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The thing Peter liked about older men was that they were easy to figure out, no games necessary. They were usually after one of two things: a distraction from a midlife crisis or an affair. If it were a midlife crisis, they wanted adventure, but it had to be a dirty little secret – after all, they were raised in different times, their family and friends expected them to fit certain boxes. These men liked pretty, young things to make eyes at them, play coy, pretend to be naive and sweet and virginal. I’m sorry, sir, I don’t usually do this, am I doing it right?” Peter figured it made them feel young, powerful, strong, so he played along.

The ones looking for an affair were pretty amusing, too, they usually had a good family, a beautiful wife, cute kids, but they wanted more. Something fun, and new, and crazy, without risking what they had. Usually, this happened to men who never got to experiment in their youth – again, different times. So they got married, had children, worked at boring jobs, barbecued on Sundays and fucked guys like Peter on Monday after work, or Tuesday before gym, or Wednesday after their son’s little league game.

It was cool with Peter either way, he didn’t want commitment, but he did want a few things. A warm, strong body to hold him for a couple of hours; a thick, hard cock to fill him up good, and that sense of protection and safeness that came from being with an older man. The endearments that inevitably fell from their lips, the praises, the gentleness of their touch, the way they grabbed him by the nape of his neck with a warm hand and called him boy. Good boy. Baby boy. With no strings attached, they had reputations to keep and families to get back to at the end of the night, which was perfect.

Peter had tried dating younger guys, but it just didn’t do it for him. They were often too eager, too fast, too rough. Just too young, in general. Not that older men couldn’t be too much, too, Peter learned it the hard way, not all of them knew how to take no for an answer; not all of them were willing to stop if he asked. It was okay, though, because even the ones who didn’t stop at his request were usually nice to him afterwards, so – no harm, no foul.

The man looking back at him from across the room seemed like a good one. He knew he shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but he was gorgeous. Possibly the most handsome man Peter had ever seen in his short life. He must be well into his forties, if the wrinkles around his eyes and the graying hair at his temples were anything to go by, but his face was beautiful and yet so masculine. His eyes were kind-looking, bright and brown, with long eyelashes, framed by dark and thick eyebrows. His nose was thin and straight, almost aristocratic, but round at the tip, and he had a strong jawline and a well-groomed goatee, that framed the fullest, most kissable lips a man his age should be allowed to have.

He approached Peter with his drink, probably whiskey, judging by the color, and the younger man clutched his glass, smiling coyly when the gorgeous man finally stopped by his side, looking at him intently.

“What’s a sweet boy like you doing all alone in this terrible place?” He had a charming smile that lighted up his whole face, it was almost blinding. Peter refrained from telling him it wasn’t a terrible place, otherwise such a distinct man like himself wouldn’t be there. It was a fancy, five-star hotel bar, Peter obviously couldn’t afford anything there, not even a glass of water, but he didn’t need to, every time he was there someone bought him a drink.

“I’m not alone anymore,” he smiled charmingly, sucking the colorful straw of his sugary drink. He hated it, but he was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, the drink had been sent to him by a shy gentleman sitting a few seats away from him. “And I’m not that sweet.”

“Is that so?” The older man seemed amused by Peter’s boldness, a playful smile tugging at his lips. He gave him a shameless once over, eyes traveling from head to toe, burning holes in the boy’s clothes, but he seemed more than happy with what he saw. “Could have fooled me.”

“I’m Peter.” He offered his hand and the older man took it carefully, like a gentleman, and kissed his knuckles softly. Peter shook his head with amusement, more than aware of all the tricks a guy would pull to take a boy like him to bed. Little did he know, he already had Peter in the bag, no games needed.

“It’s a pleasure, Peter. I’m Tony.” He held his hand for a little longer than necessary, then let it go, sipping his whiskey slowly, eyes fixed on Peter’s face. “You looked so lonely here, all by yourself, thought I’d keep you company.”

“My hero.” The younger man grinned, tucking a stray curl behind his ear, under Tony’s intense gaze. “Did you come by yourself as well?”

“I never come by myself, sweetie.” He wiggled his eyebrows and if it were anyone else, Peter would probably have rolled his eyebrows and walked away, but that man was so magnetic he actually giggled at the lame joke. “I’m staying here for a couple of days, came from California for a boring meeting with some boring people, and I was just heading back upstairs when I saw you needed rescuing. Can I buy you another drink?” He gestured to Peter’s nearly empty glass and the young man nodded with a smile.

“If you insist.” Tony gestured to the bartender and he came over so quickly Peter thought he might trip over his own feet, which was odd, because he was basically scowling at at pretty much everyone at the bar all night.

“Yes, Mr. Stark?” The name sounded familiar, Peter was sure he had heard it before somewhere, and not that long ago, but he couldn’t place it.

“Another one of whatever he’s having. Put it on my tab.” Peter wanted to tell him that he didn’t want that pink, frilly drink, he could really use a beer, but again – gift horse.

“What was your meeting about, Mr. Stark?” He asked, cocking his head to the side, once the bartender hurried away to make his drink, and the older man narrowed his eyes slightly.

“It’s Tony, sweetheart.” He winked, downing the rest of his whiskey. He waved his empty glass at the bartender and he quickly nodded in understanding. “And what is everything ever about? Money, of course.” He shrugged. “You see, I’m plotting world domination, you need cash for that.”

“So I’ve heard.” He smiled, amused. His eyes drifted to the man’s hands when he accepted a new tumbler filled with golden liquid from the bartender, and Peter noticed that there were no rings on his fingers. “What’s your big plan to take over the world, Tony?”

“Clean energy.” The older man had a smart glint in his eyes when he answered, like he was satisfied with himself.

“Nice. Tell me more.” Peter wouldn’t usually take this long to drag a man to bed, but Tony seemed interesting and he was nice to look at, so he indulged himself a little bit. Besides, the bartender had just placed a fresh drink in front of him, he couldn’t let that go to waste.

“Well, it’s a little complicated, sweetheart.” Peter rolled his eyes, disappointed, but not surprised. Men like Tony would usually take one look at him and assume he was just a dumb, horny bimbo who couldn’t keep up with their wit.

“Why don’t you give it a try, sweetheart.” He mocked, seeing an amused smile take over Tony’s face, then he nodded.

“Fair enough.” He took a deep breath, scrunching his face up in thought for a few seconds. “Let’s see, do you know what a fusion reactor is, in theory? What it does?” He asked, and Peter nodded easily, sipping his drink. Tony looked doubtful, but went on anyway. “Well, so I created an affordable, compact fusion reactor that’s able to power all of New York City for a month with just a small amount of fuel.”

“That’s very impressive, assuming this is true. I suppose you’re using deuterium and tritium as fuel? Or just deuterium? How do you even meet the Lawson criterion? You’d have to heat the fuel to tens of millions of degrees, how do you produce enough energy for it to be self-sustained?” As the words left his lips, Tony’s eyes grew comically wide and Peter couldn’t avoid a chuckle.

“Who are you? Do you work for Hammer or something?” He took a step back, eyeing Peter suspiciously, so the younger man quickly shook his head.

“I’m just a waiter, Tony.” The older man continued to stare at him as if waiting for the other shoe to drop, or maybe he was waiting for Peter to confess that he was a corporate spy. Well, he couldn’t care less about any of that, he just wanted to get laid, so. “You don’t have to tell me how you did it, I was just curious.”

