It’s late into the evening when Peter’s eyes start drooping. It's his weekend to stay over at the Compound with Tony, and they’re already kicking it off by spending the night tinkering down in the lab.
But coming off of a whole week of school, homework and patrolling… Peter’s downright exhausted.
A yawn escapes his mouth at that moment and he furiously binks, finding that staying awake was beginning to be quite a challenge, one that he’s rapidly losing. The wiring in his hands blur out of focus as he slowly blinks, thoughts swirling around his drowsy brain. As a few minutes pass by, Peter’s eyes begin to slip closed, head dipping down to his chest.
“You dozing off on me, kiddo?”
Peter’s head shot up at the sound of his mentor’s voice and he rapidly blinks. “No no… ‘course not, M’str Stark.” He tiredly mumbles, reaching a hand up to rub at his eyes.
The man lets out an amused snort at his side. “That’s the third time I’ve seen you nod off in the past ten minutes. How about we call it a night and get some food in you before you go to bed?”
Peter looks at his suit that’s sprawled out on the table in front of them. They were doing some pretty hardcore upgrades to the suit’s hardware and it will probably take them the whole weekend to get through all of it. Losing out on lab time would only set them back, but making a mistake when he’s half-asleep won’t help them either.
Peter gives in with a small, disappointed sigh. “Okay.”
Once everything is cleaned up and packed away for the night, Tony throws his arm across Peter’s shoulders and steers him over to the elevator.
“So what are you in the mood for? Burgers? Pasta? I can whip us up some fettuccine alfredo if you want?” He offers as they step inside.
Peter shrugs. “Whatever’s easier.”
“Pasta it is then. Besides, I found this recipe that I’ve been wanting to try out.” Tony says with a smile as the doors slide open once they reach their floor, revealing the dark space in front of them.
They both walk out and the lights dimly turn on, illuminating the way to the kitchen. Peter yawns as he leans up against the center island, watching as Tony moves around getting what he needed to start on dinner. “Need any help?” He offers.
“No, I think I’ve got it covered, bud. We don’t want another repeat of the last time you tried helping me in the kitchen, do we?” Tony shoots him a teasing smirk over his shoulder as he takes out two boxes of pasta from the cabinet above the stove.
“That was one time.”
“And one I’ll never forget.” Tony grins as he brings a pot over to the sink, filling it with water. “How about you go in the living room and turn on a movie or take a nap? I’ll wake you when it’s ready.”
“You sure?” Peter asks, feeling guilty for not helping out.
Tony waves a hand dismissively at him. “Positive. Now shoo! Chief’s at work here.”
Peter smiles as he turns around and makes his way over to the living room, plopping down on the large sectional. He grabs the remote and flips the TV on, turning it to Netflix. For several minutes, he mindlessly scrolls through all of his options, debating on settling for reruns of Friends or the newest season of The Flash when he suddenly feels the familiar tingling of his senses at the back of his head.
Peter frowns as he sits up and peers over the back of the couch into the kitchen, eyes landing on Tony, who was standing at the stove humming what sounded like an AC/DC song.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and there certainly wasn’t any danger here. It was just the two of them and FRIDAY would let them know if something was wrong.
Maybe his senses were a little out of whack with how tired he is, it’s happened before.
Peter turns back around and settles against the couch cushions, but he can’t push away the uneasy feeling bubbling away in his stomach.
Something just doesn’t feel right.
He pushes himself up from the couch and walks across the room to the kitchen, nervously glancing around the space for any signs of a threat. Tony’s still humming away, stirring the pasta in the boiling water, foot tapping against the floor to whatever tune’s playing in his head, oblivious to Peter’s distress.
Peter walks the rest of the way into the kitchen and leans his back against the countertop a few feet away from Tony, who looks up at him with a raised brow.
“Something wrong?” He asks.
Peter rubs the back of his neck where he can feel the buzzing sensation, face pinching from it. “I don’t know. My senses are on the fritz I think.”
“What do you mean?” Tony frowns, concern showing in his eyes. “Does that usually happen?”
Peter gives a one shouldered shrug. “Sometimes when I’m tired or stressed it does but-something doesn't feel right.”
Tony taps the wooden spoon against the pot before putting it down on an Iron Man head spoon holder. He looks over at him with a frown. “On a scale of one to ten how bad is it?”
“Like-maybe a six, seven.”
Tony nods, glancing up at the ceiling. “FRIDAY, run a perimeter check to be on the safe side.”
They’re met by silence.
“FRIDAY?” Tony’s frown deepens.
Still nothing, only unsettling silence.
