December 22nd, Present Day
“I would have gotten the ransom money from the city if it weren’t for you meddling heroes!” El Niño clamored while he hung upside down, suspended from several threads of spider silk that were first wrapped around his body and then slung over a nearby light post. No matter how much he struggled, he could not break free from the biological bounds that constrained him. “I know everyone dreams of a white Christmas, but plunging a city into negative double digit temperatures is just ridiculous,”
I asserted while I secured the opposite end of the web strand that was suspending El Niño. Since the weather-controlling villain had made it unusually cold for a Southern Californian city, I mused that it might take longer than usually for my spider silk to dissolve, although that was not necessarily a bad thing. Plus, the police can always cut him down if need be.
“I’m not quite convinced about his motivation,” Talus accused the winter-themed villain while slapping on a power nullifier onto El Niño. “I think it actually is more nefarious, like wanting to see how this subzero weather would affect Pacific Point’s resident blonde bombshell.” “Talus…”
“Nope. I definitely was in it totally for the money.” El Niño said in a matter of fact way.
“Well, at least I know someone
who would appreciate those frozen puppies. Say ‘cheese,’ Vol!” “Don’t you freaking dare…”
I instinctively threw my hand up in front of myself, just as if I was trying to block a camera from taking a picture of me. However, I soon realized that I did not know how
Talus was taking this picture. Were his eyes the lenses? Since it was pretty much a futile task to figure out from where else on his body he could possibly be taking that picture, I decided to stick with my first instinct. Talus. How many times have we told you to not mess with people’s electronics without their permission?
The Son of Osiris communicated via telepathy.
“It’s only her S.O.!” Talus tried to defend his actions, but everyone knew he was in the wrong. He even probably knew it, too. “You guys can handle the clean-up, right?”
I changed the subject. “I had other plans for tonight before they were rudely interrupted.” We can watch him until the police arrives,
the Son of Osiris replied, although I only heard his voice in my head. He then extended his arm out, holding his staff vertically. The ankh on the top of his staff began to glow blue. A beam of light shot out from the ankh and formed a swirling blue portal.
Once I stepped through the portal, I found myself standing in the warmth of my bedroom. Since I was off the job, so to speak, I didn’t need to be wearing my superhero costume anymore. Once I activated my power-nullifier, while I regained my human physique, my red and gray threads were swapped out with the pair of jeans and a green long-sleeved shirt that I had been wearing before I had to leave to stop El Niño with the other Immortals. My long-sleeved shirt had a picture of Santa’s portrait printed on it, along with ‘Ho, ho, ho’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ written on it in red letters with a white outline.
Will was sitting on my couch in the next room, where I had left him when duty called. We had the television tuned to a station that was playing Christmas music around the clock. Before I left to beat up the villain who was trying to plunge Pacific Point into an ice age, the two of us had just finished unwrapping the presents that we had bought for each other. Tomorrow, we’re both flying home for the holidays and since we wouldn’t see each other on Christmas, we wanted to exchange gifts before we parted ways.
Even though I’m still miffed by Marvel blatantly ripped off my appearance for their current run on Spider-Gwen, especially after they sent me a cease and desist to me for the original costume that Athena had provided me, I didn’t allow this get in the way of our Christmas. Since I knew that Will would not buy it for himself because he knew my opinion of the character, I thought getting him a driderified Spider-Gwen action figure would be a neat gift. And sure enough, when I got back, he had already broke it out of its packaging. “Back,”
I told him after I leaned over the back of the couch and wrapped my arms over his shoulders. Will, now noticing my presence, tried to set the figure down on the coffee table in front of him. “Hey, that gift wasn’t intended to get you into the dog house,”
I assured my boyfriend that I wasn’t jealous of a fictional character, even if she’s encroaching on my style.
“You might want to tell Talus to stop messing with the backgrounds of my devices,” Will said in an attempt to change the topic of our conversation. “We just had that talk.”
“This time it was quite tame, but he has done worse in the past,” Will complained to me, “I was just lucky that one time when he set my background on the grad office computer as your centerfold picture that no one else was in the office.” “Don’t worry. I’ll knock some sense into him once I get back from Ohio.”
“So, should we deck your tree out with the tinsel we made before heading to bed? We both have an early morning tomorrow.” “It really sucks that our plans were ruined by some C-list villain.”
Will hopped up from his seat on the couch and we proceeded to get the tinsel from where we had set it out to dry. I never knew this, but apparently one explanation for tinsel on Christmas trees is that a spider apparently spun a web on a poor family’s tree and the power of Christmas (or Jesus) transmuted the silk into silver. Since I have spider powers, we thought it could be a neat Christmas tradition. We prepared some of my spider silk in the same way one would preserve a spider’s web and spray painted it with silver paint. This at least was our consolation prize for having our evening interrupted by supervillainy. Once we wrapped the tree with the treated spider silk, the lights on my tree made the webbing sparkle. To finish our trimming of the tree, Will pulled out the ‘First Christmas Together’ ornament that we picked out together and hung it at the center of evergreen. “That worked better than I expected.”
“It was a team effort.”
We then admired our handiwork for a few more minutes before we had to turn in for the night. As Will had already mentioned, both of our flights were scheduled for an early morning departure. Even if we were to head to bed right now, we would still only get a few hours of sleep. “How about we change into those pajamas that your mom bought for us?”
“You really want to wear the matching set that my mom picked out?” “I think it will be cute. Plus, no one except for the two of us will see them.”
It was a tradition in Will’s family to receive a new set of PJ’s on every Christmas eve. However, since I was not going to be around on Christmas, she gave them to us early.
“Alright.” Will yielded as he handed me the box that his mother had wrapped my pajama set in. “I’ll see you in a few.”
I planted a kiss on Will’s cheek and then turned to go into my bedroom.
After I shut my bedroom’s door, I set the box on my bed and remove its lid. Inside, there was a red long-sleeved shirt along with a pair of green flannel pajama pants. Very Christmasy, if I say so myself. I pulled out the red shirt out of the box and left the pants alone. Then, I pulled out a second clothing box from underneath my bed, which contained one last present for Will, if you would like to call it that. After I had started to undress, I slipped into the red basque that had been hidden in the box I had retrieved from under my bed. I was a little surprised that it took a little more work to get the basque on than I expected. Next, I pulled off my power nullifier, reverting my appearance to its drider form, and I began dressing my arachnid legs with four pairs of green socks that were designed for my arachnid physique.
“Coming in,” Will alerted me after he knocked on my door. “Give me one moment , please,”
I requested as I tried to finish getting all eight socks onto my spider legs and fasten them with the garter bands on my basque. I even had to use my spider legs to get the last pair of socks on my hind legs. Once that was done, I threw on the long-sleeved pajama shirt. Before I reclined on my bed, I used my spider silk to stick a branch of artificial mistletoe right above my bed. “You can come in!”
I hollered to Will. While I waited for him to open the door, I laid down on my bed. Although the underside of my arachnid abdomen rested on my bed, I contorted my waist so that my elbow was propping my upper body up. My four spider legs, now covered with long, green socks, touched the floor beside my bed, while the right four rested on my mattress.
When Will entered my bedroom, he stopped dead in his tracks right at the threshold of my bedroom door when he caught sight of me, definitely because I was not wearing the complete pajama set.
“I guess we’re not getting much sleep tonight.” “Who ever gets a wink of sleep on Christmas?”