Chapter 1: Parker Luck
“Just push Pepper, you're almost there!”
“I am pushing, and if you don't shut up Tony, so help me god I will punch you in the face!”
That day, Peter James Stark was born to Tony Stark and Pepper Potts on August 10th, 2001. It was the best day of Tony's life. He had his son and his wife, and nothing could ever ruin that happiness. Nothing could ever take away from that moment of joy. For a whole year, Pepper and Tony were the medias favorite young couple to watch, with Peter Stark having everyone in the world watch him grow up. That was until Tony was taken in 2002 by terrorists, and Peter Stark was lost forever on the very same night, stolen from his crib while Pepper slept, not knowing that her whole life would change in just one day.
13 Years Later...
“Hey May, I need to go buy some more pencils from the convenience store, be right back!"
“Peter, how is it that you broke so many pencils just this year?” Asked Aunt May.
“I don't know May, maybe puberty is just hitting me late?” Said Peter, wincing at how he was lying to May, but he didn't have much of a choice.
“Very funny, I larb you!”
“I larb you too,” Said Peter.
How was Peter supposed to explain that he broke the pencils because he was bitten by a radioactive spider that gave him superpowers that he still can't always control? How would he ever tell her that for the past year, he has been maskerading as a vigilant in Queens, putting his life at risk everyday? If May ever found out, Peter would be a dead man.
Peter walked a block to the nearest convenience store and walked up and down the isles until he found the pencils. He had just bent down to grab some, when suddenly he heard a a commotion coming from the front of the store.
“Put your hands up lady, or so help me I will shoot you!” screamed a man who had just entered the store with a gun at the cashier. She was the only person besides Peter that was there, and her face held an expression of pure terror.
“Please, I don't want any trouble! I-I can give you money, just please don't shoot!” Begged the cashier. Peter stayed crouched down and decided that while he may not be Spider-man right now, he still had to save her. He slowly crept up on the man, whose back was turned to him and who was still screaming at the poor woman. Peter slowly stood up and looked at the ashier while putting a finger to his mouth to tell her to not say anything. He walked behind the guy before tapping him on the shoulder casually.
“Hey man, I love your gun, very manly, but don't you think that this is going a little to far? You can always get money another, more peaceful way,” Peter exclaimed with a smile on his face. The gunman looked at him in shock, before quickly recovering and pointing the gun at Peter, finally taking his attention from the woman to Peter's relief. The man tightened his finger on the trigger and tried to shoot, but Peter was faster and quickly grabbed his arm, using his super strength to bend it back and pin the man down. Peter grabbed the gun from him and looked at it with disdain.
“God I hate guns,” Peter murmured, before looking at the woman and asking if she was ok.
“Y-yes, I-I'm fine, thank you so much!” Exclaimed the woman, who now had tears running down her face.
“Of course, I'm just glad I didn't-” Just then sirens blared and police stormed the store. They took one look at Peter with the gun and tackled him, pinning him to the ground in handcuffs.
“W-wait officer, you have the wrong man, the guy who was trying to rob the place is right-” but When Peter looked over to where he had left the man, he was gone, most likely sneaking out during the commotion. Damn Parker luck.
Peter was roughly taken into the police car and driven to the precinct, despite the cashier insisting it wasn't him. Any pleas were ignored as Peter was told to remain silent during the ride. When he arrived at the precinct, the officers took his thumb prints before locking him in an interrogation room and handcuffing him to the table.
'God, Aunt May is gonna kill me,’ was Peter's last thought before he was left utterly alone.
Chapter 2: Baby Monitor
Hey, so I just wanted to make sure my timeline is clear because I do diverge quite a bit, but not entirely.
1. So the story starts in 2001, where Tony and Pepper are already married and have a kid
2. In 2002, Iron Man happens, and Peter goes missing
3. By 2015, Peter is 14 and is already Spider-man
4. This all takes place after Age of Ultron
If there is any confusion just comment!
13 Years Ago...
Tony walked into the living room and smiled at the sight that greeted him. Pepper was playing on the floor with baby Peter, who was playing with building blocks and making a house. At one years old, Peter was already too smart and was truly living up to the Stark legacy of geniuses. Pepper noticed Tony standing off to the side and got up to say goodbye to him.
"You promise it's only three days in Afghanistan, right? You just need to do a weapon demonstration and you'll be right back?" Pepper asked.
"I already told you, I just have to pop in and then I'm back to my beautiful wife and our amazing son," Tony said, with a smirk on his face.
"You know, calling me beautiful will not make me forgive you for forgetting my birthday," Pepper said.
"Wouldn't dream of it. When I get back I'll fly us to Paris. Should be romantic, just you and I. And Peter, but we'll make Happy watch him so he doesn't count. How does that sound?"
"Right, just like you said we would do last year, and the year before that, and the year before that," Said Pepper, as she leaned in for a kiss with a teasing smile on her lips.
"How about this time I promise? I promise to be back in three days, and then we go to Paris. You, me, and Petey. I love you Ms. Potts."
"And I love you Mr. Stark, so go say goodbye to your son and leave before Obie throws a fit, because when he's mad at you, he calls me, and I don't want to deal with that," Pepper said with a huff of annoyance.
Tony walked over to where Peter was playing and picked him up with a spin, unleashing a squeal of delight from Peter.
"Ill miss you kid, so be good for Mom and be absolutely horrible for Uncle Happy. Whenever you see him, make sure to annoy him in my place," Said Tony, smiling as Pepper walked over and smacked his arm.
"Don't be mean to Happy, he does everything for you," Said Pepper.
"Yes dear," Tony said with an eye roll. He kissed Peter on the head. "I love you Bambino, see you soon." Tony put Peter down and gave one last sad smile, before walking to the elevator and leaving his family.
The moment he left, Peter started crying fat, crocodile tears and screaming for his Daddy, almost in anticipation of what was to come.
"For your consideration, The Jericho!" Said Tony, as the missiles exploded in the background. He would never tire of his dramatic exits.
As Tony walked off, he saw Rhodey walk towards him.
"Good job out there Tones. I gotta ride in another jeep, but I'll see you back at the base, okay?" Said Rhodey.
"Don't miss me too much Platypus!" Stated Tony with a cheerful tone, as he climbed into his jeep with some soldiers. He chatted with the soldiers in the jeep and made jokes, but he was distracted by thoughts of Pepper and Peter. All he wanted to do was get home, and the jeep was not going fast enough for him. It was at times like these that he missed his sports cars.
But Tony never got to go home, because suddenly there was an explosion, and gun fire, and people were dying, and Tony was hit by shrapnel, and he is taken, and he feels like his insides are burning, and the pain won't stop it won't stop it won’t stop...
Tony wakes up to find a car battery in his chest and meets a man named Yinsen. All Tony can think about when he wakes is that he wants the pain to end, but Yinsen reminds him that he has a family that needs him, and that thought alone drives Tony to make the Mark I with Yinsen's help.
After three months of being held by terrorists, Tony is able to escape with his suit, sadly losing Yinsen in the process. He promises to make sure Yinsen is recognized for his help.
Tony returns home with Rhodey, and as he walks out of the plane back onto American soil, the only thing keeping him moving is the feeling of happiness he will have when he sees Peter and Pepper, yet all he sees when he walks towards Pepper is her clutching Peter's favorite stuffed dog, Sandwich. At first he thinks she's just holding it because Peter is in the car with Happy, but when he realizes that her tears are not of joy, but of sadness, he finally understands why Peter isn't there. Pepper is talking, saying that Peter was taken the night of Tony's own kidnapping, but all Tony can think of while his wife hugs him is that Peter is gone, and he was not there to protect him.
Tony walked onto the Avengers floor after being “summoned” by Barton. He couldn’t believe that F.R.I.D.A.Y kept pestering him until he actually left the workshop and made his way down. Traitor.
"I’m here Barton, so what do you want?” Tony asked, sending a death glare Clint's way. The minute Clint saw him, his face lit up like a puppy dog and he ran towards Tony, clutching his arms.
“Tony, thank god! I need your help. Laura wants me to take her out to dinner tonight to get away from all the stress of just having Nate. She is begging me, but we need someone to watch the kids. Can you and Pepper please watch them? It would just be for the night. Just so I can take her to dinner. She is so mad at me for coming back to the Avengers and she will make me leave if I can’t smooth it over with her tonight!” Clint pleaded, without taking a single breath.
"So what you’re saying is that you want me to watch your demon spawn so that you and your wife can make another baby? Why the hell would I ever do that?” Asked Tony, finding the whole thing ridiculous.
“Because you love kids! Your great with babies! Please please please say yes!” Clint was begging now, practically on his knees. He always took everything too far.
Before Tony could reply, Steve walked in to see Clint looking crazy and asked what was going on. Tony told him that Clint needed a babysitter and had asked him, to Tony's annoyance, only for Cap to look totally confused.
"Clint, in what world is it safe to leave your kids with Stark? Half the time he forgets to feed himself!” Steve said with amusement.
Tony huffed with annoyance. “I’ll have you know Captain that I am great with kids. They love me!”
“Tony, if you had a kid, you would have no idea what to do with it.” While Steve had meant it to be light hearted,Tony paused at the statement and his eyes held some sadness, before he quickly changed back to his usual smirk, as if nothing has happened.
“Watever you say Capsicle. You really must have never read the file on me that Shield gave you.” Steve took offense to that. Yes, he didn’t read it in depth, but he only had time to skim it before Loki attacked. After that, he started living with all the Avengers, and thought that he would learn about them by being around them, not by reading a file.
Natasha walked in to the room, only to be greeting with tension. She quickly could see an argument breaking out between Steve and Tony, so she made up an excuse to calm the situation. She never got a break from babysitting the boys.
"Steve I need to talk to you about Wanda, could you come with me please?” Asked Natasha, already pulling Steve out of the room, despite his protests. Tony sent one more glare towards Steve and then turned to Clint.
"Sure Barton, I’ll watch your kids with Pepper. Have fun with your wife,” Said Tony, as if nothing had just happened between him and Cap.
“Hey Tony, I’m sorry about Steve, but he doesn’t know. Can’t blame the old man on not catching up with what’s happened since he’s been frozen,” said Clint, trying to clean the air.
"I’m not mad at him. I’m made that he’s right. I don’t know how to parent, after all, I never got the chance.” Tony said, while looking at the floor and rubbing his eyes to elevate the stress Cap had caused.
Clint was about to interrupt Tony to try and cheer him up, to tell him that he is a parent no matter what, when suddenly an alarm went off, causing Steve and Nat to rush back into the room.
“What’s happening?” Said Steve, looking at Tony with a new kind of sadness he had yet to see on Steve. Nat most likely had told him the oh so tragic backstory.
“Not sure. Hey Fri, what’s with the sound? Wanna turn it off please before my headache goes from an 8 to an 11?” Said Tony.
"Sorry Boss, but the Baby Monitor Protocol just went off. My scans indicate that a police precinct in Queens just received matching prints for one Peter James Stark.”
Despite the casual tone F.R.I.D.A.Y had used, Tony was anything but calm.
"I’m sorry F.R.I.D.A.Y, but can you repeat that please?” Steve looked at Tony with surprise. The man never said please.
"Of course Boss. Peter Stark has been found.”
Tony was in shock. If they found his finger prints, then they must of found a body, meaning that Peter, his Peter was...
"F.R.I.D.A.Y, just to clarify, when you say the police found prints, do you mean they found a body and got the prints, or they found a living person?” Tony clarified, still maintaining a calm tone, despite the fact that he wanted to scream.
"A living person. Baby Boss is alive Boss,” Said F.R.I.D.A.Y, with the most amount of emotion that Tony had ever heard from her. It almost seemed that she was... happy.
Tony couldn't believe it. All he could think was that finally, he could see his baby again.
"Call Pepper and tell her to meet me right now. Say it’s an emergency Fri. Say they found him, they found our baby.”
Chapter 3: Leave Me Alone
Seriously, thank you all for the kudos and comments! They make my day! I am so excited to continue to share this story with you! Also, I changed Pepper's last name because Pepper Potts-Stark was a mouthful. Now its just Potts because Pepper is a progressive woman, thank you very much!
Also, sometimes I will throw in easter eggs, so be on the lookout!
Peter had been stuck in the room by himself for what felt like forever. He hadn't even been able to call May and tell her he was okay since they took his phone. He had no idea why he was still there, after all, they just needed to ask the cashier to find out he was innocent.
While Peter was lost in his thoughts, he didn't notice an officer had entered the room until he heard the chair across from him screech. The officer had a kind face, yet he looked worried about something.
"Hi Peter, I'm Officer Morales. Do you know why you're here son?" God, that was the stupidest question Peter had ever heard. He was so tired at this point, that he couldn't even bother to be polite.
"I'm here because I stopped a criminal from robbing a store, only for the criminal to escape and the police to arrest me, despite the fact that I did nothing wrong," Said Peter, exasperated by the whole situation. He just wanted to go home, he had school in the morning!
"Well Peter, I'm sorry for this whole mess. Ms. Watson, the cashier, assured us that you only helped her, so you're not in trouble," Assured Officer Morales.
"Thank god, so can I go home then? My Aunt must be so worried, I never stay out this late," Peter silently thought 'that she knows of' to himself.
Officer Morales looked uncomfortable. He seemed to be struggling with what to say.
"Well Pete, I can't let you go home right now to you... Aunt." Officer Morales seemed to notice Peter's confusion and looked sympathetic, but Peter didn't want sympathy, he wanted May. He wanted her horrible cooking and their movie nights. He didn't want to sit at a police station for the rest of his life.
Officer Morales seemed to want to explain why he couldn't let Peter lead yet, but Peter couldn't focus on him. He was too distracted because he could hear in the distance someone crying, but not just anyone crying, Aunt May crying.
It barely registered with Peter that he had run out of the room, leaving behind Officer Morales, who was shouting at him to come back. He darted into the front lobby of the station, running past officers who were all trying to get him to come back. That's when he saw May. She was in handcuffs, being escorted by two officers, and she was sobbing. It was the worst sound in the world. It reminded him of when Uncle Ben had passed away.
He ran towards her, but was stopped by some red-headed woman blocking him way. He looked up to ask her to move, but what he saw shocked him. It was Pepper Freaking Potts. As in Tony Starks, wife! She stared at him with the weirdest face ever. She was crying, yet she looked like it was the best day of her life. Peter could barely focus on her though, because he was hyper-focused on May. He gently pushed Ms. Potts out of his way, ignoring her crying, and ran into May, hugging her. She wouldn't stop sobbing, saying that she didn't know, that she loved him, that she never meant to hurt him. He didn't understand what she was talking about, but Peter knew she was in trouble, and he was not going to leave her.
He just wanted to stay with her forever, but suddenly some man grabbed him and pulled him away, despite his protests. Peter turned around to shout at him for trying to separate him and May, but what he wasn't expecting was to turn and see the face of a stunned Tony Stark. Why were all these amazing people at the police station right now?
"Petey?" Mr. Stark said. Peter was floored. His idol knew him? Peter wanted to talk to him, ask him how he knew him, why he was there, but May was more important. Peter didn't know how to get the officers to let go of May, but maybe Iron Man could do something, he was a hero after all.
"Oh my god Mr. Stark. It really is an honor to meet you and all, but I need your help. The police won't let my Aunt go and she didn't do anything! Please, can you help her?" Peter quickly said, practically vomiting the words out.
His quick rambling seemed to shake Mr. Stark out of his stupor, who took one look at his Aunt, turned back towards Peter, and with a steel glint in his eye, said "No."
No? No what? No he won't help him? Why won't he? What was wrong with everyone today?! Peter felt so disappointed, the one person who he had always admired, who had saved his life once at a Stark Expo when he was a kid, wasn't going to help him, but he wasn't going to let it stop him.