“W-What does that mean?” Peter asks as he sees him visibly tense up.
“I don’t know. She’s never not answered before, so that might mean that someone hacked into her mainframe and shut her off.”
Peter’s eyes widen at that and he opens his mouth, but before he can say anything, he suddenly feels the hairs on his arms stand on end, his senses practically screaming at him.
Run! Get out!
There’s a mechanical click from somewhere in the room, along with a soft whoosing noise, before he feels a sharp prick on his right shoulder. Peter jumps back with a startled gasp and looks down at his arm, only to see a skinny silver, needle-looking object sticking out.
“Shit.” Tony curses from beside him as he rushes forward, eyes wide as he grabs Peter’s arm, carefully pulling it out. “Shit. It’s a tranquilizer.”
At that moment, a wave of dizziness washes over Peter, static forming in front of his eyes. The exhaustion from earlier was now back in full force. Whatever was in that thing was affecting him rather quickly .
“O-Oh…” Peter mumbles as he grabs the countertop behind himself for balance, rapidly blinking to clear his vision, only worsening it. “S’mthing’s wrong with m’ eyes…” He slurs.
And his tongue too, apparently.
In a split second, it’s as if all the blood drains from his head before Peter’s legs give out from underneath him, the floor rushing up to meet him.
“Peter!” He hears Tony scream over the static in his ears, feeling the man’s hands on him, tightly grabbing on to his upper arms, saving him from bashing his head.
He blinks up at Tony’s blurry face and the bright LED lighting panels on the ceiling.
“Peter? C’mon, stay with me.” Tony’s tells him in a panicked tone from above.
“T’rd…” Peter barely manages to get out around his tongue that’s started to feel weirdly dry and swollen.
He sluggishly blinks, feeling his eyelids growing heavier and heavier as the seconds tick by. Calloused hands grab both sides of his face and his eyes slide over, meeting Tony’s wide, fearful ones. “Pete, you’ve gotta stay awake. Do you hear me? Stay awake. Keep those eyes open. There’s no telling what’s in that thing-” Tony’s voice cuts out, filtering in and out of his ears like a scratched disk.
Peter’s heavy eyes slip closed, his will to fight sapped right out of him. He feels like he’s falling, before blackness rushes up to meet him, then he knows no more.
Consciousness slowly comes back to him, angry yelling voices filter in and out of his ears, the words so jumbled together, it’s impossible to decipher what’s being said.
Peter struggles opening his heavy eyes, brows pulling together in confusion when he realizes that he’s lying on the floor, looking up at the ceiling. He faintly remembers standing in the kitchen with Tony, pasta boiling over the stove, and then feeling a sharp pinch in his arm… but he can’t remember anything after that.
His head feels like it’s stuffed with cotton, making it impossible to think, let alone remember exactly how he ended up on the floor.
There’s a familiar, dull tugging at the back of his head, an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“I’m done playing games, Stark…” A voice says from somewhere in the room. “You’re going to give me what I want, right now, or else there will be consequences.”
“You think you can just waltz in here, break into my home, and threaten me? You’re out of your mind, Ross.” He recognizes Tony’s angry voice.
“After everything that you’ve done, dodging my calls and keeping sensitive information from me, yes!” The other man yells back.
It takes his groggy brain a few moments to process what’s going on. Clearly, whoever this Ross guy was, was dangerous and bold enough to break into the Avengers Compound and threaten Iron Man, himself. Why, though?
His head gives off a particularly sharp throb at that moment and Peter tightly closes his eyes with a pained groan.
“The kid’s awake, sir.” A new, gruff voice announces from somewhere nearby.
“Well… there are other ways for me to get the information I want out of you.” The man, Ross, threatens. “Bring him to me.”
“No! Leave him alone!” He hears Tony yell.
Before Peter can register what’s happening, he’s suddenly being pulled up rather roughly by two sets of hands. He sluggishly opens his eyes, blurry figures above swirling around in his vision as he’s dragged across the floor, legs too weak to move. Peter’s dropped back to the floor, too disoriented to catch himself, when his face collides against the hardwood floor. Peter cries out involuntarily when pain flares from both his nose and pounding head, screwing his eyes shut with a groan. There’s something warm trickling out of his nose and all he can smell is copper.
“So… this is one of your many, little secrets you’ve been keeping to yourself, hmm?” Ross says, almost sounding bored.
Footsteps approach him and Peter opens his eyes, meeting a pair of polished black dress shoes that are mere inches away from his face.
