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Things That Can Destroy Me

Chapter Text

“Can I buy you a drink?”

Tony blinks the bourbon-induced fog out of his eyes, trying to focus on whoever’s talking to him. It’s not easy, because the world spins wrong every time he moves his head, but he does manage to turn a little, brows furrowing. He sees brown hair, and that’s it, so he blinks again, and this time a face comes into focus. He doesn’t recognize the face, but. That’s fine. He doesn’t want to see anyone he recognizes, anyway.

“I bought out the bar for the night,” he says, which is the truth. He frowns. He did buy out the bar for the night, so he’s pretty sure he should be alone. Why isn’t he alone? “Who are you?”

“The guy you bought it from” the kid says. Tony’s pretty sure he’s a kid. Baby-faced and lean, he definitely can’t be old enough to drink, if he’s legal at all. But his smirk is confident, and Tony’s tired, and the bottles are far away.

“Fine,” he grumbles. On the bar, his phone lights up with a notification, a headline, this time.

“STARK SHOCKS WORLD: ANNOUNCES IRON MAN IDENTITY.”

“Pretty sure your arm is supposed to be in a sling,” the kid says. He’s right, and Pepper is going to kill him when she finds out it’s not, but that’s a shitstorm he can deal with tomorrow. “You buy out the bar to hide from people?”

“You need to sign an NDA,” Tony says. The kid laughs.

“I’m good with secrets, don’t worry.”

A glass is set down in front of him, and Tony frowns at it. “The fuck is this?” he asks, staring at the clear liquid. “If you’re serving me straight up vodka I swear…”

“It’s water.” The kid nudges the glass towards him. “You’ll thank me in the morning.”

Tony flips him off, because he’s mature like that, but he also drinks the water because arguing takes energy, and at the moment, he doesn’t really have any. Wincing, he rubs the arc reactor. The glow of it is hidden by three layers of shirts, but it’s still warm to the touch, eerily like a heart.

All the hearts Tony has touched were cold, taken from cadavers in his college science classes, but he assumes they would be warm, otherwise.

“What do you want?” he asks, pushing a hand through his hair. “I’m not doing interviews, and I’m not signing an autograph. I’m drinking. Alone. Trying to, at least.”

The kid shrugs. “Don’t want anything. Except for you to not puke on my floor, hey!”

The world lurches a little, and Tony blinks, and then he’s kneeling on the ground and there’s a hand on his back and a bucket in front of him. It smells acrid, like bile and alcohol and… oh. “‘s what happens when I drink water,” he slurs, because it’s definitely the water and not the bottle of Macallan single malt that’s mostly empty up on the bar. “I’ll pay for it.”

The kid mutters something under his breath, but Tony doesn’t hear, because he’s retching into the bucket again.

That’s all he remembers about that night.


Tony wakes to a splitting headache and a stranger in his bed. It’s a situation that he’s more familiar with than he wants to admit.

“JARVIS,” he says, wincing at the sound of his own voice. “Hangover cure. And call a cab for…”

He blinks. Looks over at the stranger, who’s now propped up on his elbow, looking at Tony. Tony sees a shock of brown hair and thinks shit.

“You never signed the NDA,” he says, and the kid from the bar, because that’s who it fucking is, laughs.

“No,” he says. “But like I said. I’m good with secrets.”

Tony groans.

“Sir, would you like me to call a cab for Mister Parker?”

“Yes,” Tony responds, waving his hand at the ceiling. “Thank you, JARVIS. Now, Parker…”

“Peter,” the kid says. “My name is Peter. And I think this is the third time I’ve introduced myself to you.”

It sounds believable, so Tony nods. “Okay, Peter, I can make it worth your while not to talk about…” He gestures at the space between them. The space on the bed. “This.”

“Okay,” Peter says. “Which part of this, though? The part where you puked all over my floor, or the part where you insisted I stay the night here since, quote, ‘The streets at night are too dangerous for you, kid’?” The kid in question grins. “Complete with grabby hands and everything. It was cute.”

Tony blinks. “We didn’t…”

“Fuck?” Peter supplies, and Tony really should get around to finishing a sentence, at some point. “No. I brought you back here, because you were fucking drunk and still trying to drive. And then you wouldn’t let me leave, as per what I just explained. So I stayed.” He flips back to the covers, and under them, he’s fully dressed, mismatched socks and all.

Tony glances down at himself. He’s dressed, too, missing his shoes and his blazer. So, definitely no sex, not unless the kid took the effort to redress them both.

Kid. Right. Fuck.

“Please tell me you’re legal,” Tony says, and Peter laughs again, bright and open.

“I own a bar,” he says. “Yeah, I’m legal.” He pauses. “I’m serious. You did try to get handsy, but I told you no and you passed out, instead. Nothing happened.”

Nothing happened.

“Now, about making it worth my while…”

“Right,” Tony says, shaking his head to try to clear the fog. It’s a mistake, and bile rises in his throat again. “Sorry, just…” A deep breath, and then another, and then he’s okay, again, at least for the moment. “Right, okay.” He glances over at Peter. “Name your price.”

Peter grins, curls his socked toes. “Breakfast,” he says. “I’m feeling French toast.”

Tony waits for the and, but it doesn’t come. Apparently, Peter’s price is a meal. A meal he could get at iHop, at that.

“French toast,” he repeats.

“Shall I put in the order, sir?” JARVIS asks, always helpful, especially when Tony’s brain can’t comprehend shit.

“Yeah,” he says slowly, and the kid’s grin is blinding.

Chapter Text

Three days later, there’s still no tell-all in the tabloids.

No photos of him on his knees in some empty bar, puking his guts out, surface on the internet. No ‘razzi shots of him walking into the Tower with the kid on his arm come up, either. It’s like the night never happened. But Tony knows it did. He knows it had to, because his brain would never come up with a lie like that. Not without the help of a lot of drugs, at least, and those have been off the table since his chest became home to shrapnel.

Five days later, Tony calls the kid.

“I’ve had journalists camped out outside the tower for a week,” he says. “How the fuck did you get me inside without them noticing?”

Remember what I said about secrets? I keep my own, too.”

“Okay, but,” Tony starts. He doesn’t get much farther.

It’s a busy night, Mr. Stark. I’ll have to call you back.”

And then the kid fucking hangs up on him.


“JARVIS? Show me surveillance from a week ago.”

JARVIS pulls up the tape. And if it wasn’t on the screen, Tony doesn’t think he’d believe it. He barely believes it now, seeing it with his own two eyes. He watches, wide-eyed, as JARVIS plays the tape of the night the kid brought him home, watches as Peter effortlessly climbs four stories up the side of the Tower before disappearing into a window, all with Tony, unconscious, draped over his shoulder.

“You let him in?” is all he can think to say.

“I only granted access to the main residential suite, sir” JARVIS says. “Would you have preferred that I turn him away?”

“No,” Tony says, because it turns his stomach enough to imagine going up the Tower, and he doesn’t want to think about the kid taking him down, too.

Kid. Right.

“How old is he?”

“Mister Parker is 23 years old, sir.”

Tony does the math in his head, and he comes up with fifteen, maybe sixteen. A teenager. Peter would have been a teenager when he started swinging around New York City.

Tony’s pretty sure, at least. He doesn’t know of anyone else that can scale a wall like that.

“All right. Find me everything you can on this kid.”

While JARVIS starts compiling a dossier, Tony gets dressed.

He needs a drink, anyway.