“Okay...” He said, slowly, approaching Peter again, carefully. He searched his face for a few seconds, then shrugged. “I’ll bite.” An amused smile stretched over his face. “It’s not like it’s a secret anymore, I did publish a paper on this subject just last week. Anyway, I’m using hydrogen isotopes with palladium, which means –“

“Cold nuclear fusion.” Peter raised his eyebrows, a little shocked, and the man seemed just as shocked by the fact the Peter understood what he said. “Are you telling me you cracked cold nuclear fusion? Scratch that, are you telling me you cracked nuclear fusion as a viable energy source at all?” He asked, still a little incredulous, but the older man looked really proud of himself, so maybe he was telling the truth.

“If you give me your e-mail address, I can send you the paper I wrote on that.” He sipped his drink again, giving Peter another once over, more carefully this time around. “I’ve gotta admit, I’m impressed, kid. I came here fully expecting to talk to an airheaded, slightly tipsy twink. I was planning to charm you with a few smart words and talk about world domination.” Tony’s smile was genuine and it was beautiful. He seemed so relaxed when he smiled, and so much younger.

“Is that what you like?” Peter cocked his head with a raised brow and a teasing smile, and Tony shrugged, still grinning.

“Sometimes, yeah.” He got a little closer and Peter observed with interest as he dragged his eyes lazily all over his body, making his skin tingle with anticipation. “Not tonight, though.”

--

Peter lay on the bed feeling a little dizzy and short-breathed, already fully naked – when had that happened? - as he watched the older man unbuttoning his crisp white, expensive-looking shirt, revealing a broad chest spattered with soft hairs, muscular abs and strong biceps. Peter was still trying to figure out what hit him when he entered that hotel room, Tony was like a force of nature the way he attacked his lips, hands roaming freely all over his body, like he owned him, like Peter belonged to him. It was thrilling and intoxicating and the young man was still dizzy, trying to wrap his head around what was going on, because that man could not be real.

He sure felt real, though, when his goatee prickled his sensitive neck, as those sexy lips left a wet trail of kisses across his jawline, then down his throat. Peter moaned helplessly, carding his fingers through his hair, scratching his scalp with short nails, biting his lips and trying not to make a fool of himself by moaning like a bitch in heat, which was exactly how he felt right then and there.

His mouth traveled down to his collarbones, biting across them with great care and the right amount of pressure to leave bruises, but not too many, licking the sore skin right after as if to soothe it. The older man stuck a clothed leg between Peter’s and he humped against it unashamedly, eyes rolling back in pleasure, feeling Tony’s lips stretch in a smile against his skin.

“So needy...” He whispered hoarsely, before attacking one of his nipples, sucking it into his mouth, torturing the little bud sweetly by holding it between his teeth as he licked it with the rough pad of his tongue. Peter threw his head back in ecstasy, hips bucking up to meet Tony’s leg. His nipples were so sensitive, it was the easiest way to get him off quickly, and it was like the older man knew that, like he knew everything about Peter’s body, he played him like a violin. “Such a pretty boy.” He dragged his lips to his other nipple, his goatee scratching the sensitive skin of his chest. He’d have beard burns all over his come morning, but he couldn’t care less. “Daddy’s gonna take good care of you.”

“Fuck.” Peter loved it when they said it first. He always felt awkward bringing it up, always felt weird asking to call someone daddy, or even just saying it out of the blue. Not that he ever received a bad reaction, but he was just afraid one of these days someone might not like it so much. “Fuck, daddy, your mouth feels so good,” he cried, writhing on the bed and rutting against the older man’s leg. His cock was impossibly hard and leaking so much precum he was worried he’d ruin Tony’s very expensive-looking pants, but not worried enough to stop. He could feel the older man’s hard-on pressing against his thigh and his mouth filled with saliva just thinking about what it looked like, how good it would taste on his tongue – fuck.

Tony kept alternating between his nipples, sucking and biting them until they almost hurt from how sensitive they became – swollen and red from the abuse. Sensing it, the older man made his way down his abs, dragging his teeth and tongue all over his skin and quivering muscles, until Peter was no longer able to rub against his leg, but it didn’t stop him from trying. The older man stopped when he reached his cock and Peter blushed a little. He was always a little self-conscious about that part of him, he knew he was a little on the small side, but Tony didn’t seem to mind at all.

“You have such a pretty cock, baby, so hard already, you’re leaking all over, making such a mess.” His hot breath on Peter’s sensitive, flushed skin made him shiver, body trembling with anticipation, as he tried to breathe deeply to avoid a disaster. “Daddy’s gonna take care of it now, ok? You just sit back and relax.”

He swallowed Peter’s whole cock in one go and the younger man went to heaven and back in a matter of seconds, eyes rolling, back arched off the bed, hands grabbing the other man’s head desperately, toes curling in warning. He moaned loudly, beyond caring if Tony would find it weird, his fingers were shaking, skin shivering. The brunette didn’t seem to mind, though, as he pulled back slowly to suck the very tip of his cock, only to go all the way down again, until Peter could feel the back of his throat and the way it squeezed his cock when he swallowed.

He was good, fuck, he was so good, probably the best Peter ever had, some guys didn’t even care if he got off or not, some didn’t even mind much if he was hard. Not this guy – fuck – this guy didn’t even seem like he cared about getting himself off; from the moment their lips touched for the first time it was all about Peter.

His hands traveled up Peter’s legs from the back of his knees, touch so light he could barely feel it, but a jolt of electricity traveled all the way up to the back of his neck, his hole fluttered around nothing, he was so fucking empty all of a sudden. Tony’s hands reached his ass and he palmed his cheeks hungrily, his fingers were strong and rough as they lifted Peter’s lower half from the bed to meet his mouth halfway. It felt so good, being manhandled like that by such a powerful, gorgeous man, he was going insane seeing that mop of brown-gray hair bobbing up and down on his cock, he was –

“Fuck, daddy, stop, stop – I’m gonna –“

He stopped almost immediately, letting his cock go with a pop and a smirk. He reached for the night stand, where a bottle of lube and a packet of condom sat innocently. Ah, he had planned it. Of course he had, he went to that meeting knowing that he wouldn’t come up to his room alone. Peter was just glad he was the lucky one.

Tony threw the supplies on the bed, then ran his wide, open palms from Peter’s thighs to his ankles, before placing them on his shoulders. He kissed both of his knees sweetly and Peter didn’t really know why, but it made him shiver, his nipples perked up and he gasped, biting his lower lip. Tony leaned forward, folding him almost in half, and took his mouth possessively, capturing his lips like they belonged to him, like it was his right. His tongue fucked into his mouth like a promise and Peter felt helpless and hot all over, hole quivering desperately, begging for touch.

“You were lying earlier, baby boy, you’re just as sweet as I imagined,” he murmured against his lips, before dragging his mouth across his jawline, his goatee scratching his face in the most sweet torture he could imagine. When Tony bit his ear, he felt his wet, slick finger trying to breach him and he yelped in surprise. Again, when had that happened? The older man made him feel so out of it, he thought he was missing time. “You okay?” He asked, seriously, stopping at once.