“Leave him alone, Ross or so help me I’ll-”
“You’re really not in any position to threaten me, Stark. Not with your child’s life on the line.” Ross snaps. “Now, you can either give me what I want or…”
A hand grabs a fistful of his curls and violently yanks him upright to his knees, and Peter screws his eyes shut as he lets out a choked whimper from the stinging pain it brings. There’s something cold being shoved against his temple, even in his drugged state he knows it's a gun.
“...or else he’s going to have a bullet in his head in the next ten seconds.” Ross finishes.
Peter blinks his now watery eyes open, feeling a few warm tears slide down his cheeks as his eyes settle on Tony, who stands a few feet away, restrained by two armed soldiers in dark navy blue uniforms. His eyes are wide and fear-filled, darting between the gun and Peter’s face.
Fear shoots through Peter at the situation they’re in, shaking despite how still he tries to be. “T-T’ny…” He slurs, tongue too thick and heavy in his mouth.
“It’s okay, Pete.” Tony’s quick to reassure him, struggling in the soldier’s holds. “You’re okay.” He says before turning his head over in Ross’ direction, eyes darkening with hate. “Just let him go. He has nothing to do with this. This is between you and me .”
Ross makes a tsking sound as he turns back to them and walks a short distance across the room, pausing in step before turning back around, looking at Tony.
“I have to disagree with you. I believe that he does.” He lowly says as a grin spreads across his face. Ross glances over at Peter as he slowly walks around them in a circle. “You see, I’ve been keeping tabs on you, Tony. Watching everything you do, where you go, and who you’re with. I’ve been watching the two of you for some time now and I couldn’t help but wonder… why would Tony Stark, spend his precious time with an orphan from Queens? And I’ve noticed how close you are with each other.”
Despite the fuzziness, pain and exhaustion that’s heavily weighing Peter down, he understands perfectly well what the man is saying.
He knows he’s Spider-Man.
Peter takes in a shaky breath, locking his eyes with Tony, who looked like he had come to the same conclusion as well.
Ross chuckles darkly, stepping in between them. “Looks like your playboy days have come back to haunt you.” He glances over his shoulder at Peter. “Tony Stark’s long lost son.”
Peter blinks, shocked. Ross actually thinks that… that Peter was Tony’s son? He’s too woozy to try and wrap his head around that.
Tony is questioningly silent and Peter can’t see his face with Ross standing in front of him.
“You honestly thought you could hide that little secret from the world? From me?” Ross laughs. “I have eyes and ears everywhere. And you haven’t been trying to hide it, either. I have pictures of you at the kid’s high school!” Ross waves a hand in Peter’s direction.
He steps away, letting out a drawn out sigh. His steely blue eyes meet Peter’s, fear shooting through him. Ross must see it because he smirks, rounding on Tony once again.
“I’m going to ask you, one more time… and I expect an honest answer from you. Where is Captain Rogers and the rest of the rogues?” Ross slowly asks, stepping over to Peter’s side. “If you don’t give me an answer in ten seconds, your floor is going to be redecorated.”
The soldier that’s holding onto Peter presses the gun further against his temple, painfully so. Peter swallows hard, breaths quickening as he looks at Tony with wide, fearful eyes. The gun clicks as the safety’s taken off, the sound echoing in Peter’s ears.
“Ten… nine… eight…” Ross begins counting down.
Tony’s eyes widen in horror. “No wait!”
“Seven.. six…” Ross continues.
“Ross, please!” Tony yells.
Peter’s breathing is almost hysteic now. He tries to fight out of the soldier’s grip but the man tightens his hold on Peter’s hair, pressing the gun further against his head.
“Five… four… three-”
A loud crashing sound comes from the window next to them, glass shards raining down on them.
“What the hell?” Ross angrily yells in surprise.
War Machine, in all of his glory, stands in front of where the window once stood, holding out both gauntlets threateningly at Ross and his men, the suit’s weapons on full display.
“Stand down now.” Rhodey orders, metallic voice low.
Ross scoffs. “Colonel, you stand down. Your buddy here,” He gestures over at Tony. “Has been withholding sensitive information regarding wanted fugitives from the government, and he’s going to be prosecuted for-”
“And you are going to be prosecuted for endangering a minor and for breaking and entering on private property.” Rhodey shoots back at him. “Tell your men to drop their weapons and stand down now . Don’t make me ask again.” He threatens, voice dropping lower.
Ross stands there for a moment, glaring at him, before he signals his men with a wave of his hand. The soldier holding on to Peter pulls the gun away, dropping his hand from Peter’s curls. Peter falls to the floor, saving himself from face planting again by catching himself on weak, shaky arms. The soldiers release their hold on Tony and he rushes over to Peter’s side, dropping to his knees.
