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Fluffy tigers at Stark Industries

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That Calvin barely passes high school doesn’t surprise anyone. Some of the more maleficent one would even say it was a miracle that he finished at all. Not that they say it a lot, at least not after Suzie socks one of them and gives him a black eye. But Calvin passes, barely, and then shocks everybody, except Suzie since it’s totally her fault, by being accepted to the MIT. Suzie makes him take an aptitude test by holding Hobbes hostage and threatening to do something unspeakable to him.

"I have a pink ribbon and if you don't do your best to ace this test I will tie it around his neck and call him miss kitty."

So Calvin takes the test and for once does his best and proves that he has an IQ of 158. Even Suzie has been surprised by that, but she covers it by giving Hobbes a can of tuna and Calvin a pizza.

Calvin finds that he likes the MIT, the pranks are great and carrying a stuffed tiger around isn't the strangest thing that has happened. And while he can't decide what his main subject should be he at least has the chance to learn a lot. Perhaps not things he's supposed to learn, but he’s always found that people doesn't appreciate his knowledge. Susie doesn’t go to MIT, but keeps in touch through mail, texts and phone calls. And while it mostly is to make him do his homework, eat right and to stop him from going to protest it’s comforting to know she still cared.

"No Calvin, I don't think that protesting against Wednesdays is a good way to spend the whole day."

"But Suzie, if we didn't have Wednesdays the weekend would be here so much faster, it's just a filler day."

Calvin resolves the matter by doing absolutely no schoolwork on Wednesdays and instead spends it doing anything else. This is how he ends up at an interview for an internship at Stark Industries. He blames Hobbes for that. It’s him who sees all the people sitting around looking nervous and clutching papers. Both Calvin and Hobbes thought its actors doing auditions and since it’s one thing they hasn’t tried doing on a Wednesday yet they just sits down and waits their turn. To find out it is for an internship is quite a shock. But more surprising is that Tony Stark himself is there, helping to conduct the interviews or scare the hopefully with his awesomeness.

"I'm not scared of your awesomeness," is the first thing Calvin tells him. "I thought, or rather Hobbes and I thought it was an acting job. Not that we can act, well Hobbes says he can but don't believe him."

"Who's Hobbes?" One of the other sitting there asks him.

Calvin points at Hobbes who currently napping on his bag, since it wasn’t acting jobs he aren’t interested anymore. Calvin is familiar with the looks he gets from the man and the woman sitting there but Tony gives him a wide grin.

"I like him, what's your name kid? And you should be grateful that you get to bask in my awesomeness."

"Calvin."

"So, Calvin, if you’re not here to look for a job why are you here?"

"It's Wednesday. I've decided that no schoolwork will be done on Wednesdays. I tried to rally a protest against the day, but Suzie stopped me so now I’m boycotting it instead."

"You’re boycotting Wednesday," Stark says amused. "I wonder if I can do that to?"

The man glares at Calvin and clears his throat.

"Mr.... Calvin, can you please tell us why you would want to work at Stark Industries."

"I like the robot. And working there would probably help me finally build the freeze ray gun I need when I take over the world and proclaimed myself the emperor of the world. Well except Africa and India since that's for Hobbes and whatever part Suzie would want. And then I will use the corporate to help me build a spaceship so I can go to new worlds."

"Kid, screw the internship do you want a job? I can get a contract written in like five minutes for you. And of course your tiger should have his own contract, what does he want to be paid in, meat?"

"He likes tuna."

"Excellent! Jarvis two contracts for my new friends! I like people with aspirations."

"Mr. Stark! You can't just hire someone like that!"

"My company. I don't care who you give the internship to, but you can't tell me who to hire or not to hire."

This is how Calvin drops out of MIT and gets a job at Stark Industries. A job, and one and a half cubicle for him and Hobbes. And a yearly supply of high grade tuna for as long as he works there.

"I knew it would be a good idea," Hobbes tells him smugly as he curls up under his UV-lamp at work.

"You thought it was for a movie or something," Calvin grumbles but steps away when the tiger shows his claws.

No one can say for certain what Calvin’s job is. So he tries a little of everything. He does a little marketing, or rather draws a picture and writes a slogan that somehow becomes a hit. Some of his more outlandish ideas turn out to be not quite as outlandish that you could have thought and makes the market. He's strange and probably a little crazy, but its Stark Industries and most people are strange or slightly crazy. It comes from hiring so many geniuses as they do. He works the hours he wants, which ends up being mostly nights since Hobbes is nocturnal. But so are other people that work there. And while he's the only one carrying around a stuffed tiger and talking to it, there are other with quirks. One brilliant mechanic only writes in poems, preferable haikus, one in the accounting worships the flying spaghetti monster and holds service once a month for all who wants to attend. So Calvin both fit in and not. He fits in because he's as strange and brilliant as the rest of them and doesn't since he hasn't have a clear role. Not that he's the only one not fitting in.

