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Stories by Tilman Stieve

"Tales of the Twilight Menshevik"
Takes place sometime after X-Men 8. Centering mainly on Valerie Cooper and Mystique, this series of stories is set just after Chris Claremont's departure from the X-Books. Features tales about multiple X-characters, as well as characters from other Marvel and D.C. books.

"Magneto, My First Love"
A filk based on the song "The Leader of the Pack," this version starring the X-women.

"Midnight Sun"
A between-the-panels tale of Rogue and Magneto during their time in the Savage Land, circa UXM 269-275. (Warning: Sexual content)

"Point of No Return"
A very short "between the panels story" set after Amazing Spider-Man #149, in which Mary Jane Watson reflects on her relationship with Peter Parker. (Warning: Sexual references.)

"Before the Plunge"
Mary Jane writes to her mother about current events and her relationship with Peter. Sequel to Point of No Return.

"A Song of the Valkyrior"
222 lines of verse that retell the events in New Mutants Special Editon #1 and Uncanny X-Men Annual #9 from multiple perspectives.


Tilman Stieve has many pieces of artwork on display in the Fan Art section.

This is a "between-the-panels" short story that attempts to figure out what Mary Jane Watson's thoughts would have been after the end of Amazing Spider-Man #149. There is no explicitness, but the main character is a woman who just had consensual pre-marital sex, so if that bothers you, do not read on.
DISCLAIMER: This story is copyright by Tilman Stieve ( It is an unauthorized piece of fan-fiction that does not make any profit. Do not archive without informing me first. Spider-Man and related characters are copyrighted and trademarks registered by Marvel Comics. Should you get it into your head to sell this story for profit, their lawyers will get you.

Point of No Return

It had been an amazing finish to a crazy day, Mary Jane Watson pondered as she unlocked the door to her apartment. Make that a crazy week, what with the reappearance of Gwen Stacy (who had turned out to be some kind of clone of the late original, or so it seemed), Peter's inexplicable mood swings and changes in behaviour, and Spider-Man's battle against the Jackal. But the whirlwind of crises had finally brought MJ and Peter closer together, finally opened the eyes of the two young New Yorkers to the way they felt about the other and how the other felt about them. Even if she had not revealed everything about herself to Peter (and she suspected he knew that) and she knew that he had told her far from everything about himself, she sensed that they knew they confided in each other for all that. He trusted her enough to give her the spare keys to his little Chelsea apartment, counting on her discretion. She had a hunch that left alone there she could quite easily find clues that Peter was Spider-Man, yet he hadn't hesitated. Even if he had ever been fully taken in by the airhead facade behind which she preferred to hide, he would never have taken the risk of her, say, stumbling across a spare web-shooter or Spider-Man costume after deciding his furniture needed re-arranging, if he hadn't felt that she would not blab, if he didn't feel sure of her friendship.

Friendship? she asked herself as she deposited her shoulder-bag and set about pulling shut the curtains. It had clearly passed beyond that. When had she first, when had they first realized that? She had not been too gracious when Gwen became Peter's steady girlfriend, even if she dearly loved her as a personal friend. It was odd: she hadn't realized it at the time, only with the "benefit" of hindsight after the Green Goblin murdered Peter's lover, but Gwen Stacy had become closer to her than any other woman of her own age-group, even her own sister. Since she had walked out on Gayle years ago, she had lost all touch with her and thought of her but rarely, in the privacy of her home.

Woah girl, better not pursue that particular side-track, Mary Jane silently admonished herself. She went into the bathroom and started letting in a hot bath, selecting a juniper-essence bubble-mixture from the colourful collection of plastic bottles on the rack behind the tub. But her thoughts were inexorably drawn back to the time of Gwen's death. Peter had withdrawn into his shell then, at first barely tolerating her efforts to help him cope with his grief. When he angrily told her she wouldn't be sorry if her own mother died, he had hurt her to the quick, but how was he to know she and Gayle had already buried mother? She always avoided the subject and obviously so -- surprisingly? -- had their solicitous aunts. But in spite of the shaky start, their relationship had slowly blossomed, and with the kiss at JFK airport it could no longer be denied that they were more than just good friends. Their barely acknowledged love was soon put to the test with Gwen's "return", but tonight, after that ordeal was over, they had expressed it in the most immediately tangible way possible. She took off her brief top and glanced into the mirror at her clammy torso. The traces of Peter's enthusiasm were beginning to show on her breasts -- by tomorrow morning there would be a vivid assortment of hickeys. Better put on something less revealing tomorrow.

