If there was any side effect Tony hated the most, it was what he called the “bursts”.
He hated the light sensitivity, the high-low metabolism shifts, the occasional glowing of his eyes, but he’d learned to hide those expertly. The “bursts”, however… not so much.
Sometimes, when he was stressed, tired, angry and everything was wrong, his muscles would tense, and he’d usually break whatever he was holding- no matter how unbreakable the object usually was.
He’d broken some of his best wrenches, phones, and, once, an iron man helmet, while under those stresses.
He was smart enough to never hold anything too dangerous when he was mad. Usually pens, or papers, or even books. He never worked when he was truly upset and stressed. The most he ever did was work with the holograms - can’t break holograms
But every now and then, it couldn’t be helped
Ross had managed to get right under his skin for the millionth time that afternoon. He didn’t even remember exactly what it was about. Was he threatening to send a team to look for Spider-man? Or attempting to reassign Rhodes to the other side of the globe? Who cared. He was tense and angry and his enhanced metabolism was on a high- begging to be fed junk food and then destroy a punch- dummy in the gym.
But no, it’d have to wait - on the punching thing, anyway. Because he was having a guest.
Why, of all days, was that boy going to be in his lab? The man didn’t bother thinking further on that, putting on a pleasant smile (that honestly wasn’t completely forced) and getting the kid over to the engine they’d be working on. His reasoning being that Underoos seriously needed some practical experience on heavy machinery - especially since his 17th birthday present would be a shiny new (May approved) car that Tony would absolutely refuse to take to a repair shop.
About an hour into everything, Tony is handling a lug wrench with absolute precision. Peter’s conversation and eventual companionable silence had calmed him like few things could (Pepper cuddles were up there, along with riffing on bad movies with Rhodes, and driving with Happy) and he’d found a peaceful rhythm
But then the calls started
After the third call, FRIDAY let it through, and the grumble of the old man’s voice almost immediately set on a migraine.
“Stark, where are you?”
Tony glanced at Peter, and raised his free hand to bring his index finger to his mouth - motioning for the boy to keep his mouth shut.
“Uhh my lab? FRIDAY, did I have any appointments?”
“Okay then, I don’t see why you’re pissed”
“Save it. You didn’t check in after the meeting like I told you too. You were supposed to give me further details on that Spider-Man”
Peter had completely frozen at that point, staring up at the ceiling were the speakers released the general’s voice.
“And I told you when I had shit, I’d tell you, but I don’t” Tony answered “Get off my back, Ross”
“Stop covering for that damn vigilante” Ross borderline threatened
“Can’t cover for someone you barely know, Ross”
There was an annoyed sigh before Tony waved his hand, the call hanging up.
The bastard had the audacity to call back 3 more times to issue more empty threats, each time Peter clammed right up and looked almost scared at the voice on the other end of the call.
That was probably what peeved Tony off the most.
After the last call, he had FRIDAY reroute further Ross calls directly to his voicemail.
He hadn’t even noticed the fully bent lug wrench in his hand.
But Peter had.
Tony saw the boy’s wide eyes staring at his hand, and followed the gaze to the bent wrench.
They made eye contact and the teen smartly looked away and went back to examining the engine.
Well, the jig was up at this point, he took in a deep breath.
“FRIDAY, engage private mode”
He heard the whirring of the privacy screens going down the glass, and saw Peter look around before looking back to him, nothing but curiosity and concern in his eyes.
How on earth do you explain this to a damn kid?
He had no idea, but it didn’t mean he wouldn’t try.