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#spiderman au
bigredashlyn · 5 hours ago
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Chapters: 1/? Fandom: Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (TV) Rating: General Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Tobin Batra/Leif Donnelly/Mackenzie, Tobin Batra/Leif Donnelly, Leif Donnelly/Mackenzie, Tobin Batra/Mackenzie Characters: Tobin Batra, Leif Donnelly, Mackenzie (Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist) Additional Tags: Spiderman AU!, based LOOSELY on tom holland trilogy, mckoder boyfriends, tobin has two hands, High School AU Summary:
basically a spider-man au with tobin as peter parker, leif as the guy in the chair (ned), and mckenzie as mj. don't really know about plot yet. but following LOOSELY the mcu spidey movies.
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iwritedumbshit · 10 hours ago
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“I just wanted to be like you.”
“And I wanted you to be better.”
~click for better quality~
**DO NOT TAG OR REPOST AS ST*RKER**
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iwritedumbshit · 14 hours ago
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Comfort in My Shadow
Chapter 5: Ironic
By @iwritedumbshit for @iron-mum
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark, Minor Pepper Potts/Tony Stark
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Ned Leeds, James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Summary: Soulmates are definite in the universe. Nobody knows exactly why they exist, or what dictates who is bonded to who, the only thing known is that they are never wrong. But Peter’s not so sure about that.
Living at the group home had taught Peter a lot about laying low and how to stay alive when nobody cares. But he’d always clung to the hope of the shadow at his feet reflecting his soulmate that had watched over him for years.
Typical that his soulmate is actually a superhero that Peter is convinced shouldn’t want anything to do with him. Maybe, just this once, the Universe was wrong.
But Tony Stark is desperate to prove that it is right.
Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 3 // Ch 4 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
---
"Woah."
"I know, right," Peter said, unzipping the inside of the suit and moving to plug it into Ned's computer. His friend continued to gape at it, fingers trailing over the fabric reverently.
"I can't believe Iron Man made this," he whispered. "I get to sit here. And touch a superhero suit. That Tony Stark made. For my best friend. This is the greatest day of my life."
"You've said that a lot recently," Peter pointed out, pulling up the schematics of the suit on Ned's computer, who turned to look at him in confusion.
"What are you doing? Are you supposed to be messing with it?"
"I'm not messing with it. I'm just going through Karen's code real quickly."
"Karen?"
"The AI," he explained. "I just want to make sure she's not gonna snitch on me."
"Snitch on you for what?"
"Uhhh, so you know those alien weapons I've been talking about?"
Ned nodded. "Yeah?"
"I'm gonna take that down, and I don't really need Karen telling Mr. Stark," he mumbled the last part nervously. Ned stared at him.
"Why don't we want Karen telling Mr. Stark again? I mean, he gave you the suit, he must think you're capable."
Peter paused, puffing up his cheeks as he took in an awkward breath, staring at the protocols showing up on the computer. He'd already spotted three to tell Mr. Stark if he was in trouble, so he knew it was the opposite of Ned's assumption.
"Actuallyyyy..." He took a deep breath. "You can't tell anyone this." Ned nodded, but he continued to press. "I mean it. Nobody. Not a soul."
"I won't, I won't! I promise, Peter. Not. A. Soul."
"Mr. Stark's my soulmate."
Ned's head whipped around to stare at Peter's shadow, his mouth falling open.
"Oh, my God... Oh, my God! He's your soulmate!!?" Peter nodded, preparing himself for Ned's excited ramblings, but he couldn't really hide the smile on tugging at his lips either, however faint it was. "This is insane! Your life is so fucking insane I think I'm going to lose it!! Have you talked to him? Wait--yeah you have! How many times have you talked to him? Have you done, I don't know, 'soulmate things?'"
"Ned, what?"
Ned threw his hands up. "I don't know, I haven't met my soulmate. I'm trying my best, Peter!"
Peter laughed, shrugging.
"I don't really know what 'soulmate things' are, but we had dinner, and he showed me some stuff in his lab."
"Oh, my God...you've been in his lab. You know you have to show me one day."
"Definitely. I'll figure it out later, just, let us get more used to each other? Maybe? Let me impress him at least, which is why I'm trying to keep Karen from snitching on me."
"Sure. Here," Ned agreed, sitting beside him on the bed and gesturing for the computer. Peter passed it over to him wordlessly. "I'll work on the protocols, you do detective work or something."
"Thanks, dude."
"By the way, and answer honestly, is that Tony Stark's hoodie?"
Peter glanced down at the red hoodie that Mr. Stark had given him, 'MIT' emblazoned on the sleeves while the faded logo sat on the front of the piece of clothing. He smiled at Ned. "Yep."
"This is so cool," his friend melted.
With an amused eyeroll, Peter pulled out his phone, clearing his throat and nervously calling, "Karen?"
The phone lit up. "Yes, Peter?"
"Listen, ah, I was wondering if you could help me. I'm trying to figure out who these guys under the bridge were a few nights ago, but I mean, I can only kind of remember part of a license plate."
"Can you tell me where you were?" Peter rattled off Liz's neighborhood. Karen was silent for a little bit before piping up again. "Was there a white van involved?"
Peter perked up. "Yes! Exactly!"
A hologram popped up from Peter's phone. Ned stopped to stare at it as they both let out an identical, "Whoa..."
Peter watched intently from the security camera as the van rolled up under the bridge to where the buyer had been waiting. Karen highlighted the faces for him.
"Okay. The two on the right, who are they?" he asked.
"Searching law enforcement databases," Karen said, pausing before answering. "No records found for two of the individuals."
"Nothing?"
"One individual identified." The recording was replaced by a mugshot. "Aaron Davis, age thirty-three. He has a criminal record and an address here in Queens."
Peter and Ned glanced at each other. Ned said, "The protocols are disabled."
"Let's pay him a visit."
  ---
"So, what's this surprise you've been talking about?"
Tony's head shot up at the sound of his girlfriend's voice. He smiled, turning from where he'd been forcing some kitchen tools into a box to take in the woman as she stepped off of the elevator. She very much looked like she'd just come out of a meeting in sharp business slacks and an exhausted expression.
"Hey, Pep. How was...London?"
"Tokyo," she corrected, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "It was tiring. How's the packing?"
"Eh, boring," he said, kicking the box lightly and shoving his hands in his pockets. "So, anyway, I think that we should reconsider moving to the compound permanently."
"Tony, we just finished all the paperwork for the tower! And most floors have been packed by now, we can't just--"
"Not the tower. Just for us. Ever thought about a nice high-rise in Queens?"
Pepper stared at him, crossing her arms. "Queens? Since when have you ever cared about Queens?"
"Well, that's the surprise."
"The surprise is that you want to move to Queens?"
"No," Tony corrected, unable to stop his bright grin. "The surprise is that my soulmate lives in Queens."
It took a couple of seconds for that to register to Pepper. When it did, her eyebrows raised and she let out a smiled gasp. "You found him?"
Tony nodded. "Yep, just swinging around New York like a maniac."
"Swinging?"
"He's Spider-Man. Well, 'man's' a strong word. Here." He waved his hand, pulling up a screen that displayed Peter's yearbook photo. Pepper cooed at him. "Peter Parker. Top of his class at Midtown High by day, overly excited vigilante by night."
"He doesn't look like he could hurt a fly, never mind stop robberies. How'd he get his powers?"
"Forgot to ask, actually. He wasn't super excited to meet me at first, actually."
Pepper snorted. "Good. I'm glad he doesn't feed your ego."
"Hey! This is serious," he pouted.
"Uhuh." Pepper gave him another kiss on the cheek. "How'd you meet him?"
"Mugging. I bought him a hot chocolate."
"Hmm. I expected something stranger given your track record."
"He ran away."
"There it is," she said. "It's all good now, though?"
"Yeah..."
"Tony?"
He hesitated. "Peter lives at a group home, and I gotta say, not super fond of his foster father."
"Is he... Does he hurt Peter?" Pepper asked. He shrugged.