“Yeah, I’m good, just kiss me,” Peter didn’t mean to sound so needy, and he usually didn’t, but fuck. That guy was messing with his head. Tony smirked and obeyed; his soft, wet lips could almost swallow Peter whole, it drove him mad with want. He barely felt as the finger tried to breach him again, successfully this time, then went deeper and deeper until it was fully sheathed inside him. He whined into Tony’s mouth as he rocked against it, craving that sweet friction, that slight burn on his rim.

Tony fucked his finger in and out of his hole slowly, carefully, it slid easily with the help of a lot of lube. It was such a sweet kind of torture, the promise of something so much better, bigger –

“Fuck,” He squeezed his eyes shut, biting his lip until it hurt, as he tried to reign in the pleasure when Tony brushed against his prostate. “Right there, daddy, please...” He could barely form words when he felt the older man slide yet another finger inside him, as he kissed his neck soothingly. “Oh, fuck.”

“Doing okay, sweetie?” He asked quietly against his skin, fingers moving ever so gently until Peter nodded his head frantically and he chuckled, resuming his pace from earlier that night. He scissored his digits and curled them inside him, as Peter moved with him trying to get him to go deeper, faster, harder, he didn’t really know anymore, but he saw white when Tony found his sweet spot again.

“I-I’m not gonna last, daddy,” he warned, feeling another jolt of pleasure course through him when Tony pressured against his prostate yet again. “Pl-please!”

“You beg so nicely,” he whispered against his lips, drawing his fingers out of his hole. He sat up straight on his knees, letting Peter’s legs fall from his shoulders, as he started undoing his pants. “Are you gonna take it like a good boy, huh?” he asked, lowering his pants just enough to free his cock and Peter gasped, because it was fucking gorgeous – long, thick and veiny, and so fucking hard it was dripping, head flushed almost purple, it looked painful. “Do you wanna help daddy get it ready for your little hole?” He asked, stroking it slowly, and Peter up quickly, licking his lips. “Open your mouth, baby, there you go. Just the tip, ok? Don’t make daddy come too early.”

The younger man barely let him finish before he was licking and sucking the head of his cock into his mouth, groaning in satisfaction when the salty, bitter taste of his precum filled his mouth. He held the shaft with one hand, pumping it, and when he looked up he saw Tony with his eyes closed, mouth parted open and he almost came untouched right then and there. “Fuck,” he whispered, pushing Peter’s head away gently, and he whined unhappily.

Tony smirked as he got out of the bed to take his pants and underwear off, returning quickly to push Peter back onto the mattress. The younger man parted his legs, eager for what was to come, and Tony wasted no time, the blunt head of his cock started breaching him unrelentingly. Peter threw his head back, crying out in a mixture of pain and pleasure, he wasn’t sure what he was feeling, but it was good, fucking perfect.

“Sh, shh, you can take it, I know you can, baby.” He placed sweet kisses on Peter’s neck as each inch of his cock was forced into him, and it felt endless, so big, it wasn’t gonna fit, it wasn’t –“There you go, baby, so good for me, such a good boy.” He whispered against his hair and Peter felt so full, his head was dizzy, he felt so out of it, light, floating, and so fucking good. “Doing okay there, sweetie?”

“Yes, daddy, feels so good,” He was able to answer, grabbing the older man’s face to drag him down for a filthy kiss. “You feel so fucking good, fuck me.”

“As you wish.” He grinned, pulling back slowly only to slam back into him hard, making him see stars. He set a hallucinating pace, hammering into Peter like a madman, hands clutching his ass, his thighs, his waist, leaving bruises everywhere. The younger man wrapped his legs around him for leverage as he rocked back against him just as hard, fingers leaving marks on strong shoulders. Peter saw white when his orgasm took him by surprise – he hadn’t even touched his cock – and when Tony saw it, he lost it. “Fuck, you’re so fucking hot.” He kissed him again, sloppy, dirty, wet, and Peter’s hole was sensitive, but it felt so fucking good, he thought would come again. Tony grunted against his lips when he came, hips bucking a few times, before his body fell limply on top Peter, the younger man’s legs falling apart to make room for him.

They lay there for what felt like hours, Tony’s body felt heavy, but good, it grounded him. He shut his eyes and let his fingers run across his broad back as they both tried to catch their breaths. After a while, Tony pulled off, placed a kiss on his abused, swollen lips, and got up from the bed. Peter hissed at the slight burn, but said nothing as the older man headed to the bathroom.

He heard the slick sound of the condom being taken off and thrown in the trash, then he head the tap running and, after a few seconds, Tony came back with a wet towel and gently cleaned his chest and stomach, and Peter smiled, eyes fluttering shut. He wouldn’t fall asleep, though, of course he wouldn’t. He had to go home, back to his own bed, back to real life.

The older man got back in bed and pulled Peter closer, let him rest his head on his chest, and they lay there silently for a while longer, but it didn’t feel weird or awkward, it was nice, Tony’s fingers scratched his scalp as Peter’s fingers drew figures on his skin. It was getting pretty late, though, and he still had to catch the train. He sat up lazily, stretched, then got up to find his clothes.

“Can I see you again?” He was surprised to hear the older man’s voice. He turned around, already buttoning up his shirt, and smirked, as he approached the bed. He covered the older man’s eyes with a hand, playfully.

“I don’t know, can you?” He grinned when Tony grabbed his wrist, an annoyed huff leaving his lips.

“Cheeky.” He kissed his knuckles like he had earlier that night, then looked up at him with a resigned expression. “Is that a no?”

“It’s a ‘give it a try’” Peter winked, smiling honestly. He wasn’t against seeing the older man again, as long as they kept it casual. He didn’t usually go for second “dates” - or fucks – be he could make a few rare exceptions here and there.

“Good.” He smiled that beautiful, genuine smile of his and got up from the bed in all his naked glory. “When you get downstairs, there will be a grumpy-looking man waiting out front. That’s my driver. I’ll text him to take you anywhere you need to go.”

“Oh, there’s no need, really –“

“Let’s skip this part, just accept it, sweetheart. It’s late, if you go out there by yourself and something happens, I feel like that’s on me, and I don’t need that on my conscience.” He took Peter by the chin and pulled him closer, giving him one last kiss. “I’ll see you soon.”

Peter figured he didn’t mean it, he didn’t even ask for his phone number, but that was okay.

~-*-~

“How are you doing, man? It feels like we haven’t talked in ages.” Ned was on speaker because Peter couldn’t seem to find his one good, clean shirt that was supposed to be on the top drawer of the dresser, but it wasn’t anywhere to be found.

“That’s because it’s been ages, dude. I miss you. Stop pulling that disappearing act, will you?” His voice sounded a little sad and Peter sighed, running a hand through his hair.

“I know, I’m sorry, life’s crazy when you don’t have a cool, tech job, you know? I’m killing myself here trying to make ends meet.” There was no bite to his tone and Ned knew he wasn’t being bitter, Peter was actually proud of him. When they graduated high school, his friend got accepted into Caltech and was hired by a big company right out of college. He had a nice life in Malibu, it seemed, but Peter never got to visit him.

“You could have one, you know that.” Again, Peter sighed, he hated hearing that familiar sound of disappointment in his voice.

“So, how’s work, anyway?” He changed the subject quickly, finally finding his shirt under the bed, for whatever reason. His phone announced a new message and a quick look revealed it was from Adrian Toomes, the guy he was supposed to meet in an hour and he was already running late. He seemed nice when they talked on Tinder, he had kind, blue eyes, but he was also a little older then Peter would usually go for, but he thought he’d give it a try.

