“Mr. Stark, can we stop at the bank before we head upstate? I need to cash a few checks or else May will kill me.” Peter asked as Happy was driving them upstate to the Avengers compound.
“Checks? What, you got a job I don't know about?” Tony retorted as he looked at Peter.
“No. They're birthday checks.” Peter scratched the back of his neck.
Tony ran through the date in his mind. “Birthday? I didn't miss your birthday.”
Peter quickly shook his head. “No, these are from last year.”
Tony blinked. “Last year? You haven't gotten your checks cashed from last year ?”
“I've been busy,” he defended himself. “Like saving the world and stuff.”
“You mean, saving a few old ladies from crossing the street by themselves?” Tony smirked. Peter narrowed his eyes and stared at the floor of the car. “I'm joking, kid. You also get people's bikes back, help with directions.”
Peter tried to hide his smile but it didn't work. He looked back up at Tony and Tony smiled down at him. Then he turned to the front of the car and said, “You heard him, Hap. Head to the bank.”
“You got it, boss,” he said from the front.
It was only a little detour so they were there in a few minutes. Happy pulled into the parking lot and said, “I'll be out here. Be quick, Cap was gonna have dinner ready at the compound.”
Tony rolled his eyes and opened the door for Peter. “Come on, kiddo.”
Peter looked at him questioningly. “You don't have to follow me in. I'll be okay.”
“Maybe I want to.” Tony pushed him through the car door and followed him out.
Peter didn't argue and he kept walking until he was inside the bank. There wasn't a long line or else Tony would have taken off the sunglasses and escorted Peter to the front.
“So, kid, how's your project doing? The one for your tech class where you need to make something from the ‘50s. Right?”
Peter smiled up at him. “Yeah, I decided to combine the television and 3D. So all I have to do is make a functioning television and film something and turn that video into 3D.”
“You should swing by the tower when you're going to start it, I've got some stuff in the lab you can use. And I'd love to help you out with it,” Tony said, enjoying how excited he was getting over it.
Peter started to thank him and then started to go on about his ideas and how he planned to build it all. Tony was listening to every word he said but then something caught his eye. He turned around to see two men in scrubs with doctor masks covering half their faces. And then a woman in matching attire walked inside and shut the door behind her, flipping the lock.
“Shit,” Tony cursed just as Peter abruptly stopped talking.
“Mr. Stark, something's wrong,” he said, probably because his Spidey senses were telling him danger was close.
“This bank is about to be robbed,” Tony whispered as he pulled out his phone and typed out a quick text to Happy.
bank rob. 911
He shoved his phone back in his pocket before he could get a response. He hoped Happy had his phone on and close by.
“Listen to me,” Tony said quickly and quietly, grabbing Peter's shoulder. “Keep your mouth shut and don't try anything. You're not Spider-Man and there is nowhere for you to change so unless you want the entire world to know your secret, keep out of their attention.”
“No buts. I don't have a suit or anything on me. Please, Peter, just--.”
“Everyone on the ground now!” There it was.
Tony pushed Peter down. “Get over there.”
Peter looked scared and Tony wanted to pull the kid close and keep him behind him. But he couldn't. He had to let the robbers believe they weren't here together. If they found out who Tony was, they'd want something. And that would be easier to handle without them using Peter against him.
“Go,” he urged one last time before they were all laying on the bank floor. Peter crawled away until there were several people between them. He looked once last time at Tony before looking down at his feet.
“We don't want trouble,” one of the robbers called out. “You all stay quiet and we'll take what we came for and no one will get hurt.”
A man and a woman ran to the desk and screamed for the teller to empty all the money into their bags. “And don't you dare try to pull that shit with the bills that set off an alarm.”
The teller was crying as she continued to fill their bag, insisting she didn't signal anyone about what was happening. Tony peeked over at Peter and could see him struggling with staying still. The kid didn't want to hide when someone was in danger.
After a few moments, the three of them started to leave with their cash when sirens started blaring outside. The woman growled, pointing her gun at everyone lying down. “Who the fuck called the police?”