"Possibly. I gave Peter some money and the guy took it. Spent hundreds of dollars on liquor. And the kid's really thin. Jumpy, too. But there's nothing to prove right now."
"I'm surprised I didn't have our lawyer calling me to say you broke into a foster home and kidnapped a kid."
Tony shrugged, giving her a soft smile. "I don't need to break down the door to say hi to Peter. Besides, kid's wary, gets nervous easily. I don't want to scare him off by being too invasive about his home."
"Good on you for learning some boundaries, Tony," she congratulated before turning just a little more serious as she glanced at Peter's picture again. "You're sure he's alright?"
"No. But he's got a new superhero suit, a phone with me, Friday, and his own AI on speed dial, an unlimited credit card, and a badge to get into the tower. He's got resources if he needs them."
"Then let's just hope he doesn't need them."
 ---
  Peter waited until the next day to find and interrogate Aaron Davis, more at Ned's insistence that they study for their Spanish quiz and to let his friend geek out over the suit than anything else. He'd stayed at his friend's house for as long as humanly possible, readily accepting whatever snack that Ned had pushed his way and going over notes that Karen gave him about Davis. It wasn't until the alarm he'd had Karen set that it was 9:40 went off did he leave.
Peter didn't like to impose on his friend so much, but Ned hadn't seemed to mind with the new addition of a supersuit and Mr. Stark being his soulmate, and the teenager couldn't help the way he was still avoiding Mr. Fowler like the plague. After leaving Mr. Stark's on Sunday and failing to stop a simple burglary, he'd hurried back to the group home, helping Eric with his homework and then cooping himself up in his room. He'd managed to avoid him the entire night and the next morning due to the man being passed out drunk in his room. Though he was still wracked with guilt at the fact that his foster father had stolen Mr. Stark's money on alcohol, he had to admit that it was at least useful.
Bidding goodnight to his friend, Peter slipped out of the apartment and hurried down onto the street where he joined the late night crowd as he made his way back to the group home. He popped his earbuds in and chose a song on his phone (that had an unlimited choice for him now, but he just stuck with his familiar Spotify playlists) as he rushed back to a place that he wished he could avoid for longer. Unfortunately, the curfew was final, so he made it back to the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys with five minutes to spare.
He stopped in front of the door as his hairs rose. Surprisingly, they didn't direct him towards the house, instead calling him to turn around. Peter glanced over his shoulder, catching sight of a man sitting at an apartment's steps a few buildings down. It was too dark to see his face, especially with the hat he wore pulled down low, but he looked just a little familiar. More than a little nervous, the teenager shook it off and stepped inside.
Mr. Fowler was waiting for him at the dining table. Peter paused, taking out his earbuds as Mr. Fowler turned to stare at him, chewing on a slice of pizza. For some reason, despite living in New York, the man was obsessed with frozen pizza. It was practically criminal, but Peter excused it as mind games since all the kids weren't allowed to eat any of it. Only a sociopath would eat exclusively frozen pizza in Queens.
"Pity. I was hoping you'd be late," Mr. Fowler frowned at Peter as he shuffled to a hesitant stop by the stairs. "Got another card for me?"
"No," Peter lied stiffly.
"What? No sugar daddy today?"
He knew better than to argue. "I hung out with Ned."
Mr. Fowler stared at him, but the travel agent was nothing if not a man of his word. Peter had been on time, so he waved the teenager on. Resisting the urge to scramble into the safety of his room, he whisked up the steep stairs and into the dark bedroom only lit by the lamp in the corner.
Tim was already asleep, but Jeremiah was sat on his bed going over what looked like a book report. The teenager paid Peter no mind as he dropped his bag onto the ground beside his bed and changed into a pajama shirt. He kept the hoodie on that Mr. Stark had given despite the warmth of the night as he slipped under his covers, bundling up in the reassuring fabric.
Peter didn't fall asleep for a while, grateful for the light provided by the lamp as he stared at the outline of Mr. Stark's shadow as though it were the only thing in the world. It might as well be for all he cared. Blocking out Mr. Fowler was quickly becoming a new necessity that was increasingly hard to do with the way his senses focused in on every little thing.
The entire house smelled of the man's alcohol, musty and strong and littered with the memories of a dark closet where even his shadow hadn't been able to comfort him. But the hoodie carried the fading scent of Mr. Stark that washed away his tired uneasiness, at least for the time being, and the shadow kept him preoccupied with one comforting thought. Out there, just across a bridge, was an adult who cared.
 ---
  When Peter woke up, he felt off. He wasn't quite sure how to explain it, just that he knew the day was going to go wrong before it started. He wanted to curl up deeper into the hoodie that wrapped around him like a cocoon, but forced himself to push the covers off of himself and plant hit feet on the cold morning floor.
Jeremiah's bed was already empty, so Peter assumed that he'd already eaten and left with Eric, whose school started much earlier than everyone else's. Tim was still asleep, so Peter put on a pair of pants, grabbed his bag, and woke the kid up before knocking on the door of the other kids' room. He then headed downstairs and began putting together bowls of cereal for the kids that would be stumbling downstairs in a few minutes.
Mr. Fowler was in the kitchen, leaving the teenager to shuffle around him awkwardly as the man gave him a suspicious glare that he tried desperately to ignore. He left the kitchen as quickly as possible, placing the bowls down in the kids' usual spots and then taking up his own place to quickly scarf down a bowl of tasteless cereal. By the time he was finished, all the other kids had already stumbled downstairs and begun to eat.
Peter went along preparing their bags and then taking their bowls to the sink once they were done. He had just put the last dish in the dishwasher when the other boys at Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys walked out the door, leaving him alone with Mr. Fowler. The man was staring at him with the same suspicious glare as he closed the pantry and then made to grab his backpack.
"Wait just a moment, Peter," Mr. Fowler said. Peter paused immediately, holding back a shiver at the danger in his tone.
"Sir?"
"There was a pack of granola bars missing from the pantry last night." The man glared at him, clearly waiting for a reaction, but Peter just stared at him, hesitant. Which kid had taken the bars? He hadn't seen anything off in their bags, unless Mr. Fowler had just miscounted, though that didn't happen often. "Anything to say to that, Peter?"
He shrugged. "I don't know, sir. I didn't take them."
"You didn't? I find that very hard to believe. How close are you to ending your grounding?"
"Three days, Mr. Fowler."
He tutted, standing up from his chair and stepping over to Peter. The teenager couldn't stop the way he froze, tensing up and squaring his shoulders as a large, meaty hand clamped down on one. Fingers curled over the thick fabric of his hoodie, pricking at his skin.
"Well, it would be a pity if it was extended longer. You're sure you didn't take anything?"
"Nothing, sir." The hand flashed to his hair, grabbing a fistful and pulling his head down and to the side with a pained grunt. Peter forced his breaths to steady even as tears pricked at his eyes. "I didn't take anything, Mr. Fowler, I promise!"
"Then you've wasted my time, son. Do you know what makes up for lost time?"
"Wha-what? Sir."
"A bit of hard cash." Peter noticed the way the man's hand trembled. "That card was nice for the weekend, but I'm afraid I'm running a little low. Got anything else for me?"
His thoughts flashed to the newly activated card sitting in his wallet, tucked safely in his hoodie pocket. He could just give it up and walk away. Mr. Fowler would be happy and Peter could go to school, safe and sound.
Steely eyes met Mr. Fowler's impossibly strained ones. "No. I don't have any other money."
The fist let go of his hair, throwing him back. Peter caught himself in a stumble as Mr. Fowler looked at him in disgust.
"Fine," the man rasped. "Extend your grounding until next week, then. Now get to school before I'm forced to call you in an excuse."
Peter mumbled out a grated, "Yes, sir," before stumbling out the door. Instead of making his way to school, he stumbled into the nearest alleyway. The teenager sucked in a deep breath, cursing himself for the tears biting at his eyes and the panic choking his throat. He was fine. Nothing had happened. He was completely fine. It wasn't like the extension of his grounding even mattered, Peter had money to buy food when he needed it. Everything. Was. Fine.
