and hear sounds in your room, and I walk in and find you two… like that—” His eyes suddenly started glancing around, and, yup, they landed on the strip of condoms and bottle of lube Miles normally kept hidden. “So you have a girlfriend that you didn’t tell me about, and, she’s the spitting image of someone I know is dead! What’s going on?”
I shared a glance with Miles, and saw my own panic mirrored in his eyes. “Uh—” we both said together.
“It’s a long story—”
“Hard to explain—”
We babbled over each other until his father held up his hands. “Stop.” He then looked me over and said, “Can you get dressed in your clothes at least?”
“Uh—” My clothes were all in another dimension. I’d come here in my Spider-suit with the explicit intention of getting my brains fucked out, not with an overnight bag. Hard to do the walk of shame when you’re web-slinging across dimensions.
“Gwen… or is it Wanda?”
Miles apparently couldn’t help his smart mouth. “Gwaaaaanda,” he drawled, and I punched him lightly on the arm.
“I’m never going to live that down, am I?” I asked him.
“Nope,” he said cheerfully.
Mr. Davis seemed to come to a decision. “Come on, girl, get dressed and I’m going to call it in. Are you in witness protection—” he started to say, and then gave me another look. “No. You can’t be. You’re too young.”
Letting go of Miles’ hand, I hopped off the bed, his shirt barely hiding my panties, trying to hide my suit and webshooters from his father’s line of sight—I hoped. “I’m not the girl you’re thinking of,” I said, giving a pained smile. “I’m just one of Miles’ classmates. We’ve been… together for a couple of years now.”
He glanced at his son. “It would have been nice to know that my son had a girlfriend! Why didn’t you trust me, son?” He looked at me. “Do your parents know?” He reached for his phone. “Here, I want to talk to your parents.”
Uh oh. “Uh, you can’t!”
He paused. “Oh? And why not?”
“Uh, he’s working!” In another dimension.
“And what does he do?”
“He’s uh… in South Africa!”
Miles slapped his face, and I glared at him.
Mr. Davis’ face hardened. “Okay, that’s enough. Get dressed, both of you. We’re going to sort this out—what’s that?”
His gaze fell on the floor, and I followed it.
It was one of my webshooters, which, in that light, looked pretty much like a weapon.
I then looked back up and saw him looking at me—and felt the slightest tingle from my spider-sense.
“Ack!” I cried out as he tried to grab my wrist, and jumped.
Onto the ceiling.
Shit, shit, shit!
“How in the, what the—are you Spider-man?” he blurted as I dangled there, cursing my instincts.
“Miles! A little help!?”
“What am I supposed to do?” he asked plaintively, looking up at me.
“He’s your dad!”
“What’s that supposed to mean!?” he asked as I dropped back to the floor, landing in a crouch on my toes behind Miles.
“What’s going on!? Son, did you know that your girlfriend has superpowers?”
We shared another look and slumped in unison.
“Dad, you have no idea—”
“Well, I’d like to know!” he said angrily. “Look, I’m three seconds from calling backup and solving this down at the station. What is going on?”
“Well, uh, Dad, what do you think of the new Spider-man?”
That took him aback. “Well, I mean, I guess he’s all right… but she isn’t him. I’ve heard him. But she can cling to walls—”
Miles glanced at me and sighed.
“—and she’s somebody that I thought was dead—”
I shrugged. “Do it.”
Miles jumped and clung to the ceiling.
I took a brief moment to appreciate my boyfriend’s firm ass before looking at his father, who was staring at him, and then looked at me, and then back to his son.
“Dad… I’m Spider-Man,” Miles said.
Taking a deep breath, I kept ripping the bandage off. “And I’m Gwen Stacy… but not your Gwen Stacy. My dad is Captain Stacy, yeah, but I’m from a different dimension… where I’m Spider-Woman.” I hopped up onto the ceiling next to Miles and held his hand. “And, yeah, we’re dating.”
“Almost two years now,” he added.
Mr. Davis staggered over to Miles’ office chair on suddenly unsteady legs and slumped into it, looking up at us as we perched comfortably on the ceiling, his hand coming up to his forehead.
“You… you’re… you…”
I flipped back to the floor and grabbed my suit as Miles dropped onto the bed. “So… um…”
I started pulling on the leggings at least as Mr. Davis turned to his son, at least giving me a little bit of privacy.
“‘Ummm…’ what?” Mr. Davis asked, looking like he was getting past his shock.
“Are you mad?”
Mr. Davis looked at him, at me and then back to his son. “About what? That you have a girlfriend? That you didn’t tell me about her? That’s she’s a costumed vigilante, or that you are?”
“E, all of the above?” Miles said.
“And who was Peter Parker then?” Mr. Davis asked.
I winced at hearing the name of my best friend, even if he wasn’t my best friend. “He was the first Spider-Man for this universe,” I said.
