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A logo of a spider with four legs that has a gradient on it, making it look like light is shining at it from above. In front of that logo is an additional subtitle, rendered to look like a film reel, with letters adorned on each frame to spell out, ‘A New Roll.’

Legal Disclaimer: I do not own Spider-Man or any associated characters owned by the Walt Disney Company, I do not claim ownership of Spider-Man or any associated characters owned by the Walt Disney Company, nor am I making profit from this original work of fan-fiction that was created and published for entertainment purposes only. Spider-Man is owned by the Walt Disney Company. All rights of Spider-Man and associated characters featured in this fan-fiction belong to the Walt Disney Company - besides film rights, which are held by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. as of writing.

A New Roll - Chapter 1: First Exposure

Written by Felicia Rondo, Inspired by Cluster, Rated 18+

Alternate Title for the Story: Mary Jane Starts An OnlyFans.

Summary: Peter Parker is no stranger to adversity in life, both for himself and for his wall-crawling alter ego - but when money for photographing his own Spider-heroics begins to dry up, Mary Jane Watson hires him as her camera guy for her new OnlyFans account!

Contains: Breaking the Fourth Wall, Hurt/Comfort, Nerdy Comic References, and 60’s-Accurate MJ in the Modern Day.

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It was 4:43 PM in the afternoon. Another day in the life of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man… yet, even as he swung above building after building of New York, he was feeling lower than when he was infiltrating the sewer lair of The Lizard.

But Spidey, you may remind him, what’ve you got to complain about? After all, he’d managed to sell some more photos of himself to his number one fan J. Jonah Jameson, saved some people while he was at it, and he was the husband of the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on - who he was web-slinging his way home to right at that moment. What could possibly be wrong?

“Well, narrator,” our fourth-wall breaking hero responded, “these photos just aren’t selling for as much as they used to, Johnny Storm was going to save those people anyway, and I’ve gotta tell MJ my days of being a paid freelance photographer are threatened by shaky cam footage of me on YouTube.

“So yeah, I’ve maybe got a little to complain about,” he finished. Thankfully, narrators can’t cry, so he didn’t need to worry about that.

He was right, though he didn’t need to be so rude as he said it. His job just wasn’t paying as well as it used to, a fact he wrestled with day and night. A dark part of him wondered, if perhaps he specifically looked out for situations that would make for flashier photos, he would be bringing home more money… but he just couldn’t live with himself if he actually tried to do that. If someone needed help, Spider-Man had to be there no matter what.

Only, could Spider-Man be there if Spidey wasn’t sleeping well? If the wall-crawler was too distracted from worrying about rent to notice someone in danger? Could the web-slinger be of any help to his ‘adoring’ public if he was swinging on an empty stomach? These were the questions that kept our amazing friend up at night.

“If I just didn’t have to worry so much about money… if I could just take the money out of this superhero business, I’d be a lot better off,” he said to himself as he arrived at his apartment, “but face it, Parker, that’s just not how the world works.” Dejectedly, he stripped out of his costume and put on more-ordinary clothes as he gathered up his courage to face Mary Jane.

Faintly, he could overhear her humming through the all-too-thin walls of their flat, every note sounding like a symphony in her gorgeous voice. Everything about her was so perfect, and he knew he’d do anything to make it all work out for the two together… so why was it that, even with all his great power, he just wasn’t cutting it?

“Peter, is that you? I can feel you worrying your nerdy little head off again,” MJ sang, in such a way that Peter could just hear her smile.

“How’d you know?” Peter replied, heading to their living room to meet with her, his expression a mix of relief from seeing her and dread over what the news would do to her, “I thought I was the one with the spider-sense.”

“Tiger, I’ve spent enough years with you I’ve got my own psychic nonsense that ‘tingles’ whenever you’re around,” she giggled, giving him a big hug, then pulling away to gaze into his eyes with a look of love so beautiful it would make a renaissance artist gasp, “I missed you.”

“I… ohh I missed you too, MJ,” Peter smiled, feeling almost as though all the day’s worries he’d brought in with him just melted away. He cupped her face and pulled her into a kiss that was fairly-gentle… until his wife grabbed him by the back of his head and shoved her tongue into what was now a full-on make-out session.

She had a way of being full of surprises for as long as he’d known her. That night, he would be finding out, was no exception.

“So, Tiger,” Mary Jane panted as the make-out session came to a close, “don’t be mad, but…”

“Gee, if I had a quarter for every time a sentence beginning with that turned out well, I’d be the unhappiest kid at the arcade!” Peter quipped, before being given a light jab at the shoulder, “Yowch! Easy, MJ, that’s where The Scorpion got me today!”

