Justin stared with wide eyes at the information on the tablet in his hands. “This is it? You're not messing with me, right? This is the real deal?” Justin glanced up at the seller of the information: an AIM scientist, dressed in a yellow polo and matching slacks. It was a weird outfit. Definitely not stylish, like Justin's suit (Gucci, down to the socks. Very expensive).
The scientist nodded, rubbing his hands together nervously. He kept glancing over his shoulder like he was expecting someone to gatecrash their meeting. Hammer didn't even bother hiding his eye roll at the dumb schmuck. They were in one of the most expensive restaurants in LA. No one was going to just burst in and start shooting at them. The maitre de would stop anyone who tried. If he didn't, he definitely wasn't going to get the generous tip Justin always made sure to give (hundred bucks. He liked making the little people's day. It was the least he could do, really).
“It's all there in the file. The program runs itself. All you have to do is execute it.”
After making a show of reading through the programming code—couldn't be too careful when it came to millions of dollars in tech—Justin reached for his phone. After a few taps at the screen, Justin spun it around with a flourish. The glowing Hammer Industries logo flashed as it moved. Pretty slick design, if he did say so himself. Especially since he had just gotten into the whole communications gig, after his government weapons' contracts had been unlawfully revoked by that dick Stark.
“That's a million buck-a-roonies, deposited into your account. Tax-free money, right there. Up top!” Justin raised his left hand up for a high-five. The AIM dweeb ignored it. Justin shook his head and dropped it. Seriously, these tech guys were all alike. Probably wouldn't know what to do with the money now that he had it. But hey: Justin had access to all of Tony Stark's satellite systems! That was something those AIM nerds definitely wouldn't know what to do with. But Justin would.
Instead the little fellow stood up quickly, nodded around at Justin and what appeared to be half the room, and left. That polo shirt and those pants looked the same color as urine. The urine of a dehydrated person. Justin snorted and turned back to his foie gras, and gestured for the waiter to pack up the AIM nerd's food for himself as well. He wasn't about to let it go to waste: this restaurant was crazy expensive. Totally overpriced, seriously, for the quality of the food. But it was an impressive place to bring clients, the “It” place this season, and Justin was nothing if not impressive. In more ways than one (if you caught his drift).
Back when he was ensconced safely in his office, Justin plugged the tablet into his computer and downloaded the program to it. Clapping his hands, his twenty-screen display covering the far wall of the office lit up. Justin grinned. Now it was time to see what sort of secrets Tony Stark was up to. Now it was time to change the game, to get back at that cocky little shithead for what he did. He just had to find something interesting, or useful. A secret base of Tony's, or video of him doing something less-than-heroic. And he could use the system to get ahead of the competition, too: figure out what sort of tech the Chinese or Russians or Israelis were packing. Maybe poach a few assets, maybe get some of his tech nerds to reverse engineer some stuff for him. It all depended on how Stark had the arrays set up, and what kind of resolution he had on these bad boys.
With one finger Justin pressed down on the “Enter” key on his keyboard. Immediately his screens lit up, cycling through dozens... no, wait, hundreds? Thousands! Of satellite feeds!
Justin jumped out of his chair and did a little victory dance. It was a pretty slick combination of the moonwalk and the macarena. Invented it himself. Probably would go viral soon. He just hadn't been hitting the clubs enough recently to get it out there—busy with work and all.
But this! This was going to make his life a hell of a lot easier. Oh, wait, what was that? Something had flashed before his eyes, something out of place among the satellite feeds of innocuous cities and nature. Scrambling back over to his desk, Justin fumbled with his keyboard. How did it...? No, wait. Back. No, not backspace. The arrow keys. No, that wasn't... Oh. A display flashed up on his dedicated monitor. Something to cycle through all the satellites on. Okay, he just had to go back, somehow, make it go back to whatever had been on the screens a few seconds ago. Justin's head bobbed up and down, gaze flickering between the screens on his wall and the monitor in front of him like he was watching a heated ping pong match.
There! A little dial, okay! Now he could scroll between the different feeds at will. Justin grinned and grabbed his keyboard (wireless, of course) and hurried back over to the wall displays. Back, back, back, back... There!
Justin cocked his head at the screen directly in front of him. It was an outdoor shot: a park. The satellite wasn't static like the others: probably what had caught his eye in the first place. No, it was tracking something. Specifically: an ass.