Peter’s phone plays a guitar riff, and he picks it up before Ozzy can belt out “Has he lost his mind?” It’s a single text from a number Peter knows he probably shouldn’t have saved, much less assigned a personal ringtone, but in the end, he’s only human.

Mostly human, at least.

How much to buy out your bar again for the night?

“Hey, MJ?” he calls to the back, where the woman is prepping for the night’s crowd. “How would you and Ned feel about having the night off?”

“Again?” she yells back, and then comes walking out of the kitchen, drying her hands on a towel. “Another private party?”

The riff sounds again, and MJ raises an eyebrow. Peter manages a weak smile.

“I guess I made an impression?”

She rolls her eyes, tossing the towel up on the bar. “Fine,” she says, and then levels him with a serious look. “Don’t get in over your head, all right?”

Peter nods, but he’s pretty sure he’s already past that point.

His phone dings, this time, and he glances down. And then he just stares, blinking at the screen, because under Tony’s second text (I’ll bring more tonight.) is a Venmo notification.

Tony Stark paid you $2999.99 for renting the bar.

MJ peeks over his shoulder, glancing at his phone. “Cheapskate,” she mutters. Before Peter can anwer, though, his phone plays another guitar riff.

10k total reasonable?

MJ clears her throat. “Still cheap,” she says. Peter shoves her, pocketing the phone.

“Go. Enjoy your night off. Tell Ned I said hi.”

“Yeah, yeah.” MJ waves at the bar. “Don’t earn us any health code violations, all right?”

And she’s out the door before Peter’s blush can even fully form.


Tony thinks about walking into the bar and saying, “Hello, fellow superhero!”

He doesn’t.

The lights are dim when he arrives, but he can see Peter behind the bar, wiping down the counter. The bell on the door chimes when he walks in, and Peter looks up, and Tony’s gaze falls to the easy grin that slides over his face.

“Hey,” Peter says. “You come back for the good service, or the great company?”

“Both,” Tony says, before he can think too much about it. “Pour?”

Peter pours.

Tony slides onto a barstool, lifting the glass to his lips. Peter watches him, leaning back with the towel tossed over his shoulder, and maybe Tony looks him up and down, now that he has the opportunity. He’s lithe, thin, even. Definitely doesn’t look strong enough to hoist Tony over his shoulder, much less scale a fucking wall.

Reaching into his pocket, Tony grabs a check and tosses it onto the bar. “For tonight,” he says.

Peter takes the piece of paper and unfolds it, glancing at the sum before his eyes go wide. He looks up at Tony, says, “I don’t need hush money,” even as he pockets the check.

Tony grins.

“It’s a thank you,” he says. “I had to clean fingerprints off the windows, but. Small price, I think.”

He expects something from Peter. Shock, that Tony knows who he is, or maybe anger, or fear, or something. Some reaction. Instead, he gets another easy smile as Peter moves to lean on the bar across from him, fingers laced together on the counter.

“Took you long enough,” the kid says. “I wasn’t even sneaky.”

While Tony stares, Peter takes the drink from his hand, winks, and then throws it back in one smooth motion. Tony watches his throat bob as he swallows, and he knows he gets caught staring because Peter laughs, softly, before setting the glass back down on the bar.

“Why weren’t you?” Tony asks, and Peter raises an eyebrow.

“You’re a superhero,” he says. “If I can’t trust you, then we’re all screwed.”

Chapter Text

“If I can’t trust you, then we’re all screwed.”

Peter is the one offering up everything (his help, his silence, his trust), and Tony is taking, anything and everything. He’s demanding and haughty and entitled, and the kid handles him better than Pepper, even.

“Let me see your suit.”

“Nope,” Peter says, popping the ‘p’. It’s a Thursday morning and the bar isn’t open yet, but Tony is still perched at the counter while Peter stocks bottles in the cabinets. He knows he’s bothering the kid - Peter just has the good grace to tolerate him.

Okay, then let me see your shooters.”

“Hard pass,” Peter replies. He grabs two bottles, setting them up on a high shelf.

“I’ll pay you,” Tony offers, and that pulls a different response. A laugh. It’s not what Tony expected, but he still likes the sound, like how Peter’s shoulders shake when he makes it.

“You’re already putting me in another tax bracket,” the kid says. “Let’s lay off the payoffs for a while, yeah?”

Tony’s never had someone ask him to stop paying them. He makes a frustrated noise, dropping his head onto the bar. “You’re killing me, kid. I don’t have anything left to offer.”

“Never had someone tell you no, huh?”

Tony decides, right then, that Peter can never meet Pepper. Because the kid’s right, for the most part. People don’t tell him ‘no’. People don’t say hard pass when he asks for something. People don’t, but Pepper does, and now Peter does, and Tony takes a moment to wonder why he’s so goddamn attracted to people who deny him.

“Aw, don’t pout.” Peter dusts off his hands, moving to stand in front of Tony. “Think of it as a ‘no for now’. Relationships are give and take, and you haven’t been doing a whole lot of giving.” He raises his hand before Tony can protest. “Money doesn’t count. It doesn’t mean anything to you. It’s easy.” Peter grins, wide and easy. “I want something that’s not so easy for you to give.”

Tony waits for Peter to elaborate, but he doesn’t. He just leaves Tony with a goddamn riddle, like the kid’s tech is fucking Thebes. But it’s not. Tony’s not that interested, anyway, and two can play at hardball.

“Don’t hold your breath,” he says, and he definitely isn’t annoyed when he stalks out of the bar.


Pepper is waiting in the lab, when he gets back. She’s leaning against one of the workbenches, legs crossed at her ankles, arms crossed over her chest, and she looks pissed.

“Hey, Pep,” Tony says cheerfully as he walks in. “What did I do today?”

She waves the folder at him. “Who is he?” she asks, and Tony doesn’t need to see inside to know she’s holding the dossier on Peter.

Tony says, “I can explain,” and that is very evidently the wrong thing to say, because Pepper closes her eyes as her lips press into a thin line.

“He doesn’t have an NDA on file.”

“No,” Tony says. “But…”

“And you’ve paid him over twenty thousand dollars in the past two weeks.”

“Yes,” Tony says. “But, Pep…”

“And you have this.” Pepper waves the file again, and her hand is clenched so tightly that the paper is bending under her grip. Tony almost feels bad - Pepper is good to him, and she doesn’t deserve the stress he puts her through, even if this time, it is unfounded.

“I need to know what he’s keeping quiet,” she says, and Tony can’t help it. He laughs, bright and clear, and Pepper just glares. “You think this is funny?” she asks. “You’re already all over the media, Tony. You do not need a scandal right now.”

“He’s not going to sell me out to the tabloids.”

Pepper raises a perfectly manicured brow. “Oh, really? Did he pinky-promise before or after you wrote him a check?”

“It’s not like that,” Tony says. “We’re sharing mutual secrets. Mine is that I passed out in his bar. His is that he’s our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. It’s a mutually assured destruction kind of thing.”

“Spider-Man,” Pepper repeats.”So now you’re corrupting the one person that New York collectively loves?”

“Hey!” Tony protests, though he’s not sure if he’s protesting the corruption accusation, or the implication that Peter is better loved than he is. Even though, deep down, he’s fairly certain both are true.

Pepper sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. “What does he want?” she asks.

And for once, Tony doesn’t have an answer ready.


“So what are you trying to get in? His pants, or his lab?”

Peter shrugs, doesn’t look up from the cash drawer he’s halfway through counting. “Can’t it be both?” he asks. “Or neither? I’m a multi-faceted man, MJ. I have desires that aren’t science or sex related, believe it or not.”