“I… I don’t—how? What?”
Miles looked up at his father. “Are you worried?”
“I don’t know what I am,” he said.
I gave an awkward smile as I pulled on the leggings and shirt of my suit, leaving the mask off. “Well… can we start over?”
“What, with me walking in on you two?” he asked dryly. He glanced at the condoms. “I’m… you know what, at least you’re being safe.”
I felt myself flush. “Uh…”
“You know, Miles, some female spiders eat their mates,” Mr. Davis said mildly, and got out of the chair.
I couldn’t help myself. “I won’t deny that Miles tastes great—”
“Ack!” both father and son blurted together.
I grinned, even as I felt my cheeks burning. Did I really just say that?
“I… no, I did not… okay!” Mr. Davis said. “I did not need that image!”
Miles looked at me, exasperated, and I stepped over and took his hand. “You started it, sir,” I said cheerfully, trying not to think of how in the space of five minutes, I met Miles’ dad during foreplay with my boyfriend and then made sex jokes.
But he gave me a look of respect and nodded. “Fair enough. Come on,” he motioned out into the living room. “Let’s talk.”
We went out, hand in hand, and started explaining things to Mr. Davis, Miles and I cuddled on the couch.
Then a key in the lock made us all look up, and a moment later, Miles’ mother came in, dressed in her scrubs from work. “I’m home—who is this?”
Mr. Davis gave me a look and a smirk before turning to his wife. “Rio, love, this is Gwen… Miles’ girlfriend. Did he tell you that he was with someone?”
She caught the emphasis and looked straight at me. I gave her a sheepish smile. “Hi,” I said weakly and squeezed Miles a bit tighter. Maybe Doc Ock would show up and interrupt?
But no handy supervillain saved me as my boyfriend’s mother came over and leaned against the wall, her arms crossed.
“No… he didn’t,” she said, still looking me over.
I kept up the smile, even as it felt more and more brittle. “So… um, pleased to meet you, Mrs. Morales.”
She smiled slightly, but it didn’t reach her eyes, just kept looking at me. Silently.
I cracked first. “I’m a big fan of your work!” I blurted, holding up Miles’ hand.
Mrs. Morales smiled crookedly at that. “I’m sure. But Miles never mentioned having a girlfriend…”
I swallowed and felt him tense next to me.
She eyed the two of us and then looked at her husband. “Jeff, mi amor, what happened?”
“I came home from my shift and heard noises from Miles’ bedroom,” he said cheerfully, “and went to investigate.”
Why Miles’ shirt wasn’t bursting into flames from my cheeks as they flushed, I have no idea.
“So they were…” she glanced at the two of us.
Mr. Davis nodded. “Well, about to,” he amended.
I squirmed, as did Miles. Why was he doing this?
I glanced questioningly at Mr. Davis, and he quirked a sardonic eyebrow at me, and I suddenly understood. He was keeping our secrets.
And embarrassing the hell out of us at the same time, but that was him being a dad.
My suspicions were confirmed a moment later when he added, “So they apparently met at school and…” he shrugged nonchalantly.
Mrs. Morales looked at her son. “And how long have you two been dating?”
He swallowed. “Uh… define ‘dating’?”
She gave him a flat look. “Let’s start with ‘how long have you had a romantic relationship you didn’t tell your mother about?’ and then move onto ‘how long have you been having sex without telling your mother?’, all right?”
As the… well, I’ve been actually interrogated, so I’m not going to call it that, but as the parental cross-examination continued, I could tell that his mom was more hurt by him not telling her about us than she was worried about us. She trusted him… and he apparently didn’t trust her. Of course, she didn’t know the reasons why he didn’t tell her that he was dating someone from a different universe.
After she got some of the details out of him about how long we’d been together and that, yes, we were practicing safe sex, she pulled her husband into their bedroom for a quick discussion. As soon as the door closed, I turned to Miles.
He looked back at me a bit hollowly. “Urk.”
“Yeah. So, look… your dad is covering for us with the…” I made the thwip motion. “But I think we should tell her.”
“Because if she’s this upset about you…” I motioned between us, “then how is she going to take it when she finds out about that?”
“But Dad didn’t tell her!”
“Which means it’s your choice, Miles,” I said, giving him a peck on the check. “I’ll go with whatever you decide. But I think… I think she should know.”
He took a deep breath. “Leap of faith?”
I could tell he was thinking it over. Then, with a sigh, he got up from the couch, pulling me with him. “Yeah.”
A few moments later, the bedroom door opened up again and Mrs. Morales walked out. “Miles—where are you?”
We both stood ‘up’ from the crouch we’d been in on the ceiling, and with a forced smile and even more forced cheer, Miles said, “Hey, mama. There was something… else we didn’t tell you.”