But Peter wasn't fine. He was choking on air and stumbling on panic as he slid down a grimy alleyway wall, unable to even begin to calm down. He didn't know why he was even freaking out so bad, Mr. Fowler had only pulled his hair, but the revival of the strong smell of liquor and the closeness of the man's face to his was horribly haunting.
Peter pulled at his hair as he finally managed to wheeze in a breath, staring desperately at the shadow in front of him. Mr. Stark's fluffy hair and tall shoulders seemed to stare back at him, almost reassuring. The teenager shoved his nose into the collar of his cardinal hoodie, taking in a deep breath to drown out Mr. Fowler.
It calmed him slightly.
But not quite enough.
With chattering teeth, Peter pulled his bag off of his shoulder and tore the suit out of it. With no hesitation, he took off his clothes and stepped into the suit. Karen greeted him instantly.
"Good morning, Peter. Shouldn't you be heading to school?"
"Uh, no, no. Not today, Karen. That man, Aaron Davis? Where is he right now?"
A path was highlighted on his screen.
 ---
  "Remember me?"
Peter's voice was almost hilariously unnatural, but the man at the car stumbled back, so he guessed it worked. He thundered forward to where Aaron Davis was trying to stumble away from his car but was pulled back by the web sticking to the open hood.
"Uh, hey..."
"I need information. You're gonna give it to me now," Peter demanded half-heartedly, the enhanced interrogation mode making his voice much angrier. Maybe it was better than he thought.
"All right, chill," Davis placated.
"Come on!"
Davis paused, staring at him in confusion. Peter tried not to shuffle on his feet. "What happened to your voice?"
Crap.
"What do you mean, what happened to my voice?"
"I heard you by the bridge. I know what a girl sound like," Davis deadpanned.
"I'm not a girl! I'm a boy," Peter protested, quickly moving to correct himself. "I mean, I'm a--I'm a man."
"I don't care what you are, a boy, a girl..." the man trailed off with a shrug, continuing to load his car with groceries.
"I'm not a girl! I'm a man," he protested again. "Come on, man. Look, who is selling these weapons? I need to know. Give me names--or else."
Davis slammed the trunk shut and Peter flinched back on instinct. The man flashed him a teasing smile, shaking his head.
"You ain't ever done this before, huh?"
"Deactivate interrogation mode," Peter said sullenly. Davis huffed in amusement, shaking his head again. "Look, man, these guys are selling weapons that are crazy dangerous. They can't just be out on the streets. Look, if one of them can just cut Delmar's bodega in half..."
Davis, not paying attention in the slightest, looked up, regarding him in slight interest. "You know Delmar's?"
"Yeah, best sandwich in Queens," he shrugged.
"Sub Haven's pretty good."
"It's too much bread."
"I like bread."
"Come on, man, please," the teenager begged one last time. Davis stared at him, unresponsive, so with a dramatic throw of his hands, Peter began to walk away. "Stupid interrogation mode. Karen, don't ever do that again."
"The other night," Aaron started. Peter turned around to look at him. "You told that dude, "if you shoot somebody, shoot me." It's pretty ballsy. I don't want those weapons in this neighborhood. I got a nephew who live here.
Tentatively, Peter stepped back over, catching sight of the man's shadow. It was smaller, clearly a boy with a tall afro.
"Who are these guys? What can you tell me about the guy with the wings?"
"Other than he's a psychopath dressed like a demon, nothing. I don't know who he is or where he is." Peter sighed, leaning his head on the car roof. He was never going to prove to Mr. Stark he was worthy of being his soulmate when he couldn't even find the vulture guy. Aaron offered, "I do know where he's gonna be."
Peter perked up. "Really?"
"Yeah, this crazy dude I used to work with, he's supposed to be doing a deal with him."
"Yes!" Peter exclaimed, beginning to step away in giddiness. "Yes. Thank--"
"Hey, hey, hey," Aaron called. Peter stopped. "I didn't tell you where. You don't have a location."
Peter flushed bright red, making his way back to the car in embarrassment. "Right, of course. Yeah, my bad. Silly. Just...Yeah. Where is it?"
"Can I give you some advice?" Peter hummed. "You got to get better at this part of the job."
"I don't understand. I'm intimidating."
He crossed his arms, but Aaron only shook his head again.
"Staten Island ferry, eleven."
"Oh, that's soon," Peter realized. He began to walk away, pointing a finger at where the man's hand was webbed. "Hey, that's gonna dissolve in two hours."
"No, no, no, no. Come fix this."
"Two hours. You deserve that."
"I got ice cream in here."
"You deserve that. You're a criminal! Bye, Mr. Criminal!!"
 ---
  Tony clapped his hands together in an attempt to dust them off as he stared around the packaged remains of his lab. Scribbled formulas and problems had been wiped clean from boards, tables folded and disassembled, and prototypes all packed into boxes ready to be loaded onto the plane in a few days time. Most of what was left in his workplace was personal items and two encased Iron Man armors.
"How we looking on time, Fri?" he asked, grabbing his mug from where he'd placed it on the counter earlier and taking a sip.
"Packing for the move to the compound is on schedule, boss," the AI responded.
"Great," he said, smacking his lips at the comforting bitterness of his coffee, "How's the search for a Queens apartment going?"
"I have several different listings placed into the Itsy Bitsy Spider folder for you to look at."
"Great. Forward them to Pepper."
"Of course, sir."
Satisfied with the prospective of flipping through apartment listings closer to Peter in the evening, he glanced down at his shadow, frowning at the lack of fluffy hair there. It was Tuesday, wasn't it? He checked his watch for the time. Barely eleven. He was pretty sure Peter should be in school by now.
"Friday, is the spider-suit active?"
"Yes, sir."
He frowned harder. "Activate the Baby Monitor Protocol, I want to see what's going on."
"That protocol has been disabled, sir."
"What?"
The AI was silent for a moment before responding, "It has been disabled, along with many others. The only way to reinstate them would be manually."
Tony glanced down at his shadow again. Surely the kid wasn't messing with the suit? And especially not the protocols to keep him safe? And he'd skipped school, too.
"Call Peter."
 ---
  Peter peered over the top of the ferry roof at the men gathering below, who practically screamed shady. He kept an eye on Dronie's recording, the small robot keeping an eye on the other two guys up on the ferry, while Karen highlighted the men below.
"Who’s the guy on the left?" he asked, his spine shivering as he looked at the man.
"Mac Gargan. Extensive criminal record, including homicide. Would you like me to alert Mr. Stark?"
"What? No. I've got this, Karen."
One of the men that Peter had seen at the bridge approached Gargan. Peter could easily pick up his muttered. "White pickup truck."
Gargan nodded at one of his crones, who immediately began walking into the inside of the ferry holding the cars.
"Dronie," Peter whispered. "Scan the ship for a white pickup truck."
He watched the footage apprehensively as Dronie flew farther outside the ferry, x-raying the boat to pick out the truck inside. The robot then zipped over to it, beginning to scan the contents covered in the trunk but flying away and back to Peter as a man stepped out the front. His leg bounced nervously as the robot settled back in his chest, his heart beating erratically.
"Oh, this is too perfect," Peter said. "I got the weapons, buyers, and sellers all in one place."
"Incoming call from Tony Stark."
"No, no, no. No, no, don’t answer."
Despite his protests, the screen of his suit was swept away as Mr. Stark filled his screen. Peter tried not to grimace, keeping a careful eye on the men below even as the billionaire began to speak.
"Mr. Parker. Got a sec?" Mr. Stark greeted with a tight smile.
"Uh, I’m actually at school," Peter lied, ignoring Karen's correction in his ear. "I gotta get back to class, Mr. Stark, so--"
"What class?"
"Uhh--" Shit, what did he have at eleven? "Alge--"
The ferry's horn blared excruciatingly loudly. Peter resisted the urge to grimace, trying to keep an eye on the criminals below still.
"Band. I'm at, uh, band practice."