“Neither of us believe it,” Ned calls from the doorway.

Peter loves working with his two best friends. Really, he does. But it’s just not fair when they gang up against him. He sighs, grabbing a stack of 20s and stuffing it into a deposit bag.

“We’re just worried,” MJ says, a little more gently. “Stark has… a reputation. He’s a player, and he’s irresponsible, and he has a lot of enemies and not very many friends.”

“I have a lot of enemies,” Peter says pointedly, but MJ just shakes her head.

Spider-Man has a lot of enemies. Peter Parker can’t piss someone off to save his life.”

“Rude,” Peter mumbles under his breath. “I’m nice, not naive. And besides, we’re all on the same side, here. He’s a superhero, I’m a superhero. He’s just…” He pauses, waving a hand before he shoves the rest of the money into the bag. “I don’t know. Rougher around the edges. The guy’s been through a lot.”

“So have you, Peter,” MJ reminds him gently, and Peter loves her, he really does, but he is not the ‘woe is me’ type.

“I’m fine,” he says. Ducking down behind the bar, he spins the combination lock on the safe, opening it up and putting the deposit bag inside. In the morning, he’ll take it in. “Go home, you guys. I can finish up here.”

MJ gives him a look, but she pushes back from the bar, nodding at Ned. “Don’t be grumpy because we care,” she calls as they walk out of the bar, the bells on the door ringing as it swings shut behind them.

Peter grabs a rag, wets it with cleaner, and then starts wiping down tables. He tries not to think about what MJ had said. He fails, though, because he knows she’s right. Tony Stark is a player, and irresponsible, and Peter’s pretty sure his list of enemies is a long longer than Spider-Man’s. But the downsides are worth it, are worth having Stark as an ally. As a friend.

Right?

The bells on the door jingle, and Peter straightens. “We’re closed,” he calls out, but the person doesn’t turn around.

It’s a woman. She’s tall, with strawberry blond hair pulled tightly into a bun at the nape of her neck. She’s wearing a suit that looks like it cost more than Peter’s entire wardrobe, and she has an expression on her face that Peter instantly recognizes. MJ wears it all the time. It’s annoyance and exasperation, mixed in with a whole hell of a lot of determination.

“Mr. Parker,” she says, gesturing at one of the empty booths. “Sit down. We should talk.”

Chapter Text

“Can I get you a drink?” Peter offers as the woman seats herself at one of the clean booths. He doesn’t know what else to say - she doesn’t look like she’d take kindly to being asked to leave, and if he’s being honest, Peter doesn’t want her to leave. She piqued his curiosity.

He’s got some idea of who she could be, or who she could work for - her clothes look expensive, bespoke, and Peter doesn’t know all that many people who can afford that sort of thing. Personally, he knows exactly one person who could afford that sort of thing.

“Water, please” the woman replies. She doesn’t look up from the papers she’s laying out on the table, and Peter just blinks at her for a moment before he goes behind the bar, grabbing a glass and filling it with water. When he returns to the table, the woman holds her hand out for the glass, but Peter doesn’t hand it over just yet.

“‘s a bar,” he says, smiling a little when the woman’s brows knit together. “You have ID?”

The confused expression turns back to annoyance quickly, but the woman takes her wallet out of her jacket pocket, pulling out the thin plastic card and handing it to Peter, who hands it back after a moment and sets the glass down on the table.

“Miss Potts,” he says, smiling warmly, now. “How can I help you?”


Your girlfriend is terrifying.

Tony stares down at the text blankly, blinking slowly. It’s from Peter, and it doesn’t make any sense. Girlfriend? He doesn’t have a girlfriend. He isn’t even sleeping with anyone, currently. Pepper was the last, and she…

Swallowing, Tony texts back. Strawberry blond, perfect makeup, looks ready to kill someone?

That’s the one.

“Dammit, Pep,” Tony mutters. He calls her number, but his call gets sent to voicemail immediately. A second call fares the same, and he’s about to dial Peter’s number when his phone vibrates with a text message.

You told her?

And maybe Tony has spent too much time thinking about Peter Parker, because he can see the kid’s face in his mind, can almost taste the disappointment in the air. Peter words echo in his mind: If I can’t trust you, then we’re all screwed. But it’s not like that, and he needs to make sure Peter knows he’s not revealing his secret identity to just anyone.

She’s good at keeping secrets, too, he sends back.

And, twenty minutes later, Peter cryptically responds.

Not good enough.


There’s an NDA on the table between them, unsigned, and on top of it is a bottle of Clase Azul, freshly opened and missing a few shots. It’s good tequila, and Peter doesn’t bring it out for just anyone. Pepper Potts, though, isn’t just anyone.

(“I told him to stop throwing money at me,” he says when he sees the amount listed in the agreement. There are too many zeros, too many digits to the left of the decimal place for it to be real. Real people don’t have that kind of money. “I’m not signing that.”

And Pepper looks at him, appraising, for a long moment. Then she says, “Grab a drink, Parker. Let’s chat.”)

“He’s obsessive,” she says. They’re both a few shots deep (sipped, not thrown back, because neither of them are as bad as Tony Stark), and the paperwork Pepper brought is being ignored. “It’s all or nothing with him.”

Peter’s phone buzzes, riffs, and Pepper laughs before Ozzy can sing his line. “It fits him,” she says, nodding at the phone. “He acts like it, half the time. Like he’s lost his fucking mind.”

Peter chuckles, sipping at his tequila. “I’ve heard that crazy and genius go hand in hand.”

“He’s got plenty of both,” Pepper responds. “And both his crazy and his genius are focused on you, right now.”

Peter grins. “Consider me flattered.”

“Consider yourself warned,” she says, and her tone is serious. “It’s not an easy thing, having all of that energy and focus directed entirely at you. Tony is like a… like a tidal wave, complete with the destruction he leaves when he’s gone.”

She pauses, winces, and shakes her head. “Your tequila is making me melodramatic,” she says. “Tony is a force of nature, but there’s a lot of… a lot of other things, behind all that power. He’s human, and he’s damaged, and some of his scars run too deep to heal. Now, I don’t know what you’re planning with him...”

Peter blinks slowly. “Is this the shovel talk? Is this you telling me not to hurt him because he’s been hurt too many times before?”

Pepper laughs, softly, but her smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “Tony seeks out people who hurt him,” she says. “It’s familiar. He knows how to manage those relationships.” She points at Peter. “But he doesn’t know how to deal with people like you. Genuine people. He just…” she trails off, sighing. “I’m just saying, be patient with him. God knows he could use a friend like you.”

And Peter doesn’t know how to respond to that.

Pepper leaves, and Peter stares at the glasses on the table for a long few minutes, eyes tracing the lipstick mark Pepper left on her glass.

God knows he could use a friend like you.


“What did you talk about?”

Pepper’s bun is loose and messy at the nape of her neck, and her cheeks have a flush to them that tells Tony she’s been drinking. But he doesn’t care about that (totally doesn’t care about Pepper having drinks with Peter, in his bar, after closing. It’s not like that’s their thing. They don’t have a thing because they’re not a thing).

Pepper rolls her eyes, leaning up against the workshop table. “You’re worried we talked about you?”

“Nope,” Tony says. “I’m terrified you talked about me.”

Pepper laughs, and the sinking feeling in Tony’s chest just gets worse. “Pep,” he says, and his voice is disturbingly close to pleading. “Come on. Sadism isn’t usually your thing.”