Justin stared at the image for a long while. It was a pretty good ass. Guy's ass, though, so it wasn't like it was sexy or anything: Justin was one-hundred percent straight, oh yeah. But he definitely knew a good ass when he saw it, and this was pretty damn spectacular. Even with all the gym memberships and personal trainers and the best dieticians money could buy, Justin didn't have an ass like that. Not quite. Not that his ass was bad: it was a pretty good ass. But he was man enough to admit when he was beat, and this ass definitely had him beat.
Anyway: whose was it? And why was there a satellite feed dedicated just to tracking it? Frowning down at his wireless keyboard, Justin kept the mysterious ass on the one display and started flipping through the others. Maybe he could get some tech guys in here, figure it out.
Wait a second. There! Justin froze, fingers hovering above the keyboard. There it was again, from a slightly different angle. And in infrared, this time. Justin's eyebrows rose. Wow, that ass was hot. Literally! Not like he thought it was hot. No: literally hot! It was giving off heat like a furnace, according to the infrared satellite. Judging by the movements of the ass through the scenery that could be glimpsed around it, whoever was in possession of the ass was jogging, so it made sense that it would be running warmer than normal. Still, that had to be outside of the amount of heat any average human gave off.
A theory had started to form in Justin's head. A crazy smart, crazy-crazy theory. Holding those two monitors with the ass on it fixed, Justin continued to flip through the rest of the feeds, to see if the ass showed up in any other satellite image, maybe from a different angle so he could figure out who the owner of the ass was.
In the end, there was one more satellite feed dedicated solely to the mysterious ass: an ultraviolet one, this time. Although all the satellites were focused on the ass from slightly different angles, none of them were panned far enough out that Justin could put a face to the ass. And he hadn't figured out how to control the satellites himself just yet—he'd have time to work on that later. Maybe get some tech guys in, just in case Stark left some virtual booby-traps for anyone who was brilliant enough to get ahold of his satellite feeds like Justin had.
Justin drummed his meticulously manicured fingernails (mani-pedi, once a week since forever) on his keyboard as he watched the three feeds, carefully scanning them for clues. Whoever this was, he had run around Central Park something like two times in the short while Justin had been watching him. Now he was heading over to the street, walking down it.
Justin perked up. Maybe he'd walk home, whoever this mysterious ass belonged to. That might offer some tips to his identity.
About ten, maybe twenty blocks later, and Justin realized where the mysterious ass was going. And it wasn't helpful in the slightest. That ass was headed for Stark Tower—AKA the “Avengers Tower.” And wasn't that just the most pretentious crap Justin had ever heard, seriously. It was bad enough Tony's tower had to be one of the tallest in New York, but it had to be the tower for all those so-called “superheroes”, too. If you asked Hammer, Tony was obviously compensating for something.
Well, heading into Stark Tower wasn't going to tell Justin anything about the identity of the ass. Thousands of people went in and out of Stark Tower every day. It would be hours before the ass traveled to his home, wherever that was, and Justin had better things to do with his time. More data to mine from Tony's satellites. Learning the identity of a guy whose ass Tony was stalking would be useful information, sure, but it wasn't worth throwing away the near infinite possibilities of information that the rest of the thousands of satellite feeds held.
Just as Justin was about to switch over to the rest of the feeds, however, something caught his eye. The satellite images that were still working were the UV and infrared only—the plain-eye satellite obviously couldn't see inside the tower. But the remaining two were painting a clear enough picture of what was going on inside. The ass was in the elevators now, but not the public access elevators. A special friend of Tony's, then? Justin leaned forward hungrily. Was Tony cheating on Pepper? With a dude?! Oh, boy. If Justin could get video footage of that, he'd make millions off the tabloids. More, if he blackmailed Tony with it.
The elevator doors in front of the ass opened. Abruptly the natural-sight satellite came back online, through the windows of the Tower. The ass was in the penthouse, now. One of the penthouses. And... was talking to Tony! Justin squirmed in place, doing a little happy-dance. This was great. If he could just get some incriminating footage...
But after a few minutes talking to Tony in the kitchen, the ass moved away. Two of the other superheroes were in the living room—the satellite was far enough back that Justin could see them enough to identity them as the two SHIELD agents Tony had suckered into dressing up and playing pretend superhero with him. The woman was that bitch that had sprained Justin's arm at the Expo. The ass was speaking to them, now.