“It’s ok, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Stark Industries is about to launch a new power plant that’s supposed to generate renewable, clean energy, at really low prices.” Peter paused for a second when he heard the name, but then it all made sense, why it had sounded so familiar. Ned had been working for Stark Industries ever since he graduated last fall. “So it’s been a little crazy, but it’s good.”

“Oh, yeah, cool.” He sat on the bed to tie his shoelaces and couldn’t keep his mind from wandering. He remembered that glorious night with Tony and it sent shivers down his spine. He hadn’t thought of that in a while, it had been three weeks since then and, sure enough, no word from him.

“Dude, you know I’m worried about you, right?” Ned asked and Peter flopped on the bed, sighing.

“No need to, Ned, seriously, I’m fine, I’m more than fine, actually.” It felt like the hundredth time that he had to say that in the last half hour.

“Really? When was the last time you saw May?” Peter squeezed his eyes shut at that, refusing to feel the burn of tears that were sure to follow every time he thought of her. He missed her so much, but couldn’t bear the look on her face whenever they met and she realized he’d never amount to anything anymore.

“I don’t know, Christmas?” He shrugged, alone in his messy, tiny room in Brooklyn, and he missed his tiny, old room in Queens, which always smelled of May’s nasty cooking.

“Dude, fuck, that was eight months ago, what about your birthday?” He sounded alarmed for some reason, and Peter flinched, because, yeah – almost a year. Almost a whole goddamned year.

“We talked on the phone. I was busy.” He muttered, fumbling with the hem of his shirt, like a kid who knew he’d messed up.

“Doing what?” Came the outraged reply.

“Stuff.”

“Peter, c’mon!” Ned sighed, frustrated, and Peter pinched his nose, shutting his eyes.

“Ned, stop this, it’s –”

“I just… You’re killing yourself, man, you don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve any of this. You deserve to go to a good college, get a good job, have a good relationship with your aunt, who’s your only fucking family, and –“

“Look, I gotta go, I’m late for work. Catch you later?” He asked in a haste, sitting up and taking the phone from the bed. There were three texts from Adrian asking if he was close, and he typed in a quick answer as he flew out the door.

“Sure, man. Talk later.” As always, Ned sounded tired and disappointed, and that was exactly why they never talked anymore.

~–*–~

“Hey, Parker, table three asked for you specifically.” Brad rolled his eyes impatiently as he handed Peter the menu. “You always get the best fucking tables,” he grumbled, walking away towards the kitchen.

Peter took a deep breath and braced himself for what was bound to be a night of unwanted flirting and maybe even some ass groping, which was what usually happened when someone asked for him specifically. That place was a dump, they couldn’t careless if the waiters were harassed by the clients, as long as they payed for their food. Well, he hoped some good tipping was involved, otherwise he would lose his shit, he really wasn’t having a good day.

When he headed towards the table, though, he quickly recognized those smart, brown eyes staring back at him, that cocky smirk framing perfect, straight, white teeth and the honey-like voice that greeted him.

“Missed me?” He asked coolly, but Peter knew better than that, a man like Tony Stark wouldn’t casually walk into a dumpster in Brooklyn to have dinner on a Thursday evening. He was there for a reason.

“How did you know where to find me?” Peter raised his eyebrows, clutching the menu, and the older man just looked amused.

“I have my ways,” he replied unhelpfully, with a smug, self-satisfied grin, and Peter couldn’t help but smile back, even though it was a little creepy.

“Should I be worried?” He asked, placing the menu in front of the older man and, sure enough, he didn’t even try to pretend to be interested in it.

“Probably.” He shrugged, eyes never leaving Peter’s body, like they were actually trying to burn holes in his clothes. “So, is the waiter on the menu?” He cocked his head to the side, trying to look at Peter’s ass, and the younger man chuckled, shaking his head at his antics.

“I’m afraid not, sir.” He looked around to check if anyone was listening in on them, and once he was satisfied, leaned down a little to whisper closer to the older man’s ear. “But he gets off at eleven if you wanna ask him again.” A wide grin spread across the man’s perfect face, accentuating the little crow feet around his eyes.

“My driver will meet you out front.”

--

“Sh, sh, shhh, nice and slow, sweetie, nice and slow… There you go. Good boy.” Peter felt like crying as he rode the older man’s cock painfully slowly, knuckles white from clutching the solid muscles on his shoulders like his life depended on it. With one hand, Tony held his right hip firmly, dictating the pace, and with the other he was stroking Peter’s cock, pumping it lazily, as he kissed his jaw and nipped his neck. “Such a sweet boy.”

“Daddy, please, I need to come so badly,” he begged, eyes squeezed shut, hips twitching, wanting to go faster. He felt so full, and stretched, and perfect, he just wanted to ride the hell out of that dick and find his release, but the mere sound of Tony’s voice telling him to go slow was enough to pin him to place. Fuck, the things he’d let that man do to him.

“Not now, honey, I’ll make it good for you, I promise,” he whispered against his lips, before taking them roughly. Peter cupped the older man’s face with both of his hands, kissing him back with just as much hunger and despair, trying with all his heart to keep the slow pace that Tony imposed.

“You’re killing me.” He bit Tony’s lip harder than necessary and the older man smirked, biting him back, as his right hand left his hip to tug his hair. Peter moaned as he sunk back down on his cock, trying to take it as deeply as it could possibly go and it drove him a little mad when it brushed against his prostate for the hundredth time that night. He moved upwards until the head of his cock almost slipped out of him, making them both hiss, Peter’s dick was leaking so much precum Tony’s stomach was soaking wet with it.

“You’re such an impatient brat,” he grumbled, tugging Peter’s hair hard enough to make him tilt his head back, exposing his throat, and Tony attacked it with soft bites and kisses. “It feels amazing inside of you, I’m just enjoying it for as long as I can, is it to much to ask?” His hand slid from the back of his head all the way down his back to his ass and Tony grabbed it roughly, squeezing his right cheek before slapping it loudly.

“You’re mean,” he whined softly, but he shivered all over at the words, the fine hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as the cock inside him brushed his prostate yet again. “Daddy!”

“Take what you need, baby, c’mon.” Finally, sweet permission. Peter let himself go with abandon, holding on to Tony’s shoulders as he bounced on his cock for dear life, trying messily to thrust into the tight squeeze of his fist at the same time.“That’s it, baby, come for me, come on.”

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” He slipped over the edge, falling limp in Tony’s arms, and the older man flipped him easily, lying him on the couch, manhandling him like he was a rag doll, only to pound him into the cushions, taking his pleasure from him like it was his god-given right. Fuck, he was so hot with his face all scrunched up in pleasure, in ecstasy, as he came inside Peter. He wished he could feel his seed sliding out of him, he really did.

They lay there for a while, breathing heavily, and again Peter felt like Tony’s weight on top of him was grounding and soothing. It didn’t last long, though, as the older man rolled off of him and headed for the bathroom, coming out a few minutes later with a wet towel to clean him up.

“How do you feel about room service?” He asked, once he was done, as he sat back on the couch with Peter’s legs on his lap. “I’m starving, that ting you called a steak hardly counts as dinner.”