“I just passed on some advice,” Pepper says. “About you. About being in your orbit.” She pauses. “He’s a good person. You deserve something good, Tony.”

And Tony says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and pretends he hasn’t already thought about how good things could be with Peter.

Chapter Text

It comes to Tony one night, just a few days after Peter told him to find something that wasn’t so easy for him to give. He hasn’t been thinking about it at all. He definitely hasn’t been racking his brain, trying to figure out what he could possibly give that doesn’t involve him making a purchase on Peter’s behalf.

And then, one night in the workshop, he’s tinkering with an idea for an upgrade to the arc reactor, and it comes to him.

You busy on Saturday? he texts Peter.

In reply, he gets, I can move some things around for you.

Tony ignores the swell of nervousness he feels, and turns his focus back to his work.


Peter’s not sure what to expect when he arrives at Stark Tower on a Saturday afternoon.

There aren’t reporters camped outside, anymore, but he still feels disturbingly exposed. He doesn’t have a reason to be there, other than Tony’s request, and Tony Stark asked me to come here makes sense for Spider-Man, local hero, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Peter Parker, bar owner.

No one stops him as he walks inside, and almost immediately, he sees Pepper. She’s leaning up against the welcome desk, scribbling something into a notebook, and once again she’s dressed to the nines, shirt pressed and her bun immaculate.

In his jeans and plaid shirt, Peter suddenly feels very underdressed.

She glances up, spots him almost immediately, and Peter wonders if he really does stand out that badly. If he does, though, Pepper is kind enough not to make it obvious. She smiles, gesturing him over.

“Tony is waiting down in the lab,” she says, and all Peter really hears is Tony and waiting and lab, and holy shit Tony Stark is waiting for him. In the lab.

“Great!” he says, and his voice is a little too high, too loud. He winces. “Do you ah… do you know what I’m going to be doing down there?”

Pepper raises an eyebrow, and Peter gets the impression she definitely thinks she knows what he’s going to be doing down there.

“Tony cleared the rest of his afternoon for a ‘personal meeting’,” she replies.”I’m afraid that’s all I know.” Her smile becomes a grin, and Peter’s wince becomes and scowl.

“And here I thought we were friends.”

Pepper laughs, the sound short and soft. “The elevator is right over there, Mr. Parker.” She gestures at it with her pen. “JARVIS will take you down to the lab.” Then she turns back to her paperwork, and Peter is left standing there, torn between going to the elevator and going back to work.

He chooses the former.

“Good afternoon, Mister Parker,” JARVIS says as he steps inside. The doors close automatically, and the elevator starts moving before Peter can even think about pressing one of the floor buttons.

“Do you know what I’m going to be doing down there?” he asks.

“Sir blocked off the rest of his afternoon for a personal meeting. I’m afraid that’s all…”

“That’s fine,” Peter interrupts. “I mean, where’s the drama and mystery if I know what I’m getting into, right?”

“Sir does enjoy his theatrics.”

Peter snorts under his breath. is a good word for it, he thinks. And really, he shouldn’t be surprised. It is Tony fucking Stark that he’s dealing with.

The elevator comes to a stop, and the doors open, revealing the spread of Tony’s lab.

“Sir is waiting inside,” JARVIS says, and it’s the little push Peter needs. He gives the ceiling a little wave (and feels stupid right after, because JARVIS isn’t a person, but it feels rude not to acknowledge him somehow), and then steps out of the elevator and into the lab.

“Tony?” he calls out. The other man isn’t in sight, but it’s not all that surprising. There’s a lot of room, a lot of space where he could be - hell, Peter wouldn’t be surprised if the lab had multiple levels, each featuring more complex machinery and equipment than the next.

“Over here!” comes the reply, from somewhere to Peter’s right. Tony isn’t immediately in sight, so Peter walks around a workbench piled high with what appears to be scrap metal, careful not to touch anything.

He sees Tony as soon as he turns the corner.

The man is laid out on what looks like a dentist’s chair. He’s shirtless, but the expanse of skin isn’t the first thing that draws in Peter’s eyes. No, that’s the thing in the center of Tony’s chest, the blue, glowing device that’s sitting flush with his skin right where his sternum should be.

“It’s called an arc reactor,” Tony says, and Peter’s eyes snap up to his face.

“Little bit overkill for a night light, isn’t it?” he asks, walking closer to the chair. He can see scarring around the device, faint raised, red lines that look like they were jagged and deep when they were fresh.

Tony makes a sound that starts as a laugh, but ends up as a groan. His fingers curl into a fist at his side, and his jaw twitches as he clenches his teeth. Peter feels something cold start to curl in his stomach. “What’s going on?” he asks.

“Need a favor,” Tony replies. His fingers uncurl, and he gestures at the table next to him. On it is another device, similar to the one that’s in his chest, except this one isn’t glowing and it isn’t slotted in between Tony’s pectorals, which, Peter thinks, is probably where it belongs.

“I’m not a doctor,” Peter says, even as he shrugs out of his jacket. There’s a bottle of hand sanitizer on the table, next to the device, and he uses it, pumping far more than he probably should into his hands. It drips onto the floor. A little hysterically, Peter laughs. “Didn’t expect to have Purell on my hands in this situation.”

Tony blinks. He glances down at his bare chest, and then at Peter’s hands, still shiny with alcohol that hasn’t evaporated yet. And then he looks back up at Peter, eyes dark and accusing.

And then he laughs.

“You’re thinking about sex right now?”

Peter feels the tips of his ears burn. “Weren’t you about to ask me for a favor?” he says, raising an eyebrow. “Because I can leave, instead.”

Tony’s eyes are glittering when he looks up, but his voice, when he speaks, is serious. “The arc reactor is what’s keeping me alive,” he says. “I’ve got shrapnel in my chest. Close to my heart. The reactor keeps it from getting too close to my heart.” He gestures at the device on the table. “That’s a better version of the one I currently have. I’d do it myself, but there’s a small chance that my heart will stop as soon as I pull the old one out, so I kind of need someone else in the room to give me a jump start if I need it.”

“A jump start,” Peter repeats. “I took a first aid class in high school - six years ago. I don’t think I’m exactly qualified to -”

“Hey, you got this. I trust you.”

Peter’s mouth snaps shut, and he thinks, distantly, about a previous conversation. If I can’t trust you, then we’re all screwed. This is punishment, he thinks. He asked Tony for something hard to give - so Tony decided to put his literal life in Peter’s hands. It’s the epitome of “be careful what you wish for.”

“Talk me through it,” Peter says, and he’s proud of how even his voice is.

Tony grins. “Easy peasy. Ready?”

Peter nods.

“All right.” Tony lays back, head resting against the chair, and stares up at the ceiling. “First thing is to remove the old. Hands dry?”

“Yep.”

“Great.” Tony nods, almost like he’s steeling himself. “All right. Grip the edges and twist to the right. You’ll have to tug a little, and don’t freak out if you hear a ‘click’. That’s just the reactor disengaging from the housing unit.”

“Your chest isn’t a housing unit,” Peter mumbles, but he reaches out, fingers gripping the edge of the reactor. The metal is warm under his fingertips, heated by its proximity to Tony’s skin. He twists, like he was told, and tries not to shudder when he does hear a click as the reactor disengages. He lifts it gently, wincing when he sees a clear gel sticking to the underside of the reactor and the inside of the “housing unit.”

