After a long day of boring meeting with the pain in the ass that was Ross in Washington D.C., Tony Stark didn’t expect to get a call from an unknown number as he slid in on the passenger’s seat of his car and as Happy drove them off the road.
He answered it anyway because he needed a distraction from feeling so pissed off with the said pain in the ass. Tony could swear that the pain-in-the-ass o-meter was always rising up every time he would meet him. Tony was doing his best to clean the resolution for the accords in favour of the Avengers but Ross was more like putting hot chilli sauce on it. He was about to shoot some snide comments when he heard a noise on the other line
“No, Ned! Why did you do that?! I told you we can figure this out on our own-”
Tony recognized easily the voice in the background. It was the squeaky voice belongs to a fifteen year old he knew too well, Peter Parker.
“But we clearly need his help, Peter!” This time it was another voice who spoke, a voice unfamiliar to him
Tony immediately connected to the AI on the suit of Peter. It was offline. Meaning he wasn’t out spidermanning and risking his neck for god who knows what. So the life and death situation was out of the list.
“We just have to improvise-”
“You can’t just do improvise on that! It’s a big week and people from another schools are coming! You have to come up with a cool stuff.”
Tony decided to speak or else, he’s betting all his assets that they wouldn’t finish arguing until he butt in “I hope you do realize that you are calling a person whose time is worth of gold, so stop wasting it and Mr. Parker, I thought we reached the mutual understanding that my number is branded classified, therefore it wasn’t supposed to be given out to a random people out there.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Stark.” Peter mumbled on the other line and then his voice went octave higher and spoke in a haste. “But that’s Ned, my bestfriend. I gave him your number for emergency purposes because he knows I’m Spiderman so-”
“Well, is this part of an emergency purpose? Why is he calling me?” Tony answered.
“No it’s not-”
“Yes, it is!” Ned butted in. “Peter it involves your grades, do you want to fail on it?”
“Of course not. We can’t afford nugget to have failing grades. What’s going on?” Tony put it on a loud speaker and put his phone on the storage box attached to the armrest of the car door. He leaned his elbow on the armrest as Happy glanced at his boss through the rear mirror.
“Peter was one of the students who got chosen to make a mini robot he can showcase on the robotics week on the school but he’s lacking some of the resources to use for it.” Ned answered.
“Wow, kid. I admire your lung capacity for air, how could you say all of that in one breath?” Tony said as he heard Peter groaning in the background and mumbling along those lines of bestfriend and traitor.
“Um, thanks? And I have no idea how…” Ned said uncertainly.
“What’s your name kid?”
“Okay, Christopher, here’s what you’re gonna do.” Tony said “You and your friend in crisis will go to the Avengers Facility, go straight to my lab, Friday and Pepper are there to assist you, and you have all the materials there that you would need for your howdy-dowdy techy project. Tell May that you will be there.”
There’s a beat of silence again
“OhmygodIamgoingtoo?” Ned said excitedly, words jumbling in his mouth.
But to Tony’s astonishment, he understood it. “Yes, I just said that.”
There’s some sort of fumbling on the other end “Mr. Stark, you don’t have to do that,”
“But I did, Underoos. So don’t sweat it.” Tony looked at the window of the car.
“Thank you. It means so much-”
“All right, let’s cut the speech right there. You didn’t win the Oscars. Got the message. You’re grateful, I get it. Just do me a favor, don’t turn my lab into a war zone. I don’t want to see smoke coming out of the window far ahead.”
“Yes, Mr. Stark we will be careful. Thank you”
Tony hung up.
“Friday, look after the spiderling in the lab, will you?” Tony said.
“Sure thing boss.” Friday answered.
He sent Pepper a message with the same thought.
Then, he continued to gaze outside through the window, though after a while, he turned to Happy.“Tell you what Hap, let’s cancel the Gala Party later and head back Upstate.”
Happy smirked. “He’s growing on you, boss.”
“I heard nothing.” Tony faced the window again.