“What did you do, bitch?” One of the men roared, hurrying to the teller. He whipped her across the face with his gun and she let out a sob and fell down.
“Nothing! I swear!”
The men lifted his gun into position and released the safety. “You're gonna regret that!”
Fortunately for the teller, a stupid kid opened his mouth and caught the attention of the three gunmen. Unfortunately for Tony, the stupid kid was his.
“Maybe if you don't want to be caught by the police, don't go robbing banks.”
The three robbers all went silent and turned to stare at Peter. The largest of the men, walked over to him and stopped right by his head. He lowered his gun until it was pressed against the back of Peter's head. “What'd you say, pipsqueak?”
Tony felt his heart stop beating. He had to do something. “He said something pretty logical, actually.”
The man pulled the gun off of Peter. “Looks like we've got ourselves a couple of jokers. I hope you keep your sense of humor because we're going to be here a while.”
“But, Doctor Smith, we were supposed to get the money and run,” the woman said, glancing at the window where red and blue lights were flashing.
“Well, our plans changed. Now we've got some hostages to make sure we get away.” Doctor Smith responded.
“You heard him!” The other man shouted, waving his gun around. “Everyone up and get in a circle. Throw your phones and wallets into the center.”
Immediately, everyone started scrambling to sit up and put there stuff on the ground. Tony took his time getting up and putting his phone and wallet in front of him. He looked across the circle where Peter was sitting, pulling his phone out. He nervously started to pull at a loose string on his school sweater.
Doctor Smith said, “Doctor Jones, watch them. Doctor Williams, collect all their stuff.”
Doctor Jones nodded and kept his eyes on their hostages. Doctor Williams stepped into the center and started to pick up all the phones and wallets. There were only ten of them in the circle so it wasn't a lot. She got right in front of Tony when she paused. She looked at him and then picked up his wallet. Unlike the others, she opened this one up to read the ID inside. She looked back up at him.
“Oh, Doctor Smith, I have something I think you'll like,” she said in a sing-song voice. “I don't know why I didn't notice it earlier with the sunglasses, the suit, and the facial hair.”
Doctor Smith, the obvious leader, came walking over and looked down at Tony. He tried not to show any reaction as he sat and stared straight ahead at Peter.
“Well, well, well, Tony Stark. What are you doing here? I thought a guy like you would have people to come to the bank.” Doctor Smith’s voice was condescending.
Tony remained silent and kept staring at Peter. He pretended it was just him and Peter with no crazy people holding guns to them.
Staying silent wasn't the right answer because Doctor Smith took the butt of his gun and smacked him across the cheek with it. Tony felt his head snap and his glasses went flying across the room. Tony felt blood welling up in his mouth as he turned his head straight again. Now there was nothing blocking his eyes from everyone in the room. He glared at Doctor Smith, who was kneeling right in front of him.
“It's rude to wear sunglasses inside.” Tony didn't doubt he was wearing a smirk under that mask. “Now, if you'd like that to be the last time I use this on you,” he waved his gun, “You're going to cooperate with me.”
“Go to hell,” Tony said, spitting the blood out of his mouth onto the mask on Doctor Smith's face.
Doctor Smith started to laugh. “Oh, I like you.” Instead of using the gun, he used his fist to punch Tony across the face. He fell slightly before catching himself.
Before he could straighten up and spit some more blood in the bastard's face, he heard, “Mr. Stark! Leave him alone!”
Tony closed his eyes and cursed under his breath. This stupid kid. He turned back around and saw Doctor Smith staring right back but he was terrified by the look in his eye.
“ Mr. Stark ? You didn't tell me you brought a friend, Tony. It's so impolite of me to give you all the fun.” Doctor Smith shook his head.
As he stood up, Tony pushed himself up, only to be held back with a gun to his head. Still, he yelled, “Stay away from him!”