Most people said that you had to be crazy to work at Stark Industries, or at least if you worked at the main office.

Stark once gets the brilliant idea of seeing if his minions, or employees, could make money for them self. He therefore issues all his employers at the main office a thousand dollars and let them buy whatever stocks they want. They’re going be able to keep whatever they earn so everyone is happy to try. Calvin does well, or rather Hobbes does. Hobbes does so good that the accounting branch tries to lure him to their side. Well, at least before they finds out that he’s a stuffed tiger. To be honest they tries to lure Hobbes over even after, luckily Pepper put a stop to it.

Calvin isn't entirely certain what to think of Virginia Pepper Potts at first. She reminds him of Suzie in that she's scarily efficient and he's not certain if that’s a good thing or not. Hobbes likes her, but then again she rubs his stomach so he's biased. Calvin is sure she's talked to Suzie about how to get him to do things when he doesn’t' want to, but can't prove it because his psychic powers refuses to work on either of them.

He is present on one, and no more, board meeting and then goes to hide under his desk.

"They're zorgs! They tried to suck my brain out through my nose!" He tells Stark over the phone.

"I know that feeling, I get it every time I have a meeting with congress," Starks agrees and then makes sure Calvin never needs to attend such meeting again.

Calvin doesn't care and stays under his desk with Hobbes as guard until Suzie comes and rescues him. Because zorgs got nothing on Suzie. The day after when he comes back to work he finds a futon under his desk. After a week he's managed to smuggle in enough pillows and blankets to build a fort if he wants to and then lives under his desk for a couple of days while creating a videogame about brain sucking aliens and dinosaurs. When Pepper finally finds them she makes them go home and accepts the tablet were he’s written the code for the game.

"How did you know I was there? The fort is impregnable."

"Hobbes told me," she pets the tiger sitting on the table.

"Traitor!"

Hobbes just yawns and stretches.

"What can I say, she gives great stomach rubs."

"I can't believe you sold me out for a rub, I can rub your stomach if you want to."

No one can really say when Tony starts to accept things from Calvin’s and Hobbes hands, but they quickly came to be part of the minority that can hand things to the genius. Calvin also doesn't have any trouble drinking the things that Dummy gives him, not even after the second time he gets food poisoning from it. After that Jarvis becomes stricter of the things that go in the smoothies.

Tony once, and only once, tries to invite Calvin to one of his parties.

"What would I do there?" Calvin asks confused.

"I don't know, drink, dance, and find someone to get laid with?"

"Alcohol tastes funny and makes me..." Calvin hesitates for a moment, "makes things like zorgs and stuff more, more. So, I don't drink. Last time I tried it I ended up with attack frogs."

"Wait, is that why I had like thirty frogs for a while?"

"It was epic, or would have been if I’ve managed to train them. It would have been 'forward my amphibian army'."

"Huh, well ok, so no drink then. What about sex?"

"My cootie filter malfunctioned when I grew up. Instead of disintegrate like it should it left parts behind."

Stark looks at him while he figures that out.

"Ok, but if girls isn't your thing there's always boys, you know."

At Calvin’s blank look he sighs.

"Perhaps not. So, no sex at all?" Not that it's anything wrong with being asexual or whatever, I'm just trying to understand."

"I've never had sex," Calvin says clearly uncomfortable.

"OK, what about petting or snuggling or I don't know kissing? And petting your tiger doesn't count."

"Well, Suzie thought that I should at least try kissing once so she volunteered. She thought it would be better with someone I knew and liked."

"And?" Tony is almost vibrating in his seat with curiosity. The only reason Calvin even thinks about answering is because he can tell that the other is just curious nothing else.

"It was soft, slightly moist and tasted like raspberry."

The older man snorts in amusement.

"That's what you got out of it? What about the rest?"

"Hugs are nice and Hobbes is an excellent cuddler, but has a habit of steeling the blanket." He gives the tiger a halfhearted glare but Hobbes just smirks in return before going back to his nap.

"I got a great idea," Tony proclaims. "We should kiss. You can't just kiss a girl and then say no to the whole sex thing. I mean you like me, right? Right, of course you do, so we should try and kiss and see how you like that. And if you ever want to try for more I'm always willing to show you. So, what do you say? I promise I won’t try and slip you any tongue."

Calvin thinks for a moment before nodding. He does like Tony, Tony is fun, smart and accepted him just the way he is. He even talked to Hobbes sometimes. So Calvin leans forward and pressed a soft kiss against the other's mouth. Tony holds still, not taking command and just let the younger man do what he wants. It isn't a very long kiss and afterwards Tony gives Calvin a surprisingly soft smile.

"So, what's the verdict?"

"It scratched, and tastes like blueberries."

Tony’s laughter fills the room.