Mr. Stark stared at him, unimpressed. "That's...odd. You told me you quit band when you started swinging around as Spider-Man."
"I gotta go. Uh, end call."
"Hey," Mr. Stark protested, but the screen clicked close, allowing Peter to clearly see the people below once more. He flicked out a wrist, snapping a web onto a pair of keys being handed over.
"I’ll take those! Yoink!" He flipped, snatching the keys and webbing them to the ceiling. "Hey, guys. The illegal-weapons-deal-ferry was at 10:30. You missed it."
He webbed away the weapons from two guys quickly and threw them into the water. With a shiver up his spine, he ducked out of the way of the approaching man wearing the shocking gauntlet. The man's weaponized arm got stuck in the net on the ferry.
While he was distracted with the gauntlet guy, the other two he'd disarmed had scrambled to their feet, egging for a get away. Peter turned lackadaisically, webbing them
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Not so fast." He threw the two to the ground. "Are you guys okay? My bad. That was a little hard. I gotta say the other guy was way better with that thing. I’m honestly, I’m, I’m shocked."
This was going super well.
 ---
  Peter let out a short scream of pain, suspended between the two crumbling halves of the ferry. His arms burned as he gripped at the webs fruitlessly, but he refused to let go. He could hear their heartbeats, fast and afraid and exactly like his own. The teenager panted, straining harder than he ever had before only to continue to fail. The ferry wasn't coming back together, his webs hadn't done anything, and the entire ship was going to fall apart.
And yet he refused to let go, even as he felt his arms tear painfully. He cracked his eyes open, searching desperately for his shadow. It was currently lost in the waves crashing underneath as cars piled into the rushing water. There was a moment, so quick he almost missed it, where a car hood stayed still long enough just for him to make out the shadow.
Of an Iron Man armor.
There was a metal groaning and an easing on his shoulders. Peter looked away from his shadow.
"What the hell?" With the ferry putting itself together, the teenager let himself drop onto the ferry floor, arm raised in fearful apprehension as the sound of metal colliding echoed around the entire boat. "What the hell..."
Mr. Stark in the Iron Man armor rose into view at the windows. Despite the fact that he was wearing a mask, it was easy to tell he looked angry. Or, hopefully, he was reading too much into it and the suit was just mean looking.
"Hi, Spider-Man. Band practice, was it?"
Nope. He sounded mad too. Peter had to force down a shiver, ignoring the clapping people and swinging to the cargo hold as Mr. Stark flew under it, beginning to piece the ship back together. He followed anxiously on the ceiling, turmoil sitting heavy in his stomach as he followed the man.
"Uh, Mr. Stark?" he called nervously. He continued to skitter after the man as he flew up to the ferry's top, trying to catch the man's attention even as he continued to ignore the teenager. "Hey, Mr. Stark. Could I do anything? What do you want me to do?"
"I think you’ve done enough."
Peter couldn't even bear to look at his shadow.
 ---
  "So that’s it, you’re just gonna run?" Adrian asked as Schultz approached with his overflowing duffle bag.
"Feds were waiting for us. Now we’re on Iron Man’s radar? Yeah, I’m running. You should, too."
"You know I can’t do that," Toomes said, glancing down at the shadow of his wife.
"So now what?" Schultz shrugged. Adrian rubbed at his chin.
"Mason, can you get that high-altitude seal thing up and running in time?"
"Seriously?" the engineer asked, comically giddy despite how hilariously screwed they all were. "Yes. You will not regret this."
Adrian turned back to Schultz. "You in?"
The man glanced down on the floor, contemplative. "If we get caught, we're dead. And we have days before that plane takes off. We'll be caught before then. Stark will get us, you know that."
"So we take care of Stark."
"Take care of Stark? You're crazy. How the hell are we gonna to kill Iron Man?"
Adrian thought for a moment, thoughts creeping back to the night over the lake; a defensive boy and an over-eager man and matching shadows. Peter Parker, as had been reported by one of his men following the kid. He even went to Liz's school, on her academic team and everything. He hurt a little to do this, but nothing was more important than family.
"We don't need to kill Stark," Adrian responded. "We just need to insure his compliance."
  ---
Tony finally spotted the kid sitting on the edge of the building, his legs thrown over the side, his mask torn off his face as he stared down at the water. The bulky outline of the Iron Man armor extended behind him, an imposing figure compared to the hunched and shivering kid. The sound of sirens and helicopters rang in the distance, only feeding fuel to the fire that was his anger. It had been two days since he'd given Peter the suit and he'd already hacked it, lied to him, and endangered the lives of more than a hundred people. He'd taken Tony's tech and ran with it, doing what the man had warned the teenager not to do, and almost gotten himself killed too.
It terrified him just as much as it infuriated him.
"Previously on Peter Screws the Pooch," Tony started, hovering next to Peter's spot on the building. "I tell you to stay away from this. Instead, you hacked a multimillion-dollar suit so you could sneak around behind my back doing the one thing I told you not to do."
"Is everyone okay?" Peter rasped.
"No thanks to you."
He clunked down on the ground, but Peter barely even looked at him, just grasping the mask in his fingers tighter. After a tense moment, the kid turned to glare at him, a sour look on his face.
"What do you care?"
The question almost shocked Tony from his anger, but the fury managed to cling on as the suit opened, allowing for him to step out. There was a defensive flicker on Peter's face, washed away as quickly as it came, at the stiff anger glued to his figure.
"What do I care?" he echoed incredulously. "Who the hell gave you the suit that you're wearing right now? The one that you used to go fight people you weren't ready to fight. Peter, you're not prepared for this--"
"I didn't see you doing anything."
"Who do you think called the FBI, huh?" Tony demanded.
"And they got their asses kicked immediately!"
"And you did what exactly?"
Peter swallowed. A soft, angry mumble shivered from his chest. "I just wanted to be like you."
Tony glowered. "And I wanted you to be better."
Peter didn't have an answer to that, turning away with a sharp flinch to stare down at the water again where the ferry was finally beginning to dock. His face was scrunched up in cold anger. Tony stared at him, waiting, but the teenager didn't do anything. Didn't say anything. With an indignant sniff, Tony glanced between the approaching boat of people and the kid sitting stiffly in front of him.
"Okay, it’s not working out. I’m gonna need the suit back."
That caught Peter's attention. His head whipped around and he finally swiveled off of the building's edge, standing to face him. The defensiveness was back in full force now, broken only by a shiver of fear in the tremble on his face.
The teenager swallowed. "For how long?"
"Forever." Peter gaped at him, shaking his head. Tony hit him with a withering expression. "Yeah. Yeah, that’s how it works."
"No, no, no... Please, please, please..." the kid rushed, his voice pitching higher.
"Let’s have it."
"You don’t understand. Please. This is all I have. I’m nothing without this suit."
"If you’re nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it." Tony stopped in his demand, pausing to stare into the distance under the guise of letting Peter absorb his words but really choking down his own panic and regret. This was how he was treating his soulmate. He hadn't known this kid for a week and he'd had maybe two successful conversations with him. And now he was yelling and bringing down and punishing. "God, I sound like my dad."
Peter stared at him, swallowing. "Mr. Stark, please I don't want you to g--"
"The suit. Peter."
He could barely even look at the kid's completely dejected expression.
  ---
Peter meandered down the street, his head down as he forced himself to bite down on tears. It wasn't that hard, he'd had a lot of practice recently after all, but he couldn't deny that it hurt. Well, he could, but not to himself.
With the loss of the suit, Peter's bag was considerably lighter. Empty. It was disturbingly similar to how he felt in the moment, like a stumbling shell of a person.
He'd fucked up. He knew he had. But he didn't think he'd fucked up enough to lose his soulmate. He'd just--he'd just wanted to try and impress Mr. Stark, to show the man that he was worthy of being the shadow that had followed the superhero--his hero--around for fifteen years. He huffed to himself quietly at the horrible irony of it all.
