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smoke and mirrors

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It always starts like this, with the kisses. Gentle at first, until Mr. Stark’s lips become biting, persistent, pushing his tongue into Peter’s mouth. Peter has never been touched like this before by anybody, let alone Mr. Stark, the man who pervaded his fantasies for years and years. He’s never felt so wanted, and so he lets Mr. Stark manhandle him onto the bed, tug his clothes off, and shove his thighs apart.

Mr. Stark licks his lips as he looks Peter up and down, eyes dark. Peter’s heart beats hard and tight in his throat.

“Where should we start? Hm?” 

“You can do anything you want to me,” says Peter.

Mr. Stark laughs darkly. “Oh,” he says dryly. “I know that.” 

Mr. Stark leans down, head between Peter’s legs, and presses kisses to the inside of his thigh. Peter squirms under his insistent gaze and calculatedly tender touch. When Mr. Stark drags his beard across Peter’s skin, the friction delightfully painful, Peter loses control, coming in a hot spurt onto his stomach. 

“Look at you. Haven’t even been touched. So eager for me.” Mr. Stark’s breath ghosts over Peter’s cock, making his hips twitch involuntarily. “How far do you think I could push this, hm? How many times do you think I could get you to come without touching you?”

“Please touch me,” says Peter.

Mr. Stark ignores him. He bites down on Peter’s thigh, hard enough to draw blood. 

“Ow,” says Peter. 

“It’ll heal in a bit,” says Mr. Stark. “You’re amazing, kid, you know that? Your body, I’ve never seen anything like it. The things that I could do with you. We’re just getting started.” 

Peter would let him do anything, so long as he kept calling him kid. Mr. Stark knew that. They both did. Whenever he let himself think about this context— sharing a bed with Mr. Stark, doing things with each other— he had always hoped that the nickname might be spoken in a more affectionate manner, followed by a soft, gentle kiss, and maybe even hand-holding. But this was good, too. If the way that Mr. Stark left biting marks on his flesh made him a little oversensitive, that was only because he wanted Peter too much. After all, Mr. Stark knew exactly what he was doing. He would make things good for Peter, and once he was inside of him, he would make Peter feel good and whole again.

Right now, though, Mr. Stark is both impatient and unyieldingly slow. Teasing. He lifts Peter up into his lap so that he’s straddling him. The wounds on Peter’s thighs sting when they brush against Mr. Stark’s skin, sending a thrill up Peter’s spine. Mr. Stark hands Peter the bottle of lube. Peter looks at it for a second, unsure. 

“Do you want me to—?”

“Prepare yourself for me,” says Mr. Stark. “Put on a show. If you’re good, I’ll get you off. If you’re not, I’ll leave you here and you can get yourself off.”

Peter swallows hard. “I’ll be good,” he says, voice soft. “I promise.”

Mr. Stark’s smile seems genuine, this time, and almost sorry. “I know, Peter. You’re a good kid.” He trails a spine-chilling hand down the back of Peter’s neck and lets it settle at his nape. “Such a shame, isn’t it, that someone like me has to ruin you.”

“I wanted this,” says Peter. He uncaps the bottle of lube, squeezes some onto his hand until Mr. Stark holds out a hand to stop him. 

“Not that much. You’re going to get it all over the bed. And then who’s going to have to clean up your mess? Me.”

Peter’s bottom lip trembles. He hands the lube back to Mr. Stark, who tosses it aside. Mr. Stark is still watching him, and Peter tries not to notice how his gaze is devoid of the special brand of affection that Mr. Stark reserved for him— even if it wasn’t exactly the kind Peter wanted, it was still there. But this version of Mr. Stark only wants one thing. Peter suddenly feels sick, his breaths coming fast and short. 

A voice cuts through his thoughts. “So? What’re you waiting for? Get on with it.”

Peter gets on with it. One finger first, then two, all with Mr. Stark’s eyes raking up and down his body. Peter wonders how it is possible to feel wanted, cherished, and used all at the same time.

“Faster,” says Mr. Stark. “I’m a busy man. I don’t have all day.”

Peter plunges a third finger inside of himself, wincing a little at the stretch. He powers through it. Mr. Stark takes pity on him, and plants kisses along his neck to help him relax. The brush of his goatee against the tender skin of Peter’s neck is all that Peter needs for the arousal to cloud his brain in a deadly rush.

“Please,” says Peter, high and strained. “Please, please Mr. Stark.”

“Oh, just you wait, Peter,” says Mr. Stark, low and dangerous in his ear. “I’m going to wreck you.”

Peter comes hard with a yelp, shaking through it. He falls forward, head resting on Mr. Stark’s shoulder. Some of the come got on Mr. Stark’s stomach, and Mr. Stark drags his fingers through it, then pries Peter’s jaw open and shoves his fingers inside. Without being told, Peter licks the pads of his fingers clean. It tastes salty, sharp, warm.

“Good boy,” says Mr. Stark, satisfied. And then, finally, finally, he wraps a rough hand around Peter’s cock and jerks it.

Peter cries out, muffled into Mr. Stark’s shoulder. His whole body writhes at the painful overstimulation, hand curling into a fist where it rests on Mr. Stark’s chest.

“Wait,” Peter pleads. “Please, I— I— it’s too much.”

Mr. Stark gives him a disapproving look. “If you’re going to get burned out before we even get to the good stuff, then I should just put a ring on you next time and not let you come until after I have.”

Peter whimpers. “No, please— I want to be good for you, please, I just—”

Mr. Stark keeps stroking his cock, lazy, casual flicks of the hand, and it feels like all of Peter’s nerves are on fire. “Oh, you poor, sweet thing.” Mr. Stark’s voice is bitter. “It’s not about what you want.”