“And here I almost worried you were in any real danger out there, today,” MJ giggled, tracing circles on her husband’s firm chest. He didn’t think much of himself, appearance-wise… or really any other-wise, but Mary Jane had a way of making him feel like the sexiest man alive. If only the 16 year-old wallflower he used to be could’ve seen him now.

Almost?!” laughed Peter, before giving her shoulder a squeeze and kissing her cheek, “But what’s up, and why shouldn’t I be mad about it?” he asked.

Well,” MJ started, glancing away and stroking her bottom lip thoughtfully as she searched for just what to say to Peter, before giving a cryptic answer, “I’ve… started a little side-project.”

“Side-project?” he echoed, “Oh, don’t tell me - you’ve started an Etsy, haven’t you? I could use a new coffee mug!” He gathered from her laughter, and the way her beautiful red hair bounced while she shook her head, that he hadn’t quite hit the mark with that ‘guess.’ “I hope you’re not selling my old comic book collection,” he joked further.

“Nothing like that, Tiger, now settle down so I can break the news to you already!” laughed Mary Jane, pushing him down so he could take a seat on the edge of their bed, “like I said, don’t be mad, but… I’ve started an OnlyFans!” she revealed, presenting her phone to him as it displayed her page.

Curious, without any overt reaction to start with, Peter gently took the phone and inspected the page on screen. Maybe it was just how Uncle Ben and Aunt May raised him, but sometimes he couldn’t help but feel like a novice about anything from beyond 1967.

Especially right in that moment, as he gazed upon a whole screen dedicated to his wife in various states of undress.

“Hello? Earth to Peter?” MJ spoke, snapping her fingers by his ears, “You’re mad, aren’t you? It wasn’t so long ago when me being sexually-adventurous would excite you, you know!” she quipped, with only the slightest hint of concern that she had crossed a line lingering in her voice.

“I still remember the sixties!” Peter joked, shaking his hands as if he were an elderly man, looking back up at her with that signature Parker shine that let her know all was well, “I’m not mad, I guess I’m just a little confused is all. So they pay for access to these pictures? I thought that kind of thing went online for free - not that they aren’t worth the price!”

“Times are changing, dad,” his wife laughed, “people are willing to pay to see the really good stuff online, nowadays, get with it!” She walked behind him and began to massage his shoulders as he scrolled down the page. “And with this, I get to be my own boss - so no more having my dignity at the mercy of a director at a modeling shoot! It’s all MJ, baby~”

“I still don’t like your dignity’s chances with those odds,” Peter joked, earning a slap on that same spot on his shoulder where The Scorpion got him, “Gah! I earned that, I earned that,” he chuckled through gritted teeth, “but this is really good, what you’ve got going here, MJ. I mean that…

“Honestly, I wouldn’t have any right to stop you even if I was mad about it, for our sake…” he admitted, turning away from her after handing her phone back.

“What do you mean, Tiger?” Mary Jane asked.

Peter took a deep breath. No matter how many marvelous team-ups he got into with his other superpowered friends, he couldn’t shake the guilty feeling of needing help - especially when he needed help from his non-powered, yet even more super, wife.

“J.J. just isn’t paying for these Spider-Man photos like he used to,” Peter shook his head, sighing, “At this point I feel like he’s only keeping me around ‘cause he feels sorry for me - and this is J.J. we’re talking about! The guy wouldn’t feel sorry for his mom at her funeral!

“I know about that man,” MJ said, with a fury in her voice he was worried the news would bring her, but before he could apologize she added, “and he has some nerve not treating you like royalty when you’re damn near the only reason that rag he calls a newspaper didn’t go out of business before dial-up internet died!”

Well, at least she wasn’t mad at him.

“Easy, easy, MJ,” Peter told her, “everyone knows nobody pays for newspapers in this day and age. We’re lucky if one of my pictures gets seen from people dunking on one of the Daily Bugle’s hate-posts to hell and back!

“It’s just not working like it used to, and I’ve come up short trying to think of any other job that expects me to always be there whenever Spider-Man is - unless Spidey’s career in superheroics takes a hard turn toward pizza delivery, with half his check being sent to his silver-haired photographer back home,” he joked.

“No way, Tiger, this city needs you… the whole world does, really, but we get you all to ourselves anyway,” she winked, before giving him a kiss on the cheek and hugging him, the reality of the situation weighing on her too.

“I guess I’ve gotta just hang on and hope you can pick up the slack when I come up short… like tonight,” the web-slinger sighed, rubbing Mary Jane’s lower back gently.