Tony sucks in a breath, his lips pressed into a thin line. “Good job,” he says. “All right, set that down. Step two: there’s conducting gel in the unit. Spread it up around the sides and -” He stops, grimacing. “Ow. Okay. Yeah, whenever you’re ready, Parker.”

Peter thinks about shrapnel and hearts and doesn’t hesitate to stick his hand into the hole in Tony’s chest, spreading the gel up around the sides. “All right,” he says, and his voice is steadier than he expected. “New one, now?”

Tony nods. “Same thing, just reversed. Insert, twist left, wait for the click.”

Carefully, Peter lowers the device into the hole in Tony’s chest. The squelching sound is unexpected, but it’s combined with Tony’s breathing, which is slowly getting more labored, so it’s not as funny as it would be, elsewhere. When the metal is flush against Tony’s skin again, Peter twists.

Click.

“Oh, thank god,” Tony breathes. He sits up, and Peter drops his hands. They’re sticky with the gel, so he wipes them on his pants, pointedly looking away from Tony as the other man tugs a tank top on. Tony rolls his shoulders back, cracks his neck, and then looks directly at Peter.

“All right, kid” Tony says. “I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours.”

Chapter Text

It turns out it’s a lot harder to tell Tony no after Peter’s had his hand inside the man’s chest. In fact, it’s impossible. And the worst part is is that Peter knows Tony did the risk-benefit analysis in his head and still came up with putting his life in Peter’s hands being worth getting to see the suit and shooters. It baffles Peter, but at the same time, it doesn’t - he doesn’t imagine there are very many risks Tony wouldn’t take in order to get what he wanted.

He wonders if this is what Pepper was talking about when she called Tony a tidal wave. The man won’t be stopped, won’t even really be delayed; he makes a face when Peter suggests next week, like waiting a few more days is actually going to kill him.

“I’m sure you didn’t clear out half-an-hour for me,” Tony says. “So unless you have something more important to do…”

Peter thinks, briefly, about making something up. Maybe a work thing, or a family thing (because May has been bugging him to visit, recently), but he gets the sneaking suspicion that neither of those things will really throw Tony off. It’s not like the older man will have a problem hanging out at the bar, and Peter doubts that Tony would even bat an eye about tagging along to May’s place. And that’s an explanation he doesn’t want to have to come up with.

“Fine,” Peter says. “But I’m driving.”


Peter drives, and Tony sits in the passenger seat with a baseball cap pulled down over his face, mumbling about how they could have made the trip so much faster in one of his cars. Peter lets him go on for a bit, and then, quietly, says, “Your cars cost more than twice what most people make in a year. Parking an Audi S8 outside my apartment in Queens is not going to help me stay under the radar.”

“Why is your secret identity so important?”

“Seriously?” Peter glances over at Tony, but the man isn’t looking at him. “Not everyone wants to spend their life in the spotlight. And even if that wasn’t a huge deal, I have a family. Friends. The choices I make about this affect them, too.”

“Family?” Tony repeats. “Don’t tell me you’re married with kids, Parker.”

Despite himself, Peter laughs. “No one’s locked this down, yet,” he says. “And the idea of kids is terrifying. I don’t know if my mutation is something I can pass on genetically. And that is not me volunteering for experiments, so don’t get your hopes up.”

“What if I promise not to use your DNA for nefarious purposes?”

“How about you promise not to use my DNA for any purposes?” Peter counters, and Tony groans.

“Is this going to take another hand-in-my-chest bonding session? Because the arc reactor isn’t going to need to be replaced for a few years, and that’s really too long to wait to…”

“No,” Peter says firmly. “Jesus. How are you okay using something that important as a bargaining tool?”

“It worked the first time!”

Peter just shakes his head, turning the wheel to quickly snag a parking space right outside his apartment. “It won’t work a second time,” he says. “Is it that hard to be creative?”

Tony grumbles as he gets out of the car, but he doesn’t say anything else as Peter leads him up to the apartment. And Peter’s self-consciousness only starts to hit after they’re both inside - suddenly, the second-hand couch and mismatched drinking glasses seem to stand out. Peter’s pretty sure that Tony doesn’t care, but all the same, the man is used to having every luxury available at his fingertips. It’s oddly intimidating in a way he doesn’t like.

“Follow me,” he says, stepping around the couch to the bedroom. Walking over to the closet, he ignores the suit where it’s hanging and instead reaches onto the top shelf, grabbing one of the shooters. Turning around, he holds it out to Tony with a shrug.

“It’s not that high tech,” he says. “I don’t have a multi-million dollar lab in my basement.”

Tony scoffs, taking the shooter. “I do,” he answers, like Peter wasn’t already aware of that. “Mi casa, su casa. Or, in this case, I guess, mi laboratorio, su laboratorio.” He turns the shooter over in his hands, weighing it in his palm. “At the very least, we could upgrade you to a titanium alloy. Lightweight, more durable.”

Peter just stares. Tony, on the other hand, continues like he’s completely unaware that Peter is gaping. “I’m guessing the webbing is synthetic, then? Unless you, like, milk some glands, or some shit. Do you do that?”

“Um,” Peter says.

“Of course not.” Tony waves his hand. “You wouldn’t need the shooters if the webbing was organic. Still, very impressive. More impressive, actually. Anyone can develop superpowers after an encounter with a radioactive spider. But not everyone can develop weaponry to go along with those superpowers.”

“They aren’t weapons,” Peter says firmly. “They’re just… tools.”

Tony ignores him, again. “What happens if you run out of webs in the middle of a fight? Are you just SOL?”

“My webs aren’t the only…”

Tony frowns, shaking the shooter. “How does it work, exactly? Do you have like a touch ID thing going on? Or is it pressure sensitive? Or…”

Fuck it.

If Tony wants a demonstration, then Peter will give him one.

With an impatient sound, he takes the shooter, strapping it onto his wrist. Tony’s eyes light up, and he opens his mouth, but this is Peter’s turf now, dammit, and Tony Stark can damn well sit back and watch.

He flicks his wrist, sending a shot of web fluid out. And it’s very clear that Tony isn’t expecting it, because when the web pins his wrist to the wall, high above his head, he just stares. Peter is probably happier than he has any right to be that he’s managed to render Tony speechless, but the moment of pride doesn’t last long (because, really, there’s no shutting Tony up).

The older man swallows, his throat bobbing. He tugs on the web, gently at first, and then harder, frowning, when it doesn’t budge. “This is a hell of a time to remember that I don’t really know you,” he says. He stops tugging, though, and leans back against the wall. “But uh, you got a plan, Spider-Man? Or did you just want to tie me up and not have your wicked way with me?”

Honestly, Peter hadn’t been thinking about that. But now? Now he definitely is. Now that’s all he can think about - Tony, tied up, at his mercy, writhing against the wall of his bedroom while Peter sucks him, strokes him, fucks him, does anything he wants with him, because Tony said wicked way and Peter suddenly has a whole slew of wicked thoughts.

“You gonna let me in on any of the things you’re thinking about?” Tony asks. “Because I’m getting a decidedly sexy vibe from this thing, but you haven’t touched me yet, so I have to wonder here if the vibe you’re feeling is ‘sexy’ or ‘serial killer’.”

Peter raises an eyebrow. “Not weapons,” he says, gesturing at the shooter strapped to his wrist. Then he points at himself. “And I don’t kill people.”

“So, sexy?”

Peter rolls his eyes, but he steps close to Tony anyway. Reaching up, he traces the outline of the arc reactor through Tony’s shirt, pressing his fingers against the thin fabric to feel the warm metal. He spreads his fingers wide, over the light, and then drags his hand down, pulling at the fabric as his hand slides over Tony’s stomach, all the way down until it’s brushing over the waistband of his pants.