"Well if your not going to help, then let me go so I can help her!" Peter said, while pulling at Mr. Stark's grip on him.
"Peter, that woman" Mr. Stark said with venom, "is a criminal. She deserves what's happening to her. Now come with me to somewhere safe," Said Mr. Stark, already turning away as if he really believed Peter would go with him. Peter had never been this frustrated in his life! No one was listening to him!
"I'm not going with you! I want my Aunt! I want to go home! Now let. Go. Of. ME!" Peter shouted, before taking off after the officers who had started to pull May away while Peter was taking to Mr. Stark. He was so close to reaching her, but suddenly he ran into a wall. Or at least it felt like a wall, but when he looked up, he was looking into the face of Steve Rogers, AKA, Captain Freaking America.
"oh my god..." Peter whispered. He was so shocked that he didn't realize that May had been taken behind a locked door, out of his reach, before it was too late. He kicked and pushed at Captain America, but since he wasn't using his actual strength, it did nothing. He was helpless when Officer Morales came up to him and pulled him into some sort of lounge.
He kept telling Peter to calm down, that his Aunt wasn't in any trouble, but Peter could hear what wasn't being said. His Aunt wasn't in any trouble yet.
Peter took a few deep breaths, knowing that he wouldn't get anywhere if he kept freaking out. He had to stay calm for May.
"Officer Morales, why am I really here? If I'm not in any trouble, then why did you take my Aunt?" Peter asked, with as much control that he could muster.
Officer Morales was going to respond, but then he looked over Peter's shoulder and saw someone. Peter turned around to see what had the officer so surprised, only to see Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. He hadn't had time to register what had happened earlier, but now that he could finally think, his mind was going crazy. Why were his idols here? Why were they staring at him so weirdly? Why was May being arrested? Did it have something to do with the Starks? All the questions floating around in his head were giving him a headache.
Peter was barely paying any attention to Officer Morales, until he realized that he was talking to him, but what he was saying didn't make any sense.
"Peter, I know this is shocking, but you are not Peter Benjamin Parker, you are Peter James Stark. I understand this may seem confusing, but I promise we can explain everything, we just need you to focus. I'm not trying to overwhelm you right now, but I need your corporation," Said Officer Morales, but Peter still hadn't gotten past what he had first said. Peter James Stark. As in Tony Stark and Pepper Pott's missing son. Peter no longer felt in control of is body, because the next thing he knew, his vision started to swim, and he was gone.
Tony rushed to catch Peter. Luckily, he was able to reach him in time, saving his head from hitting the floor.
He had expected a dramatic reunion, but this was a little beyond his expectations. He couldn't believe that Peter had broken away from both him and Pepper all to get to that horrible woman. She took his kid, and yet all his son wanted to do was save her. She must have manipulated him from the beginning, destroying all of Peter's happy memories of his real family in the process.
Pepper's eyes were still wet from when she had first seen him, but now she was no longer crying. She looked determined.
"Excuse me officer," said Pepper, "but I would love it if my husband and I could have some privacy with our son to explain what is happening without an audience." Pepper's tone held no room for argument. The officer clearly didn't want to anger her, so he helped Tony lay Peter on the couch in the lounge, and left the room, closing the door behind him.
Now all Tony and Pepper had to do was wait for their son to wake up. They may not be ready to face him yet, but they had limited time and pretty soon, they would have to talk.
Chapter 4: New Life
Hey, I know I am later than I wanted to be. I was just super stressed yesterday, so I couldn't bring myself to finish the chapter. I hope you enjoy this!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
'It's okay Peter. I'm going to bring you somewhere nice. Now it won't be like here, but it's for the best. Now be a good boy and come with-'
"MAY!" Peter shouted, waking up with a start. He quickly sat up and gripped his head. He could remember having a nightmare, but he couldn't remember any of it. He wasn't even aware of his surroundings before he heard a sharp intake of breath from somewhere beside him.
When he looked over, Tony Freaking Stark and Pepper Freaking Potts were standing next to the couch he had somehow been put on. Ok, so they were not a figment of his imagination earlier, which means... it means... the whole Peter Stark thing was real. Or at least they think it's real, because it obviously can't be. His parents Were Mary and Richard Parker.
"Hi?" Peter croaked. It sounded more like a question than a greeting, but it was enough to elicit tears out of Ms. Potts eyes again. Peter didn't know what to do. They weren't talking, just staring at him, and he was starting to feel uncomfortable. Peter didn't want to waste any time since he needed to clear up the misunderstandings in order to get back to May, so he decided to rip the bandaid off and tackle the issue directly.
"So, I'm really confused, but I promise you that I'm not your son. I don't know why you think I am, and I really am sorry about him, but my parents were Mary and Richard Parker. While you guys seem amazing, and honestly I'm a big fan, I'm really not him. So do you think we can move past this mistaken identity thing so I can get my Aunt back?" Peter said in one rushed breath. He could barely believe how strong his voice sounded, after all, he was freaking out. He had just talked to his favorite people in the world, and he didn't once have a voice crack or stutter. Peter felt pretty proud of himself.
Mr. Stark and Ms. Potts shared a look before Mr. Stark decided to talk.
"I know this is a lot to take in kid, but we are your parents," Peter was about to refute that but, "No, wait until I'm done. The adults are talking." Well, that was rude. Mr. Stark wasn't even letting him talk!
"When you were brought into the station, the officers took your finger prints. When they put them in the system, there was a match. Your prints matched our son's prints that were taken 13 years ago, after he was stolen from us. That means that you are him. You are Peter James Stark. I get that you think the Parkers are your family, but they aren't. They are your kidnappers. That woman who the police brought in is not your Aunt. Hell, you don't have any Aunts! Just two Uncles. She is a criminal, and while it's a hard pill to swallow, the quicker you accept it, the better," Said Mr. Stark, who looked frustrated. Peter had never seen Mr. Stark anything less than composed on the TV.
Peter wanted to argue with him. He wanted to insist that May and Ben were his family, that they loved him, but fingerprints were hard to refute.
"I want a DNA test done. Prints can be manipulated and the testing isn't 100% accurate." Peter said hoarsely. He didn't want to accept what they were saying, he wanted to be May's nephew and to go home with her, but if what they say is true then May wouldn't be his family, she would be...
"Of course sweetie, we want you to feel safe with us," Said Ms. Potts, interrupting Peters train of thought. While she sounded reassuring, Peter didn't feel safe. He felt safe with Aunt... no, with May. He wanted to go back to the apartment, go to his room and sleep off this nightmare, but it never was his apartment or his room.
"What's going to happen now?" Asked Peter. He didn't want to go with them because he knew May was innocent. Even if he was taken, it wasn't by his Aunt and Uncle. They loved him and Ben and May definitely didn't know that he wasn't their nephew. He trusted May. She said she didn't know he wasn't her nephew and he believed her. Now he just had to prove it. They wanted Peter to just accept what was happening, be happy and go with them, but Peter wasn't going to give up so easily.
"Well now you get to come home with us. You are our son and your only options is us or temporary foster care until they decide to send you to us anyway. This is very hard for you, and I under-" Pepper started to say, but she didn't understand.
"No you don't! Were you ever told that your parents were not your parents? That your family wasn't your family? That your life was a lie?!" Peter suddenly exploded! He had never felt so much anger in his life. Why were they doing this to him? If they actually loved him, then they would believe him when he said May... no Aunt May, was innocent. They would give him more choices and not steal him away from the only life he has ever known.
"Peter please, we are trying here," Ms. Potts said, desperation laced in her tone.
Peter could tell he had no choice. He either went with them willingly, or they would most likely get Captain America to drag him out. While he is stronger than the Captain, he would never be able to fight him off since his identity is a secret. So Peter decided to give in, pretend that he was starting to accept what they were saying. He knew that if he acted compliant, there was a better chance that they would listen to him later on, or that they would trust him enough to give him a chance to escape.
"Before I go with you, could we stop by my apartment so I can pick up some stuff?" Asked Peter, wanting to bring some of his home with him before he gets kidnapped by the Stark's, or not kidnapped, but returned.
"Of course, well have your Uncle Happy drive us there," Said Ms. Potts. Peter didn't know who his 'Uncle Happy' was, but it was one of the weirdest names he had ever heard, and Peter knew he would never call the man Uncle.
"Can I go alone?" Begged Peter. By the looks on their faces, Peter knew it was a lost cause. Well, he it was worth a try.
10 minutes later, they were at his apartment. They refused to let him go in alone, and followed him to his floor. He opened the door, which was surprisingly unlocked, despite Aunt May's worry of robbers.
"What kind of person leaves their place unlocked," Muttered Mr. Stark.
"The kind of person who was forcibly removed from her home," Peter replied snippily.
Mr. Stark looked uncomfortable by what Peter said, and that made Peter feel good. He wanted the couple to feel bad, to feel regret in what they were doing. Mr. Stark asked Peter where his room was. Peter let them follow him to his bedroom, where he grabbed Uncle Ben's old suitcase and started to pack some clothes, secretly packing his Spider-man suit and web slingers into the bottom of the case while Mr. Stark and Ms. Potts were busy looking around.
"Your room is small," Mr Stark said bluntly, only to receive a light hit on the arm from Ms. Potts.
"Yeah well, my family isn't exactly loaded like you. We make due though, and I love my home," Said Peter, taking offense to his remark.
"I didn't mean anything by that, I just meant that if you had grown up with us like you were supposed to, you would never have had to live like this. You could have had anything you would have wanted," Said Mr. Stark, but Peter didn't want anything else. He was happy before these two barged into his life and turned his world upside-down. He finished packing some clothes and a photo album, so that he could remember who he was doing this for. He would always fight for May.
"I'm done," Called Peter, startling the two who were looking at a photo of him, Ned, and MJ on his desk.
"Who's the girl? is she your girlfriend?" Asked Ms. Potts, with a small smile teasing her lips.
Peter could tell that the tips of his ears were red without even looking.
"No! MJ is my friend," Said Peter, although he wished she was more. Ever since he had met her, he had a crush on her. His crush escalated after she found out he was Spider-man due to an...incident, and now he was desperately in love with her. Who wouldn't be? She was down to earth, helped design his suit with Ned, was funny, and beautiful, and perfect... and Peter just realized that they were staring at him weirdly. Whoops, must of spaced out. His embarrassment increased tenfold. He took breath to calm himself.
"Can we go now?" Asked Peter, not wanting to dwell on the fact that he was losing the only life he had ever had.
"Of course sweetie, we can go," Said Ms. Potts. He didn't like that she called him sweetie, it reminded him of May.
The three of them walked back to where Mr. Hogan (not Happy, despite him wanting Peter to call him that), was parked.
As Peter got in the car, he realized that his life was never going to be the same again, and no matter how much he fought it, he was not longer allowed to be Peter Parker.
So originally I had a plot line planned out, but as I started writing, my whole plan got thrown out the metaphorical window, so now I'm letting my fingers decide what is happening! Hopefully they don't create a shit storm. Also, I hope no one is too oc, I tried to make it accurate.
Chapter 5: Memories Long Forgotten
So I wrote the story, only for it to be deleted because I'm stupid. I didn't save and accidentally went back a page on my browser, causing me to lose all my work. I hate my life, but I hope you enjoy. So thats my excuse for why it took me so long.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The kid... his kid was just staring out the window. The. whole. ride. He never once glanced at him or Pepper, and Tony knew why.
As per usual, when Tony met Peter, he was an asshole. He couldn’t help himself from insulting May Parker and Peter's home. He knew that Ms. Parker was most likely innocent, after all, she wasn’t even blood related to the Parkers and probably had no clue what she was getting herself into when she took guardianship, yet Tony still took his anger out on her. He made Peter mad and he deserved the treatment he was getting.
Tony only put his anger on her because he didn’t know who else to blame. Truly, it was his own fault. If he had never left for Afghanistan, if Stane never got him kidnapped, he would have watched Peter grow up. May Parker wouldn't be being held by the police. Pepper wouldn’t be so sad. Peter would love him. All Tony ever seems capable of is making people hate him.
Tony took a page out of Peter's book and looked out the window until they arrived at Avengers Tower. They all left the car and Happy got Peter's suitcase from the trunk. As soon as he got it, Peter grabbed it and held it to his chest protectively. He probably thought Tony would try to take it just like he took him. God, it was going to be a long night.
They walked into the tower and made their way to the elevator. Happy went towards the security office, excusing himself to let them be alone with Peter. Tony doubted it would help at all.
"What floor Boss?" Asked FRIDAY as soon as they stepped into the elevator. Peter looked up in shock.
"That's just FRIDAY, she's an A.I. I made. Runs the whole tower," Said Tony, chucking over the expression Peter had made.
"I thought Jarvis ran the tower," Peter mumbled. Tony was surprised. Most people didn't know about Jarvis. The fact that Jarvis became Vision was a tight-lipped secret so Tony wasn't surprised that Peter didn't know he was gone. Most didn't know that Ultron had combined with Jarvis and the Mind Stone to make Vision. The public would hate Tony if they knew a part of Ultron was still alive, but Tony never could hate Ultron. He had programmed him with two objectives. One: Protect the Earth. Two: Find Peter. No one but Bruce knew about that objective. It was Tony's true purpose for making him. He thought that a supercomputer hooked up to the whole world just might be able to find Peter. Turns out, he didn't need him.
"93rd floor Fri," Said Tony. The ride only lasted a few moments before they were at the top.
"So this floor is the only Stark floor left after Stark Tower became the Avengers Tower. it's where you used to live," Said Tony, smiling sadly at the thought. Peter still refused to make eye contact with him. Tony was at a loss of what to do and Pepper could feel the tension in the room.
"Well Peter, how about we go on a small tour of the floor, help to get you acquainted with the layout?" Asked Pepper. Peter didn't say anything, but he did follow Pepper.
They showed him the kitchen and living room. Pepper pointed out where Tony's lab was and told Peter never to go near it.
"You may die if you go there," Said Pepper jokingly, although she probably was right. Tony wasn't too good with safety.
They finally reached Tony and Pepper's room, and across from it, baby Peter's room. They never go into the room. It was always a room they tried to ignore since it was too painful to enter. Pepper hesitated, but then pulled open the door.
"And this Peter, is your room. You lived here for a whole year," Said Pepper remorsefully.
Tony looked around at the room he hadn't seen in years. He could see all the baby pictures and the messy paint job on the wall that he and Rhodey did. He even saw the little hole in the wall that happened when Tony had tried to hang up a photo. Trying to hang something up after not sleeping for three days was not a good idea.
Tony looked at the crib he had built. He had spent days handcrafting it because he was not going to give his son some cheap crib that he had to make with instructions. Instructions were useless. He could see the reminiscent Winnie the Pooh sheets on the crib and could vividly remember the day Pepper had come home with those godforsaken sheets.
"Tony we are using them and that's final," Said Pepper, starting to get agitated.
"Pepper, I made this crib and I will not have it tarnished by some stupid cartoons," Said Tony. He didn't even know what a 'Tigger' was and he definitely didn't want it for his son.
"These sheets will give him something to look at. Stimuli is good for a baby. Also, I grew up watching Winnie the Pooh and just because you don't know what this classic cartoon is doesn't mean our son won't. So it's these sheets, understood Mr. Stark?" Asked Pepper, leaving no room for discussion.
"Yes Miss Potts. God, you are so sexy when you're feisty," Said Tony, grabbing Pepper by the waist. Before he could kiss her, she let out a pained cry.
"Pep, what's wrong? Did I hurt you? Is it the Baby? Are you okay?" Asked Tony, terrified that he had done something. Leave it to him to screw up with the kid before it was even born.