Well, wait a second. The ass must belong to one of the superhero team members, then. And if that was the male SHIELD agent there that the ass was talking to, and it clearly wasn't the Hulk's ass...
This was that Captain America impersonator kid. The one the government had dreamt up and sent out with Tony during the alien invasion (total conspiracy. Justin had quite a few leads as to who was really behind it). Tony had three satellites dedicated to following around the new Captain America's ass.
Justin stared in stupefied silence for another five minutes as the satellites followed Captain America around the penthouse, the natural-sight feed cutting in and out as he moved towards and away from windows. Finally it cut out entirely as Captain America sealed himself up in his room. Then got into his shower. Justin flapped his hands madly over his keyboard, finally cutting the feed after a few moments of disastrous fumbling.
Well. That was interesting. Apparently Tony Stark had three separate satellite feeds dedicated to his teammate's ass. His very male teammate's ass. But what to do with the information?
The obvious first thought was to sell it to the highest bidder. TMZ would pay top dollar for a scoop like this. Tony Stark: worse than the NSA and using all that power to spy on Captain America's ass. Oh yeah, that'd be the headline of the decade. And it would all be thanks to Justin. He'd knock that little prick Snowden out of the headlines forever.
But that was too easy. Justin didn't need the money: Justin was totally rich. Like, pool-in-his-yacht rich. And knowing Stark, he would somehow spin it into a positive. The slippery jerk had escaped plenty of tabloid scandals over the years. There was no reason this one would be any different.
How to destroy Tony, then? There had to be someone he could give this information to which would end up doing the most harm. He could just send it to the subject matter himself, Captain America. The guy was an all-American stooge: it would totally freak him out to find out one of his teammates was gay for him. And hey, if the crazy rumors were true and he was actually from the nineteen forties (not a chance, but how the internet loved its crazy theories), it would freak him out even more. At the very least he'd end up putting Tony through a wall. He might even leave the team, or hell, at worst he might end up killing Tony. A guy could dream.
Then again, Justin prided himself on being a pretty cosmopolitan guy. And part of being a cosmopolitan guy was having awesome gaydar. And if there was ever an ass made for a gay dude, it was that ass. Justin had certainly seen enough of it this afternoon (gross), and it was making his gaydar ping like crazy. Sending the video to Captain America, then: might not work out how he hoped.
Of course, it wasn't like Tony was a bachelor. No, everyone in the business world knew: Tony was dating his PA, Pepper. Or CEO, whatever, like Justin didn't know how she got that job. But the point was, they were dating. Had been for almost a year now. If Pepper knew that her boyfriend spent his downtime ogling a teammate's ass... that would hurt Tony! That would ruin him! Hell, since she was CEO of his company, she could take everything away from him! A woman scorned and all that.
It was genius. Justin was a genius. Everything he did was so fucking genius. Justin did a few celebratory hip-thrusts against his keyboard. Fuck yeah!
With just a few super-smooth clacks at his keyboard, Justin sent the video he had recorded off to Pepper's private email address (yeah, he had that too. Because he was awesome. And because she had given it to him when they were doing business together for the Expo). The subject line read “Found Some Footage of Your Boyfriend's Boyfriend”. Clever, he knew.
Leaning back in his chair, Justin folded his hands behind his head. Oh yeah. Tony wasn't even going to know what hit him.
Overbalancing wildly, Justin fell to the floor with a crash. Quickly he picked himself back up, righting his chair. Yeah. Not going to know what hit him.
Steve awoke earlier than usual that morning, not knowing why at first. Then his eyes alit on the blinking phone on his bedside table. Reaching out, he tugged the device to himself. He had a new text. From Pepper.
Frowning, Steve levered himself upright in bed. He didn't think it was anything too bad: not if Pepper was texting, and not calling. And of course JARVIS would have alerted him if it was anything disastrous. But still, he couldn't help but be just a little nervous at an early morning text.
These are from Tony's personal satellites. Make a move if you want to. He sure won't.
Steve frowned. But he clicked the first of the attached video files. There were six total.