“Definitely sexy,” he says, and one of Tony’s hands, the one that isn’t pinned to the wall, comes up to cup Peter’s cheek.

Tony levels him with a look, all seriousness and heat and want and says, “Then you should definitely kiss me.”

So Peter does.

Chapter Text

Kissing Tony Stark is an experience.

It’s not like Peter hasn’t kissed other people before. He has. He had his fair share of awkward make-out sessions in high school, and less-awkward heavy petting sessions in college. He’s no blushing virgin. But Tony... Tony Stark is in a category all by himself, and really, Peter should have expected that.

The hand on Peter’s cheek is gentle, and the scrape of Tony’s stubble is rough against his lips. The sensation is tantalizing. Peter wants to feel it everywhere - down his neck, across his chest, down the insides of his thighs and isn’t that a thought he’s going to have to explore later. Later, though, because Tony’s pinned to the wall, now, and Peter has no intention of releasing him any time soon.

Tony did say wicked way, after all.

Reluctantly, Peter leans back, out of reach of Tony’s mouth. The older man tries to follow him, tries to drag him back in with the hand on the back of his neck, but Peter actually has a plan. Turning his head, he presses a kiss to Tony’s palm, apologetic, and then flicks his wrist, shooting out a web to pin Tony’s free hand to the wall as well.

“Don’t move,” he says, voice playful, and Tony looks like he wants to roll his eyes and reply with someone equally as sassy, but Peter doesn’t give him the opportunity. Instead, he drops to his knees, leans forward, and presses his open mouth against the bulge in Tony’s pants.

Peter,” Tony breathes, and Peter has to move his hands to Tony’s hips, has to press to keep him still. It’s not exactly hard (and not exactly an accurate showcase of his strength, either), but something in the action still pulls a reluctant groan from Tony’s mouth.

“You don’t have to…” the older man starts, trailing off when Peter looks up at him with a raised eyebrow.

“Let me get this right,” Peter says, bringing his hands up to frame the bulge in Tony’s pants. “You’re here, in my apartment, pinned to the wall with my webs, and you’re telling me I don’t have to do anything?” He quirks his mouth, shaking his head. “I really want to suck your dick. There’s your explicit consent. Can I continue, now?”

Tony makes an unholy sound, and his head thunks back against the wall as his hips jerk forward, like just the thought of Peter’s mouth on him is enough to break his self control. Maybe it is. Peter knows what he looks like, on his knees, looking up at someone through his lashes. A fucking pretty picture, one hookup had called him, and Peter’s not beyond using that knowledge to his advantage.

“Tony,” he says, drawing the man’s attention back down to him. “Can I blow you, please?”

Yes, Peter. Fuck.”

That’s about as clear as it gets. Peter grins before hooking his fingers under Tony’s waistband and dragging his pants and underwear down past his hips in one quick movement. Peter lets the pants pool at Tony’s ankles - after all, what’s one more restraint, now, anyways?

Tony’s only half-hard, but Peter doesn’t take offense, knows that not everyone has a teenager’s libido or gets to benefit from their senses being dialed up to 11. And this way, it’s easier for Peter to lean forward and take Tony’s entire length into his mouth, sealing his lips around the base.

Fuck.”

Tony’s voice is wrecked. His hips are making little aborted thrusts, but he can’t actually move, firmly held in place by Peter’s hands on his hips and the webs on his wrists. And honestly? Peter’s loving it. He’s loving that he has control over a man who is so obviously always in control of everything in his life.

As he bobs his head, Tony’s cock grows heavier on his tongue, starts to push at the back of his throat. Peter can’t deepthroat (yet), so he pulls back, sucking on the head while he wraps one hand around the rest of Tony’s cock, stroking what he can’t fit in his mouth.

And then he pulls out every trick he knows.

While his lips work at the crown, he tongues Tony’s slit, letting out a soft moan as the bitter taste of pre floods over his tongue. Tony shivers, and when Peter glances up, he meets the other man’s eyes, wide and dark and fixed on the place where Peter’s lips meet Tony’s cock. Peter moans again, deliberately this time, and sucks gently, hollowing his cheeks while he holds Tony’s gaze.

Peter, fuck, I’m gonna - I’m close, you should…”

Instead of pulling off, Peter sinks down a little farther, lets Tony’s cock bump against the back of his throat. He gags, just a little, and that’s enough. Tony comes with a strangled yell, spilling over Peter’s tongue.

Peter swallows, and then sucks and strokes and licks until Tony is whining from the overstimulation. He almost keeps going (wonders, a little, how long it would take to get Tony up again, if he even could get it up again), but the look on Tony’s face tells him the pleasure is almost becoming pain.

“Good?” he asks, flashing what he knows is a shit-eating grin.

In response, Tony tugs ineffectually at the webs. “Release. Hands. Now,” he bites out.

With a flick of his wrist, Peter dissolves the webs pinning Tony to the wall. Immediately, he has an arm full of billionaire, and Tony is kissing him almost frantically, his hands pulling and pushing haphazardly at Peter’s clothes. Peter’s about to assist him, about to do something to calm him down, but then Tony gets a hand inside his pants and Peter stops thinking.

“I have been thinking about fucking you for days,” Tony breathes, right in Peter’s ear. His hand is rough, and his strokes are fast, and every movement pulls another involuntary sound from Peter’s throat. “Fantasized, you know? And I never once thought I’d have to keep my hands off you while your mouth...” He trails off, ducking his head down to suck a mark on the side of Peter’s neck. “Fucking Christ, come for me.”

Maybe it’s stupid that he comes on command like that, but Tony’s voice, tight and rough and aroused, goes straight to Peter’s core, burns him up in all the right ways so that, when Tony says, “Come,” and twists his wrist harshly, Peter does. His fingers dig into Tony’s arms as he rides it out, leaving bruises that, unlikely the hickey on his neck, will last for days.

“Shit,” he pants, when he gets his breath back. He’s still holding Tony, rendering the man all but immobile again, so he lets go, wincing at the accidental friction of Tony removing his hand from his pants.

“Towel?” Tony asks. Peter tosses him a shirt from the floor, and Tony cleans off his hand. “Very practical demonstration,” he continues. “And you’ve convinced me.”

Peter raises an eyebrow. “Convinced you of what?”

Tony gestures vaguely at the web shooter. “About those. They’re not weapons. They’re toys.”

“Tools,” Peter corrects automatically. But Tony just laughs, and Peter wonders if he’s ever going to be able to use the shooters against without thinking about Tony Stark coming in his mouth.

Chapter Text

“So, I might have had sex with him.”

MJ raises an eyebrow. “Honestly,” she says, “I’m surprised it took this long.”

Peter rolls his eyes. “It’s not like that was my end goal. It wasn’t!” he adds, when MJ gives him a questioning look. “He’s just… you know. Cool.”

“The whole world thinks Tony Stark is cool.”

“Yes,” Peter counters, “but the whole world didn’t get to blow him this weekend.”

MJ leans across the bar and takes one of Peter’s hands in her own, sweetly. “You’re not making your case any stronger,” she says. “I know you. You’re catching feelings, Peter.”

“So what?” Peter replies, but even as he says it, he knows what the ‘so what’ is. It’s Tony Stark: genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. It’s Tony Stark, who makes the news for sex scandals more often than he does for technological advances.