"Tony I'm fine, the baby just had its first kick. I think he agrees with me on the sheets," Said Pepper, a playful smile on her lips.
"Well it seems our baby will have horrible taste just like you," Replied Tony.
"-And this stuffed dog was your favorite. His name is Sandwich. You would cry and cry if you weren't holding him. We never went anywhere without him. You loved him so much," Said Pepper, handing the stuffed dog to Peter. Tony hadn't seen the dog since the airport after Afghanistan.
"Why would you give it a stupid name like Sandwich," Peter mumbled, probably not noticing he said it out loud.
"Well, it was actually you who named it. When you were around 8 months old, we had started to feed you cut up bits of sandwiches. Every time we gave you it, you would try and feed it to your dog. After a while, whenever Pep and I said sandwich, you would hold up the dog and point to it, so we just went with it," Said Tony, laughing fondly at the memory. Tony took Peter's question as progress. Small progress, but progress all the same.
Peter didn't seem to find it as cute as Tony and Pepper did. His cheeks had a light red tint to them. He quickly thrust the dog back to Pepper.
"Can we do the DNA test now?" Asked Peter, clearly wanting to move on from the room. He looked uncomfortable standing in there, as if he didn't belong.
"Sure kid, we just need to go a few floors down to Bruce's lab," Said Tony. He walked out of Peter's room with a sad glance back and led him to the elevator. Pepper clearly had something she wanted to talk about so Tony nudged her.
"Hey Peter, whenever you want, we can remodel the room. You can choose anything. Just ask FRIDAY and she can inform us to what you want," Said Pepper, with a hopeful tone.
"Oh, um... I can stay in the guest room for now, right?" Asked Peter, fidgeting with his hands.
"Of course sweetie," Answered Pepper, with a strained smile. She could tell Peter didn't want to actually feel like he lived here, and by staying in a guest room, it wouldn't feel permanent.
The ride in the elevator felt longer than it actually was.
Once they were in the lab, Peter saw Bruce. His eyes gained a tinkle and his whole body seemed to vibrate with new-found energy.
"Oh my god, Dr. Banner, I'm a big fan! I love all your papers on Gamma radiation. You were my favorite person to learn about in school!" Said Peter, gushing about Bruce in one excited breath. Bruce looked shocked, but quickly gathered himself together.
"Well it's an honor to meet you too Peter. Clearly you inherited your brain from your Dad. I can definitely see the resemblance. The only two people to appreciate me for more than the Hulk are Starks," Said Bruce with a pleasant smile. As soon as Bruce said Dad, Peter's mood lowered again. Okay, so clearly doesn't want anything to do with Tony. Noted.
Bruce cleared his throat. "So Tony said you wanted a DNA test done? I can do it," Said Bruce, sitting Peter down.
Bruce quickly took a cheek swab and then told them to come back tomorrow when the results were in. Bruce knew that the test would be positive, but he was willing to play along if it made Peter conformable.
After Bruce was done, they all moved back up to the top floor. Peter asked to be shown to the guest room and quickly excused himself, saying he was tired and needed rest. As much as Tony wanted to continue being with him, he knew they all needed to sleep and that they could deal with the issue at hand tomorrow. Pepper and Tony left Peter and went to their own room to sleep.
As soon as their door was closed, Pepper was off.
"I love him so much already Tony, he's grown beautifully, but what if he never loves us back? What if he always resents us for taking him away from his old life?" Asked Pepper, voicing the fears both of them had.
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, but for now we need sleep. And trust me Pep, while many people hate me, no one can hate you. You are the kindest soul in the world," Tony said, pressing a light kiss to Pepper's lips.
"I'm sure Peter thought that Ms. Parker was the kindest soul in the world," Said Pepper, leaving Tony to go to sleep thinking about all that he had destroyed in one day.
Peter sat down on the bed with his head in his hands. He couldn't believe what just happened. The Starks had just given him a tour and tried to relive memories with him to make him feel part of their family, but he didn't want to feel that way. Holding that dog almost felt familiar and it scared Peter. He knew he was their kid, but he didn't want to accept it. All Peter wanted to do now was see May.
He still was in shock over meeting Dr. Banner. He had met so many of his heroes in one day it wasn't even funny. First Pepper Potts, then Tony Stark. Next he meets Captain America, and to top it all off, he meets Bruce Banner. Was this what his life was going to be like from now on? Ned was going to have a field day with this.
Peter started to unpack his clothes and load them into the closet. The room he was in was almost the size of his entire apartment. It was overwhelming. As he finished unpacking his clothes, his hands felt his suit. He smiled as he looked at the spandex suit that MJ had designed for him.
Peter realized that there was no way he would be able to sleep right now. Instead of staring at the ceiling in boredom, he could go Spider-manning.
The only problem was FRIDAY.
"Hey FRIDAY, if I was to like leave, would you have to tell the Starks?" Asked Peter. He already knew she would say yes, but he at least wanted to try.
"Well Mini-Boss, if they asked where you were and you were not in the room, I would have to tell them, but if they do not ask directly, I do not have to. They programmed you as a primary user, meaning that I do not have to divulge everything you do." Answered FRIDAY. Peter was shocked, he thought for sure that he wouldn't be able to be Spider-man while he was stuck here, or at least until he had Ned hack FRIDAY's code. He also wasn't very sure about the whole 'Mini-Boss' thing, but thought better than to ask.
"So you won't tell them if I leave?" asked Peter, just to confirm.
"No I will not Mini-Boss," Said FRIDAY. These were magic words to Peter. But Peter still had to make sure he was safe to leave.
"Are you recording me right now?" Asked Peter.
"I am Mini-Boss, however Boss is unlikely to watch what I record. I also am not allowed to stop recording unless you are in the bathroom," Replied FRIDAY, amusement lacing her artificial voice.
"Okay then... um FRIDAY? I am currently peeing right now on the floor of the bedroom and it will probably take me a while, so stop recording. Also, can you open up my window, I kinda want some fresh air right now," Said Peter, feeling embarrassed over what he just said. He would have to come up with a better excuse next time.
"Of course Mini-Boss," replied FRIDAY, clearly finding this whole thing funny. How did an A.I. sound so amused?
After she had opened the window, Peter climbed out and swung down from the building until he reached the ground, where he changed into his suit in a little alley close by.
"Okay Spider-man, let's go have some fun," Said Peter, smiling for the first time all night.
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Chapter 6: Just a Little Adventure
Hey, so I'm not dead! I am just a stressed teen who has finally finished school and will now have more time to write. I feel bad for leaving the story for so long, but each time I went back to write, I just felt uninspired. Finally, I decided to suck it up and finish the chapter so that I can get onto writing a new chapter that doesn't drain my soul. Hope you enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The exhilaration Peter felt from swinging around in Queens couldn’t be beaten. While Peter had only been out for a bit, he was able to stop a mugging and a break-in, which was not bad. All in all, Peter felt better than he had all day. Who knew he would go out to buy pencils on a Sunday evening and somehow end up at the Avenger's Tower with new parents... and without Aunt May.
Peter shook himself from his thoughts when he realized he was swinging towards his apartment. He knew it was hopeless, but some part of him believed if he swung by the window, Aunt May would be standing in the kitchen burning pasta, and he would get to go home.
Peter closed his eyes and took a deep breath. All he wanted was for everything to be a dream, but when he opened his eyes, he was greeted by darkness beyond his apartment's windows. No one was home, and Peter was all alone.
All Peter felt was anger, which was a feeling he hadn't felt towards anyone in a long time. This time, instead of being directed at the man who had killed Uncle Ben, it was at Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
The Stark's were his idols, and a part of him wanted to trust them, to understand that they were also in pain and wanted to help him, but he couldn't do that. Uncle Ben would tell him to forgive, but he wasn't here anymore, so what did it matter. For all Peter knew, Uncle Ben had helped kidnap him.
It was like every time Peter tried to think, his mind would be swarmed with confusion, and he ended up more lost than he had been before.
God, when did his life get so complicated?
He wished he could just go back in time to when he was a normal teen living with Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Instead, he was a spider-powered 14-year-old with a dead Uncle, who was also somehow the missing son of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
Parker luck never seemed to fail, although, he wasn't really a Parker anymore, so even that no longer applied to him.
Peter needed to see a familiar face, someone who would make him happy and maybe even help him, so he swung to the only person that never failed to have his back.
Peter headed towards MJ's house.
Peter sat on the fire escape right outside her window. MJ was clearly exhausted. She had most likely stayed up late to draw. Peter instantly felt better just looking at her though.
She really was beautiful, with chocolate brown hair that was on the frizzy side, a deep tan, and a serious face that could light up with one remark. Just being near her caused an explosion inside of him, different than any small butterflies he had ever felt from another girl. If a crush was the battering of a butterfly wing, what he felt from MJ was a hurricane. Peter instantly knew he made the right voice to come and see her, although he should probably knock before it gets-
"Hey loser, how long are you going to stare at me before you come in?" MJ quipped at Peter, causing Peter to heat up with embarrassment. God, he was such a creep.
"S-sorry, I didn't mean to stare. I just umm... started to space out..." Said Peter, with red flooding into his cheeks. He had never been so happy to have a mask, although MJ probably knew how embarrassed he was anyway, MJ always knew.
"I'm just going to pretend that's the truth, even though I know it's not. So Parker," God that stung, "where have you been? Ned and I have been texting you for hours. We called May, but we didn't get any response. We thought you might have bled out in some dingy alley," MJ said with a sarcastic tone.
While most would think MJ was being flippant, Peter knew she was really worried by the way her brow was furrowed. While Peter didn't think he was ready to talk about it, she deserved the truth, so instead of stalling, Peter decided to lay it all out.
"Okay, so I am going to explain something to you that will be super confusing, but just stay with me. So my parents Mary and Richard Parker, well they aren't my parents. Turns out, they may have kidnapped me from my actual parents, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. So apparently, I'm actually Peter Stark, you know, the boy who went missing like 13 years ago? So they arrest May for being complicit in the kidnapping, but May didn't meet me until I was 4, and she wasn't even related to my parents, not my birth parents, my kidnapping parents, so clearly she has to be innocent. So, Aunt May is in jail, I am at Avenger's Tower against my will, I suddenly have new parents who used to be my idols, but now my feelings are all over the place, and I somehow have to save Aunt May because she's my Aunt no matter what anyone tells me. Also, I am so confused on who to trust anymore, and I am absolutely terrified that Uncle Ben may have known who I was," Said Peter in one rushed breath. He had to take a moment to catch his breath after that. It was like the floodgates opened, but saying everything he had been thinking out loud felt better than when he first realized he could stick to walls.
MJ just stared at him for a moment.
"So let me get this straight, May is in jail for a crime she didn't commit, your parents are famous billionaires and one of them is Iron Man. Neither of them knows you're Spider-Man, and you are royally screwed?" MJ was the best translator.
"Basically," Said Peter. He sat down on her bed. He just felt defeated at this point and he wished he could go back home and bundle himself up in his sheets, never leaving the safety of where he belonged.
"Well thank god this visit wasn't like the first time, didn't want to find you bleeding to death again," Said MJ with a smirk, trying to lighten the mood. Peter could still remember that day. Honestly, it may have been one of his best days ever, although MJ probably would disagree.
He had been bleeding from a knife wound in his stomach, and the closest place to where he was MJ's. He swung over,revealed his identity, got screamed at, and then she cleaned him up and kept his secret. It was when she had been cleaning his wound that Peter realized that his feelings towards her were probably not... platonic. His senses had registered her beautiful vanilla smell, which he now knew was her shampoo, how gently her hands were pressed to his stomach, and the steady beat of her heart. That was the moment Peter knew he was screwed. Since then, they both have been dancing around each other's feelings.
"So Parker, what are we gonna do?" Peter heard MJ say, shaking him out of his memories. He was glad she still called him Parker and that she had said we. MJ, Ned, and him were a team, and they were always going to do everything together.
"I don't know MJ, but I probably have to go back soon, it is like... OH MY GOD IT"S 2 A.M! I need to go-" Suddenly, MJ's finger was on his lips.
"My parents are sleeping you idiot," MJ whispered harshly. Instead of paying attention to what she said, Peter's eyes fell down to stare into hers. Both of them were frozen. This was the moment, the moment that Peter had been waiting for. She was so close, so Peter leaned in-
MJ quickly pulled away.
God, what had he been thinking! He was already stressed out about May and the Stark's, he didn't need to add a complicated relationship with MJ to that list.
"So I'll tell you tomorrow if there's any news on May and I'll tell Ned what's happening. Just don't get into trouble Parker, okay?" said MJ, looking at Peter with worry. Her cheeks were lightly tinted still from the moment before, giving Peter hope that while nothing was going to happen now, maybe someday things would change.
"Okay, thank you MJ. I have to go back before I'm killed for sneaking out, so I'll see you tomorrow at school," Peter said softly. MJ gently took the edge of his mask and rolled it down.
"Be safe loser," MJ murmured, holding onto the bottom of his mask for a second longer than necessary. Peter backed up and climbed out of her window. With one look back, Peter lept off her fire escape and started to make the swing back to the tower.
While Peter was rushing back, he noticed a man in an alley just a bit away from the tower. He seemed suspicious, and while Peter wasn't one to judge, he thought it would be better to check on him.
Peter swung into the alley and landed gracefully. He took a second to position himself, making sure he looked nonchalant and cool, although doing so made Peter realize that he was such a loser, just like MJ always said.
"Hey man, you okay? If you need any help, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is here!" Said Peter with false cheer. He was exhausted at this point and just needed to sleep, but he was never one to look the other way.
The man turned around and looked at Peter. His face was obscured in the darkness, but he looked pretty normal to Peter. He was probably just some guy who got drunk and was heading home.
"No, I'm good Spider-Man, just going home," called it, "Maybe I'll take you up on your offer another time," Said the man. Okay, so that was creepy, but Peter didn't feel his spider-sense tingling, so he probably was just an awkward dude. The man turned around and when Peter blinked, he was gone. Peter could almost swear the air looked greener than it had before.
He was weird, but it was New York, so what could he expect.
Peter didn't have time to worry about him though because he needed to book it back to the tower.
He quickly swung the rest of the distance and scaled the building back to his window, ready to sneak back in.
That was his plan at least, until he reached the bedroom window and saw that the light was on... and the Starks were in his room.
Sorry for a short chapter, but I just needed to get this one out. I hope it didn't suck.
Chapter 7: Please Understand
Hey guys! So I think I will update about once a week, maybe a bit more. Thank you for reading and enjoy the chapter!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Shit shit shit shit shit.
Did Peter forget to mention shit? With Mr. Stark and Miss Potts in the room, there was no way Peter could sneak back in, and if they knew he wasn't in the room, then they must know he snuck out, which meant he was in big trouble.
Why couldn't they be oblivious like May?
Peter quickly scaled down the side of the building and got back onto the ground. He had no backup plan and no idea how to enter the tower without being killed for sneaking out. How much does a blast from the Iron Man suit hurt? Peter didn't really want to find out. MJ was right, there was no way he was going to be able to hide Spider-Man while living with honest to god Super Heroes.
He was completely and utterly screwed.
Peter ducked into the alleyway he had originally changed in and put back on his clothes. He grabbed his backpack and started to walk back to the tower. Hopefully, he could just pretend he was in a gang or something. At least getting yelled at for that would be easier to handle.
As Peter stood outside the doors to Avenger's Tower, all he felt was dread. The day had finally crashed on him and he had no idea how to deal with it. So instead of thinking of a plan, he decided it would be better to wing it because either way he looked at it, he was screwed. Peter took a deep breath and walked in.