Tonight?” MJ echoed, inquiringly, with the look of guilt on Peter’s face telling her everything she needed to know, “Oh Tiger… I guess we’ll just have to hope you can find something more interesting to take photos of, next time…”

Once more, that dark part of him began to wonder about that idea he had earlier in the evening, about specifically looking out for ‘flashier’ situations to intervene on—or rather, overlooking the more ‘mundane’ scenes of trouble, even when he was needed—and once again the thought scared him. But did he have much choice?

“… That’s it!” MJ exclaimed, snapping her fingers as inspiration struck at just the right moment, pulling Peter away from his darker thoughts as she so often did, “You can be my photographer, Tiger!”

“Your—?! You mean, for your Only-Friends? I dunno, Mary Jane - I may not be in that business, but I don’t think you’re gonna need any of the skills I’ve picked up from my years of mastering the ‘art’ of photographing Spider-Man battling The Rhino,” Peter quipped.

“It’s OnlyFans, Peter,” Mary Jane corrected, “and you’re not going to have to take pictures of me like I’m Spider-Man…” she paused, looking up at the ceiling and tapping her bottom lip thoughtfully, before thinking better of it, “actually, that does have some promise, but we can save that for later - fact is, I don’t care how much that Jameson creep browbeats you into doubting yourself, you are a photographer! A professional one that’s been at it for years, who could certainly give me a run for my money.”

“Aww MJ, don’t say that, I couldn’t…” Peter said, before remembering a couple of the images he’d seen on her page, “… Well, maybe I could do better than a couple of those photos,” he remarked, earning himself a playful slap on the cheek. “Ow! Y’know, I thought I clocked out on being New York’s favorite punching bag when I took off the mask!”

“If you could only learn when to keep your mouth shut,” Mary Jane giggled, before giving the cheek she slapped a kiss, “so what do you say, dad? Are you in or what?” she asked.

“Well MJ, when you talk about it, it sounds like it’d work perfectly! But then I get to thinking about it myself,” he sighed, feeling his self-doubt creeping in, “it’s not that I wouldn’t love to help - if I could make taking racy pics of you my day-job, I don’t think I’d ever have the right to complain about life again!

“I’m just afraid I’d find some way to mess it up. I guess that’s why I’ve stuck with The Daily Bugle and J.J. this long…” Peter thought aloud.

“What do you mean, Peter?” questioned Mary Jane, looking at him curiously and concernedly, “I never could figure out why you didn’t move onto some other newspaper, the Bugle isn’t exactly the highest-paying place for someone with your experience.”

“So much goes wrong in my life, MJ, I guess I just… I thought that if I had a job I couldn’t get too comfortable in, maybe whatever’s wrong with me that messes everything else up wouldn’t mess with it,” Peter admitted, to Mary Jane as well as himself, “if it’s already draining a part of my soul, I can’t ruin it.”

“Oh Peter…” Mary Jane frowned, cupping his cheek tenderly, “There isn’t something wrong with you, Peter… sometimes, bad things just happen to perfectly good people - and you,” she placed her index finger on his chest, “are a good man. The best thing that ever happened to me, in fact, and don’t you dare try to argue that.”

“But MJ…” started Peter, only to have MJ place her finger on his lips, hushing him.

“Just give it a try, Peter…” she pleaded, tracing a circle on his chest, “you don’t need to be unhappy for life to work. Happiness hasn’t ever gotten in the way of our marriage, has it?” she smiled, that gorgeous smile that could light up a pitch-dark room all on its own, with those beautiful lips he could never kiss enough. Life never made more sense than it did when Peter was with her.

“… Okay…” he finally acquiesced, “okay, okay, you win - I’ll do it.”

“Yes!” Mary Jane exclaimed, wrapping her arms around his waist and squeezing him close with a beaming grin on her face.

“But… doesn’t it kinda miss the point of you being your own boss?” Peter asked, naively, causing a very different sort of grin to creep its way onto MJ’s expression. He never knew whether or not he should be worried when he saw it, but it turned him on anyway.

“Oh? How does it?” she asked, ‘innocently,’ “I think my favorite wall-crawling nerd’s got his wires crossed again - lucky you, I’ll take pity on you and help out,” she giggled, leaning in close and locking eyes with him, “it doesn’t, because…

“I’m your boss now, Tiger~”

To Be Continued

Author’s Notes: I sat down and thought about what Spider-Man story I'd like to tell if I had the chance to do comics, and this is what I came up with. Please don't be weird about there being sex scenes later, horny people and non-horny people, it's just a thing that happens in the story. Thank you.

Originally-published on January 2, 2023

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