After Mr. Stark had demanded to the suit, well, Peter had given it to him. He hadn't had much other choice. The man had allowed for him to go grab the bag he'd webbed to an alleyway earlier and change into his clothes. Choking down panicked tears, the teenager had folded up the barely used suit, and, after a moment of hesitation, slipped the card, the phone, and the badge given to him into the mask. He wanted to have given him the red hoodie too, but it was the only top he'd had, so he'd reluctantly kept it. He'd given the stuff that was no longer his to the still seething Avenger and had left. Mr. Stark hadn't ask where he was going, so he hadn't told him.
Not that Peter was amazingly sure he knew himself. He didn't want to go back to where Mr. Fowler was surely working from home. Peter was supposed to be at school, the man would be furious that he hadn't gone, and he didn't have the courage to face him right now. The ghosted feeling of a hand tugging at his hair and painful nails in his shoulder was enough to keep him wandering the streets of Queens for as long as he possibly could.
There wasn't a destination, there was barely even a journey, there was just the tired wanderings of a teenager trying desperately not to break down crying. Part of him wished he'd kept the phone, just so he could text Ned, or even lose himself mindlessly on social media for an hour or two, but Mr. Stark's words rang clearly in his head.
"Forever."
Peter shook himself vigorously, taking a wispy breath. Of course he would lose his soulmate not even a week after meeting him. Everyone else had left too, it really only made sense.
He didn't know why he'd let himself hope.
"I don't want you to go."
A painfully strong shiver up his spine forced the teenager to stop in the middle of the alleyway he'd been cutting through. Peter pulled back his sleeve, brows furrowing as the hairs on his arm rose on end. Without his phone, or the watch kept on his webshooter, the teen had no way of knowing what time it was, but it had to have been at least half an hour since Mr. Stark had taken the suit. Since he'd caused a gun to split a ferry full of innocent bystanders in half.
"And I wanted you to be better."
Peter had assumed his senses had continued to freak out from the resounding adrenaline and the complete rush of panic that had been today--from the horribleness of it all--but they still weren't calming down.
Jittery, he turned to leave the alleyway back the way he came, but there was a man blocking his way. He froze when he recognized him and the glitching gauntlet on his arm. From the bridge and the ferry. The man stalked forward.
Peter whipped around to escape towards the other end, but another man stood there as well, a different alien weapon in his hands. Peter paused again, eyes shifting desperately for an escape even as the weapon behind him charged up with a threatening snap.
"Give it up, kid," ordered the man. "Come easy, and we won't hurt you."
"Wow. So reassuring," Peter snapped. Without warning, the teenager leaped, jumping onto the wall as high as he could reach. He attempted to begin skittering up the wall, but there was another spike in his senses.
There was no time to dodge as he was encased by an annoyingly familiar blue light that crashed him to the ground straight into a gathering of trashcans. He groaned in pain as he collided with the metal, the cans tipping over and releasing their contents near and on him. There were footsteps, and he tried to push himself back up, but the man with the gauntlet approached quicker than he could recover.
The teenager stared up at him as the man smirked. The gauntlet cracked.
"Nighty-night."
Peter could only close his eyes as a metal fist came crashing down.
---
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Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 3 // Ch 4 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
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iwritedumbshit · a day ago
Text
Comfort in My Shadow
Chapter 4: Uninvited
By @iwritedumbshit for @iron-mum
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark, Minor Pepper Potts/Tony Stark
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Ned Leeds, James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Summary: Soulmates are definite in the universe. Nobody knows exactly why they exist, or what dictates who is bonded to who, the only thing known is that they are never wrong. But Peter’s not so sure about that.
Living at the group home had taught Peter a lot about laying low and how to stay alive when nobody cares. But he’d always clung to the hope of the shadow at his feet reflecting his soulmate that had watched over him for years.
Typical that his soulmate is actually a superhero that Peter is convinced shouldn’t want anything to do with him. Maybe, just this once, the Universe was wrong.
But Tony Stark is desperate to prove that it is right.
Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 3 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
---
Peter didn't really wake up the next morning, because he hadn't really fallen asleep last night. He'd been incredibly tired, but his hair hadn't been able to lay flat and he hadn't been able to block out the overwhelmingly disgusting smell of Mr. Fowler's closet. He'd been it the entirety of the day and even throughout the night when Mr. Fowler stomped into the room and passed out on the bed. The lilting stumbles in his steps made Peter think he'd been drunk and had likely forgotten about the kid trapped in his closet.
So he hadn't really slept, but his eyes had been closed--the darkness of his eyes was better than that of the closet--until the door had finally swung open, allowing Peter his first full breath in almost a whole day. The dankness of Mr. Fowler's room was a thousand times better than the closet. An arm had grabbed his own, pulling him roughly to his feet and out of the closet. His legs had ached with the disuse, but he'd stumbled to his feet nonetheless.
"Are you going to talk back to me again, son?" Mr. Fowler had asked, a horrible pleasantness to his voice. Peter had shaken his head. Something had been shoved into his hands, and he'd fumbled only to realize it was his wallet. "There. The card doesn't work anymore, so you can have that piece of shit back. Now get out of here."
"O-okay. Thank you," he'd said, stumbling out of the room and into the bathroom that he'd been deprived of for almost twenty-four hours. Once he'd finished and washed his hands, he'd searched through his wallet.
His few crumpled bills had been taken, but the pictures stuffed inside had been left alone, and the black card had sat crammed in a pocket. He'd grabbed it with fumbling fingers, brows furrowing. It didn't work anymore? Had the man maxed it out? Peter had swallowed, a pit forming in his stomach as he thought about what the hell he'd bought to do that. Probably a lot of alcohol had been his guess.
He really, really hoped that Mr. Stark couldn't see his purchases.
After a quick shower, in which he'd had to sit down his vision had swam so much, he'd rushed out the door with his beaten up backpack swinging off of his shoulder. He knew he probably should have stayed to check on the other kids who'd had to listen to the fight last night and might need help with homework, but the teenager couldn't stand to be in that house for any longer. Everything smelled like Mr. Fowler's awful closet and he just needed to be out in the bright Sunday sun. He wanted to find just a little comfort in his shadow that he'd been deprived of the night before.
So he'd changed into his suit and swung around for most of the day, flipping for some overly excited middle schoolers and directing an old man from Ukraine visiting his son who lived in Harlem and ignoring the pain in his stomach. When there was a lull in the late afternoon, he strung a web between two buildings and just did as many daring flips and handstands as he could. It was a feeble attempt to distract himself from the events of the past few days.
Hits and threats from Mr. Fowler were nothing new, in fact, they were a staple in the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, but last night had been different. He'd never been trapped like that in the group home. He'd always had a lot of free reign as long as he operated within the curfew and got his chores done, but yesterday was like someone had flipped a switch on that, and he was still reeling from the terror.
Or that could be the hunger eating through his stomach. Peter stopped flipping on the web for a moment, instead laying down and balancing himself on the thin string as his stomach growled so hard he flinched. He wouldn't even be getting anything today. When did his grounding end again? He was pretty sure it was Thursday, but he wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Fowler extended it after last night. Maybe he could stop by Ned's and get a granola bar or something.
The teenager looked down at the ground to stare at Mr. Stark's shadow, blinking as he realized it was no longer clothed in normal attire, or a sharp business suit, but rather the larger outline of what he could now identify as the Iron Man armor. He narrowed his eyes, wondering what the man must be doing. Probably something really important.
Peter sighed, moving to sit up, when a sound made him pause. He cocked his head before finally turning in the direction of the mechanical whine to make out the Iron Man suit flying towards him.
Huh.
He tried to feign disinterest, laying back down on the web and placing his hands underneath his head as the suit landed on the nearest building rooftop and Mr. Stark stepped out, but Peter couldn't lie to himself about how excited he really was to see the man.
"Hey, Mr. Stark," he greeted from the web.
"Hey, kid."
"Um, thanks for the letter." Please don't ask about the card. Please don't ask about the card. "Are you sure about the phone, though? I mean, that thing looks like it could cost as much as a house."