Tony wouldn’t admit this to anyone but he knew that something had already shifted the very first moment he set foot on the Parker apartment and met personally the crime fighting spiderling in onesies. He knew that the moment Tony invited him to Germany, the name Peter Parker was something that would stick on him like a super glue and there’s no undoing it. The genius billionaire was aware that he’s hauling in another responsibility despite being the emotionally crippled that he was. He knew the future consequences of his action. After all, he’s a futurist and well acquainted with that ‘C’ word.
However, if there’s something he miscalculated –which was rare on his part, was the attachment that would spring out of the mentoring he appointed upon himself. With emotionally crippled being said, he just didn’t know to deal with all the sentiment that goes with that responsibility package he took, and since there was just no role model to look after. That attachment just got worst after all the flying vulture guy fiasco happened a month ago. God forbid what he would do if he just found Peter Parker lifeless somewhere. See, before Tony Stark knew it, he just chained himself to that –okay sometimes adorable spider kid. Tony let a tiny smile grace on his lips.
The night already came as Tony arrived at the facility. Friday immediately informed him that Peter was at the lounge area together with his friend and Pepper. Tony heard laughter as he neared the lounge area, there’s light in there that was slightly illuminating the dimmed hallway he’s walking in.
Tony stopped at the doorway, his hands on his pants’ pocket. Not from far away,Pepper was sitting at the sofa adjacent to where Peter Parker and his friend were sitting. There were opened boxes of pizza on the center table. Friday didn’t seem to alert them on his arrival as they seemed oblivious to his presence, and as they continued to laugh on something they were talking about. Pepper’s back was facing Tony so his fiancée didn’t see him just yet, but Peter Parker just did when his eyes widen on him.
“Mr. Stark!” Peter exclaimed.
Well, that was Tony’s cue for his entrance, he walked towards them. “Well, well, well. What is this? Why am I not invited to the mini patottie party we have here?”
Pepper twisted in her seat to look at Tony, a surprise look was etched on her face. “What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be at the Gala dinner in Washington.”
“It was no fun so I decided not to go.” Tony sat on the armrest of the couch Pepper was sitting on.
“He cancelled on it.” Happy said waltzing in to the room.
“Yes, because it’s no fun.” Tony countered as he leaned forward to get the pizza slice on the box. He flicked off the red pepper on it before leaning back and taking a bite into it. Happy also got himself a slice and sat comfortably on the empty seat.
Pepper laughed “You are as bad as Peter, why do you hate red pepper so much.”
“I don’t hate you.” Tony looked at Pepper but he also glanced at Peter who was munching on his red pepper-less pizza. He also noticed the pile of sliced red pepper on the lid of the box. “At least Nickelback here has a superb taste to note that red peppers are disgusting on a pizza.”
“I know right!” Peter agreed, enthusiasm bubbling in the air “Hawaiian is so much better –no offense Miss Potts, I know you ordered the whole pizza and I appreciate it and I like it-”
“Yes and more pineapples!” Tony said.
“Yeah! Aunt May always add extra pineapples when we ordered pizza because she knows I love pineapples.”
“Huh. I knew I was going in for a right person when I recruited you to our super secret boy band.” Tony said pointing his slice on Peter and then he continued to eat it.
“Oh, here they go, starting geeking out again.” Pepper air-quoted the word geeking.
“I always thought that Pineapples are like the last option for the pizza inventors because they couldn’t think of anything to put on pizza, Pineapples are like off for toppings.” For the first time since Tony’s arrival, Ned spoke up.
“I couldn’t agree more to you, kid.” Happy said and Pepper nodded in agreement.
“You are talking blasphemy!” Tony stood as he picked up a napkin to wipe his hands after finishing his slice. “I couldn’t stand this anymore. Come on, Parker to the lab, how’s the techy project going on? Have you come up with something that would make Dum-E jealous?” Peter stood up to join Tony as they started to head out the lounge area.
“Eh, not really Mr. Stark.” Peter said bashfully. “But can I ask you about the coiling on an electromagnet? What do you think …” Peter’s voice drifted off as the two walked farther out the room.
Unknown to them, three set of eyes are looking at them fondly.
“If I didn’t know better” Ned said “I would think that Mr. Stark is the long lost father of Peter.”