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Depths of Dependency

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“So what you’re saying,” Tony said mildly into the speaker of his phone, “is that I have a nephew-”

“First cousin once removed, but yes, nephew is the correct form of address.” Came the voice from the speaker even as Tony continued.

“-That I never knew about, and I now have custody until he turns seventeen because his current guardians went missing.”


“And I’m only finding out about this now, a mere two hours from when he’s meant to arrive.”

“There were issues with contacting you, Mr. Stark. Your agency insisted on verifying our claim before patching us through. That the process several days for it to go through is only the fault of your agency.”

Tony sighed near silently and felt the need to look for an all-powerful deity that had it out for him. He didn’t even know he had any living relatives. Howard had been an only child, and his parents had died before Tony was born.

“It’s a company,” he told the British voice on the other end. Not only did he have a nephew, but supposedly, said nephew had been raised in Britain, so he had a British nephew. Maybe he would get along with Jarvis? Wait, what was he thinking? He could not look after a kid.

“As your company was the intermediary between us both, I believe in this case, agency is more accurate. This is, however, besides the point. Your nephew will be arriving in two hours, I will email the relevant documents in the next fifteen minutes. Good day, Mr. Stark.”

“Wait-” The click on the other end told Tony it was useless to try to convince the voice on the other end that he was in no way fit to care for a child. He’d set the Stark lawyers on it. He was sure he would have needed to accept this appointment normally for him to gain custody. It wouldn’t take more than a week for the lawyers to do their work, he estimated. He sighed. He’d still have to house the kid for a while. Tony was fairly sure he owned something else nearby. He could probably set up an apartment if it came down to it.

Not like he could keep the kid in the tower. Rogers would have a fit, quoting unnecessary danger an unknown could pose. Natasha and Clint would be liable to invade his privacy to the point of scaring him away forever, and Bruce, well Brucie was likely to freak out himself, with an innocent who the big guy could hurt being nearby.

He’d better inform the other Avengers though, just so they don’t freak out while the kid was in the tower for the intermediary time.

 “Jarvis, please alert the other Avengers that there may be an additional person in the tower for a few hours, and under no circumstances are they to shoot at him.”

“Of course, sir. Might I also inform you that the documents pertaining to your nephew have arrived.”

He was still technically family, so Tony at least wanted to give him a chance, but he was seventeen, he did not need Tony to go and mess up his life for him. “Anything I need to know?”

The kid's name, Evan Remus Black, and according to Jarvis, there was a specific clause that said he couldn’t move the kid out. He groaned. “Alright,” Tony said, interrupting Jarvis from summarizing the entirety of the document that the social worker had sent him. “Jarvis, gather the Avengers on the common floor, I’ll explain to them in person. Air out the set of rooms below Birdbrain and Red. Send out an order to stock the mini-kitchen.”

The Avengers had ‘unofficially’ moved in once he had offered, and repairs had been made. Cap said his was only temporary while he looked for an apartment. Birdbrain tended to show up one week and be gone the next. Natasha went out on missions but returned most nights. Bruce hardly ever left. Thor had yet to return from off-world. Luckily, or unluckily, everyone but Thor was in now.

It only took a few minutes for the aforementioned people to gather.

They had all taken the news badly. Well, except Clint. Clint was pretty onboard with him suddenly taking in a kid.

When Tony asked him about it, he said that it was better than the kid going into the system, no matter that he would be out in two months.

Bruce was worried about the other guy, as usual.

Red and Capsicle were the problems. They were lecturing him on security and how they were a team and supposed to make decisions with the team in mind when Tony snapped that it was not his choice, but if they had that much of a problem with it, they could move out right then. It was his house, and his nephew, and if they had a problem, Jarvis could lead them to the door.

Somehow, thankfully, this statement seemed to get through their thick skulls, and the topic of conversation switched. It went from Evan not being allowed to stay to what Evan would be like. They may be stubborn, but the Avengers knew how to adapt to new situations that they would be thrown into.

“Jarvis, what’s the file say on his background?” Tony asked, hoping to stave off unnecessarily stupid assumptions.