"Keep it, kid, I gave it to you for a reason," Mr. Stark said, waving him off. Peter watched him warily as he sat down on the edge of the building, shuffling nervously. Peter smiled to see the man very clearly out of his element, as if he would let him fall anyway. "So, how's your day been?"
Peter shrugged. "Fine."
"No hangovers or anything?" Peter froze. "Can you even get drunk? Cap can't."
The teenager hesitated before answering. It was either 'I bought a bunch of adult stuff with your credit card' or 'My foster father bought a bunch of adult stuff with your credit card.' He wasn't sure which one was better, but there didn't seem to be much to win from lying, not that there was much to gain from telling the truth either.
"I don't know," Peter responded honestly as he sat up on the web to stare at the shadow on the ground. The imitation felt more comforting than the real thing at that moment.
"You don't know? You bought three hundred dollars of pure liquor."
"Three hundred--Oh, jeez. I'm really sorry, Mr. Stark."
Mr. Stark blinked at him for a second before his gaze softened.
"You didn't buy any of that stuff, did you?" Peter shook his head. "Who? Andrew Fowler?" A moment. A nod. "Okay, I'll just deactivate that card and give you a new one."
"No, it's fine, Mr. Stark," Peter said, pulling his wallet out of his hoodie pocket and showing him the black card. "He gave it back. I think he was annoyed that it was, like, maxed out or something."
"Well, it is most definitely not maxed out--there's a lot more than three hundred on that, kid--but I'm glad you got it back."
"Thanks."
There was a minute of awkward silence before Mr. Stark rolled his shoulders and sat up straighter.
"So, no tower yesterday?"
Peter suddenly remembered the little note at the end of his letter. He shrugged bashfully, mumbling, "Yeah, sorry, uh Mr--Mr. Fowler kept us pretty busy yesterday. Chore day, so."
"Wanna stop by now?"
Peter looked up at him in surprise. It was a wonder this man didn't hate him yet. The foster parents Peter had before Mr. Fowler had gotten sick of him pretty quickly, or just hadn't been very attached in the first place, while the majority of his teachers regarded him with either pity or disdain at his situation and record. As far as Mr. Stark knew, he had an accident-prone, snotty teenager as a soulmate whose favorite pass time was to be a juvenile delinquent.
And yet, the mechanic regarded him with a soft smile. A little strained, but welcoming nonetheless. It unfurled something in his chest.
"Really?"
"Really."
"Yeah!--I mean, sure sure, that'd be fun." Mr. Stark gave him an amused smile as the teenager stepped off of his web and onto the roof of the building. With a quick glance and a rare smile, Peter leaped off the roof, enjoying the way Mr. Stark yelped in surprise. Peter called, "Beat you there!!"
He did not, in fact, beat Mr. Stark to the tower. To be fair, the man was in a suit that flew faster than a jet and Peter was only propelled by physics and muscles.
The teenager watched from a short distance as the Iron Man suit paused in front of a higher point in the tower, faced him for a moment, and then dove through the window. He raised an eyebrow, but doubled down in catching up to the man, only barely managing to swing himself high enough so that he wouldn't have to crawl his way up more than a couple of stories.
Finally, just a few minutes later than Mr. Stark, he rolled through the window and landed hard on the floor just a little unsteadily, not that he cared in the slightest. There were much more interesting things to care about in that moment.
"Whoa..."
"You like it?" Mr. Stark called from across the lab. Peter nodded dumbly, staring, widemouthed, at the state of the art equipment decorating just about every inch of the room. There were cases of Iron Man armor lining the walls, robots rolling around--he managed a laugh at one with a dunce cap sweeping the ground with a broom inefficiently--and tables filled with projects Peter couldn't even begin to dream of. "You can take your mask off here, kid. No one's going to see you."
Mr. Stark's voice pulled him back to reality, drawing him further into the room hesitantly. He glanced at the man, but realized dimly that his spider sense had finally calmed down. This wasn't the danger he'd felt after being fished out of the lake, or the feeling that had been following him since, it was a normal calm mixed with just a hint of nerves.
He tugged his mask off.
Mr. Stark stared at him, a soft look on his face, before finally tearing his gaze away when Peter shuffled uncomfortably.
"Sorry, kid," he apologized. "Didn't mean to freak you out. Just..."
"Just what?"
"It's just nice to see you, Peter."
He didn't know what to say to that, so he just offered the billionaire a strained smile and stepped over to the desk the man was standing at. He felt more than a little out of place, but his curiosity overwhelmed his discomfort as he glanced over a shiny metal case held lightly in the billionaire's hands in interest. Mr. Stark tapped it when he caught the boy looking.
"This, kid," he said, sliding it over, "is for you."
Peter caught it effortlessly, his fingers light and hesitant as he glanced from it to Mr. Stark, his head down.
"I can't accept this, Mr. Stark. You already--"
Mr. Stark interrupted by reaching over and pressing something on the case. It sprang open, spooking Peter enough for him to take a step back but holding his attention as he caught sight of the bright red fabric. The eyes were what really caught his attention, looking unreasonably cool and intimidating. Peter mumbled, "This is the coolest thing I've ever seen."
Mr. Stark chuckled. "Good thing it's yours."
"It's--" He gaped at the man. "Mr. Stark, I really can't accept--"
"Too bad," he interrupted. "It's a gift and it's rude to turn down a gift. So, there's a bathroom right over there if you want to try it on. Give it a whirl?"
After a moment of hesitation, he closed the case, thanked Mr. Stark, and headed to the bathroom to change.
  ---
When Peter stepped out of the bathroom in the new suit, Tony couldn't help but frown. He covered it up as quickly as possible, but the sentiment still remained as his eyes roamed over the kid. He was muscular, sure, but he was so thin that it practically hurt. The teenager's ribs were practically there just for him to count and worry about. He filed it away for later as Peter turned to look at him, the mask's eyes narrowing.
"Looking good, hotshot," Tony said. "How's it feel?"
"It's awesome, Mr. Stark," Peter responded, his hands held out in front of him as he tapped the webshooters. "It smells like a new car!"
Tony couldn't help his laugh. "If you think that's cool, just wait. Friday, Babysitter Protocol."
"Babysitter--" Peter cut off with a confused yelp as his suit lit up blue, the AI in his suit supposedly greeting him. The kid cocked his head. "Oh, hi. Nice to meet you too."
Tony turned away, letting the kid and the AI get acquainted as he pulled out his phone and ordered a few pizzas. Five might be enough. Steve had always eaten a lot, and even if he didn't manage to burn through the best pizza in the city, the kid could definitely use leftovers. He entered the order and shifted back to observe the kid again.
"--uh, Liz? No, no, that's weird. How about Karen?" A moment as he waited for a response. "Fun. Nice. Cool, this is so cool."
Tony smiled, unable to tear his eyes away from the kid. His soulmate. His little shadow. 
Peter turned to look at him after a few minutes, muttering a quick goodbye to the AI--Karen, he guessed--before tugging the mask off again. There was a hesitant smile tugging at his thin face. Much too thin. How many pizzas would it take to get the kid back to even a semi-healthy weight? Probably way too many.
"Thank you so much, Mr. Stark," Peter said. "I really can't thank you enough."
"Please, you can thank me by not thanking me. Pepper says my ego's already a little off of the charts." Peter laughed and Tony couldn't help his grin. "Wanna stay over for dinner? I ordered pizza."
Peter hesitated, but after a moment he answered, "Alright," which was so much better than the kid regarding him defensively or looking like he was constantly on the edge of running away again. And, as it turned out, Peter fit more easily into his life than he could have thought.
In barely thirty minutes, the kid was sat beside him at a desk filled with vials of web fluid and pieces of Iron Man armor, an old, frayed hoodie of Tony's slipped over the suit, and a stack of freshly baked pizza laid out in front of them. Peter sat in the chair next to him as the mechanic ran through the schematics of his suit, hanging on every single word.
"...most of the framing is between the protective layers of your suit, completely waterproof by the way, if you ever get yourself into another lake. You also have a parachute if you pass the three thousand feet threshold."
Peter glanced over his shoulder in surprise. "There's a parachute in this thing? How?"