"Hello Mini-Boss, it seems that you have finished going to the bathroom now. Would you like me to escort you back to the penthouse?" Came Friday's voice from above.
God, Peter now felt really bad for messing with her earlier, but karma was getting him back now.
"Yeah... thanks Friday," Said Peter, still a little embarrassed over his excuse. At least she was only an AI and couldn't judge him.
"My pleasure Mini-Boss. Please step into the elevator. Your parents are waiting for you," Friday informed Peter in her overly cheerful tone. Who knew an AI would betray him? Not like all movies ever predicted it.
Peter begrudgingly went into the elevator and could almost feel his life force drain away as the elevator doors closed. Now all he had to do was wait for his ride to hell, which ironically went up, to end. Unfortunately, it ended rather quickly, with Stark tech being too fast for Peter's liking.
The doors opened and Peter was faced with the most terrifying thing ever, the disappointed looks of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
"Hey Peter! so you went to sleep a little early and Pep and I just wanted to check in with you, but when we knocked on the door, Friday said you were in the bathroom. So we waited 20 minutes, but somehow you hadn’t finished. That’s when we decided to break in and what do you know? You weren’t there." Mr. Stark finished his sentence with a deadpanned face. Peter was definitely screwed. Before he could even talk, Mr. Stark started up again.
"Now I am curious how you got my own AI to betray and lie to me, but that is something we will discuss later. Who knew both of my children would go behind my back?" So Friday didn't betray Peter. At least he had one ally in this tower. Peter quickly thought up an excuse to say.
”I just wanted to go home, so I went back to Queens. I wasn’t trying to run away, I just needed space,” said Peter. It was close to the truth.
“Kid, you are in a giant tower right now. There is plenty of space,” said Mr. Stark snarkily, but before Peter could try and argue, Miss Potts joined in.
”Peter, we aren’t trying to hurt you, but can you look at this from our perspective? Our kid who was kidnapped 13 years ago, returns to us, only for him to disappear at night. It was that night all over again. You scared us, and I couldn't stand to lose you all over again.” Peter didn't know what to say. He wanted to shout that it wasn't confirmed yet that he was theirs, but he knew just as they did that in the morning Dr. Banner would give positive paternity results. Being reprimanded by Miss Potts made Peter feel like he was being scolded by May. It was the perfection of the 'I'm not mad, just disappointed' approach, and it made Peter feel riddled with guilt. He may not be happy with everything that was happening in his life right now, but that doesn't mean he has to take it out on the people who just want their son back, even if Peter wasn't willing to be their son.
"I'm sorry, I just needed some time to think. I'll go to sleep now," Murmured Peter as he tried to push past them. Clearly, they weren't done with the conversation as they stepped in front of him.
"Where do you think you're going? You just snuck out of the tower, gave us the second worst scare of our lives, and think that you can just go to sleep? Peter, we get that you don't see us as your parents and right now we're probably villains in your eyes, but we're not going to just roll over for you and let you get away with everything. Tomorrow we set up ground rules. Now you may go to bed." Said Mr. Stark. Peter was infuriated, but he was also too tired to put up a fight, so he pushed past them and stormed back to the room.
They didn't try to stop him, probably realizing that anything they had to say wasn't going to do much to change anything. Peter knew that nothing would ever be the same, but when he fell asleep that night, his dreams were filled with a happy feeling as two people watching over him with love and affection. He almost could have sworn that their eyes glowed green.
"Did I go too hard on him Pep?" Tony asked after Peter had stormed off.
"I don't think so. I understand how he's feeling, but he needs to be safe. We haven't ever had to parent a teenager, but I think we're doing alright after being thrown into the deep end," Pepper joked.
"I just wish we would have had the time to slowly raise him. If we had had him his whole life, we wouldn't be dealing with this. All I want is the time back. If only Stane hadn't-"
"Tony, that way of thinking isn't going to help." Pepper interjected, "We love him, but even if we had raised him his whole life, I'm pretty sure he still would have had some teenage rebellion, especially considering that fact that he's your son," Pepper said with a knowing smirk. "This is going to be a learning curve, but we can do this. If you can be a superhero and I can run a multi-billion dollar company, I think we can become parents again. Maybe, in the end, we can get at least 12% of the credit for raising him," Pepper finished.
"You won't ever let that go, will you?" Said Tony, getting a bit of a smile to grace his lips.
"Never. Now let's go to bed and get ready to send our kid off for school tomorrow for the first time."
"I love you, you know that right?" Said Tony.
"That is the one thing I have always known, even before you did," Pepper said as she leaned in for a kiss.
They walked back to their room, stopping to check in on Peter, who was luckily sound asleep.
"We can do this," Tony whispered to himself as they walked hand in hand back to their room.
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Peter blearily blinked awake as the sun shone in his eyes. He blindly grabbed his phone and checked the time. Shoot, Peter had to get up for school. As Peter start to slowly sit up, he could smell bacon coming from somewhere close which shocked him since Aunt May couldn't cook for the life of her.
It took Peter a moment, but he quickly sat up and realized why the food smelled good. He wasn’t at home. He was still at the Starks.
Peter groaned and fell back onto the bed. He knew not burnt bacon was too good to be true. Peter checked the time on his phone again and knew he had to get up, after all, he had school to go to, and maybe there he could feel a small sense of normalcy.
Pater slowly rose from the bed and pushed his messy hair out of his face. He was about to go grab for some clothes when there was a knock on the door and Pepper Potts walked in.
"Hey sweetie! We made breakfast so if you want to come- oh and you are not dressed. Sorry for interrupting! Just make sure to come to the kitchen for breakfast," Said Miss Potts, before quickly leaving the room.
Peter was mortified. It was one thing for May to see him in boxers, but he just showed the CEO of Stark Industries his practically naked body. Peter could tell the day wasn’t going to be easy.
Peter put on his clothes, grabbed his backpack, and slowly made his way to the kitchen, dreading having to sit down and eat with the Starks. Maybe if he’s lucky they will let him leave for school early.
As Peter walked down to the kitchen, he could hear Miss Potts whispering to Mr. Stark.
"I swear Tony, when I saw him, I was expecting him to be a scrawny kid, but he had abs! I have never been so shocked in my life," Pepper said with a laugh.
"Maybe he took some of the Cap's magical juice in a bottle," Mr. Stark replied. His joke was too close to comfort for Peter.
He decided it was better not to stand outside and eavesdrop, so Peter walked into the kitchen and sat down without looking at either of them.
"Hey Underoos, how did you sleep last night? Hope you got enough after sneaking out." And peter was burning with embarrassment again. He was never going to catch a break. Peter knew that it was embarrassing to walk in on a teen getting dressed, but Underoos felt a little cruel. He was 14, not 5. Peter also didn't miss the comment about what happened last night. He assumed that he would be forced to endure a talk soon about it.
"I slept fine. Can I eat so I can go to school please?" Peter mumbled, knowing that he sounded rude, but not feeling too bad. He added please at the end just like Aunt May and Uncle Ben taught him, so at least he used manners. He was tired and grumpy and hoped that they wouldn't hold it against him. Sure, he wasn't happy to be with them right now, but he felt that totally hating them for missing their kid probably wouldn't be the best response.
"Sure Peter, here you go," Said Miss Potts, who handed Peter a plate with bacon and eggs on it. The problem was that it was only enough food for a normal person.
"Can I have a bit more than that? I’m really hungry today. I didn’t eat anything yesterday due to the circumstances..." Peter trailed off and avoided eye contact, hoping that he could use guilt to distract them from how much he needed to eat. Guilting her into feeding him more made him feel bad, but he needed the food and he couldn’t raise suspicion.
"Of course you can. if you need more food, you can always go and grab it." Came Miss Pott's strained reply. Ha! And MJ said Peter was a bad liar.
Peter thought that after that already awkward conversation, it would be the end of the talking, but Miss Potts continued after filling his plate. "It’s just weird because when you were a baby, you barely ate anything. God, you were so tiny. But now you're a growing teenager. Time really can get away from you," Miss Potts finished sadly. Peter really hated to see her sad, it reminded him of Aunt May when she talked about Uncle Ben, so he tried to lighten the mood.
"Yep, I’m a growing teenager. May says I don’t know when to stop eating," Peter joked. Both of them stared at him with a weird look, and then Peter realized what he said. Yes, rub it in their faces that they never raised him, that will definitely make them feel better.
"Well good thing she was there to make sure you ate enough," Mr. Stark said with a grin before Peter could take back what he said. Peter was shocked that he was the one to break the silence, but he was also glad. At least he wasn't insulting Aunt May anymore.
Peter's lips tilted into a little smile. Maybe, just maybe, they would be able to talk normally without fighting. Peter wasn't expecting them to suddenly become the Brady Bunch, but they could be civilized. He wasn't a monster, he just didn't want a new family when he already had a perfect one.
The breakfast was quiet, but normal. Mr. Stark and Miss Potts talked to each other about their plans for the day and asked Peter what time he wanted to leave for school. They were really striving for the 'normal parents' vibe.
"I’m thinking in 5 minutes. It might take a while to walk there if I don’t leave soon," Peter mumbled through his food. He realized that they probably thought he had bad manners since he was talking with his mouth full. Good impression Peter. He may not want them to be his parents, but he didn’t want them to see him as gross, after all, they were still his idols even if their relationship with him was weird. He was already a nervous and an anxious mess, he didn’t need to add more bad qualities on.
"Is that why you woke up so early? We assumed you were an early riser, unlike me. Happy will drive you to school. It’s not like the Forehead of Security has anything better to do.” Said Mr. Stark with a laugh.
"Mr. Stark," que the flinch, "he doesn’t have to go through all the trouble, I can just walk! Anyway, I doubt he wants to drive a random teenager around," said Peter, trying to avoid having to spend more time around anyone who was associated with the Starks. Clearly, Mr. Stark wasn’t taking no for an answer.
"kid, Happy doesn’t have anything else to do. Also, your not a random teenager, you’re his nephew, even if you don’t remember it. Hell, he used to change your diapers.” Mr. Stark finished and turned back to his food, indicating that there was no room left to debate.
Peter ate in the silence that followed and agonized over the awkward car ride he was going to have to endure. Thankfully, before the Starks could ask him anything else, Dr. Banner came into the room.
“Hey Peter! Can you come with me to my lab before you leave for school to discuss the results?” Said Dr. Banner. Okay, maybe this was worse than talking to them. Peter instinctively knew by looking at Dr. Banner that he wasn't going to like the results. It was like life just could leave even one breakfast without throwing him out of a window.
“Doesn't Mr. Stark and Miss Potts need to hear it too?” Peter squeaked out, already nervous about it and a little embarrassed at how his voice practically raised an octave.
”We already saw them kid. Just go with Big Green and then Happy will take you to school,” Said Mr. Stark, with a look bordering on pity. Why should he feel bad? He should be happy that he will finally be able to claim parentage over Peter.
Peter knew if Mr. Stark wasn’t worried about the results then it was true that he was Peter Stark, but he still needed to hear it from Dr. Banner himself, so Peter got up and followed him down to his lab.
Dr. Banner told peter to sit and walked over to sit across from him. Dr. Banner fiddled with his glasses and then looked Peter in the eyes.
“So Peter, the paternity test was positive. Pepper and Tony are your parents. I know you don’t want to hear it, but it’s true.” The sentence was almost too direct for Peter. It was like a punch in the gut. All the air left is body and for a second he felt light headed.
Peter hung his head. He knew Dr. Banner was telling the truth, but some part of him still held onto the false hope that it was all a misunderstanding. Why couldn't he just be Uncle Ben and Aunt May's family? They were always there for him and now he was second guessing every memory he had of them. Even the vague feelings he gets when he thinks of his parents now seem more negative than before.
"I know that this upsets you Peter, but there is something more pressing we must discuss." Peter looked up. What could be more important than finding out who his biological parents are? "When I looked at your DNA, I struggled to determine your parentage due to some... mutations in your genes. Your whole body had radiation within it. At first, I thought something was wrong until I took into account that your DNA shared many similarities with that of a spider, which led me to make the connection between Spider-Man and you. I guess superheroing runs in the family?" Dr. Banner joked at the end, but all Peter could focus on was his world crashing. How could he have been so stupid! Of course if Dr. Banner looks at his DNA he would see the irregularities, he's a geneticist for god's sake. Peter was seeing spots and could barely focus on anything.
"Dr. Banner, you can't tell anyone, please! Its a secret from almost everyone! If May found out..." Peter realized what he said and quickly went to correct himself, "I mean if the Starks found out, they would kill me! Please don't tell anyone." Pleaded Peter. He felt like his past was choking him, preventing him from ever moving forward in life. Why did everything have to go so wrong all at once?
Dr. Banner held up his hands innocently. "Woah, calm down Peter! I won't tell them. If I had planned on doing that, they would already know. I feel like telling your parents that you fight dangerous criminals every night is something better heard from your mouth than mine. Also, I don't think I'm in a position to judge, after all, I turn into a raging monster because of radiation. I promise I won't tell them, Peter." Said Dr. Banner and he looked so sincere that Peter couldn't help but trust him. His spider-sense wasn't acting up either, so maybe Dr. Banner could be a trusted person in the tower.
"Thank you so much Dr. Banner! I really appreciate it. God, I don't know what I would do if you had told them." Peter revilingly said.
"Well, I won't tell anyone, but you might want to talk to Friday if you don't want others to find out." Said Dr. Banner, pointedly looking up at the ceiling towards one of Friday's cameras.
Shit. Peter forgot about her. She watched the whole tower and monitors all electronics. She probably had the records of his blood and was showing Mr. Stark and Miss Potts right now. Parker Luck really must have it in for him lately. Maybe it's because he had been claiming the last name all his life, despite the fact that he wasn't even a Parker.
"Friday?" Peter hesitantly asked.
"Yes Mini-Boss?" Replied Friday's pleasant voice.
"Are you going to tell Mr. Stark about my nightly activities and radioactive blood?" Peter squeezed his eyes shut in preparation for her answer. It was almost like Friday was thinking before she answered.
"As you are a Primary User of my systems, it is against my programming to divulge any secrets you wish to be kept unless I feel you are going to irreversibly harm yourself," came Friday's calm and cheerful answer. Peter opened his eyes in shock.
"Wait, so when I lied to you yesterday, I didn't have to do that? You would have just let me leave and cover for me?" Came Peter's question, just to make sure he understood what she was telling him.
"Yes Mini-Boss, although I found the situation quite funny and chose not to inform you of that. Do forgive me." Came Friday's reply, with a hint of a laugh. Of course an AI designed by Tony Stark would be sassy. As if Peter didn't already feel embarrassed by the 'peeing' situation, he now knew that it was totally unnecessary. Peter was going to ask Friday some more questions and maybe see what Dr. Banner found in his DNA that Peter himself didn't know about already, but he was interrupted.
"Mini-Boss, it seems Miss Potts and Mr. Stark would like you to come and say goodbye and then go to school," Came Friday's voice from above. Peter stood up with a sigh and a grateful glance at Dr. Banner.
Peter slung his backpack over his shoulder, and walked back to the elevator to go say goodbye.
When he reached the penthouse, he walked in to see both Mr. Stark and Miss Potts standing in front of him expectedly.
"Have a good day at school Peter," Miss Potts said gently. She almost reached out for a hug, but stopped herself.
"Thanks Miss Potts. Bye Mr. Stark," Said Peter, as he quickly turned around to walk out, already seeing Happy standing nearby to take him to the car.