Doctor Smith didn't listen as he walked over to Peter. He was trying to seem brave as he sat there but Tony knew him well enough to see the slight fear in his eyes.
“And you would be?”
Peter answered in a deepened voice, “Peter Parker.”
“Well, Peter Parker, what are you doing over here? Mr. Stark is over here.” Doctor Smith grabbed Peter by the bicep and started to drag him across the floor. Peter gasped in pain and tried to move his feet so he wasn't being dragged but he was being thrown at Tony before he could.
Tony reached out and pulled him up and close to his side. “You okay, kid?”
“I'm sorry, Mr. Stark. I tried to ignore it but I couldn't let them hurt you. I'm sorry,” Peter said hurriedly.
“ I'm sorry, Mr. Stark,” Doctor Smith mocked in in a high voice.
Tony glared at the man while putting a hand on Peter's arm. He whispered in Peter's ear, “It's going to be okay.”
“You know what, Doctor Jones, I don't think we need anyone other than these two. It'll be easier to keep an eye on them. Get the others ready to leave. When ESU calls in, we'll send them out,” Doctor Smith said while staring at Tony and Peter.
As if on cue, the bank phone started ringing. Doctor Smith looked up and said, “Showtime.”
While he went to pick up the phone, Tony looked around. The other man, Doctor Jones , was cajoling everyone to stand up and grab their stuff and the woman, Doctor Williams, was looking outside nervously.
If he had a few minutes alone with her, he knew he could convince her to let them go. But Doctor Smith wouldn't let that happen.
“I'm sorry, Mr. Stark,” Peter started whispering. “I should have stayed quiet like you told me to. I just couldn't sit there--.”
“Hey, it's okay, kiddo. It's not your fault.” Tony tried to give him a small smile but Peter wasn't stupid. He knew they were both in real danger. Peter leaned closer to press his side against Tony.
“Yeah, listen, Agent Dorr, we're sending out 8 of them all healthy and untouched.” Doctor Smith came back over with a cordless phone. “We only kept 2. I think that seems pretty fair.” He rolled his eyes. “Why? Because I wanted to.”
Doctor Smith snapped over at Doctor Jones and then pointed to his wrist. Doctor Jones nodded and started walking over. “Put your hands behind your back,” he ordered but Tony didn't move. He lifted his gun to Peter's head. Tony quickly complied.
Doctor Jones pulled a quick tie from his pocket and wrapped it around Tony's wrists. Then he did the same to Peter without needing to hold the gun to Tony's head.
“We're not coming out just for you to send us to prison and let Tony Stark and this kid live their money filled lives,” Doctor Smith snapped into the phone. “Call back when you can get us a car to take us to LaGuardia and a private jet to get out of the country.” He ended the call and threw the phone to the table.
Doctor Smith walked back over to them and pulled down his mask to expose his grin. “So what's going on here?” He wiggled his finger between Tony and Peter. “Sugar daddy and boy toy?”
Tony growled, feeling his ears burn. “None of your business who he is. You want me? Fine.”
But Doctor Smith's eyes stayed on Peter. He patted his cheek lightly. “Aren't you a cute kid, huh?”
Peter moved his face from his grip and narrowed his eyes. “Get away from me, creepo.”
Doctor Smith moved his hand to Peter's thigh and looked over at Tony. “I'll make you a deal: either you give me 15 million in cash or you give me 15 minutes with this kid behind that desk.”
Tony shot out his leg quickly to kick Doctor Smith hard in the chest. “Touch him and I'll kill you.”
Even though Smith was on the ground, rubbing his chest, he was laughing. “Oh, calm down, I was joking. I just wanted to see how upset you'd get.”
“It's not funny,” Tony growled.
“It kinda is.” Smith shrugged his shoulders, standing back up. “But I still want that 15 mil.”
“I can't help you when I'm here tied up.” Tony eyed him, moving closer to Peter. He had one job and that was to keep him safe.