It’s Tony Stark, who, in the three days since Peter’s bedroom happened, hasn’t responded to a single one of Peter’s messages.


“So, I might have had sex with him.”

Pepper closes her eyes and pinches the bridge of her nose, and Tony knows that, internally, she’s counting to ten.

“To be fair,” Tony continues, “he started it. And I was tied up for most of it, so it’s not exactly my fault. Consensually tied up, by the way, but I guess ‘webbed up’ would be a better term. But we did it in private! You should be proud. No sex-in-the-bar-bathroom scandals for you to deal with. Again,” he adds, because, honestly, he’s been caught with his pants around his ankles far too often for a man his age.

“Tony,” Pepper says, and her voice has taken on a little bit too much of the not-fucking-again tone. “When was this?”

“Saturday.” Tony picks up a tablet, pulling up a set of schematics for his newest project.

“And have you talked to him since Saturday?”

“Of course,” Tony answers immediately. He has. He distinctly remembers reading Peter’s text messages (lingering over the flirty ones, because yes he liked the flirty ones). He remembers thinking up snarky and slightly obscene things to reply with. But… that’s also all he remembers. He frowns down at his tablet. “Um. I think. Did I?”

“You have not contacted Mr. Parker for 84 hours,” JARVIS supplies helpfully. Tony groans

“Tony,” Pepper says. “Are you intentionally treating him like a one-night stand, or did you actually forget?”

Tony turns to face Pepper. “I need you to fabricate a disaster. An attempt on my life. Maybe an almost-fatal illness? Something that could justify sleeping with him and then ignoring him for days.”

“Or you could trust that he’s an understanding person and tell him the truth.”

“Kidnapping!” Tony decides. “Pepper, I was kidnapped Sunday morning. Make it happen.”


Pepper doesn’t make it happen.

Tony doesn’t really expect her to. She’s a lifesaver, but this isn’t the kind of mess that has his life in danger (even though it’s his love life and really, that should count). And in another life, Tony might have chalked the situation up as a lost cause and moved on, but even the thought is repulsive. He doesn’t want to move on from Peter.

The first time Tony calls, Peter doesn’t pick up, and Tony doesn’t wait to leave a message. He dials the number again, his foot tapping impatiently against the ground as it rings.

“I’m a little busy right…”

“I’m a jerk,” Tony interrupts. “To everyone. And I have this really bad habit of reading text messages and thinking about responding and then never actually responding because I’m distractible as fuck.”

There’s silence on the other end of the line.

“Which is not an excuse,” Tony continues. “Just… it’s my reason. I wasn’t ignoring you. I wasn’t trying to ignore you, at least.”

Finally, Peter speaks. “Is this a genuine Tony Stark apology?”

“Less than fifty on the market,” Tony confirms, and it’s not particularly witty or funny, but Peter still laughs, the sound quiet and staticy over the phone. Tony takes the laugh as a good sign and barrels forward. “I can’t promise I won’t do it again, because, like I said, I’m a jerk. But I can make it up to you? SI is debuting a new hybrid vehicle later this…”

“You’re not buying me a car!”

“Is dinner more reasonable?”

Peter sighs. “Fine. Takeout, though. Your place.”

“My place?” Tony repeats, and Peter just hums.

“Yeah, your place,” Peter says, and the tone of his voice changes, drops an octave, sending a shiver up Tony’s spine. “Unless you want to fuck in a twin bed after dinner.”

“My place it is.”


Peter said takeout, but he didn’t specify what type, so really, it’s his fault. It’s perfectly reasonable for Tony to cover all his bases, even if that includes ordering multiple full courses from four different restaurants.

The food is piled on the table in Tony’s penthouse suite when Peter arrives, still fresh and steaming, and Tony assumes that’s what stops Peter in his tracks when he exits the elevator. But Peter isn’t staring at the food - he’s staring at Tony, eyes wide like a deer in the headlights.

Tony shifts on his feet, rubbing the back of his neck. Peter’s seen him in his “work clothes” before, but this is different. Tony is straight out of the workshop, wearing old jeans and a stained tank top, and when he pulls his hand away from his neck, it comes away dirty with engine oil. He’s a mess, and he suddenly wishes he’d taken the time to shower because Peter is just staring.

After a moment, Peter blinks, shaking his head a little, before he points an accusatory finger at Tony. “You’re filthy,” he says, and his voice is low and rough and strained. “Jesus. Why is that hot? That shouldn’t be hot.”

“I can make anything look good,” Tony says flippantly, but Peter doesn’t laugh. He groans, closing his eyes.

“Dinner can wait,” the younger man says. “Dinner can wait, right? Because I kind of need to fuck you right now.”

“Bedroom’s that way,” Tony replies, and points helpfully, only to have Peter drag him down the hallway a moment later.


Peter’s got two fingers twisted up inside Tony before he remembers that he’s supposed to be upset.

He thinks he’s supposed to be upset, anyway. That seems rational. Tony ignored him for days, right after they slept together, and then tried to apologize with a car. Except Peter’s not upset, not anymore. Can’t be, not when Tony’s spread out underneath him on sheets that probably cost more than an entire month’s rent, gasping every time Peter moves his hand just right.

“Tease,” Tony breathes, when Peter slides a third finger, slick with lube, right up alongside the other two. Peter thinks briefly about really teasing him, for an hour, until he can fit far more than three fingers inside him. He files that thought away, thinks next time as he rolls on the condom Tony provides.

He fucks Tony slow and gentle, rolling his hips when he’s fully seated to grind against Tony’s sweet spot, making him writhe and squirm, silently begging for more. And then, when Peter snaps his hips abruptly, Tony begs not-so-silently, arching his back to meet Peter’s thrusts.

He doesn’t put all his strength into it (doesn’t want to cross the line between pain and pleasure), but he does let himself fuck Tony a little harder than a regular person could, lets himself dig his fingers into the older man’s hips hard enough to leave bruises while he holds him in place, driving relentlessly against the spot that has Tony saying, “Fuck, Pete,” soft and breathless.

Peter comes first, buried up to the hilt in Tony’s tight heat, and a moment later, when he wraps his fingers around Tony’s cock and strokes, hard and fast, Tony comes, too.

“Food’s probably cold,” Tony says, after Peter’s pulled out and thrown away the condom. “How am I supposed to pull off a proper apology with cold food?”

Peter pauses, looking up from where he’s pulling on his pants. Sternly, he points a finger at Tony. “Do not order more food,” he says. “Microwaves exist for a reason.”

“But…”

“No buts, Tony.”

“Little late for that,” Tony mutters, and Peter falls over with only one leg in his pants because he’s laughing too hard to stay upright.

Chapter Text

New York City goes to hell in a handbasket on Friday afternoon.

It’s the sort of situation Peter usually lets someone else handle, because dealing with a mad scientist with multiple prehensile robotic arms is not something on Spider-Man’s to-do list. That is completely, 100% an Iron Man issue, and Peter was totally okay letting the armor-clad superhero handle the crazier villains… right up until he started sleeping with the man inside the armor.

So this time, when Breaking News interrupts his Friends marathon, Peter tugs on his suit and shooters and heads downtown.

By the time he gets there, Iron Man has already engaged, pulling out the tried-and-true method of slam the bad guy into buildings until he gives up. It’s tried-and-true with humans, anyway - Peter’s not so sure about eight-limbed mad scientists.

His doubt is confirmed when one of the metal arms tears a sheet of protective plating right off Iron Man’s suit.