“Ah, which reminds me,” Peter reached for his jeans on the floor, struggling a little. He pulled out the five hundred dollars Tony had left on the table from his left pocket and offered it to the older man, who raised a brow. “I’m a little slutty, but you do know I’m not actually a hooker, right?”

“What? I just really enjoyed the service back in the restaurant.” He feigned innocence but accepted the money back, throwing it on the couch. “I was just trying to show my appreciation.”

“I can think of a few other ways you can show your appreciation,” Peter smirked, parting his legs, making Tony laugh loudly.

“Starting with some food, how about that? You must be hungry, too.” He squeezed Peter’s calves, and the younger man bit his lip. He should really leave, he really wasn’t the type to stay around after fucking. It just felt weird and overly intimate to be with a person after you’re both sated, it seemed besides the point. Still--

“Sounds good.”

The older man grinned and quickly grabbed the phone to place an order, Peter couldn’t understand half the words he said, really, but he’d eat pretty much anything. Feeling a little self-conscious to be naked now that they were done, he crossed his arms over his chest, not sure if he should get dressed, or if it was rude or whatever, he really wasn’t familiar with that part.

“Are you cold?” Tony probably noticed him rubbing his arms.

“Yeah, a little,” he answered sheepishly, and the older man got up from the couch, heading for the bathroom again, coming back with two robes.

“Here. It is a bit chilly.” Peter accepted it with a sigh of relief and quickly covered himself with the soft, fluffy robe. Tony grinned when Peter snuggled on the couch like a satisfied cat, then walked to the mini bar in his own robe, which somehow made him look expensive and refined, not like he had just stepped out of a bath. “So, how long have you worked at that restaurant?”

“I don’t know, too long, for sure.” Peter smiled, watching as the older man filled two glasses with scotch from tiny bottles. “Why, do you wanna hire me? Not as an escort, I hope.”

“That wouldn’t be such a terrible idea. I could keep you on my arm like a pretty accessory, people would assume you were just a dumb gold-digger. Then you’d open your mouth and knock them dead with that brilliant brain of yours. I’d pay good money to see that.” Tony came back with the glasses then offered one to Peter, as he sat on the couch by his side. “But seriously, kid, you’re so smart. Thought you’d be doing something else. I actually looked you up to make sure you weren’t a corporate spy working for Oscorps or something, that’s how I knew where to find you.”

“Told you, just a waiter.” He shrugged, growing uncomfortable with the subject, and the older man must have picked up on that, because he dropped it immediately.

“Did you get a chance to read my paper?” He asked with a curious glint in his eyes and Peter nodded excitedly.

“Yes, I looked it up, it’s genius! Where the fuck did that idea come from?”

Everything became easier after that, they spent hours talking about the arc reactor, how it worked, and how Tony got the idea for it. When the food arrived, they sat at the small table in the room and somehow ended up talking about Tony’s time at MIT – Peter’s dream college –, about Stark industries, what life was like in Malibu. Peter had no idea what he was eating, but it was delicious, and so was the wine. It was nearing 2AM when they finished and Peter started getting dressed.

“You can stay over, you know, plenty of room in the bed.” Tony announced from his spot on the couch, nursing yet another glass of scotch.

“Oh, I noticed.” Peter smirked, but didn’t reply to what the older man said, as he continued to get dressed. Tony didn’t say anything for a few minutes, just kept watching Peter like some sort of predator.

“What a man’s got to do to get your phone number, huh?” The older man’s voice startled him when he was fully dressed and he turned around, raising an eyebrow.

“You could try asking for it.” He smirked, seeing a similar expression take over Tony’s face.

“Can I have you number, kid?” He asked, amused, and Peter pretended to think, tapping his chin.

“I don’t know, I kinda like my privacy.” He sighed, and the older man threw a cushion at him, making him giggle. He told him the number, though, and Tony typed it into his phone.

“Is that your real number? Will you actually answer if I call?” He narrowed his eyes and Peter shrugged.

“You’ll have to figure that out yourself.” He crossed his arms over his chest when Tony got up from the couch, approaching him slowly.

“Why do you have to be such a tease about everything, you little minx?” His robe was tied very loosely around his waist, his chest was almost completely exposed, Peter’s fingers twitched, wanting to touch it.

“I’m a man of mystery” He answered gravely, feeling the older man’s strong arms wrapping around his waist.

“You’re an asshole,” Tony muttered against his neck as he bit it, and Peter giggled, trying to get away.

“You like my asshole.” They burst out laughing and Tony pulled him into one last kiss.

~-*-~

Walking inside that apartment felt like time-traveling. Everything was exactly how he left it years ago, May didn’t move a single vase out of place. He suspected that his room would still be the same, too, but didn’t dare to check. He sat on the couch and observed May’s features, she looked older. Still incredibly gorgeous, yes, but older. The only thing in the apartment that gave away that time had moved on.

“Mr. Delmar asked about you the other day.” She smiled, sipping her coffee.

“It’s been a while.” He admitted, watching her face become more serious as she nodded slowly.

Fuck, this was such a bad idea, he shouldn’t have come. Ever since his talk with Ned, he was feeling guilty about not visiting May, but sitting there, in his childhood home, with the woman who raised him like a mother, felt – wrong. He didn’t deserve to be there. He should never be there. He ruined her.

“It wasn’t your fault, Pete,” she could always tell what he was thinking – another good reason not to visit. “There was nothing you could have done to –“

“I was right there, May,” he cut her off, quietly, rubbing his hands at his face. They’d had that conversation at least a million times over the years and it still felt draining. “He pointed the gun at me first, you know. Ben protected me. I stood there, frozen, like a scared little boy. I didn’t –“

“What were you supposed to do? Jump in front of the bullet? Die in his place? Peter, he would never want you to do that, I would never want you to do that! You were like a son to him, to us, it was our duty to protect you, not the other way around!” She pleaded, desperate, and he looked away from her. No matter what she said, he looked at her, at how – broken she was, and he knew it was because of him. Because he couldn’t help Ben. Because her husband gave his life to save his, and Ben was a hardworking, kind, loving man, who had May and tons of friends, and Peter was just – worthless. He knew, deep down, May could see that too.

“Nevermind, I’m just gonna –“

“It was hard for me, too, Pete.” She said, suddenly. “I know you were a kid and you loved him like a father, but he was my husband. My life partner. It was hard for me, too.” Her eyes were shining when she looked at him briefly and his heart broke to pieces to see how devastated she was, but she looked away quickly.

“I never said it wasn’t, May –“

“But it wasn’t your fault. Never, in a million years, could anyone ever blame you. I just… I don’t know why you keep pushing me away. I know I’m not your blood like Ben was, but you’re still my nephew, no matter what. I raised you like a son.” She was crying openly now and Peter couldn’t even reach out to comfort her.

“I’m so sorry, May.” He covered his face with his hands, unwilling to look at her, unwilling to let her see the tears forming in his own eyes at her admission. “It’s not you, okay? It’s just – I need – I-I miss you, too.”

After Ben’s death, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t bear to look at May. He couldn’t bear to be in the apartment. He figured they reminded him of Ben, of his parents, of better days, but it wasn’t just that. He was 16 when Ben died and it broke him, it took him back to that dark place he’d been in at 10, after his parents’ death. He couldn’t eat. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t leave the house. He failed so many classes, by the time they were supposed to apply for colleges, he didn’t have many options and, weirdly enough, he didn’t really care. May was devastated, she cried for months. It was hard, looking at her.