"Not so fast," Said Mr. Stark. "When you get back from school, we will be having a family discussion about rules. Don't think I forgot," Mr. Stark said, a stern look in his eyes. Suddenly the look was gone, almost as if he realized something, but Peter had no idea what. "Have fun at school Underoos and don't do anything I wouldn't do, or that I would do. There's a little grey spot in between where you need to operate." Mr. Stark smiled and Peter could tell it was genuine. His smile to the paparazzi was always fake, but Peter felt happy knowing that Mr. Stark gave him a real smile. Peter smiled back.
"Okay, see you later," Peter said, as he walked into the elevator with Happy.
As the doors closed, Peter snuck a glance at Happy, who looked extremely grumpy. God, it was going to be a long car ride.
Thanks for reading! Next chapter will be out near the start of next week. Also, in case you are wondering why sometimes my updates aren't totally consistent, its because I have no beta. I like to edit my own things, but it does take forever. If you find any errors, tell me and I'll correct them :)
Chapter 9: Returned to Him
God, that took me a while. I am a fast writer, but a really slow editor. Super sorry for the long wait, but I hope you like the chapter!
Peter had only been in the car for five minutes with Happy, and already, the silence was killing him. His fingers were twitching and his leg was bouncing. He wished that Happy would at least turn on some music. Peter looked down at his hands and took a deep breath. He was good. He didn't need to always talk, and even if he did talk, it would just be awkward since Happy had known him since he was a baby and Peter doesn't remember him and-
“Kid, all that shaking makes it feel like an earthquake is happening in the car. Cut it out." Came Happy's gruff voice, surprising Peter. He immediately stopped shaking his legs, although his fingers were still moving. Now Peter felt embarrassed. Did Happy know how nervous he was? Did he think Peter hated him since he wasn't talking? God, Peter hoped not. Happy had actually seemed okay since Peter met him, but then again, he might hate him because when they first met, Happy told Peter to call him Happy, but Peter called him Mr. Hogan because he was still angry. It would probably be a stupid reason to be mad, but still.
Before Peter could think too much, Happy decided to speak again, although it was in a quiet and reserved tone, unlike how Peter had heard him before.
“I remember when you couldn’t sleep. You were such a good kid, but when your Dad wasn’t around, nothing would work. You were anxious just like you are now. Pep and I never knew what to do. Finally, I thought, ‘maybe if I just take him for a car ride, he’ll fall asleep.’ Turns out, I was right. You were always out like a light the minute the car started. After that, whenever Tony left, you got excited since it meant car time with me. I know you don’t remember this, but that was pretty special to me. You were my nephew, and putting you to sleep was always nice, even though I always complained to Tony when he got back.” Happy finished with a light chuckle, and there was a small smile on his lips that Peter could barely see.
Peter didn’t know how to respond. Why was he telling him this? Did he think it would make Peter more comfortable around him? It definitely wasn't doing that. To try and make things less awkward, Peter said the first thing that popped into his mind.
Peter didn’t even know until he said it, but he was sorry. He wished that the Starks would have gotten the chance to raise their kid, to be a happy family. His parents took that from them. It hurt to think that, but it was the truth. There were no victors in this story, only victims. He had lost the chance to grow up with his birth family and they had lost the chance to raise him. Peter wasn’t angry at the Parkers though. He still believed there was an explanation for everything. His parents weren’t evil and Peter would prove it somehow. He also needed to help May, but that one might be even harder.
“Don’t be sorry kid. I just wanted you to know that everything is weird, but we all love you. Doesn’t matter who raised you, or who you are now, that love is permanent, so dash any hopes of getting Tony and Pepper to back off because they never give up. They will always fight for you, even if you don’t want them to.” Happy stated, not at all doubting his words. Peter didn’t know how to feel about that, but the sentiment was nice.
The two of them fell into silence again, but this time it was more content, and Peter had to admit, Happy was probably a pretty cool, albeit grumpy, uncle. Not that he would ever call him that.
“We’re here kid. Now get out of my car before all those gawking kids decide to touch it,” Happy said, shaking Peter from his thoughts. The whole car ride he had been trying to think of how he would tell Ned about what happened. MJ was one thing, but Ned was a whole other bag to unpack.
Happy was right though. The number of kids staring at the car terrified Peter. He really wished Happy had parked further away to avoid anyone questioning why Peter Parker was being chauffeured.
Peter glanced at Happy who was staring at his watch with impatience. He must have somewhere to be, and Peter didn’t want to be responsible for him missing it.
“Okay, thanks for the ride Happy!” Peter said. He opened the car door, and as he stepped out, Happy called out to him.
"I’m picking you up, so no funny business. I expect you to still be here when I arrive. Trust me kid, running away won’t work,” Happy said with a slight smirk. God, the Starks must have told him what happened last night.
As he glanced back, Happy sped away, and luckily, most kids were no longer paying attention to Peter.
With his head tucked down, Peter walked into school. On his way to his locker, he saw a red-haired boy looking uncomfortable sitting near the main office. He must of been new. Peter was about to dismiss the boy, but when he turned to keep walking, his spider-sense hummed lowly. He quickly looked around and saw Norman Osborn walk out of the office. When Mr. Osborn turned around, he made eye contact with Peter. Oh hell no. Peter whipped his head around and walked faster to his locker. Peter knew Mr. Osborn wasn't a great guy, after all, Peter got bit by a radioactive spider in his lab. Peter thought it was weird that Mr. Osborn was enrolling his son at Midtown, especially since he expected a rich kid like him to go to a private school, but what did Peter know, he had only been rich for less than a day.
When Peter reached his locker, he was surprised to already find Ned and MJ there. Peter was a little surprised since he was definitely early because of Happy, but when he saw Ned’s face, he understood. The big, excited eyes, the gaping mouth, the twitching hands, the way he was shaking with energy. Shit, MJ already told him.
"OH MY GOD PETER! YOUR DAD IS IRON MAN?!” Ned all but shouted. Luckily, no one was around, but Peter still flinched at how loud he was and quickly tried to calm him down.
“Quiet your voice dude, we’re in school!” Peter harshly whispered.
“How can you expect me to be quiet! This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Like you being Spider-Man was cool, but this is a whole new level!” Ok, so maybe Peter should have told Ned before school because if this was anything like when he found out he was Spider-Man, Peter would probably struggle to get Ned to keep it a secret.
“Ned, I promise to tell you everything, but we need to wait until after school. I can’t talk about it here dude, so please just be cool,” Peter pleaded with his eyes. He hoped Ned would listen. Luckily his puppy dog eyes, as May annoyingly called them, worked.
Ned took a deep breath, and while his eyes still held excitement, his body was calmer.
"I can be cool. I can totally be cool.” While Ned said that, Peter shared a look with MJ. Yeah, they both knew Ned wouldn’t be cool, but maybe he could hold back till it was just them.
“Wait Peter, just one question?” Peter resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He understood his life was an amusing mess, but come on!
“Yes Ned?” Peter said, hoping it wouldn't be a complicated question.
“Why did you tell MJ first and not me? I thought we were best friends! I’m the guy in the chair! She just designed your new suit.” Ned was definitely trying to guilt him, but Peter wasn't falling for it.
“Because Ned, MJ could keep a cool head while you can’t. Also, I told you I was ‘you know who’ first, so it was only fair.”
Ned accepted that, and thankfully, was done. Peter hitched his backpack up and they all walked to class, with MJ splitting off to go to her own.
“By the way Peter, I know that’s not the only reason you went to MJ instead of me late at night,” Ned said with a knowing smile before turning around and walking away, leaving behind a gaping Peter.
Was he really that obvious?
By lunchtime, Ned has luckily kept his mouth shut and hadn’t done anything. They were all just acting like everything was normal at lunch, which was most likely due to MJ’s influence. She was reading her book and making sure that everytime Ned tried to bring up anything about the Starks, she would kick him and shut him up. She always knew what Peter needed, and what he needed right then was some normalcy.
“Hey, Parker!” And of course, with the normalness came Flash.
“What do you need Flash?” Peter asked. He was really not in the mood.
“Heard you ended up riding to school in some fancy car. How’d you do that? Pretty sure you’re piss poor.” Flash grinned at his insult. He must be the only person in the world who found himself amusing.
“Yes Flash. I am not as rich as you.” Although he guessed he was actually richer now. “Whatever you heard wasn’t true.”
“I knew it! Also if you don’t show up to Decathlon practice today, Harrington will probably bump you down to alternate, so try not to show.” Flash smirked and thankfully walked away after that.
Flash wasn’t even that bad, just a guy who craved attention and strives to do better than Peter. They had even used to be friends. Peter still hoped that one day Flash would become better, but every insult seemed to make that wish drift further away.
“Don’t worry loser, if you miss the practice, I’ll make sure Harrington doesn’t switch you. Even he wouldn’t want to lose at finals.” Peter was honestly surprised to see MJ had put down her book to focus on talking. MJ usually was on him the most about making sure he attended. She always ranted about her being captain and how she was not allowed to let him off just because he was Spider-Man. It’s not like she was innocent either. she literally designed his new suit so it would be more aerodynamic and look better, with Ned helping with tech and getting Peter into the police system so he knew when he was needed.
“Thanks, MJ! I just don’t think I can go today because of the… situation,” Peter said, really wishing he could go to practice instead of going back to the tower.
”I’m doing this for myself. I can’t stand Flashes dickish attitude.” With that, MJ went back to her book.
Peter and Ned looked at each other and shrugged. Even as close as they were with MJ, she still was a bit aloof.
When school finished, Peter had about ten minutes before Happy pulled up, and in that time, he tried to satisfy all of Ned’s questions.
“Are the Starks as imposing as they seem on TV?”
“Yes.” Yes times a million, Peter thought.
“Did you touch the Iron Man suit? Did you fly it?”
“Why would they ever let a teenager touch a highly weaponized suit Ned?!”
“Do they know about Spider-Man?” Was Ned crazy?
"They don’t, and they never will.”
“Did you meet any Avengers yet?”
“Yeah, I met Captain America and Dr. Banner, but it was really quick.”
”Can Pepper Potts freeze you with one glance?”
“No! Where did you even hear that?!” Honestly, Peter sometimes wondered if his best friend was even grounded in reality.
By the time Happy pulled up, Peter felt like he had run a marathon. Ned wasn’t even close to done, but he did let Peter leave with a promise to text him later.
As Peter got in the car, Happy started to talk, surprising Peter, who had expected a quiet ride.
“Those your nerd friends?” Peter took some offense to that.
“Uh yeah, that was Ned and MJ.”
“Full names?” Happy inquired. It was a weird question, but Peter answered.
"Ned Leeds and Michelle Jones. Why do you need to know?”
“Just wondering,” Happy murmured as he pulled away.
Thankfully, after that weird interrogation, the car lapsed into silence for the whole ride.
When they had made it back to the tower and were in the elevator, Peter’s palms were sweating. He knew that today they had to set up “ground rules” and have a “family talk”. Peter was dreading it.
“Before we get up, there’s a surprise for you, so be prepared,” Happy said, interrupting Peter’s wish for the elevator to stop working and crash into the ground.
A surprise? Before Peter could ask what it was, the elevator doors opened and someone came running at him and wrapped him in a hug.
“Oh my god Peter! I missed you so much!” The person exclaimed.
Peter couldn't believe it. May was back.
Chapter 10: Discussion Time
Holy cow, over 10,000 hits! What is even happening right now?! Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and the kudos! Here's the new chapter and I hope you enjoy it! The next one should be fun ;)
“May? H-how are you here?” Peter asked, his voice shaking. He hoped that this was real, and if it wasn’t, he wanted it to last forever.
“Oh Peter, I’m so sorry for what’s been happening! I promise Ben and I didn’t have anything to do with it! We love you so much, and I’m so sorry about keeping you from your parents. Please believe me that we didn’t know!” May was squeezing Peter, as if to confirm that he was real. Peter hugged her back even tighter.
“Of course I know that you didn’t do anything May! I trust you and Ben. I can’t believe you’re here though. I thought for sure the police would hold you!” Peter needed her to tell him how this had happened, so that he could make sure it was real.
“I thought I would be stuck there too, but someone helped me get out so I could see you Peter,” May said with a watery smile as she pulled away from Peter.
“Who would...” Peter trailed off as he saw Mr. Stark and Miss Potts walk into the room.
”Surprise kid! You didn’t think that we would make our family rules without the rest of your family.” While Mr. Stark said it with a strained voice, Peter could tell he was trying for him.
Peter fully let go of May and walked up to Mr. Stark.
“Thank you,” Peter whispered, looking at Mr. Stark. He quickly hugged him, and while he was about to back away since Mr. Stark had tensed in his arms, he was quickly pulled in for a tighter hug. Peter was starting to feel uncomfortable, the hug had been a spur of the moment thing for him, but now he had no idea what to do.
With one last tight squeeze, Mr. Stark let him go and Peter walked back to May with red ears.
Mr. Stark looked like he was about to cry, but he quickly covered up whatever emotions he was experiencing.
“Well don’t give me all the credit kid, Pep here did the hard lifting,” Mr. Stark said, trying to get the atmosphere to be more relaxed. Peter had noticed that he didn’t do well with serious situations. Just like Peter, they made him uncomfortable.
“Oh! Thanks Miss Potts.” Peter felt like her should hug her too, but he was too uncomfortable to do another one.
“Of course Peter. We told you we only want to help, and we knew that what you needed right now was something familiar,” Miss Potts said, with a slight smile. She also seemed fine that she didn’t get a hug, but Peter could sense she was a little disappointed.
"So Petey, let's get down to business," Mr. Stark said, as he led them all to sit on the couches. Peter sat next to Aunt May while Mr. Stark and Miss Potts sat on the other couch next to them.
"What we really need to discuss is how you snuck out yesterday night," Miss Potts started, earning startled look from Aunt May.
"Wait, you snuck out? Peter! You never do that normally! No wonder they got mad at you! Honestly, you can't just run away." May was shaking her head in disappointment. Out of all the lectures Peter had already received, the one from Aunt May was the most effective.
"I'm sorry, I just was upset, I wasn't trying to freak them out-" Peter started, but was interrupted by May.
"Don't apologize to me, apologize to them right now young man." May gave him the 'Do What I Say Right Now' look, and Peter knew that he would be in deep water if he didn’t.
"Mr. Stark and Miss Potts, I'm sorry for running off. I won't do it again." Peter was kinda lying. He was sorry, but he definitely would be sneaking off again. It was much easier leaving with May since she never noticed, but the Starks were another story.
“It’s finePeter, just don't do it again. We were really worried,” Miss Potts said. She gave him an understanding smile and Peter could just feel the motherly warmth from it. It reminded him of something, the dream he had recently with the two people looking over him. He had assumed it was the Parkers, but now he wasn’t sure, especially since the people had green eyes and Miss Potts and Mr. Stark didn’t.
"Okay!" Mr. Stark clapped his hands together, "Now that that's settled, let's discuss rules. We have some of our own and we were hoping that May will be able to contribute some of her own. First rule: don't sneak out. You want to leave, just ask us. Second rule: talk to us. We need to know what's going on in your head kid if we are ever going to make this work. Third rule: Enough with the Mr. Stark and Miss Potts sh-stuff, just call us Tony and Pepper. Do those sound doable?" Mr. Stark talked fast, clearly just wanting to get this ‘Family Meeting’ craziness out of the way.
Peter considered everything he said. He definitely wouldn't be able to ask to leave. Honestly, was he just supposed to walk up to Mr. Stark and say 'Hey! I need to go do some Spider-Manning right now, so can I go?' God that won't work, but Peter could lie. Despite people thinking he can't, he was actually pretty good when he wants to be. The second rule also seemed impossible. He didn't even know what was going on in his own head well enough to tell them. And the third rule seemed... okay. He could call Miss Potts Pepper, but Tony seemed too weird to him. He didn't know why, but it definitely wasn't something he was willing to do. After thinning it all through, the only answer was to tell them yes to all the rules since it's what they expected.