“Hey, Octo-Dick!” he calls, and maybe it isn’t the wittiest name, but it does get the man’s attention. He turns away from Iron Man, and Peter’s confident it’ll give the billionaire time to regroup and fix his armor.

“My name is Superior Octopus!” the man roars, and the two arms that aren’t braced against the ground rear back like some sort of mechanical scorpion’s tail. Peter dodges the first swipe easily, rolling off the roof of the building he’s on and webbing himself off to another ledge across the street.

“Missed me, missed me,” he taunts, as one of the metal arms slams into the building he was sitting on moments before. Shifting, he moves to shoot another web off, towards another building, but another one of the arms slams into him before he can.

Peter barely registers that he’s falling, that there’s wind on his face, before his back hits the ground, hard.

With the wind knocked out of him, Peter can’t call out to Tony, to anyone, to help. He can’t move, either, can’t roll out of the way of the giant metal arm moving towards him.

Peter closes his eyes.

There’s a whoosh above him, and Superior Octopus screams. There’s a crash (and another crash), and then there’s just the sensation of dirt and dust falling on Peter’s face, sticking to his skin.

His skin.

Peter scrambles to a sitting position, his hands flying to his face. His mask is gone, ripped off sometime during his fall, and he can’t find it anywhere. His suit is torn in a few places, too, but that’s fine, that’s fixable. Revealing his identity is definitely not fixable.

Ignoring the pain in his back and his chest, he hauls himself to his feet. He can see a super-villain sized hole in one of the buildings across from him, and Iron Man is hovering in front of it. He seemingly has control, so Peter doesn’t feel bad about turning away, wrapping one arm around his gut as he webs himself out of there.

He almost, almost misses the flash of a camera.


It takes thirty minutes for #SpiderManRevealed to start trending on Twitter.

It takes an hour for someone to recognize him and link the bar’s website to the one blurry picture that’s going around.

It takes an hour and fifteen minutes for MJ and Ned to have to shut down the bar, because the place’s capacity is 85 and there are over 200 people trying to cram their way inside in the hopes of finding Peter. Because that’s public knowledge, now. Everyone in the world knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

Peter has a panic attack.

Tony calls in the middle of it, while Peter’s sitting on the floor in his bathroom, back pushed into a corner. He’s shaking, and he’s pretty sure he’s crying, but he knows Tony will distract him.

As soon as he swipes the green answer button, he hears Tony’s voice.

“Where are you?”

“Ho-ome,” Peter answers, his voice catching. “No one’s leaked my a-address yet.”

“Oh, Peter.”

Peter hates the tone of Tony’s voice, hates that it’s actually comforting to hear someone concerned. May had been supportive, and MJ and Ned had been pissed, but Tony just sounds… sorry. Sympathetic. Peter’s chest heaves as he bites back another sob.

“What can I do?”

Despite himself, Peter laughs, the sound wet and broken. “Nothing,” he says. “M-make a bigger m-mess than I did, I guess.”

“Consider it done.”

And Tony hangs up.


This time, when Tony asks Pepper to create a scandal, she obliges.

It’s nothing that will hurt SI in the long run, and it’s not a lie, either. It’s just a video, from Tony’s younger days, involving a few Victoria’s Secret angels and an unidentified white powder. The video is grainy and tilted and there’s only about fifteen seconds of it, but the National Enquirer hops on that shit like it’s hot.

By the end of the day, #SpiderManRevealed is still trending, but #IronCrack is above it by a few million mentions. SI’s stock drops by two dollars, and one of the board members calls Tony to chew him out because I thought we had that tape killed. But it’s worth it, because it’s his name in the headlines now, and not Peter’s.

Tony’s finishing up reading the statement Pepper prepared for him (because what use is a scandal if Tony doesn’t stoke the fire a little by responding?) when Peter comes by.

“You’re an idiot,” the younger man says as he walks into the lab. He’s dressed casually, but it’s not his normal look - there’s a beanie pulled down tight over his hair, halfway over his face, too. Tony’s chest aches in sympathy. Personally, he’s never known what it’s like not to be in the spotlight, but Peter? Peter has always had the divide between identities, has been able to be just Peter, someone whose every move isn’t criticized by the media.

“Popular opinion disagrees,” Tony replies. “Most people think I’m a genius. I actually am one. MENSA certified and everything.”

Peter rolls his eyes. “I wasn’t seriously asking you to make a bigger mess. It was sarcasm. I wouldn’t ask you to…”

“I know,” Tony interrupts. Peter’s mouth snaps shut, and his eyes narrow. “You’re far too good of a person to take advantage of the fact that your boyfriend is a tabloid regular and has a sordid past.

Peter just blinks. “Um,” he starts, and Tony sighs.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t know about my history. I know you know about my history, because the whole fucking world does. Nothing is secret. Not even that one time…”

“Boyfriend?”

Oh. That’s the part of Tony’s sentence Peter had a problem with. It makes sense - they haven’t really talked about it (them) or put labels on anything, and the time for that talk is probably not right after Peter’s superhero identity has been revealed to the world. But before Tony can offer up any alternatives, a slow grin spreads across Peter’s face.

“Oh my god, does Tony Stark like like me?”

“Not anymore,” Tony grumbles, but it’s hard to fake being annoyed in the light of Peter’s happy laugh. It’s even harder to fake being annoyed when the younger man kisses him, whispers thank you into Tony’s ear, like Tony wouldn’t sacrifice what’s left of his public image any day of the week for Peter Parker.

Chapter Text

Tony wakes to a warm body next to his, and a faint glow coming from under the blankets that isn’t his arc reactor. Sleepy, he frowns at the light for a moment before his brain catches up on what it is.

“Are you reading the news again?” he asks, and Peter, who’s most under the blankets and trying to hide his phone, shrugs.

“Maybe,” he says noncommittally, and Tony sighs. He could just snatch Peter’s phone out of his hands and throw it against the wall (it’s not SI - it won’t survive that impact), but that would just get peter upset with him, and that’s not his goal. So instead, he stretches before rolling over to spoon up behind Peter, looping an arm around his waist.

“I wonder what our celebrity couple name will be,” he muses. “What do you think? Tonter? No, fuck, that’s terrible.”

Peter giggles, so Tony keeps going.

“Starker isn’t half bad. Or they could go in the SpiderIron direction. Ooh, speaking of, I heard a cover of ‘Iron Man’ the other day except they changed it to ‘I am Spider-Man’ and it was super fucking cute. I think…” He trails off, because Peter is laughing now, his whole body shaking against Tony’s chest. “What?” he asks, indignant. “It was cute! I know ‘Black Sabbath’ and ‘cute’ aren’t usually used in the same sentence but I think I’m allowed to make an exception here.”

Peter is still laughing, although the intensity has diminished somewhat. He rolls over so he’s facing Tony, mirth and glee in his eyes, which is a huge step up from where his mood had been just minutes ago.”Text me,” he says, holding his phone between their chests.

And Tony, because he’s a lazy bastard when he wants to be, says, “JARVIS, text Peter something cute,” and waits patiently for whatever Peter is expecting to happen.

“Right away, sir.”

Tony expects Peter’s phone to ding, or vibrate, or something, but instead, he hears an all-too familiar guitar riff. And…

“Has he lost his mind?”

Peter giggles again, and Tony can’t help rolling him onto his back, just so he can kiss the ever-living daylights out of that upturned mouth.

It’s not the distraction he planned, but Tony doesn’t mind diverging from the playbook, especially not when it involves one Peter Parker.