He’s right. It’s not about what Peter wants. Mr. Stark is already doing him a favour by doing this. Before, he’d never even think of looking at Peter this way. They hadn’t even so much as kissed until— until—

Mr. Stark tips him over so he’s lying flat on his back. He traces a finger around his hole, using his other hand to shove Peter’s thighs further apart. His gaze is admiring, and it’s all Peter could ask for. “Look at you, spread out under me, you pretty little thing. You’re going to take me so well, aren’t you? Like you were made for it.” 

Peter nods, biting down hard on his lip and steeling himself. He’ll give whatever Mr. Stark wants to take. 

Mr. Stark gives himself a few strokes, then lines himself up and pushes inside of him. Peter feels like he’s being split apart and put back together all at once. It’s slow at first, almost careful. Peter looks up at Mr. Stark, who is just as heartbreakingly beautiful as he remembered. Every hair on his head, every wrinkle beneath his eye, and all the parts of them that are touching, that are connected. Everything Peter never thought he could never have again. Peter reaches up and brushes a hand along the side of Mr. Stark’s face, slow and careful, in case it all breaks. 

Mr. Stark smiles down at him. “Oh, kid,” he says. “You’re really something.”

There’s no scar on his chest where the arc reactor used to be. Peter fixes his gaze instead at the top of Mr. Stark’s ear.

“Fuck me,” says Peter. “Please.”

Mr. Stark thrusts his hips hard, and Peter jerks back against the bed with a broken moan. Mr. Stark picks up his pace after that, lifting Peter up by the backs of his thighs, folding him backwards on the bed and hooking Peter’s knees over his shoulders to drive in deeper, find a better angle. “Ah,” Mr. Stark moans. “God, fuck, yes.” Peter lets his head fall back as he comes for the third time, spilling all over his own chest, some of it even getting on his chin. 

Mr. Stark clicks his tongue. “What’s got you so eager today?” He flicks the come off Peter’s chin and wipes it against the sheets, too far gone to care about the mess this time. He doesn’t bother with the mess on Peter’s stomach, just continues fucking into Peter carelessly. Peter can’t stop himself from whimpering in pain this time. Reflexively, he reaches out and pushes Mr. Stark away. 

“Mr. Stark, please— I can’t— it hurts.”

“Oh, now you want me to stop?” Mr. Stark’s eyes are cold. “You’ve had your fun, and now I can’t have mine?”

“No,” says Peter hurriedly, heart sinking. “I just— it’s too much— I just need a second, please.”

“All you ever think about is yourself. Is that how you were taught?” Mr. Stark narrows his eyes. “I wanted you to be better.”

A traitorous tear escapes the corner of Peter’s eye. 

“Fuck,” says Mr. Stark, softer this time. He pulls out and maneuvers Peter onto his hands and knees. “There you go, kid. Don’t want you to break your back. I care about you, you know? I’m giving you what you want, so you could at least be grateful for it.”

Peter shuts his eyes and lets the tears wet the pillow. “Yes, Mr. Stark,” he says. 

“Good.” Mr. Stark holds on to Peter’s hips, grip iron-tight, and pistons his hips harder. Peter sobs, body jerking forward of its own volition, cock dragging painfully across the bedsheets. He bites down on the pillow. This is okay. This is good. He can handle this. It’s just a matter of externalizing the pain that eats away at him constantly from the inside. He loses track of the time spent until his next orgasm is ripped out of him, not quite coming so much as sobbing into the pillow. It’s release. It’s relief.

Mr. Stark slows it down, then. He presses a kiss just below Peter’s ear, gentle but open-mouthed and filthy. The tenderness hurts like a punishment. “So good,” he says, voice back to dripping with adoration, affection, all of the things Peter wants to hold onto but keep slipping through his fingers like smoke. “You going to hold out until I come? I can stop if you want me to stop, but you can do it, can’t you? You’re such a good boy.” 

Mr. Stark’s muscles are tense, voice just the slightest bit shaky, and Peter knows he’s close. So Peter just nods. He gives up on holding on to the bed, lets his grip go, and lets himself be used as a means to an end. It’s not long before Mr. Stark spills his load inside of Peter with a groan, and Peter’s eyes nearly roll back with how good it feels. How much he needed this, needed the gaping hole inside of him to be filled up in the way that only Mr. Stark could.

When it’s finally over, when Mr. Stark finally pulls out, Peter feels hollow, like he’s been scraped empty from the inside out. He can’t even move. He’s going to be sore all over, and he won’t be able to patrol at all tonight. 

Next to him, Mr. Stark regards him with a smile. It doesn’t quite reach his eyes the way it used to, but Mr. Stark has always been synonymous with safety, trust, love— there’s no reason for things to be different now just because— just because— 

Peter snuggles in close and tucks his head into the curve of Mr. Stark’s neck. “Mr. Stark?” he tries weakly. His voice sounds raw, like he hasn’t used it for days. “Was I good?”

Mr. Stark pulls Peter close with one arm. With the other, he cards a hand through Peter’s hair, gentle, gentle. “So good, kid,” he says in a low whisper. “Just perfect.” He even presses a kiss to Peter’s forehead.

“Thank you, Mr. Stark,” says Peter. 

“You’re welcome, kid,” says a voice that sounds progressively less like Mr. Stark. Peter always dreads this part of it. He was hoping he could hold on to the dredges of happiness for a short while longer, but he’s already being done a huge favour— he couldn’t possibly ask for more. Peter looks away so he doesn’t have to see the arm thrown across his chest glitch back into its original form.

“And what else do you say?” 

Peter closes his eyes and smiles, practiced and automatic.

“Thank you, Mr. Beck.”