“Evan Remus Black’s parents went to a private school which begins acceptance at age eleven. His mother was a scholarship student and his father came from old money, of which he inherited everything when both his parents died when he was fifteen months old. He was accepted into his parents’ school at eleven and attended six of the seven-year curriculum. According to the records, he was accepted into an advanced training program at age fifteen and opted to test out of his seventh year. In May of this year, he was accepted full time into his field, of which is not specified, sir.”

“Is that all?” Tony asked. Sure, Jarvis was summarizing, but all that had told him was that the kid was rich, went to a private boarding school and was accepted early into…something.

“I apologize sir, but that is all that’s in his file. Would you like me to run a search?”

“Sure, J.” He turned to the other Avengers. “So, that’s what we know about his history, any guesses on his personality now?”

Rogers scoffed. “Stark, we just learned he’ll be a miniature you. He came from old money and technically graduated early. We’ve all heard the horror stories of your teenage years.” He stated as if Jarvis’ report had been much more informative than it was. He hadn’t lost his parents that early, and his parents weren’t technically ideal parents either.

“Just because he has money does not mean he’s like me,” Tony argued. He was sure Pepper would kill him if he brought in a mini-him. “Anyway, his current guardians went missing, go easy on him, will you?”

Cap gave a light huff and pointedly looked away from Tony.

It was after this argument that Jarvis alerted them that Evan had arrived. Cap had turned disappointed eyes back onto Tony as if the kid’s arrival was somehow his fault.

“Jarvis, pull up the security cameras on the main screen, cut them before Evan walks in. Give him a tour of his room first before bringing him up here.”

Nobody really commented on his invasion of privacy. It was normal for Tony to do shit like this, and they’d already had the argument before which Tony generally ended with, ‘my tower, my rules.’ Not the best excuse, but they all knew they weren’t going to change his ways so easily.

The monitor came up out of the floor and showed the feed from one of the receptionist desk cameras. A blonde Tony had for the receptionist was leading a black-haired boy to the elevators and seemingly explaining the tower and its functions.

The kid was probably around 5’6” with messy, shoulder-length black hair. His cheekbones were high, and he had a delicate jawline, giving him a rather genderless appearance when paired with the slight frame.

The screen had been turned on only a few moments before he entered the special, Avengers only elevator.

“Jarvis, sound.” He told his AI as Evan stepped into the elevator.

“Mister Black, I am Sir’s Artificial Intelligence system, Jarvis. Sir has instructed me to give you a tour of your rooms before he meets you on the common floor of the tower.” The kid didn’t even jump at Jarvis’ voice.

“Thank you, Jarvis. Would it be fine if I made a phone call?”

“Not at all, sir.”

“No need to call me sir, Jarvis, I’m just Evan.”

“It would be improper of me to do so, sir.” For some reason, that made Evan smile and look at his feet.

Evan seemed to arrive at his floor in record time and pulled a cellphone out of his suitcase which was now set on the couch to the common area on his floor. After a few moments, the other end picked up. “Little moon, managed any mischief lately?” He asked, a smile on his face that seemed to convinced Clint even further to keep Evan, but it only softened Nat and Cap a little.

“Oh, have the wrackspurts invaded already?” came the voice from the other end as Evan placed it on speaker.

“I don’t know, I haven’t met them yet, and I didn’t pack any spectre-specks.”

“That’s unfortunate.”

“I just called to say I got here alright. You didn’t have to worry.”

“Yes, I did. Now, what happened? Otherwise, you would have said there was no trouble.”

Natasha seemed to give an approving smirk while Cap insisted it was, “Probably something stupid.”

Evan sighed. “Yes, you did.” He agreed. “Tell King my apartment was compromised. Avery blew through the door just as I was leaving. I ended up jumping out the window.” Tony shot a triumphant look at Rogers.

“Ri,” The voice through the other end was eerily devoid of emotion. “Your apartment is on the fourth floor.” Evan didn’t answer. She sighed. “Take pictures and send them. Once we catch Avery, we’ll need the evidence.”

“Jarvis, was it?” Evan asked without any doubt that Jarvis was there. “Can you turn on some sort of privacy mode for my room, please? You can monitor me, but I’d prefer if my room was a safe space.”

Immediately, the screen turned black.