Tony tapped his back where he knew the spider logo was. "A magician never reveals their secrets."
"Did you compress all the air out of it? Or build it into the wiring on the patch on my back somehow?"
"Both are true." He took a bite of pizza. "You're pretty smart, huh?"
Peter ducked his head with a shrug. "Sorta. I can figure out chemistry, but that's about it."
"I don't believe that for a second, but we'll stick with the modesty for now." Peter huffed out a laugh, spinning the hologram of his suit and staring at it in complete adoration. It dragged a smile onto Tony's face.
Peter had a sort of ruggedness to him, a desperate scrappiness, but it was embarrassingly easy to see that that wasn't all there was to the teenager. His rambles were fast and excited, his scarce smiles adorably bright and always lighting up his doe eyes. There was a kind of spark to Peter that Tony couldn't explain, and, though he was sorry that the kid was saddled with him, he couldn't have wished for a better soulmate.
Apparently, five pizzas ended up being a great number, because Peter ate everything Tony offered him. He was practically a human garbage disposal, though much more polite. Tony was glad that the kid was filling up, but it made him seriously question how much he was getting at that group home. After letting the kid get comfortable for about an hour, he voiced it.
"Do they feed you where you live, kid? I swear, you just put down over ten thousand calories."
Peter paused on the slice he was eating, swallowing before putting it back on the plate nervously, and Tony immediately regretted ever opening his big, fat mouth.
"Yeah. They--Mr. Fowler feeds us fine. Just, enhanced metabolism, so." He shrugged. It was said so nervously that it felt like an outright lie, but Tony left it alone.
"Okay. Good to know. Just make sure to use that card whenever you get hungry, kid. I'm not having my soulmate starve."
At his mention of being soulmates, Peter glanced over his shoulder to stare at their shadows. Right now they almost looked like their own shadows, mirror images of each other, but if you looked hard enough you could see the slight difference in hair texture and the distinctive widths of their shoulders.
"It must've been weird," Peter said. Tony glanced at him in confusion. "Not having a shadow. You didn't get one until I was born, right?"
"Oh. Yeah," Tony agreed. He swallowed as he admitted, "Thought I was broken for the longest time. It was the best day of my life when your tiny little baby shadow appeared at my feet... What about you? Always had a grown man following you around, huh?"
"That sounded creepy, Mr. Stark." Tony just grinned cheekily. "It was nice, actually, always having you there. Like--like a guardian or something."
"And now you've got the real thing." Peter rolled his eyes and Tony pointed at him. "Ah, there's that good ol' sass I was looking for. I was afraid I'd lost it."
"Uhuh. You're kinda weird, Mr. Stark."
"Right back at you, little shadow." Peter smiled at the nickname before glancing out the window where the sky was a deep russet red. "Time for you to head out?"
"Yeah. I've still got some homework to do."
The two stood up and walked over to the window. Peter moved to take the hoodie he'd been wearing off, but Tony stopped him. "Keep it. I've got plenty."
"Oh, thanks, Mr. Stark."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm so generous. Have fun with the suit, kid, I'll see you soon."
"When?"
Tony paused, looking over at the kid who had only just begun to pull the mask over his head, hopeful eyes staring at him. He desperately wanted to tell the kid he'd pick him up from school tomorrow so that they could hang out in the lab again, but he knew he genuinely didn't have any time. He'd been putting off packing for a few too many days.
"After we move. I'll pick you up from school on Friday. We can go explore the compound together. Sound good?"
Peter nodded. "Yep. Real good, Mr. Stark."
"You can call me Tony, Mr. Parker," he joked.
Peter pulled the mask down and jumped out the window with a call of. "See you Friday, Mr. Stark!"
Tony's shoulders shook with laughter.
  ---
Friday. Peter couldn't wait for Friday. With a burst of excitement and energy he hadn't had in a while, Peter flipped in the air and let out a WHOOO! only catching himself at the last second before flipping back up.
"Wow, this suit is so intuitive!" he exclaimed, shooting another web.
"I am glad you think so, Peter," Karen responded, shocking him so bad he nearly let go of his web. Oh, yeah, he'd forgotten he had an AI now. Man, Mr. Stark was so cool. "I am currently taking feedback for the suit's systems in case anything needs to be changed on Friday. Would you like to rate the suit's webshooters?"
"Oh, full eleven out of ten, Karen. It's great."
"Thank you for the feedback, Peter, I have sent a note to Mr. Stark."
"Oh." Peter blushed. "You didn't have to tell him that, Karen."
"Why not? He has asked for feedback."
"No, it's not--" He cut himself off, sighing as he flipped himself into a large arc. "I just don't want to bother him. He's already been so nice to me."
"Mr. Stark has asked for feedback, Peter."
"It's not the--it's not the feedback, Karen," he tried to explain.
"I do not understand."
He spluttered and then sighed, waving it off. "Whatever. It's fine, Karen, just forget it."
"Of course, Peter. Would you like me to show you the quickest route home?"
Peter hesitated. He did have a lot of homework to do, and Eric probably needed help with his reading, but he had to swallow down fear at the thought of being in the same room as Mr. Fowler again. It was irrational--it was so stupid--and Peter knew it, but he couldn't stop the way his hands seemed to shake and his entire body quail.
"Actually, let's take the scenic route. Really test out the suit, y'know?"
"Of course, Peter. Planning now."
A blue line appeared on screen, leading Peter back to the group home. He muttered, "So cool."
Spider-Man was only halfway back to the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, finally across the bridge and back into his home territory, when his spider sense went off again. He immediately glanced down at his shadow, which had lengthened as the sun set, for some kind of comfort or guidance. But of course, there wasn't one. It was just a shadow.
A little put off by the shiver that had run down his spine, he attached himself to the side of the building, staring out over the street. Nothing too out of the normal. People hurrying on the sidewalk, cars honking down the street, and shadows following along aimlessly.
"Karen. What's going on?"
"What do you mean, Peter?" the AI asked.
"It's just--there's something wrong. Maybe--" At a second shiver up his spine, Peter turned to look at where his senses were directing him at the ringing of a bell.
It was a small bodega, its door swung open as two men stepped inside in unreasonably thick coats for the warm weather. He narrowed his eyes, and the suit zoomed in with him, scanning the men before they disappeared through the door.
"What's the time, Karen?"
"7:30."
"Alright, we're good then. Plenty of time." He swung over to the bodega, attaching himself to the wall above the door, out of sight of the occupants inside. His senses had yet to calm down, so he assumed that he was right about this being a robbery. "Ready to test out the suit, Karry Berry?"
"I am always ready, Peter."
"Y'know, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship."
"Does that mean I should assign you a nickname too?"
"Definitely! Think about it for a moment and get back to me after we do this," Peter exclaimed in an excited mumble, straining his ears to hear whatever was going on inside. There was the tense calm of nothing for a moment, and then a shuffle and a squeak followed by a spike in his senses. He muttered to himself. "Finally."
He kept his ears strained on the actions going on inside, dropping down in front of the door quietly to watch what was happening. There was a teenager at the register, her hands fumbling with the register while the two men from earlier in their dark coats pointed shotguns at her. He could see tears streaming down the girl's face, clearly terrified.
Peter crept forward, picking up on the muttered conversation inside.
"--just open the register, keep it quiet," the closest man said in a raspy voice. "Hand everything over nice and quick."
"It's--it doesn't open," the girl cried. "It doesn't open unless a purchase is made and--"
The man flinched forward. "Do I look like I care? Just open it!"
Finally having heard enough, Peter placed his fingers against the door and pulled it open as quietly as possible.
Ding!
Peter froze. Heads turned. Curses flew.
The superhero darted forward as the gun pointed at him, firing a shot that missed him completely as he dove behind a grocery aisle of gummies and pregnancy tests. Bodegas really were something. Peter crouched down, muttering under his breath, "Fuck that stupid bell."
"Would you like me to alert Mr. Stark to your predicament?" Karen asked.
"What? No! I can deal with this, Karen, just watch."