But she didn’t deserve what he was doing to her, so he sucked it up and smiled.

“I promise I’m gonna visit more often, ok? Are you free on Sunday?”

~– * –~

It was Saturday night and Peter was just lounging on his bed, after a long shift at the restaurant, when his phone ringed. He didn’t recognize the number, but he figured it could be one of the guys he hooked up with in the past, and he was really bored, so.

“Hello?”

“Ah, so this really is your number.” Peter was a little surprised to hear that voice. After he left the hotel, a couple of weeks prior, Tony never called or texted, so he thought that was the end of their little adventure. He smiled to himself.

“Took you long enough to figure that out.”

“Yeah, sorry about that, kid, I meant to call earlier, but that whole world domination plan is still a thing, so I’m a little short on time. But I’ll be in New York next Thursday, any chance you could make some time for me then? Say, around nine?”

Peter bit his lower lip, considering. He enjoyed Tony’s company, he really did, the man was smart and funny, and he made Peter feel so fucking good when they fucked. He was also a great kisser, a very attentive lover and just generally a nice guy. The thing was, Peter couldn’t even remember the last time he had a third date with someone and, to be completely honest, he usually tried to avoid those, he didn’t want to send the wrong message. But Tony lived in California, anyway, and he only called when he was in town, looking for sex, so what was the harm in going?

“Sure, yeah. I can make that work.” He shrugged at the empty room.

“Sweet. Dress nice, I’m taking you somewhere fancy.”

“Oh, God, no, there’s no --” Peter rubbed at his face, already feeling anxious just to think about the sort of restaurants Tony usually went to.

“Hey, don’t even try, I’m gonna feed you before I fuck you, it’s common courtesy and I’m a gentleman. You just didn’t give me a chance before, you jumped me before I could even offer you a drink.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you complaining, what with your tongue so far down my throat.” Peter grinned and heard the other man chuckle.

“Happy will pick you up at nine, brat. Text me the address sometime this week.”

--

Peter was still a little tipsy from the fancy wine they had at dinner and the scotch they had later. Tony wasn’t kidding when he said it was a fancy restaurant, he felt weird and out of place at first, but the older man made everything seem so normal and natural, he still couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that his brain seemed to stop functioning properly around him.

They ended up back in his hotel room, where they had the sloppiest, messiest, drunkest sex anyone had ever had and Peter was lying on his stomach with his eyes closed, slowly sobering up as the minutes ticked by. Tony was sitting with his back against the headboard, running his fingertips lightly across Peter’s shoulders, talking about his PA, Pepper Potts, and how he couldn’t run the company without her, because he was such a slacker. He was still drinking scotch and Peter honestly had no idea how he wasn’t completely trashed, even though he was clearly not sober either.

“You were really young when you took over the company, right?” Peter slurred, sleepily, as Tony’s fingers slid up the back of his neck and into his hair, massaging his scalp. The younger man closed his eyes, purring.

“Yeah, I was around twenty or something.” For the first time since they met, Tony’s voice was quiet, not booming with confidence or mirth, just quiet and soft.

“Because your parents died?” Peter whispered, eyes still closed, but Tony’s hand in his hair didn’t even falter, so he figured it wasn’t a touchy subject.

“Yeah.”

“How did you cope so well?” He opened his eyes and the older man was resting his head against the headboard, eyes closed, face relaxed and open, fingers still scratching his scalp. It took Peter by surprise how at ease he seemed to be around him, it made him blush and feel – what was he feeling?

“I didn’t, kid, I was all over the place. I got drunk every night, got high everyday. I fucked so many people it’s miracle I didn’t get some fucked up STD. My twenties are a fucking blur.” He turned to look at the younger man and he felt so small under his gaze.

“But you’re better now.” He whispered, trying hard not to break eye contact. The older man smiled.

“Yeah, this might come as a surprise to you, but it’s been a while since I was twenty.” Tony grinned and Peter raised his upper body, supporting his weight on his elbows. Tony slid his knuckles across his cheeks, and Peter’s eyes fluttered shut. “Did you lose your parents, too?” He asked, softly, and Peter thought about avoiding the question, but he was too drunk and too tired to be mysterious.

“Yeah, when I was ten. I-I was all over the place, too, and just when I thought I was getting better, I lost my uncle – and I. I couldn’t help him. He was like a father to me. I think it fucked me up for good, you know?” He winced while trying to smile, and the older man tried to smooth down the lines on his forehead with his fingers.

“Nah, it gets better. I promise.”

“That’s nice to hear.” He smiled, even though he didn’t believe him, and Tony could probably tell. “How come you never married?” Tony raised and eyebrow, amused, and Peter shrugged. “You’re hot, smart, rich. Like, people must throw themselves at you all the time. Are you a confirmed bachelor or something?”

“It just never happened. I guess when you have so many – attractive features, it’s difficult to tell who’s there for the right reasons.” He pinched Peter’s nose and the younger man scrunched up his face, making Tony laugh. “Why? Are you gonna propose? Got a ring hidden up this cute little butt? Let me check.” He playfully patted and squeezed Peter’s ass cheeks and he squealed, laughing hard.

“You wish!” He giggled when Tony started tickling his ribs, batting his hands away and turning over on the bed. “Stop!” The older man crawled on top of him, caging his head between him arms as Peter panted, trying to catch his breath. He didn’t have a chance to do so, because Tony started kissing him gently and deeply, slowly, and Peter melted into the bed. The man was such a good kisser, he could swear he must have taken a course somewhere or something like that. When he pulled away, Peter took a deep breath. “I have to go now.”

“You want to go now.” Tony corrected, but he was smiling. He rolled off of his body, not before leaving a peck on his lips. “Happy will be waiting for you out front. Drink lots of water, you don’t wanna have a hang over tomorrow.”

“You do realize you’re not really my dad, right?” Peter narrowed his eyes at the older man and he chuckled, shaking his head.

“Oh, no, trust me, if I were, you wouldn’t be this bratty.”

–*--

Bored out of my mind

Tony’s text lighted up Peter’s phone screen and he smiled, shaking his head as he pocketed it to serve his tables. That was a thing, now, apparently. He and Tony texting. They had been doing it for a few weeks, ever since the older man left the last time. He was fine with that. They were friends, Tony made him laugh, and there was the added benefit of sex whenever he was in town, there was really no harm.

His phone vibrated in his pocket a few other times as he worked, he figure they were more texts from Tony, or maybe even from May or Ned. He had been trying to talk to them more often and, slowly, it stopped feeling weird and forced. Slowly, it started feeling good again.

Once his shift was over and he walked home, he took a quick shower and opened his texts. There two from Tony, one with a picture of his bored face and another one saying “entertain me”. There was a text from Ned letting him know that he planned to come home for Christmas and a missed call from May that he’d return later.

More importantly, there was a notification from Tinder. When he opened it, he saw that he was matched with a guy named Quentin Beck. He was 38, so not a lot older, but still. He looked gorgeous, with pale blue eyes and a lumberjack beard. It had been a while since he had gone out with anyone besides Tony – actually, when he thought about it, he hadn’t really talked to anyone new in a very long time.