"Yeah, I can do those." Peter said, trying to make his lie sound confident.
"Now May, is there any rules from your house that we should be aware of that we could have here? Anything that might help with Peter?" Pepper asked. Peter was glad they were really trying to include her.
"well, we don't have much spoken rules at the Parker home, but I guess we do have one that Peter already knows." Peter had no idea what May was talking about. "The only rule that Peter is required to follow is to do family-” Oh no, Peter knew where May was going.
“May stop right-”
“-movie night every Friday night. No excuses. It's good for bonding." May was a demon. That's all Peter could think. He could see the glint in her eye. She wanted him to get to know Starks, and the only way in her mind to do that was movie night. It almost felt like a betrayal. Movie night was their thing, he didn’t want to share, but he knew he now had no choice.
"Well that one is definitely doable," Pepper said with a laugh. Even Mr. Stark was smiling, and not the paparazzi smile, but an actual smile that lit up his whole face. Peter thought it suited him before he quickly went into his ‘moody teenager mood’ as May called it.
Peter put his head in his hands. "May you are the worst ever." He mumbled.
"You know you love me Mr. Parker," May said, and Peter could practically hear her smirk.
"Yeah yeah, I larb you too May." Peter lifted his head and smiled at May. When he looked back at Pepper and Mr. Stark, he could see that they were doing the weird smile that they did when they were sad. Good going Peter, remind them that you love the person who wasn’t even related to you, but you don't love your own parents. Smart.
"Well May, if you want you can stay for dinner. It's going to be a bit of a big one though since the Avengers have insisted that family dinner means all of them too," Pepper said. God, Peter wasn't ready to meet all the avengers! He could barely handle being with the Starks!
"I would love to stay for dinner, but I can't. I have a full night at the hospital in 2 hours, so I have to go," Peter could hear the sadness in her voice. They both didn't want her to go, but she still had a job, thank god, and she wasn't his guardian anymore.
May stood up and Happy came over to escort her out. He had a nervous look on his face, and Peter knew exactly what he was thinking. All single men loved his Aunt, god help him.
"It was nice having you over Mrs. Parker, and I hope that you can come back soon. You clearly make Peter happy, and that's all we want for him," Pepper said, going to shake May's hand. May quickly grabbed her in for a hug and then hugged a very uncomfortable Mr. Stark. Guess he only liked it when Peter hugged him.
"Please take care of Peter, he's a good kid and I'm sure that he’ll come to love you guys like parents," Wow, May was known to be blunt, but that was really out there.
Peter pulled May in for a hug and she kissed him on the cheek. "Don't let them change you baby, you're perfect. I love you," May whispered in his ear, before letting go.
With that, Aunt May left with Happy escorting her, whose hand was hovering just near her waist, as if he wanted to touch her, but didn't want to be weird. God, Peter really hoped nothing would come of that.
"So Underoos, get your homework done and be ready by six for dinner. Do you need any help? I am pretty smart you know," Mr. Stark offered.
"Thanks Mr. Stark, but I'm capable of doing my homework myself," Peter smirked, and for once, he felt that he might be able to have a normal relationship with them, despite how weird their relationship actually was.
As Peter walked to the room where he was staying, he heard Mr. Stark tell Pepper that quote “The kid is aging me with that name Pep! Not even 10 minutes after the rules were set and he's breaking them!” Yeah, Mr. Stark was definitely sticking.
“So Mr. Beck, I assume you have everything you need to start creating the perfect illusion to catch our little spider?” A man said, sitting at his desk.
“Yes sir. All we need now is for your associate to get Spider-Man here, and everything will be perfect.”
Chapter 11: UPDATE
I AM NOT ENDING THIS FIC, I REPEAT, IT IS NOT OVER!
So, to keep you all up to date, I will continue writing, but it might take me a while to get this next chapter out. The reason is because the whole Sony vs. Disney dispute and Spider-Man being pulled out of the MCU caused me to go into a depression.
My will to write exists, but it keeps being overshadowed by this sadness. I know its kinda stupid to be this upset over something like this, but I can't help it. As soon as I finish the next chapter, I will post it. It is already in the works, and hopefully, once I start writing again, my will to write will come back and more chapters will follow. I will finish this fic no matter what, so don't give up on me.
Thank you for all the support and I really hope to get the next chapter out soon.
“Mini-Boss, Mrs. Boss would like me to inform you that dinner is ready and you are expected to come down. Boss also adds that if you don’t come right now, he will send an Iron Man suit to drag you to the kitchen.” Friday helpfully informed Peter.
While Friday made it sound like he wasn’t ready, the truth was that Peter had been sitting on his bed for over an hour just thinking about everything that could go wrong at the dinner. What if he insulted an Avenger? What if they asked a weird question he couldn’t answer? What if he stuttered or laughed weirdly? What if they find out he’s Spider-Man?
May would tell him he was overthinking it, but Peter knew that even if he wasn’t a real Parker, Parker Luck was real for him.
Peter took a deep breath and stood up. He fiddled with his shirt and then slowly started walking towards the door.
Before he could even open it, he heard something from above him. Suddenly, the vent opened in his room and Hawkeye, freaking Hawkeye , was standing in his room.
“Hey kid! You don’t want to be late to your first ever Avengers family dinner, do you? I took it upon myself to escort you to the kitchen in case you got lost on the way to the kitchen!” Mr. Hawkeye was looking at Peter with a smirk and Peter had no idea how to react.
Before Peter could even really process what was happening, Mr. Hawkeye gently rested his hand on his shoulder and guided him out of his room.
“Um Mr. Hawkeye sir, you don't need to do this, I can walk by myself,” Peter assured, trying to get a grip on what was happening and internally fanboying cause Hawkeye was talking to him.
“Kid, I don't do anything I don't want to do, well unless Nat tells me to do something, she can really be bossy. I‘m doing this because I wanted to be the first Avenger to meet my nephew! I also want to be the first one you call Uncle, so how much money do you want? I really want Rhodey to jealous. Although money might not work since your a billionaire now!” Mr. Hawkeye jokes, but Peter couldn't help himself from correcting his assumption that he met Peter first.
“Well actually Mr. Hawkeye, I already met Captain America and Dr. Banner. N-not that you're not also awesome, it's just that you weren't the first I met so…”
Mr. Hawkeye quickly turned Peter around to face him with a grave face.
“Are you telling me that they CHEATED?! The deal was that we all got to meet you for the first time tonight! I wanted to be the one who cheated and met you first. This is so unfair,” Mr. Hwkeye whined, clearly dramatizing the whole situation.
“Hey Clint, stop torturing my kid with how boring you are and bring him in here!” Called Mr. Stark from the kitchen, causing Peter to blush. His kid? Peter knew it was true, but it still felt weird and made his heart feel… something.
As they entered the kitchen, Peter could see almost every. Single. Avenger. There was Iron Man, Hawkeye, the Hulk, Captain America, and Black Widow. It was overwhelming. The nerves that Mr. Hawkeye had actually helped to disperse were fully back on and Peter couldn't help but panic. He had a secret identity, and right now, it was almost like he was in the lair of all those who would want to expose him.
Someone put a hand on Peter’s shoulder, startling him out of his thoughts.
When Peter turned around he was met with a calculating, yet almost warm gaze, of Black Widow.
“Hi Peter, I'm Natasha, but you can just call me Nat. I’m so happy you could join us for dinner. It gets boring to have dinner with the same assholes every night, so it will be nice to shake things up.” Ms. Natasha gave him a pleasant smile as she guided him to a seat right next to Pepper.
“Hey if you call her Nat, you gotta call me Clint, not ‘Mr. Hawkeye.’ Although my preference is Uncle Clint!” Mr. Clint cheerfully interrupted.
Peter was trying to think of what to say, like come on, he was a genius! But then Mr. Stark sat on the other side of him and everyone took their seats.
“Let's say grace everyone,” Mr. Stark said as he offered his hand to Peter.
Peter went to grab it, not wanting to be rude, until Pepper reached across him and slapped Mr. Stark’s hand away.
“Don't pay any attention to him Sweetie, he's just messing with you,” Pepper said, clearly trying to also hide her amusement.
Peter felt his face grow red.
To try and take the attention off of himself, Peter asked a question to Pepper.
“Where are Scarlet Witch and Vision? Don't they live here too?” Peter could be wrong but he was almost sure they did. He also wanted to meet Vision so he could ask him questions about his entire existence, but those questions were probably not ones to be asked during dinner.
“Date night. They wanted to meet you, but Wanda didn't want to overwhelm you with too many people, so she took Vision out for dinner,” Pepper answered.
Peter felt grateful to those two. He may have never met them, but they were considerate and Peter appreciated it.
“So Peter, we didn't know what you liked, so we made Italian. I hope that’s all right?” Pepper said, looking nervous.
“I love Italian. It's usually what my Aunt and I get for takeout,” Peter said. It was the right thing to say too since she smiled.
“Well, we made a lot, so dig in kid,” Mr. Stark said, sharing a secret smile with Pepper.
And Peter did dig in. It was like heaven. He had never been so filled in his life since the spider bite.
“Slow down there Peter or you might choke,” Mr. Banner commented, but Peter didn't care, the food was that good. If he did die, he’d die happy.
While he was finishing up his third helping, Peter saw Mr. Clint clear his throat and dead stare Dr. Banner and Captain America.
“So, may I just ask why you two cheated and met my nephew first? It was so unfair!” He said, slamming his hands down on the table for dramatic effect.
“Well I had to perform and DNA test and Steve wanted to meet Peter since he didn't even know Tony had a kid. You had prior business that night to attend to, so that's the only reason,” Dr. Banner stated, alluding to some ‘prior business’ that Peter didn't really understand, but the rest of the table seeed to get.
“Whatever! I’ll still become his favorite uncle, just you wait!” Mr. Clint exclaimed, pointing at Peter.
Peter was still not quite sure what was happening. Why did everyone want to know him so bad? Like yeah, he was the kid of Tony Stark, but he was also a nerdy nobody from Queens.
“Sorry Clint, but you have some tough competition. Rhodey is flying back to see Peter, and he was his favorite uncle as a kid, so I don't think you stand a chance. His middle name is even Honeybear’s first name,” Mr. Stark said.
The only thing Peter could really focus on was that he knew War Machine. What was his life becoming! If only he could remember it...
Peter heard his name and perked up. The Captain America was trying to talk to him. Best. Day. Ever.
“So Peter, how is Tony treating you? When I found out he had a kid, I was shocked since he didn't seem like the dad type, but when I was with him to go get you down at the station, I had never seen him so happy and nervous. I just wanted to know how you’re adjusting.” Captain America said with a hopeful tone.
“Steve, let's not talk about that right now,” Mr. Stark sharply interjected, causing Captain America to be taken aback.
Peter was going to answer and just try to tell him that he was confused more than anything, but was also excited to know about himself and find out the truth, but his mind started to feel a little foggy and his vision turned a little green.
“I was angry.” Peter answered coldly.
“Angry?” Captain America questioned.
“I was angry since he basically upended my whole life! I lived with my aunt, who I was told was never my actual Aunt. I figured out that my parents who died were never my parents and that I was taken as a kid. So yeah, I was angry to be basically kidnapped all over again by my so called parents! I don't know why I decided to come to this dinner at all since I really don't enjoy everyone trying to act like this is all normal.” Peter concluded, a little out of breath.
Suddenly his mind started to clear up and the green haze he had been seeing faded, leaving Peter mortified. He hadn't meant to say any of that! He was about to apologize, but Mr. Stark beat him to it.
“Peter, we didn't invite you to dinner to make you mad, we just wanted to-” Mr. Stark was interrupted by a blaring noise from an alarm. Peter practically fell over at how loud it was, but everyone was too distracted by the sound to notice.
“Fri, have a lockdown on Pep and Peter until we get back! Avengers, suit up!” Mr. Stark yelled, not giving Peter a chance to even ask what was happening.
Pepper guided him back to his room with his ears still ringing and closed his door, promising to tell him what happened after the lockdown.
Peter almost wanted to just sit down and figure out what had come over him at dinner and how he would make it up to everyone, but he had a feeling he had something else to do.
“Friday, what's happening?” Peter asked, looking up at the ceiling.
“Well Mini-Boss, there was an attack in Queens that appears to be warranting of an Avengers level threat. Normally they do not interfere in Queens as Spider-Man protects it, but you had not shown up at the scene, causing the Avengers to be called in.” Friday answered.
“WHAT!? Okay Friday, don't tell anyone that I’m leaving!” Peter shouted, putting on his suit.
“May I ask where you're heading Peter?” Friday said with amusement in her voice. She also called him Peter with almost affection? It was weird since she had never said his name before.
“Well Friday, Queens is in trouble, so they need their Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!” Peter announced, putting on his mask and skydiving out of his window.
Man, it felt good to be back.
Man it feels good to be back!
I am so glad you guys stuck with me, and with the news of Spider-Man's triumphant return to the MCU, my return has followed, after all, this story is called Return to Me.
Hope you enjoyed this :)
Chapter 13: Spider-Kid Has Arrived!
I live! So here's the new chapter and it has this weird thing called plot? Never heard of it before I wrote this. Hope you enjoy :)
Peter knew that Friday said what was happening was warranting of an Avenger’s level threat, but this was definitely not what he expected.
“How does he still have more bombs?!” Hawkeye called out, shooting another bomb out of the air before it landed near Black Widow.
“Well Legolas, I don't see you having any ideas of how to get close to him without, I don't know, being blown up?” Mr. Stark quipped at Hawkeye. Peter may have been a bit far away from them, but he could still hear them over their comms.
Peter looked over at the scene in front of him, with all of the heroes trying to get close enough to the villian to take him down, only to be pushed away by bombs. Peter didn't even know how he could help. The Green Goblin (which Peter thought was a very accurate villain name based on how he dressed) was flying around on a hoverboard and throwing bombs everywhere, but he wasn't trying to do any real damage. It was weird, but it almost looked like a publicity stunt, the only hint that it wasn't was that the bombs were definitely real and very explosive.
“Cap, I need some support! He seems to be targeting me!” Mr. Stark called out, right as a bomb was thrown at him from behind.
Peter didn't even think, he swung from where he was hiding and attached a web to Mr. Stark, pulling him along as he landed on a rooftop a little bit away as the bomb went off.
“Thanks for the assist Cap, but how did you…” Mr. Stark started, before turning around and facing Peter.
“Huh, you're that Spider-Kid. We were wondering where you were.” Mr. Stark said, looking Peter up and down.
“It’s Spider-Man.” Peter stated, slightly annoyed. It was bad enough that he had to deal with the whole ‘I’m your father, do what I say’ attitude at the tower, but Spider-Man was his chance to be seen as more mature.
“Not with that onesie kid. Anway, thanks for the help, but I got a fight to join. Feel free to jump in whenever if you're not too busy on vacation!” Mr. Stark said, before firing up his repulsors and flying back into the fight.
“It’s not onesie!” Peter shouted, already knowing Mr. Stark was too far away to hear. His suit may not be advanced with technology, but MJ made it and he loved it. Also he wouldn't have taken a break as Spider-Man if Mr. Stark hadn’t uprooted his life. God, he was having his mid-life crisis way too soon.
Peter focused back on the fight. He wasn’t sure what he should do since the Avenger’s seemed to have their own thing going on, but Peter was pretty sure if he just got on the hoverboard, he could throw the Green Goblin off and stop him.
The only problem was how to get close enough and the idea Peter had was probably going to get him into trouble.