The phone started to ring again. Smith rolled his eyes and grabbed it. Before he picked it up, he turned to the other two and said, “Keep an eye on them. I'm going to try and get us a way out.” Then, he picked up the phone and disappeared further into the bank.
Jones was over by the front and Williams was back with them. Tony whispered just loud enough for her to hear him. “Hey, Doc.”
Her eyes flickered down to stare at him.
“I know you don't want this. This isn't what you signed up to do.” Tony shook his head.
Williams glared at him. “You don't know what you're talking about.”
“Yes, I do. Look, no one has been hurt, you didn't steal the money yet and we're all alive. You can still get out of this. If you help us, I can get you a great lawyer and I can testify that you weren't on the wrong side. I can help.”
“Thanks, but you don't have that kind of power.”
“I have money. Sometimes it's the same thing,” Tony said. “You're obviously only doing this because you need money so maybe I can help with that.”
Williams looked hesitant. “My daughter...she's been sick and I can't afford the bills anymore. I don't have the money and if I don't have it then my baby girl doesn't get her treatment and she'll die.”
“You have a kid?” Tony asked. “So do I. And I don't like people pointing guns at my kid.”
She glanced over at Peter before looking back at him. “I can't let her die.”
“I can help. However much it is, I'll take care of it,” Tony promised.
For a second, Tony thought she was going to listen but she shook her head. “I really wish I could believe you.”
Tony groaned. “So what? You're just gonna let yourself go to jail and leave your daughter all alone.”
“I'm not going to jail.” She had an empty smile on her face. “My mother will take care of my baby and I have life insurance.”
“You're not going to just let yourself get killed,” Peter gasped. “You can't let her grow up without a mom.”
“It's either that or she doesn't grow up at all,” Williams said sadly. Then she turned away and called Jones over to take her place.
“Gladly,” he responded as he walked over to them. He looked down at the two and stared. “Tony Stark,” he said. “You always thought you were so much better. How does it feel to be our bitch?”
“How does it feel to be Smith's bitch?” Tony shot back.
Jones narrowed his eyes. “You better watch your mouth. I'm the one with the gun and perfect aim.” He lifted his gun to point it directly between Peter's eyes.
Shit , it was so much easier to mouth off when he didn't have to worry about someone he cared about getting hurt.
“Okay, okay, stop,” Tony said, pulling on the binding around his wrists. “I'll behave.”
Jones pulled the gun away. “That's what I thought. Keep that in mind...Unless you want something to happen to this precious little boy.”
Peter growled and Tony knew he was trying his best to hold back. If he was allowed to, Peter could take care of these goons with his eyes closed.
“You need to tie us down and hold guns to our heads to even get the upper hand. What a bunch of cowards.” Peter glared up at Jones.
Tony would have laughed if the kid mouthing off didn't only upset these people. Thankfully, Jones didn't seem too upset. “What's a matter, kid? You wanna take us on? You think with both hands you'd be able to win? That's cute.”
Tony shook his head with barely moving, hoping Peter would see and shut up. Peter didn't say a word back and Tony relaxed slightly.
Jones stood back up and kept the gun low by his side. Tony rolled his jaw as he imagined everything he was going to do to these people when he was free. Every time they held a gun to Peter's head, was another minute Tony added to their suffering before he killed them all.
That was a promise.
Almost three hours had passed since they entered the bank. They were finally left alone with a little privacy. Or at least enough to whisper.
“You think we missed dinner?” Peter asked quietly and the sound seemed so loud compared the previous silence.
Tony laughed quietly. “I think we can go for some cheeseburgers after this. We deserve it.”
“I'm sorry I asked to stop here.”
Tony looked down at him. Peter had probably been sitting there blaming himself since this started. “Those checks needed to be cashed. And I have a feeling if you were by yourself when this happened...they would have already shot you 5 different times.”
Peter smiled and said, “I just feel bad for Happy, you know. Sitting out there for hours after he told us to hurry up.”
Tony huffed out a laugh. “Yeah, poor Happy. I can't even imagine what he's going through right now.”