Steve stared down at the tiny glowing screen in the darkness of his room. For a moment he didn't understand what he was looking at. When he did, he flushed bright red and sank down into his sheets. Oh. Oh. And these were from... Tony's satellites? Tony's personal...
Make a move.
Steve sank further down beneath his duvet. Oh. Um. Huh.
But Pepper and Tony had been stepping out together just a few months ago. Sure, they were broken up now, but... It sure was modern of Pepper to tell Steve to go ahead and try it on with Tony.
Did these mean that Tony was interested in him? Burning with embarrassment, Steve thumbed gently at the next file. It was of him in the shower. Steve dropped the phone, flushing hot. Pepper had seen these!
But... So had Tony.
Well. That decided things, then.
Later that morning—closer to afternoon, really, Steve cornered Tony just outside the kitchen.
“Steve.” Tony tried to move past Steve, pouting mightily when Steve blocked his path. Tony reached his hands meaningfully behind Steve. “Steve. Coffee.”
“You mind explaining this?”
Keeping his face stony, Steve handed his phone over. Tony glanced down absently at it, not seeming to pay it much mind. Then his eyes refocused, then widened, and he went visibly pale.
“It doesn't matter where, Tony. What matters is that this is a direct violation of my privacy.” Steve was using his best Captain America voice now. It seemed to be doing the trick, judging from the nervous, guilty way Tony was avoiding his eyes. “I understand that I'm expected to submit myself to a certain degree of monitoring when I agreed to live here, and in the twenty-first century in general, but really, Tony? In fact, this isn't a violation of privacy: it's a violation of trust.”
“No, no, hang on.” Tony's eyes were darting this way and that. “Let me explain. It's... precautionary. For safety. I have to make sure I've got eyes on you-”
“Eyes on my rear end, you mean.”
Tony winced. “It's-”
Steve steeled himself. This was it. “You have to have eyes on me when I'm in the shower?”
Tony looked faintly ill. “Uh.”
“Do you have eyes on me when I masturbate?”
Tony just swallowed, gaze focused somewhere on Steve's chest.
“But I bet your satellites couldn't tell you that when I...” Don't hesitate don't hesitate don't hesitate “finger-fuck my rear, I think of you?” Maybe he shouldn't have said “rear”. Maybe he should have said “ass”. Oh gracious. Steve's face was on fire. He must be the exact shade of red as the tomatoes in the fridge.
“Listen-” Tony started. Then he stopped. His eyes snapped up to meet Steve's, mouth dropped wide open. His mouth formed a “W”, but no sound came out.
“Holy shit,” Tony finally said. “Did you just say 'fuck'?”
“Is that really the part you're going to focus on?” Steve mumbled. He tried to resist the urge to rub the back of his neck, and failed. “Um.” Tony wasn't saying anything else. Oh, darn it. This had been a mistake. A major miscalculation on his part. And Pepper's! He was going to have very stern words with Pepper later. Not too stern because she was a nice lady and certainly only had the best intentions, but the road to hell and all that.
Tony wasn't running away. Tony was still staring up at him.
Tony... might have an erection, if Steve's super-soldier eyes weren't failing him.
“That is the hottest thing I've ever heard in my life,” Tony mumbled.
“Oh hell, just get in my mouth,” Tony mumbled. And then he was tugging Steve down into an absolutely filthy kiss. And Steve definitely, definitely was enjoying it. And if Tony went to grab his ass a little sooner than Steve might have been expecting it, well. It certainly wasn't unwelcome.
Everything was the worst. Everything. Justin had obviously done something to offend the entire fucking universe at some point, because the bitch was out to get him.
Latest breaking news story this twenty-four hour news cycle? Fucking Iron Man and Captain America as the nation's darling gay couple.
His brilliant plan had only led to handing Tony that perfect ass on a golden platter. And now the two of them were strutting around in public together, each of them glowing with “I just had great fucking sex” smiles. Justin didn't miss the way Tony's hand hovered possessively just an inch above that ass he had coveted via satellite for who knows how long. And now he had that ass. That perfect fucking ass. For fucking.
Justin slouched in his chair and flicked rubber bands at his TV screens. Most of them didn't manage to fly that far. Probably defective. He'd have an intern get him new ones in the morning.
And the worst part of all this? Tony had figured out the leak in the satellite feeds and shut them all down.
So Justin hadn't even gotten to see that ass in action.