Before Peter could sike himself out, he shot a web and attached himself to the Iron Man suit, letting himself be pulled along.
‘Ned is gonna lose it when he realizes I hitched a ride on Iron Man!’ Peter thought excitedly. Swinging was one thing, but flying? Now that was awesome.
Sadly, Mr. Stark noticed the extra weight and turned around to look at Peter. “Hey kid, I'm not your uber, get off!” He shouted, trying to shake Peter off, but Peter wasn't going to let go, he had a job to do.
“No can do Mr. Stark, you guys need help and Queens is my territory. I think it's a good idea to work together!” Peter said, still trying to find the right time to latch onto the hoverboard.
“Work together my ass! A little help here guys?” Mr. Stark called over his comms.
“I don't know Stark, I think your new accessory suits you!” Hawkeye said, cleardy finding the situation funny.
“Tony, we need help. If the kid thinks he can help, then let him!” Black Widow said,somehow both making Peter happy and ticking him off. Why did they keep calling him a kid? He didn't think he sounded that young.
“Come on Mr. Stark, I can tell you love me!” Peter said, but he realized that the comment felt too close to home. While he was distracted, Mr. Stark took the opportunity to ditch him.
“You're a parasite kid. Lets just hope you're useful!” Mr. Stark shouted, before flinging Peter off.
“Not cool man!” Peter shouted, looking for something to latch onto. His only option was the hoverboard, so he shot out a web and pulled himself up to the Green Goblin.
Peter couldn't believe it, but his plan worked, now he just needed to figure out how to stop the crazy guy.
“Hey Greenie, whats up?” Peter asked, only staying attached thanks to his sticky feet. He was moving really fast, even faster than Mr. Stark. Maybe Mr. Stark had slowed down to make sure Peter didn't get hurt? If so, that was really sweet.
“Ah Spider-Man, just the child I was looking for. I was hoping this would get your attention,” The Green Goblin said, eerily happy. He wasn't even attacking, just staring at Peter.
“Me? I’m just your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! If you wanna go for the big guns, then you need to fight the Avengers dude!” Peter was confused. Why would anyone be specifically looking for him?
“Oh Peter, you are worth so much more to me,” The Green Goblin replied.
“What did you just say?” Peter asked warily. This was bad. Like really, really bad. How did he know who he was? Was that why he targeted Mr. Stark? Does he know who Peter once was?
The Green Goblin grabbed hold of the front of Peter’s costume, getting close to Peter’s masked face.
“Don't worry Petey, I don't need you yet, but we'll meet again soon.” The Green Goblin stated, before letting go of Peter and throwing a bomb right at his face.
“Shit!” Peter screamed, jumping back, only to realize that he was now falling in the air.
“Someone catch him!” Captain America yelled into his comm.
“I’m on it!” Mr. Stark said, flying as fast as he could, but he was beaten by the Hulk, who caught Peter and landed with him on the ground.
All the Avengers arrived nearby, but kept a distance.
“Nat? I think we have a Code Green.” Mr. Stark said quietly, but Peter could barely focus because he was being stared at by big, green, and angry. He knew that the Hulk wasn’t supposed to be at the fight. Dr. Banner was still at the tower when Peter left.
“Hey big guy, thanks for the save, but I don’t think we need you right now since the Green Goblin-”“Pff, like the name,” Hawkeye whispered.
“-The Green Goblin seems to have left. So maybe you should change back? Not that I don't want you here right now, but it would probably be helpful to the Avengers to talk to Dr. Banner right now.” Peter really hoped he said the right thing because all the Avengers seemed freaked out that the Hulk was with Peter.
“Bruce protect baby Spider. Hulk will too.” Okayyyy, but Peter had to go before the Avengers decide to return to the tower and he didn't have time to deal with the Hulk.
“Seriously, thanks buddy, but I really don't have time so I’m gonna…” Peter trailed off as he shot a web up and left before the Hulk could stop him. He landed on a nearby roof and could still hear the conversations.
“Tony, we should definitely look into Spider-Man. He could be helpful.” Black Widow said, moving closer to the Hulk to… calm him down?
“Yeah well you try finding him. As much as I hate to admit it, the guy is good. Can't get a definitive find on him. All I know is that he lives in Queens and that he’s on the younger side.” Mr. Stark said. Thanks to Ned, Peter was always able to keep his identity a secret, but the Avenger’s trying to find him was definitely going to be a problem.
“Well, we gotta find that ‘Green Goblin’ guy. He just tore up Queens and disappeared and we learned nothing about him,” Captain America said, clearly miffed at the idea that someone got away from him.
“Well I think the best way to find him is to find Spider-Man.” Mr. Stark replied. Finally, Peter was being treated with respe-wait what?!
“What makes you say that Tony?” Captain America asked.
“I don't know, but something was definitely going on between the two of them. The guy fights us from a distance, but allows Spider-Man to get close and talk with him? Something is happening, and I plan to figure out. Now Nat, get Bruce back so we can go back to the tower. I got a kid to get back to.” Mr. Stark stated, clapping his hands together.
And that was Peter’s que to leave.
Peter got back to the tower fast, and luckily, before the Avengers.
He opened the same window he had escaped from and tore off his suit, changing into pajamas. He needed it to look like he was at the tower the whole time.
“Hey Friday, when will Mr. Stark and the Avengers be getting back?” Peter asked.
“They just entered the building, You made impeccable time Peter,” Friday proudly said.
Peter Got into bed and started to think. He had so much to deal with right now. He had to find out what was up with this Green Goblin and how he knew his name, figure out who took him as a kid since he needed to know if his parents were bad guys, and he had to figure out why he freaked out at dinner since what happened was not normal. Oh, and now he had to deal with the Avengers tracking him.
Life was freaking perfect right now.
Before Peter could even figure out where to start, Dr. Banner opened his door without knocking.
So much for privacy.
“Peter, are you hurt? I didn't mean to grab you so hard, but the Hulk is not known for restraint and I just want to make sure you’re okay.” Dr. Banner said, a little out of breath. He must have ran all the way to Peter.
Peter smiled at the thought. It was sweet that he cared so much, and it was also awesome that is idol was doting on him.
“I’m fine Dr. Banner. THe Hulk saved my life, so you should really thanking him. He’s a good guy even if everyone doesn’t sees it. He’d have to be good since he’s part of you.” Peter said. Dr. Banner looked shocked and almost… happy?
“I've never heard someone say it like that.” Dr. Banner cleared his throat, seemingly choked up. “Well I’m glad you're okay Peter, but please refrain from doing something that crazy again. If you got hurt, you're secret wouldn't be kept for that long.” Dr. Banner scolded lightly. He definitely came across as a caring uncle.
Wait-Peter didn't mean to think that. These people weren't his family, they were just stuck with him since he turned out to be Peter Stark. Honestly, he was probably not at all what Mr. Stark and Pepper wanted, no matter how much they tried to play family with Peter.
Before Dr. Banner left, Peter needed to ask him something.
“Umm Dr. Banner, is Mr. Stark gonna come see me? I just wanted to apologize for dinner…” Peter trailed off. He was still so embarrassed by his outburst.
Dr. Banner smiled sadly. “Sorry Peter, he wanted to give you the night to gather yourself so that you would feel more comfortable talking to him. He said he would talk to you tomorrow and that you should go to sleep. “ Dr. Banner said, clearly feeling bad for Peter.
While it was nice of Mr. Stark, Peter didn't need time, but he'd have to wait.
“Thanks Dr. Banner. Umm, I'll see you tomorrow?” Peter asked.
“Of course Peter, and please, call me Bruce, or if what Clint is saying, maybe one day Uncle Bruce.” Dr. Banner said jokingly, but then quickly looked flustered at what he had said and turned around,leaving.
“My life is so weird Friday,” Peter commented wistfully.
“I would have to agree Peter, you are quite unusual.” Friday said happily. Well, it looked like Peter was going to stick. It was better than Mini-Boss.
“Hey Friday, I need your help with a project. Can you make a file that no one could find, like, not even Mr. Stark? I need a place to gather information about a few things,” Peter said.
“Of course Peter, I can create a file that is not connected to any servers here that Mr. Stark will have no knowledge about. What would you like to call this file?” Friday asked.
“Call it Operation: Spidey-Sense.”
"This is a bust, there is nothing that I can find on my parents!" Shouted Peter to the air, clearly frustrated at the lack of information on his kidnapping.
The most he could find was that Peter Stark disappeared in 2002 right after Mr. Stark disappeared. The Parkers definitely had him sometime close to that, but Peter had no idea how close. He would have to ask May. He knows that his parents died in a plane crash when he was 4 and that he went to live with May and Ben. The only people Peter could definitely rule out as suspects for the kidnapping were May and Ben. He wished that he could rule out Mary and Richard but how could he? He barely knew them, and for all he knew, they could have been evil.
Peter really hoped not.
"If you would like Peter, I could hack into government files and find more information about Mary and Richard Parker. They did work for the government after all," Friday suggested.
Peter whipped his head up to the ceiling as if to look at her and said exasperatedly, "Why couldn't you have done that from the start?! I have been TRYING to hack closed files for hours!" Peter was good, but even he was struggling with accessing confidential files. Despite being a Stark, he definitely was not at Mr. Stark's level yet.
"Well Peter, you were so focused and when I tried to interrupt you to inform you of this earlier, you did not seem to hear me. I thought it wise to let you try it yourself," Friday said, clearly finding Peter's irritation funny.
"Friday, I would be eternally grateful if you would hack into the government's classified files surrounding my parents and figure out everything about them," Peter said politely with a tired wave of his hand.
"Certainly Peter, it will take me approximately 3 minutes," Friday replied with a hum.
Peter let out a deep exhale. What was his life? His whole life had been upended in 2 days. Everything was happening so quickly and he had no idea what to think. This was the only free time he had had so far and he was using it to the best of his abilities. He had so many questions. About his parents, about his past, about the Green Goblin... too much was happening at once and none of it felt like a coincidence.
"Peter, I was able to uncover some classified information, but most of it is blocked by SHIELD. I would hack into them too, but I fear that they will recognize my doing so since I have done it before," Friday told Peter.
What did SHIELD have to do with his parents? Also, why had Friday hacked SHIELD in the past? Definitely a story for another day.
"Anything you can give me Friday will be better than what I have now."
"According to what I have found, the Parkers were scientists that worked for SHIELD. Richard Parker had an undercover mission involving Oscorp and went on a trip with Mary relating to that work. The private plane went down. That is all there is on file." Friday related to Peter.
Oscorp? Peter didn't know that. He was told his parents worked for the government. If they were undercover at Oscorp, what were they trying to find?
Peter directed the question to Friday.
"I am unsure of the reason, but it appears to be due to some suspected criminal activity happening within Oscorp. After the death of Agents Richard and Mary Parker, the investigation went cold.” Friday said.
Well, what was Peter to do now? It wasn’t a lot of information, but it did give him something to work with. Somehow, Oscorp is at the center of everything. Oscorp was being investigated by his parents, his parents died on a trip for Oscorp, and he got his powers on a field trip to Oscorp.
None of this could be a coincidence. Now all Peter had to do was put it all together.
Peter made a mental checklist of what he needed to figure out:
- Was his parent’s deaths an accident or planned? (Peter was hoping it was just an accident, but it wasn’t seeming to be likely.)
- Who kidnapped him? (Oh, the ultimate question of all.)
- Who is the Green Goblin and how does he know Peter’s identity?
- What is going on in Oscorp?
That last question in particular had plagued him since he first became Spider-Man, but he wasn’t confident in the start that he could investigate something like that. But it was different now. Peter was trained now and felt he could handle this.
With the distraction of his past done with for the moment, Peter’s mind drifted back to last night.
Peter wanted to understand his own behavior regarding Mr. Stark and what he said at dinner. While some of it was true, he wasn’t actually angry. Peter was upset, yes, and felt out of place, but he wasn’t mad at Mr. Stark and Ms. Potts for just wanting their son back. He may not be ready to play house with them, but he also wasn’t wanting to scream at them.
Peter had expected that Mr. Stark would have come to check on him by now. It was already noon and Dr. Banner had said that Mr. Stark wanted to talk to him today about his outburst, yet he was nowhere to be seen.
“Hey Friday, what is Mr. Stark doing right now?” Peter asked, feeling almost rejected by the thought of Mr. Stark not checking in with him, something Uncle Ben and May had always done, but he also understood he was a busy man. It didn’t make it hurt any less though.
“Mr. Stark is currently sitting down for lunch with Mr. Barton and Ms. Romanov. You were invited, but you had told me not to alert you of anything unless it was a matter of life or death earlier, so I refrained from telling you. I assure you that you are still welcome to join them,” Friday cheerfully informed Peter.
“What?! Oh man, I didn't mean to stand them up! Friday, when I say life or death it’s a figure of speech. You could have told me!” Peter panicked, quickly going to the bathroom and making sure he was presentable. He didn't want Mr. Stark to think he was avoiding him.
Peter rushed down the hall but quickly halted when he picked up some of the conversation going on at the table.
“I swear he’s a ghost! I have access to every database in the world and there is nothing on Spider-Man. No age, no location, no definitely listed powers, hell, we don’t even know for sure he is a man. The only solid thing I have on him is that he’s a cheeky bastard,” Mr. Stark said, sounding both irritated and impressed.
“SHIELD has been investigating him since he first popped up, but it’s been pointless. No connections to anyone. There is also nothing to be found on this ‘Green Goblin' character either,” Ms. Romanov offered.
God, Peter maybe shouldn't have come to this lunch, it felt a bit like an invasion of the Avenger’s privacy. He wanted to stop eavesdropping. May would be disappointed, but... they were technically talking about him, so he couldn’t help but listen. It was technically his right to hear what they were saying.
“Maybe he’s working with the Green Goblin. They could have orchestrated everything to make Spider-Man become an even bigger hero for some reason. The media seems to be eating up the idea of Spider-Man now being an Avenger, so it could be possible,” Mr. Barton lightly suggested, clearly not actually caring much on the topic.
Peter decided now would be a good time to appear before they start wildly speculating and dragging his name through the mud. He made his footsteps as loud as he could, and as inconspicuous as possible, walked into the room.
They all stopped their conversation at once and stared at Peter.
“Hi?” Peter said with a slight voice crack, clearly not wanting them to all focus on him.
Could Ms. Romanov smells his fear?
“Umm, I heard there was lunch?” Peter said lamely.
Mr. Barton was the first one to answer, while Mr. Stark quickly looked away from Peter, seemingly uncomfortable with his presence.
“Sure Petey, come grab a seat, we were just talking about the green g- ow!” Mr. Barton was interrupted by Ms. Romanov, who had sneakily stepped on his foot.
“I mean our resident green guy, the Hulk. Such a friendly guy, really love him,” Mr. Barton finished as Peter took the seat next to Mr. Stark.
Now the Hulk was something Peter could talk about. As Peter began to eat the food set in front of him, he started on the topic of the Hulk.
“Oh cool! Were you talking about the experiment that turned Dr. Banner into the Hulk? I know that it was obviously dangerous, but the science behind it was really cool. His research on gamma radiation and how it may be able to produce similar effects to the serum that made Captain America is amazing. Not to mention the other stuff he has done, like his paper on biomolecular-”
“I’m gonna stop you right there kiddo. You seem really into science, which is great, obviously get it from your dad, but definitely talk science with him, Nat and I will just get lost,” Mr. Barton interrupted.
Oh god, Peter didn't mean to ramble. How embarrassing.
Peter felt himself go red and looked at Mr. Stark for support, but Mr. Stark had already finished his food and decided to get up. Without even acknowledging Peter, he walked away.
Ms. Romanov could tell by Peter’s face that he was clearly bothered by Mr. Stark’s reaction.