So when the guy asked him if he wanted to meet that night, he went. He didn’t really want to go, even though the guy was gorgeous and apparently very nice, but he went anyway. They made small talk in the guy’s living room, but they soon moved to his bedroom. He was okay, not amazing, Peter had to get himself off or he wouldn’t come. It was whatever, he felt a little used, a little weird, but didn’t think much about it.

When he got home, he texted Tony a picture of himself making a silly face, along with a text: “I hope this is entertaining enough.” Not even two minutes later, he got a text with a picture of the older man with a hand over his heart, making a dramatic face. I’m not entertained, I’m in love, but thanks for trying.”

Peter laughed alone in his room at Tony’s joke, shaking his head, and for some reason, his night got a little better.

–*--

“I missed you so much, baby boy.” Tony whispered in his ear from behind and he shivered all over, clutching the wooden headboard as the older man slammed against him, chest touching his back, arms firmly wrapped around his waist. Fuck, he missed Tony, too, so much, even though they’d been talking every day for months, they hadn’t met in a long time, Peter was climbing the walls by the time the older man announced he’d be in town for the weekend. “Come for me, baby, come on.” He wrapped a hand around Peter’s cock and it took only two pumps to push him over the edge, as he moaned loudly, hole clenching around Tony’s dick as the older man came, too, grunting against his neck.

After a few seconds catching his breath, Tony pulled away, still holding Peter from behind, kissing his neck, his ears, and tickling his ribs. Peter giggled, trying to get away, but the older man wouldn’t let him.

“Tony, cut it out!” He squealed, and finally the older man let him go. Breathing hard and still giggling a bit, he stepped out of the bed and hurried to the bathroom to clean himself up. “I really have to go, I’m so, so late!” Peter couldn’t afford to give up his shift at the restaurant, money was really tight that month, so he and Tony managed to squeeze an hour between the end of the man’s meetings and the beginning of Peter’s shift, but he was already running late.

He went around the room putting on his clothes, and when he was finally ready, Tony got up from the bed to meet him at the door.

“You need a new jacket” He muttered against his lips as they shared a final kiss. They both looked down at Peter’s pitiful jacket, there were at least two visible holes on it, and Peter knew there was another one under his left arm that Tony couldn’t see.

“Tell that to my bank account.” He joked, watching a dissatisfied look take over Tony’s face.

“Let me buy you one.” He asked seriously, wrapping his arms around his waist, and Peter rolled his eyes.

“Tony –“

“Please. We’ve been seeing each other for what, five months now? I’ve never got you a gift, do you know how hard this is for me? I’m a billionaire, I like spending money on people, you’re killing me with this ‘no gifts policy’, kid.”

“You’re impossible.” He shook his head, smiling, and the older man looked hopeful, arms tightening around his waist.

“So, what do you say? I have the afternoon off tomorrow, I could take you shopping.” He wiggled his eyebrows and Peter raised one finger in front of his face.

“Not shopping. One jacket. One single jacket. I mean it.” He said gravely, only to see a grin spread across Tony’s face.

--

“Gorgeous. Exquisite.” He adjusted the lapels of Peter’s new jacket, then his new scarf, which matched his new gloves perfectly. They had just stepped out of the store and Peter was still a little freaked out that there were no price tags on the clothes and Tony didn’t let him check the receipt. “And cute as a button.” He pecked his lips.

“You’re impossible!” He said as Tony clasped a hand on the back of his neck and guided him down the street, walking straight by Happy and his car. Peter frowned. “Aren’t we going back to the hotel?” They had met at the store after Tony’s meetings were over, so they hadn’t got a chance to be alone yet.

“How about some hot chocolate first?” He offered, walking them towards a coffee shop just down the street, and Peter shrugged, agreeing. Tony slid his arm across Peter’s shoulders and pulled him closer, and the younger man tucked himself under his arm contently, sighing at the warmth.

When they got to the coffee shop, Tony told him to take a seat while he ordered. He stared out the window as he waited, thinking that Christmas was just around the corner and how fast that year had gone by and how much had changed, specially over the last few months. He smiled to himself, feeling silly and happy, for the first time in a very long time.

“What is it, did someone fall on their butt?” Tony asked when he arrived with their drinks, looking out the window curiously. Peter chuckled, shaking his head, but didn’t offer anymore information. He eyed the mugs of hot chocolate filled to the brim with whipped-cream and his mouth watered.

Tony sat by his side on the booth and Peter took the beverage with both hands, trying to steal some of its warmth, and when he took the first sip, some of the whipped-cream smeared his nose and upper lip. He went cross-eyed trying to lick it clean, and heard Tony laughing out loud beside him.

“Oh, no, wait, wait!” He pulled his phone from his jacket pocket and directed the camera at Peter. The young man made a bored face as Tony took the picture. “And that is my new wallpaper, thanks,” he beamed, turning to look at Peter again. “C’mere,” before the young man could react, Tony licked the tip of his nose clean.

Tony!” There were tears in his eyes from how much he was laughing, even though he was punching the older man’s arm in protest.

~-*-~

“I don’t want you to make a big deal out of this, ok?” Peter warned seriously and heard Ned agree eagerly. They had been talking more often over the last few months, just like he was trying to visit May at least once a weak. “I’m gonna start attending community college next year.” He bit his lower lip nervously, a little afraid of what Ned would think. May had cried tears of joy for hours when he told her, but he and Ned had once made plans to be roommates at MIT and he had graduated from CalTech last fall, so--

“Peter, holy fuck! Dude, I can’t – I’m so fucking happy for you! That’s what I’m talking about, you’re awesome, you’re gonna do great, and then –“

“Okay, calm down, like I said, let’s not make a big deal out of this, ok? It’s just something that I’m gonna try and it might not work, so chill.” He smiled to himself, a little relieved that Ned was happy for him, but what did he expect? He was the best friend Peter could hope for.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, sure. Of course. Super chill.” He was silent for just a few seconds, before he spoke excitedly again. “But I’m so happy, Pete. You’re – I’m glad to see you’re doing okay.”

“Speaking of seeing, are you coming home for Christmas? I miss you, dude, haven’t seen you in what, two years?”

“Yeah, I’ll come, and I have good news of my own! Are you sitting down?” Peter confirmed, amused. “Ok, remember I told you about Stark Industries new power plant and stuff?”

“Yes?” Peter blushed at the mention of the name Stark. Ned had no idea that he’d been banging his boss, so it was always weird when he talked about his job.

“It’s gonna operate in New York, they were putting together a team to transfer there, and guess who’s going?”

“Shut up!”

“Yeah! I’m going home, dude, for good! And best part is, I’m gonna work closely with Mr. Stark, I’m talking about same floor kinda deal, dude.” Peter froze.

“Wait, what? But I thought T – Mr. Stark lived in Malibu?” Surely Ned must be mistaken, Tony loved Malibu, he would never leave it for New York, that was stupid. He wasn’t coming.

“Yeah, dude, but he’s moving to New York next year, after they launch the power plant. He’s moving the headquarters of S.I. to New York.”

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Peter tried to take a deep breath, he just needed to rationalize this. They just couldn’t be together once he moved, that would be – they weren’t dating or anything, because Tony lived thousands of miles away, so if he came, it would be different, because they would be living in the same city, and just – really, they weren’t dating, Peter didn’t date, so they weren’t dating, so it was fine, he’d just call Tony and let him know that their arrangement was over, which was fine, he didn’t –

“Oh. Cool.” He remembered that Ned was still on the line.