She finished undressing and settled into the tub. She luxuriated in the heat of the scented water, stretching out and relaxing. Well, if sexual gratification could guarantee a stable relationship (ha!), she would no longer have to worry about herself and Peter. And given that he was strong enough to juggle small cars, his gentleness had come as a pleasant surprise and even a bit of a relief. Still, tonight did establish a closer bond to Peter than she perhaps cared to envisage at this point. Dear honorable Peter probably now looked on them as kind of engaged, and part of her was tempted to agree. That could be why she had left Peter so abruptly. And if she had stayed longer, lying beside him, he might have decided in his post-coital glow to tell her he was Spider-Man, and she still was in a quandary what she should reply in such a case. Should she say, "Hey Tiger, I knew already, I saw you leap from your window and swing off into the distance the night your uncle was killed." How would he take that? Already their relationship started to resemble a runaway train, and now the only way she could think of to try to regain a measure of control was to take flight? Way to go, girl, she sighed in a mixture of annoyance and resignation.

How would things go on from here? she continued. Having witnessed the breaking-up of mom's and Gayle's marriages, she had a deep-rooted fear of entering into an permanent relationship without reservations. It sometimes seemed that whenever they grew closer, part of her just waited for Peter to provide an excuse -- like sneaking off to slip into his long underwear when Spidey was needed -- so she could give him hell and put some distance between them. Meanwhile, another part of her looked on helplessly shouting "Nooo!" as she asked Peter questions she knew he could not answer truthfully or made light of his attempts to soothe her angered feelings. Just now, when Peter had been preoccupied by the "return" of Gwen Stacy, the scared part of her had inwardly rejoiced at the almost heaven-sent opportunity to end her in- volvement with the boy who had been her obsession for so many years. But thank heavens for May Parker whose morale-boosting speech helped her to muster the courage to "pick up the gauntlet" and fight for their love.

A bath certainly is great for collecting your thoughts, she mused. But what of the future? The fact that she knew Peter was Spider-Man was such a big deal, that she could not envisage a situation where she would broach the subject herself. So she would perhaps better stick to the boy -- pretending she was unaware and (play)-acting accordingly -- until he felt comfortable enough to come out with his secret to her. She now felt she knew he was worth the wait. And she knew herself well enough to know that she also would be grateful for more time to pre-varicate about making the relationship a lasting one. But what would she do if he tried to force a decision before telling her he was the web-swinger? Well, we'll have to cross that bridge when we reach it, she sighed.



continued in Before the Plunge >>

It should be remembered that during the Gwen Stacy Clone Saga, MJ and Peter finally became seriously committed to each other. And in the final panels of #149, it was discreetly inferred that the two new-found lovers physically consummated their relationship: Peter returns home dejected from saying goodbye to the second Gwen Stacy. When he discovers Mary Jane in his apartment, his spirits immediately rise and he offers to show her how glad he is to see her. Then he closes the door, leaving the reader outside. ASM #150 then opens with the words: "One hour ago, it was all right. Mary Jane was here and Peter Parker could lose himself... in her, in their closeness, in their mutual need. But that was an hour ago. Now, Mary Jane has returned home, and Peter Parker is alone..." For this story I also had to take into account the later revelation that Mary Jane knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man since the night Uncle Ben was murdered (see the graphic novel Parallel Lives) and the story of her childhood and unhappy family life that gradually emerged during the 1980s. This story was first published in _Menshevik_ #39 in July 1996 during MZS-APA's "1970s month". If you want to learn more about this splendid Amateur Press Association, please check our brand new and still very much under-construction homepage at
Tilman Stieve (
"'Twas beauty killed the beast."
-- "No it wasn't. It was splatting into the ground like that."
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures)


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