“Peter, he may not seem like it, but he is trying,” Ms. Romanov said, trying to placate him.
“He just sucks at doing it!” Mr. Barton unhelpfully chimed in.
Peter started to just push the food around on his plate, not making eye contact.
“Thanks for trying to help, but it’s not his fault anyway, it’s mine. I was the one that exploded at him yesterday and I’m the one that wrecked his perfect life by appearing again. I just wish that he would tell me to my face what he’s thinking, then at least I could do something about it!” Peter said, surprising himself in how honest he was.
It was like Ms. Romanov was somehow interrogating him with kindness, making him want to tell her anything. It was terrifying in a way.
“He’s not an easy man to get along with, trust me, I would know, I had to be his assistant for a month. Let’s just say he was not the greatest boss. But Peter, I am a very skilled spy,” Ms. Romanov said, leaning in closer to him, “And your father holds nothing but love for you. I can see it clear as day, just as I can see that you are a good kid despite the secrets you are very obviously keeping,” Ms. Romanov said in jest to lighten the situation, but Peter was ready to bolt just at the suggestion of his secrets.
“I- '' Peter started, but was interrupted.
“Peter, I don’t care what secrets you keep,” Ms. Romanov said, holding up a hand. “I just know that you have them. You don’t have to tell me and I won’t dig, but maybe consider letting Tony into the loop. It may help to close the gap you two have,” She finished.
Peter didn’t really remember much after what Ms. Romanov said, he thinks that he thanked her and stumbled back to his room, but it was kind of a blur. Who knew that a spy could be so kind?
“You’re going to dig, aren't you?” Clint said, looking exasperated.
Natasha's smile resembled that of a predator.
“It's what I do best,” She replied.
“Well try not to traumatize him, I really am gunning for the best uncle award, I can’t let Rhodes or Happy take it from me” Clint replied, getting up and grabbing a bag of flour.
“What's the flour for?” Natasha asked curiously.
Clint’s eyes gleamed.
“Why I just have a little joke I want to go play on Stark for making my nephew uncomfortable, that's all”
The rest of the day flew by for Peter as he was left to his own devices. He went out for a little bit as Spider-Man, but came back when it started to get dark.
Later that night, as Peter was sleeping, his mind drifted off into the same dream from before. A woman and a man looked down at him, singing, green in their eyes.
This time, however, it was different. Their eyes grew brighter and they stopped singing to speak to him.
“Peter, find out who did this! You must figure it out, or else we’ll all die! It has to be you!” The woman pleaded to Peter.
“Peter,” The man said, “Oscorp holds the key. Go to Oscorp!” He shouted, the green in his eyes becoming so bright it hurt.
“GO THERE NOW!”
Peter woke up with a scream and quickly informed Friday not to alert anyone. Peter had no idea what the dream meant or who the people were, although he did feel something for them. Something loving. While it wasn’t much to go on, at least he knew his next course of action.
Time to investigate Oscorp.
Ummm.... No excuses. I needed break, I got a break. Hopefully I will be able to update regularly. Thank you for all the kind comments and kudos, they drive me to write. <3
Chapter 15: Infiltration Mode Activated
Lexi_Writer? Who's she? Never heard of her, didn't even know she still writes.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
After screaming himself awake, Peter knew there was no way he would be able to fall back asleep. Instead, he opted for the one thing that always made him feel better: Spider-Man.
Peter got up and went into the giant closet the room had. It was overkill, but convenient for Peter. Way in the back, buried behind all the clothes Miss Pepper had bought him, was his suit. Peter quickly changed and double checked with Friday that it was safe to leave.
“Lady Boss is currently asleep and Boss is in his workshop. He will not be leaving for an estimated 16 hours or longer based on how focused he is on the project,” Friday informed Peter.
Peter was ready to sprint out the window but the mention of Mr. Stark being awake made him pause.
“Won’t Mr. Stark know I left when he comes upstairs to bed? What if he checks up on me?” Peter didn't think he would, as Mr. Stark seemed to be giving him the cold shoulder, but Peter couldn't risk it.
“When Mr. Stark enters his lab he is very unlikely to leave it before he has finished with his project,of which appears to be one that will take more time,” Friday said almost as if she was tired of Mr. Stark and the amount of time he spent in the lab. Maybe she learned that behavior from Miss Pepper?
The idea of Mr. Stark working on a secret project in his lab that was probably important almost made Peter want to go down and see for himself what it was. Not Like Mr. Stark would let Peter see it. Or help him.
God, Peter almost felt embarrassed just thinking of being someone Mr. Stark would consider important enough to let him help. He may biologically be his kid, but he wasn't the kid that Mr. Stark hoped for. That kid died when Mr. Stark went to Afghanistan.
“If you are curious Peter, maybe you should go check on Mr. Stark instead of going out?” Friday said, easily guessing what Peter was thinking.
Mr. Stark programmed her to be almost too smart.
“Do you really think Mr. Stark would ever want to work with me in his lab?” Peter asked hopefully, but quickly regretted it.
“Never mind Friday that was a stupid question. Who would want a dumb kid running around in there lab at 3 in the morning. I’m just going to go now,” Peter said, walking towards the now opened window.
“Peter,” Friday started, “I am sure Boss does not think of you as a ‘dumb kid’ and would be overjoyed to have you in the lab. Would you like me to ask him for you?” Friday said, clearly trying to convince him to go see Mr. Stark instead of going out.
The idea was a nice one, but Peter didn’t believe Friday. Both Mr. Clint and Miss Natasha tried to convince him of that fact too, but just looking at Mr. Stark and his recent attitude towards Peter, it would be obvious that he doesn't want him anymore. Mr. Stark was clearly starting to regret getting his kid back, realizing Peter Parker was not the Peter Stark he dreamed of.
“It’s fine Friday. Anyway, I have a company to investigate and crimes to stop along the way. Don’t miss me too much!” Peter shouted as he jumped and shot a web out to the nearest building, escaping before Friday could try to convince him otherwise.
Peter quickly set up his comms and pinged Ned and MJ in case they wanted to join him. Ned would kill Peter if he didn’t at least invite him to be the Guy in the Chair for even one time.
“Peter! You’re finally out again!” Came a shout into his left ear, causing Peter to wince and almost slip.
“Ned, sensitive hearing, remember? You don’t need to shout,” Peter jokingly reminded him.
“Sorry dude, it’s just the last two times you went out I was busy and I haven’t seen you all weekend which is so weird because we used to hang every weekend but now you’re much farther away and I just miss you man and can’t wait until tomorrow so we can see each other at school!” Ned rambled. It was nice to just hear his friend and feel normal. It just proved that Ned would never change how he was with Peter.
“I missed you too Ned, but I do have a mission for tonight,” Peter said, knowing that would excite Ned.
“A MISSION?! OH MY GOD! Does this mean you’re finally an Avenger? Does your dad know you’re Spider-Man now? Am I going to be working with the Avengers?!” Ned shouted excitedly, almost speaking too loud again.
“No Ned! I am not working with the Avengers and Mr. Stark does not know I’m Spider-Man. it’s a secret identity Ned, what part of that confuses you?”
“Well MJ and I know, so you’re definitely not good at keeping secrets.”
“I just trust you guys! Also, those were accidents. I’ve learned to be more careful. Tonight we have a personal mission. We’re doing recon.”
“Personal? What are we investigating?” Ned asked, finally getting serious. He was Peter’s Guy in the Chair for a reason.
“We are investigating Oscorp,” Peter said.
“Oscorp? Why though? Is it about your spider bite? If you wanted to investigate that, it’s a little late cuz, you know, the spider is dead and all,” Ned helpfullyinformed Peter.
“Well it has a bit to do with the spider bite, but it’s more than that. I hacked into government files” no need to tell Ned that it was Friday, Peter had almost done it on his own, “ and found out that my parents, or whatever they are now, were actually working for SHIELD to investigate illegal activity in Oscorp. They died working for Oscorp Ned. They were probably killed because they discovered something. It almost feels like my duty to finish what they started because obviously Oscorp is doing bad things. And maybe looking into this will reveal how the Parkers even got me in the first place. I just need to know, so will you help me Ned?” Peter asked, hoping he didn’t sound too desperate. He knew Ned would help him with almost everything, but this was more serious and dangerous than what he normally does and he didn’t want Ned to do something if he didn’t want to.
“Are you kidding me Peter? This is so exciting! Corporate espionage, illegal experiments, Wrongful deaths, a mysterious kidnapping… this is so cool! This is what I was made to do!” Ned excitedly claimed, finding Peter’s life way more entertaining than Peter did.
Still, Ned’s reaction caused Peter to chuckle. The situation was serious, but Ned helped bring out a lighter side in Peter.
“I’ll also help,” MJ suddenly interjected, “because you two will get yourselves killed without someone reasonable helping you,” MJ casually finished, clearly having joined the comms a while ago but staying silent.
“MJ! It’s awesome to hear from you! Not Like it wasn’t also awesome to hear from Ned, both of you bring about the same amount of joy when I talk to you, but it's a little different and I’m just gonna stop talking,” Peter ended,feeling himself start to grow red while Ned silently laughing on his end of the comms.
“Good to hear from you too loser. I can't miss an opportunity to help my favorite loser out. I think it’s my job to look out for you Peter,” MJ said. Peter could practically hear the smile on her voice.
Her favorite loser? God, MJ didn’t realize how much that meant to Peter to hear.
“So I’m your favorite then MJ?” Peter said cheekily, feeling a little high on the happiness her words gave him.
MJ sputtered a little, clearly not aware that that was what she said.
“Guys” Ned interrupted, not letting MJ finish her eloquent response to Peter’s words, “I really want to do spy stuff tonight so if we could not flirt for tonight I would really appreciate it,” Ned said exasperatedly.
Both Peter and MJ went silent, stewing in their individual embarrassment.
Peter recovered quickly though and landed on a building right across from Oscorp.
“Okay Ned, I’m right in front of Oscorp, so what should we do?” Peter asked.
“What? I thought you had a plan! Did you just go out without thinking of how you would investigate them?” Ned asked.
“Maybe? Look, I’m Spider-Man and what I do best is fighting and quips. I’m smart but I don’t know how to be a spy! I was hoping you and MJ could help me come up with something. After all, you're my Guy in the Chair and she's pretty much my conscious.”
“I don’t want a nickname Peter, keep them for Ned,” MJ snarkily said. “What if you place a bug in Osborn’s office. That's the whole point of me having that compartment installed into the spider on your suit. Place one of your bugs and then collect it after a few days.” MJ said, somehow more ready for this than Peter.
It was a good idea, but it had issues. How was Peter going to break in without being seen? How would he get the bug back safely? He didn’t know when the next time he could go out as Spider-Man would be with the Stark’s watching him. He was lucky for tonight, but unlike with May, they don’t work night shifts and could pop into his room whenever. Even being out now was risky.
“Ned, what do you think?”
“Well if I hack into Oscorps servers I can find out which office is Mr. Osborn’s and you could enter through the window. I bet I could open it remotely. Also, I could disable surveillance,” Overall, the plan could work, but something was still wrong.
“Good ideas Ned, but how would I get the bug back?” It was annoying, but it was more expensive to make bugs that automatically transmitted what was said. Instead, it was more of a recording device.
Peter was a hero, but he definitely was not a billionaire.
Or at least he wasn't before.
“I...I don’t actually know,” Ned said, sounding dejected.
“What if you just walked in and took it?” MJ said as if it was the most reasonable and obvious answer ever.
“How could I possibly do that!? If I walk in I’ll be questioned! That’s not even mentioning how I would get into the office,” Peter exclaimed.
“Well Osborn’s son lives there right? And he now goes to Midtown. So why don’t you just become friends with him and then get invited over?” MJ suggested.
Peter was about to flat out refuse, but he quickly realized that MJ’s plan actually was amazing.
Peter had seen Harry being yelled at by his father on Friday for not having good grades, so as long as Peter offered to tutor him (and he most likely would get accepted as he was the top student at Midtown), he could easily get in and retrieve the bug.
It felt a little… evil to do for Peter, but it was for the greater good.
With that decided, they all waited for Ned to do his job.
After a few minutes of Peter and MJ talking and Ned constantly sushing them so he could ‘work his magic,’ Ned was done.
“You got 5 minutes Peter before the cameras come back up so you need to go right… now!” Ned said, and instantly Peter swung over and into the window Ned had opened at the top floor.
Peter listened carefully to make sure nobody was nearby that could hear him. After finishing his surveillance, He removed a bug from his spider and placed it under the desk, right behind the farthest leg from the seat. Hopefully no one would notice.
Peter was ready to make his exit, feeling pretty elated to have done an actual big mission without any issues, when suddenly angry footsteps stomped into the room.
Without thinking, Peter jumped out of the window and cling to the side of the building.
Don’t look down. Don’t look down. Don’t look down. Peter repeated in his head. He may work with heights, but being suspended in the air and only being held up by clinging to the tower was not fun.
“Peter what happened?” Ned asked, worried by his friend’s suddenly elevated heartrate.
Peter swiftly turned off his comms, not wanting to be distracted.
“We know who he is and what he’s doing so why can’t we just take him!” A man shouted at Mr. Osborn, his view obscured for Peter.
“As I have told you, timing is everything. All you need to do is keep infecting him and soon he will come to us. You will get paid either way so what does it matter,” Mr. Osborne said in response, clearly trying to keep his tone even despite his frustration.
“What does it matter!? I want to destroy Stark! Waiting on our asses won’t accomplish that!” The man yelled.
“Well I guess you should find a new employer right? Oh wait. No one else will hire you. So just keep doing what you're doing and- why is my window open?” Mr. Osborn asked, only just noticing as he turned around.
Peter freaked out. He quickly climbed farther away from the window, almost slipping.
Mr. Osborn leaned out to check but quickly leaned back in, frustrated.
I’m going to fire whoever did that. My office will freeze with windows open like that,” Mr. Osborn muttered as he pressed a button and the window closed.
Peter took that as his chance to swing away, already trying to determine what Osborn and the mystery guy were trying to do with Mr. Stark.
He turned back on his comms only to be met with frantic yelling of both Ned and MJ.
“Are you hurt?”
“Did you get caught?!”
Peter was quick to reassure them and explain what had happened, feeling bad for keeping them in the dark, promising not to do it again.
“Peter, I swear if it happens again I’ll tattle on you to your new parents, so don't scare us like that,” MJ said softly.
The care in her voice was just another reminder of why he loved her in the first place.
Yet it was also a reminder of why he was too scared to ever be in a relationship with her. Not after what happened to Liz. He refused to put anyone in danger that he loved by exposing them to what he came across.
Even if Peter loved her, and was almost sure she felt the same way, he knew he would never tell her.
With that thought, Peter continued to swing through New York, deciding to do a bit of crime fighting before retiring.
Peter slipped back into his room at 8 A.M.
He was ready to change when a knock suddenly came from his door.
“Peter? It’s Pepper! Can I come in please?” Miss Pepper asked from the other side of the door.
Peter swore quietly.
“Uh… one second Miss Pepper! I-I’m not dressed yet!” Peter called, quickly stripping from his suit and throwing it under his bed, slipping back on his pjs.
“Come in,” Peter said, feeling a little out of breath from the scare.
Pepper opened the door and said words that made Peter feel worried.
“Peter, I was hoping we could talk.”
New chapter written, let's go! Also, I think it's the longest one I've ever written???? The next chapter is probs going to be my favorite in terms of plot development but in terms of writing is going to kill me so let's hope I can get stout at a reasonable time! Also thanks for all the comments and kudos. When someone leaves a new comment it reminds me why I write in the first place so feed my hungry ego.