“Yeah, tell me about it. I’m psyched!”

“Hey, Pete. Are you ok?” Tony answered on the second ring, sounding surprised and on alert. “You never call.”

“Sorry, did I disturb you? Can you talk?” He asked, nervously. There was a reason he never called Tony, he was a busy, important man, he had meetings to go and things to create and money to make, he couldn’t possibly have time for Peter.

“Yeah, sure, what’s up? Is something the matter? Are you in trouble? You sound nervous.” He could hear the concern in his voice and he bit his lips, feeling guilty. There was nothing Tony had to worry about, after all, it was silly, Peter was making a big deal out of nothing. It wasn’t like they were breaking up or anything, they weren’t even together to begin with, so. It was just a “no more sex” kind of talk. Nothing to be nervous about.

“I’m fine, I’m okay, it’s – Are- are you moving to New York?”

“What? How do you know that?” He was surprised by the question, but didn’t seem mad, which was good, he didn’t want to get Ned in trouble over this.

“Just answer, please?” He pleaded quietly.

“Yes, I am. It was supposed to be a surprise, though, I was gonna tell you in person, after Christmas. What’s the matter?” Again, he sounded worried, and Peter bit his lips until he drew blood.

“It’s just… I… We – I don’t know, Tony, I’m. What is this to you – us? What are we…?” He didn’t know why the fuck he was going in that direction, he was just supposed to say they couldn’t fuck anymore.

“Uh, I don’t know? Does it matter? Do you wanna put a name on it? We can be boyfriends or whatever, but I think I’m a little old for that title, so maybe you could be my boyfriend and I can be your… manfriend? Significant other? We can figu–”

“Tony, stop joking around!” He gasped, shocked at the word boyfriend, what was Tony even talking about, Jesus, they weren’t – they never –

“I’m not joking around. I mean, I was joking about the manfriend thing, but otherwise I’m dead serious.” Fuck, no, this couldn’t be right, this couldn’t be true. Surely Tony wasn’t being serious, of course it was all a big joke, they weren’t dating, for fuck’s sake, they were fucking, that was it, nothing more, why was he talking about boyfriends, relationships – “Peter, you’re freaking out.”

“Of course I’m freaking out!” He squealed, taking himself by surprise by how high his own voice sounded.

“I knew this was gonna happen, that’s why I wanted to talk to you in person. Look, it’s no big deal.” Why the fuck was he so calm and collected?

“Tony, this is not – we’re not – this is casual! It’s – It’s just sex!” He reasoned, hearing a sigh coming from the other side.

“Honey, c’mon, you know that’s not true. I care about you, and I know you –“

“I’ve slept with other men while you were away.” He blurted out, because that was very important information, that was proof that they weren’t serious. He slept with Toomes and with Beck and if they were boyfriends he wouldn’t have done that, so, clearly, they weren’t boyfriends, what kind of boyfriend would do that? No kind. No kind of boyfriend would do that.

“O-kay.” He said slowly, clearly surprised by the confession. “Okay, that’s fine, we haven’t talked about exclusivity yet, so you did nothing wrong, there’s nothing to –“

“Tony! I’m – I’m worthless! I’m a slut, I’m poor, I’m – I’m just a waiter, I have no future, you can’t be with me!” He was really freaking out there, he could barely breath, he was sweating like a pig, pacing his room, and Tony couldn’t seem to understand what he was saying, why couldn’t he understand what he was saying? Wasn’t the man supposed to be a genius?

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, kid! First of all, take a deep breath, will you? Second of all, I’m a big boy, I can very well choose who I want to be with or not. And third of all, are you insane? You’re the smartest person I’ve talked to in years, you’re gorgeous, funny, kind and sweet, and of course I wanna be with you!”

“Well, I-I don’t wanna be with you,” He answered, voice wavering, but he was sure of it, of course he was sure.

“Peter, come on, you’re not thinking this through –“

“I can’t do this, Tony, I can’t. I’m not – I’m not boyfriend material, I’m – You’re – This isn’t gonna work.” He ran a hand through his hair, trying to calm himself down, he was doing the right thing, it was for the best.

“It’s been working for almost six months in case you haven’t noticed, Pete, what --”

“No, no! We’re not – Look, I’ve gotta go, just – Just leave it alone, ok?” He didn’t wait for an answer, he just hung up the phone and threw out of reach. There, done. Easy as pie.

–*--

Christmas had come and gone and it was really nice. He and May had take out Thai food after they ruined their attempts of cooking Christmas dinner. It was kind of a tradition for them. They would try to cook, fuck up royally, then they’d order the least Christmassy thing they could think of. Ned visited for a couple of days, they hung out in his room building Legos and drinking beer, then he had to go back to Malibu, but he was supposed to move back in February, which was nice.

Everything was nice and okay, life hadn’t been this easy in a long time, so he had no idea why there was a Tony-shaped void in his heart, when he was so used to that place to being completely and shapelessly empty.

It was the first week of January when his bell rang, he thought it was the Chinese he ordered, but when he opened the door, soft brown eyes stared back at him.

“Tony, wh – what are you doing here?” He stuttered, clutching the door, and the older man looked so elegant and composed and calm, what was he even doing in such a terrible neighborhood, he didn’t belong there.

“May I come in?” He asked calmly, and Peter wanted to say no, because he couldn’t look at him, he didn’t want to look at him. But he couldn’t say no, so he stepped aside and let the man in. He stood there, in the middle of his ridiculously tiny and messy living room, and Peter closed the door, leaning against it, as if he needed a quick escape route in case of emergencies. He turned to look at Peter. “Not very nice of you to break up over the phone, hang up on me and then block my number, kid.”

“I-I, I didn’t, I –“ Before he could think of an answer, the older man raised a hand, stopping him.

“It’s okay, I forgive you, I’m here now, sorry I couldn’t come earlier.” He stepped closer to Peter, who in turn tried to become one with the door the way he pressed his back against it.

“I-I didn’t ask you to come. In fact, you should leave,” He muttered, looking down at the floor, until he saw Tony’s expensive shoes stepping into his line of view, so close to his sock-clad feet, and he blushed when he noticed that his socks didn’t even match.

“Here’s what I think, correct me if I get anything wrong. I think you’re lonely – and I think you like feeling lonely, because it’s safer. I think you’ve isolated yourself from the people you love, afraid you’d lose them one way or another, afraid that you’d have to go through that pain again, and you’ve been avoiding getting close to other people for way too long. And then I came in.” Tony placed a finger on his chin, lifting his head gently, and Peter hadn’t even noticed that his face was wet and he was sobbing quietly. He closed his eyes, he couldn’t bear to look at Tony’s face, afraid of what he might see there. “I know you, kid. I’ve been you.” Tony’s lips on his took him by surprise, but he didn’t flinch, he didn’t move away, he craved that touch, he wanted Tony to come closer, to hold him, to stay with him, just – “I love you. And I’m not going anywhere, you can’t push me away.”

“Tony.” He wrapped his arms around his neck, crying silently against his shoulder. There were so many words trapped in his mouth, but he couldn’t say them, he couldn’t.

“It’s okay, I’m here. I’m not leaving,” He whispered against his curls, holding him so tight, so close, that Peter believed him.

 

 

If you let me

Here’s what I’ll do

I’ll take care of you.