“You think Aunt May knows?” Peter asked, turning the conversation suddenly serious.
“Of course,” Tony said without a doubt. “And she's out there waiting for us-- a safe distance away with Happy.”
Peter opened his mouth to say something but then it snapped shut when his body went rigid. He looked pained as he whispered, “Danger, danger, danger.”
Tony instinctively moved in front of Peter as Smith came storming back over. “Alright, get up. We've got a car outside waiting for us.” Williams came behind Peter and helped pull him up while Jones shoved Tony up.
“Williams, you escort Stark out. Jones, get the kid,” Smith order as he picked up his gun and bag of money. He started to walk towards the front door and then Jones shoved Peter forward. Williams followed behind with Tony.
Tony saw Peter shoving at Jones until the gun was pressed against his temple. Tony felt nauseous when he didn't pull it away even after Peter went still.
Smith turned to Jones and motioned towards himself. “Come next to me when I walk outside. They won't risk the kid.”
Peter was pushed ahead by Jones but the gun didn't move. Smith opened the front door and walked outside, keeping Peter clear in everyone's sight.
“You shoot and we shoot the kid!” Smith yelled out to the barrier of police.
Tony was shoved out the door seconds later and he looked around at everyone staring. There were dozens of officers aimed and ready to fire and Tony would have begged them to take the shot if Peter weren't here. There was also a large crowd of people watching with newscasters and reporters catching everything on footage. He scanned the crowd again and saw Happy holding a crying May.
Smith continued to yell as they walked to a waiting SUV. “If anyone shoots or tries any funny business, the kid dies! He's staying with me until I'm safe in another country and you don't come after me. The private jet you're providing us with will take him back.”
Tony struggled because that was not happening. The police weren’t going to let them take their hostages with them.
“We'll release Mr. Stark to you as he has an important responsibility of putting 15 million into my account so we have some money to start up with.” Smith turned to Tony and said, “You better make sure we get that money or else little Peter here won't be very happy.” Smith ran a hand through Peter's hair before turning back around.
“No!” Tony screamed as loud as he could. They weren't going to let him go but keep Peter. He pushed against Williams as she tried to steer him away from Peter and towards the crowd. “No! Peter!”
Now Peter was trying to pull away but stopped when the safety of Jones’ gun was released. “Mr. Stark, I'll be okay!” He tried to give Tony a reassuring smile but he could see the tears forming in his eyes.
Tony gritted his teeth. This was insane. He always imagined to be gunned down and beaten by aliens or monsters. Not from humans. He was Iron Man, for fuck’s sake. And Peter was Spider-Man. But Peter couldn't use his special powers unless he wanted these creeps to see his abilities and try to make some more money off of him.
“Please,” Tony whispered as his own voice broke. “That's my kid. They're taking my kid away. Don't let them do this.”
He knew Williams was his best shot. If she wouldn't help him, he had no chance. Even surrounded by all this police, unless they took the gun off of Peter, they were going to lose.
It took only a moment of hesitation. “Fine. But I can't promise you'll win.” She was grabbing his wrists and a slicing through the zip tie. “Wait til I get you closer.”
Tony nodded and just before all hell broke loose, he asked quietly, “What's your daughter's name?”
“Zoey Feller,” she replied with a soft smile to her face.
“Your daughter will be okay,” he promised. She thanked him quietly and then whispered for him to go before it was too late.
Tony didn't care about anything else around him. His only goal was to get to Peter. He dashed forward and punched Jones out of his way before tackling Peter to the ground.
Four gunshots went off behind him but Tony was too busy covering Peter with his body. He had his arms wrapped around him tightly. His eyes were squeezed shut and he didn't open them until someone was patting his shoulder and shouting to him.
“Sir. Sir! The suspects have been apprehended. It's safe.”
Tony lifted his head up from where he had it tucked against Peter. He unwrapped one arm to pat his hand over his face and run his fingers through his hair.
Peter peeked one eye open, staring at him strangely. “What are you doing?”