“I’ve got you, Pete.” He softly says, voice wavering slightly as he places a hand on his back.
Peter lets out a low, pained groan, squeezing his eyes shut as he lets Tony help him sit up. A wave of dizziness washes over him and another groan escapes from the back of his throat.
“‘M’ dizzy…” He mumbles, feeling Tony’s arms snake around his back, feeling himself being lowered down.
“I’ve got you, kiddo.” Tony tells him. “I’ve got you.”
Peter slowly blinks, finding that his head was now in the man’s lap. Tony was looking down at him, face filled with concern.
There’s a loud noise from somewhere in the room, followed by heavy booted footfalls on the floor. Peter flinches at all of the noise and tries to sit up but Tony places a hand on his chest, not letting him up.
“Drop your weapons! Get on the ground and put your hands in the air!” Multiple gruff voices yell.
Peter tightly closes his eyes and whimpers in fear. So much was going on around him and it was all too much for his senses.
“T-Tony-” Peter whimpers.
Tony softly shushes him and places a warm, calloused hand on the side of his face. “Everything’s alright. You’re okay, kiddo. We’re safe now.” He assures.
Peter tightly closes his eyes, feeling a few tears escape and slide down his cheeks.
“Tony!” A familiar voice yells, rapid footsteps approaching them. “Shit. What happened? Is he hurt?”
“They shot him with something, he’s a little banged up.” Tony says.
“SHIELD medics are a minute out.” Rhodey supplies from nearby.
Peter forces his teary eyes open, seeing Happy’s blurry, worried face hovering above him, next to Tony’s. Peter’s eyelids are growing heavier and heavier as the seconds pass by, his thoughts going right out the window. He feels like he’s slipping… sleep pulling him down.
“Hey, hey don’t you conk out on us, kid.” Tony orders, feeling the man’s hand tapping against his cheeks.
Peter hummus as he forces his eyes open halfway, unable to open them any more with how impossibly heavy they are. Black dots flicker in his vision, fading around the edges.
He’s so tired.
“Keep those eyes open-”
Maybe he could just take a nap.
The world gets lost to him when Peter’s eyes slip closed, meeting all-consuming darkness.
Soft, rhythmic beeping is the first thing Peter’s aware of. He slowly peels his eyes open, meeting the familiar white walls of the medbay.
“There he is.” Someone says at his side.
Peter’s brows pull together as he rolls his head to his right, seeing Tony sitting in a chair at his bedside, softly smiling at him.
“How are you feeling?”
Peter blinks, swallowing around the dryness in his throat. “Tired.” He croaks out.
“I’m sure you are. You have quite a few drugs in your system right now. It was a little too much, even with your metabolism to handle, so we’re trying to help and flush it all out.”
Peter’s brows pull together as his eyes lower down to the mattress where his right arm limply lays, an IV taped over his hand.
“Do you remember what happened?” Tony asks.
Peter licks his dry lips. “N-Not really… I remember a guy, Ross? He and a few of his guys broke in?” He says questioningly.
Tony breathes out a sigh, nodding, as he reaches over to the nightstand and picks up a glass of water, handing it to him. Peter lifts it to his mouth and takes a few long gulps of, grateful to wash away the horrible dryness.
“What did he want?” Peter asks after a few moments of silence.
Tony stares ahead at the glass wall, an unreadable expression on his face before he lets out another sigh, shaking his head. “It doesn’t matter now. He’s in custody right now with some pretty severe charges pressed against him, by yours truly.” A small smile tugs at the corner of his mouth as he says it.
Peter just nods and looks down at his lap, a particular memory of the incident coming back to him.
“He was spying on us?” Peter asks.
“Looks like it. Rhodey’s looking into it now to see just how much he was able to find out-”
“He thought I was your son?” Peter blurts out before he can stop himself.
Tony lets out a long breath through his nose, slowly nodding. “Yeah.”
Peter studies his face for a few seconds, unsure of what to say. After everything they’ve been through today, what could he say? It was so hard to wrap his mind around all of this.
“I’m sorry.” Peter chooses to say, looking down at the half empty cup in his hands.
“Why are you sorry?”
“Because… I-He thought that I’m your… your son.” Peter says, brows pulling together.
“And what would be so wrong about that?” Tony asks.
Peter looks up at him, his heart warming at the man’s words. A small smile tugs at the corner of Peter’s mouth. “Nothing.” He says in an honest tone.