“Bullet. Any bullet holes? Were you hit?” Tony asked in a panic, his eyes scanning all over Peter to make sure he was okay.
“I'm fine. Or at least I was until you landed on me.” Peter was joking and smiling softly. He was okay. He was going to be okay.
Tony let out a relieved laugh. “ You're okay .”
“I won't be for long if we both keep lying on my wrists.” Peter said and Tony could see pain flash across his face.
He had forgotten Peter's wrists were still tied behind his back. Tony pushed himself off of Peter and helped pull him up. “You're bleeding,” Peter said, staring up at Tony's forehead.
Tony lifted his fingers to forehead where there was a small gash from probably slamming his head on the concrete during the fall. He wiped it away and said, “I'm fine. Really. Are you? How's your wrists?” He held onto Peter's arm when someone came and tried to push him away.
“Sir, we have to check you both out.”
“Okay,” Tony agreed. He held onto Peter and helped him up. When they were back on their feet, Tony wrapped an arm around Peter’s shoulder and led him towards the awaiting ambulance.
He ignored the flashing cameras as they walked closer and everyone yelling at them for a statement. Couldn't they see they were busy? And they were going to bother them for the nightly news?
The police escorted them through the barrier and over to the ambulance where everyone else was blocked from getting through.
Someone finally cut Peter free and he let out a sigh of relief. He rubbed at his wrists and Tony couldn't help but feel bad for putting both of their weight on top of him.
“It's okay,” Peter said quietly. “They'll be healed up by tomorrow night.”
Tony nodded. He sometimes forgot that Peter had enhanced healing. But the doctors were still all over them, making sure nothing was wrong.
Tony looked back out where most of the police were swarming. He hadn't seen what happened after he tackled Peter but he hoped Zoey’s mother had made it out alive.
He tried to ignore all the flashing cameras and shouting because it was too much. If he were any other person, this wouldn't have been happening. But because he was Tony Stark, every news station and their mother were here.
Glancing to the side of him, he saw Peter curled up in the shock blanket around his shoulders and his eyes were squeezed shut. Tony was about to ask what was wrong but then he realized he not only forgot about Peter's enhanced healing but also his enhanced senses.
If the flashing cameras and lights and sirens and shouting were bothering Tony, he couldn't even imagine how they were affecting Peter.
He turned to the nearest police officer and asked, “Can you get rid of everyone that isn't authorized? They're bothering him.”
The police officer took one glance at Peter before nodding his head and speaking into his walkie talkie. “Let's get this crowd under control, guys. The kid needs them outta here.”
It took some time and effort but soon, they were left alone and Peter could let himself relax. He gave Tony a small smile. “Thanks.”
The calm didn't last long because soon Peter was being engulfed in a hug. May was squeezing him and crying as she ran her fingers through his hair again and again. “Oh, my baby.”
Tony looked over at Happy. His friend smiled and clapped him on the shoulder. “Glad you're okay.”
“Even though we kept you waiting and made you miss dinner?” Tony grinned.
“Don't remind me please. I've had enough stress today.” Happy laughed. “I know you didn't tell me when I applied for this job that you'd be giving several heart attacks. So thanks for that.”
“We're okay. Everyone is okay.” Tony couldn't help but laugh now that they were really okay.
“You tell us now after you tackle the kid to the ground and proceed to not move for five minutes.” Happy rolled his eyes.
Tony furrowed his brow. “5 minutes? Really?”
“Yes, really!” May joined the conversation as she pulled away from Peter and wiped her eyes. “And if you scare me like that again, Tony, I won't hesitate to kill you.”
Tony doubted that she was joking. “Understood--.”
She cut him off with a sudden hug. She squeezed him tightly and whispered, “Thank you for keeping him safe.”
Tony looked at Peter over her shoulder who was smiling at Happy as they talked. Peter laughed at as Happy squeezed his shoulder. Tony smiled and said, “You aren't getting rid of us that easily.”
May kissed his cheek and said, “ Thank God. ”