"I like the new look," came the voice of the man that had shot at him. "New government sugar daddy or something?"
Peter blanched. "I really wish that that would stop being people's first assumption. People can be platonic y'know!"
There was a scoff and the sound of something warping. Peter's eyes narrowed, peeking around the grocery shelf and then immediately ducking back. The man, the one who hadn't shot at him, had pulled out a large and glowing weapon that looked incredibly similar to the one that had been at the ATM robbery. Man, he was getting really sick of those things.
The teenage girl had looked okay, shivering behind the desk and thankfully not making any moves to alert the police, as far as he could tell anyway. The last thing he needed was cops showing up in such a tense situation. And his first time using the new suit! That would be just plain embarrassing.
"Platonic or not, I don't give a shit," Normal Gun Man said. "A new look isn't going to change your situation. So either come out, or we shoot you."
"I don't know if you can shoot me while I'm back here soooo."
There was a click and a squeak. "Yeah? What about her?"
Okay. So that was a little different.
Without hesitation, Peter stepped out from behind the aisle shelf, his arms raised half-heartedly in the air. The two men had ski masks over their face--not quite as fun as the Avengers masks, but it'd do--but he could still see the honestly nervous smile of the man holding the gun. Clearly he hadn't expected the arrival of Queens favorite vigilante.
"Good to know that you can comply," Normal Gun Guy said. Alien Gun Guy had the weird blue gun pointed at Peter, but the shotgun was still directed at the worker. He chose his target.
"Not really."
With a flick, he webbed the shotgun and slammed it into the wall. There was a startled scream at the same moment his hairs stood on end. Peter only managed to jump forward before he was encased in a blue light that gave him quite possibly the worst headache of his entire life. He hated the feeling of that stupid thing. He didn't quite know what it was, but it felt like something out of The Incredibles. Like Syndrome and shit.
"Ugh! This thing is so weird!" Peter complained in a warped yell. Alien Gun Guy gave him a brutish look and then swung him through the window.
Peter grunted as he crashed through the window, wincing at the clinking shatter of glass that broke under him, but, surprisingly, none of the glass managed to grab at him and slice through his skin, even as he was shot across the street from the force of the alien weapon, only stopping when he thudded against the wall. He groaned as the air was forced out of him.
At least the suit had kept him from getting cut.
"Ugh... The hell." The teenager shook his head, forcing himself back to his feet, clinging to the wall for just a moment as he blinked out dizziness. Remembering himself, he turned back to the bodega across the street, panicking when his head pounded. That wasn't from being hit, that was his spider sense.
The men ran out of the door, hulking along a cash register and a handful of cigarette packs, but the teenage girl had yet to leave and his head only pounded harder. Spider-Man dashed across the road, leaping through the already broken window, his breath catching as he caught sight of the purple thing sitting on the ground in the middle of the bodega. It whined, louder and louder.
Bomb. Bomb!
Peter's head shot around so fast he physically winced, but he caught sight of the teenager behind the counter. Working on instinct, he jumped over the counter as the whine reached its apex, wrapping his arms around the girl and pushing himself between her and the bomb. He squeezed his eyes shut as tightly as possible, gritting his teeth.
The world shook and she let out a surprised cry into his shoulder but didn't let go. Peter barely managed to hold down a whimper of fear. Be brave, be a hero. Be brave, be a hero. He could do it. He was fine.
He was fine.
Peter blinked his eyes open, moving carefully to peer over the counter.
"Dammit," he muttered. The rest of the windows had shattered, and just about every product in the store had been knocked back and now littered the ground. A tile fell from the ceiling, making him tense his shoulders. They'd gotten away. Some hero he was.
"I have a nickname for you, Peter," Karen said in his ear. He frowned in annoyance. Well, he had told her to tell him once the situation was over.
"Great," he snapped, stepping over the counter, his boot crunching on the glass. "What is it?"
"Peter-butter!"
"...Okay that's actually pretty good."
  ---
After double checking that the cashier was alright, Peter had fled the scene, cursing himself for how bad it had gone. Nobody had died, but that wasn't really the standard he was looking for. If anything, he'd really just made everything worse. Stupid, Parker, stupid!
The teenager sighed, dipping into the dark alleyway where his backpack had been left earlier. He grabbed it from under the crate of boxes where he'd hidden it, pressing the spider emblem on his chest, allowing the suit to cascade off of him. Frustrated, Peter ripped the mask off and untangled himself from the fabric at his feet, stuffing the items in his faded blue bag and jumping back into his own clothes, and, after a moment of hesitation, slipped into the hoodie that Mr. Stark had given him.
He pulled the bag over his shoulder and buried his hands into his pockets as he stepped out of the alleyway and back onto the streets in the direction of the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys. His brows were furrowed and his face squished into a deep frown. He couldn't believe he'd been given a superhero suit by literally Iron Man and he'd screwed it up immediately. He chittered nervously at the thought of Mr. Stark seeing what had happened at the bodega and realizing just how shit of a superhero his soulmate was.
As he was debating the likely-hood of Mr. Stark taking the suit back and never talking to him again for his screw up, his phone buzzed. Hesitantly, Peter pulled it out to find two texts waiting for him. One from Ned and one from Mr. Stark.
He clicked on the one from Ned first. The text app opened up to show Peter a grainy picture of him in his new suit followed by Ned's message of 'Excuse me??? tf is this?? tell me everything rn or im going to die'
Peter smiled faintly, making a mental note to call his friend in a few minutes. With a deep breath, he clicked on Mr. Stark's message.
Mr. Stark: I saw the news. You okay?
Peter blinked. He wasn't mad? He chewed on his lip as he sent a response, 'All good. Sorry I freaked you out.' 
Mr. Stark texted back almost immediately, 'No problem. Just glad you're good. Text ya later, kiddo.'
And that was that, Peter supposed. No...no nothing, really. He'd expected a lot more resistance or opposition from the billionaire, but he wasn't mad that he hadn't gotten any. He was about to call Ned when his phone buzzed again.
Mr. Stark: 'P.S. You can talk to and text Karen through your phone. Knock yourself out, Peter-butter.'
Well, that was embarrassing. But still kinda cool.
With a shake of his head, he finally dialed Ned's number. His friend only picked up after two rings with a breathless greeting.
"Yo, what the hell is up with that suit? Did Mr. Stark make it for you? Are you super hero buddies now!!? Officially his sidekick!!?"
Peter smiled, shaking his head in amusement as he stopped at a streetlight. "Yeah, Mr. Stark made it for me. It's cool right? It even has an AI!"
"It has an AI!!? Please, please, tell me you'll let me look at it."
"Duh. Yeah, you can look at it. We can go to your house after school." Peter thought for a moment, thinking of the alien weapons. He'd messed up today, probably disappointed Mr. Stark, but if he could take the whole operation down... "Besides, I need your help with something."
Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 3 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
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toomanyrobins2 · 2 days ago
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drunk on indigo skies: coming May 14th
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Summary: Y/N “Indigo” Phillips had dealt in secrets her whole life. Working for Tony Stark at 16 and then falling in love with his son was never the plan. She also never expected that five years later, she’d be leaving Peter in the middle of the night with just a note on the dining room table. Now, she has to return to the Three Families as their whole world continues to be threatened by a dangerous rival.
Pairing: Peter Parker x Reader
Content warning: Mentions of alcohol abuse, sex, violence, murder
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// 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 //
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iwritedumbshit · 2 days ago
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Comfort in My Shadow
Chapter 3: You Oughta Know
By @iwritedumbshit for @iron-mum
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark, Minor Pepper Potts/Tony Stark
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Ned Leeds, James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Summary: Soulmates are definite in the universe. Nobody knows exactly why they exist, or what dictates who is bonded to who, the only thing known is that they are never wrong. But Peter’s not so sure about that.
Living at the group home had taught Peter a lot about laying low and how to stay alive when nobody cares. But he’d always clung to the hope of the shadow at his feet reflecting his soulmate that had watched over him for years.
Typical that his soulmate is actually a superhero that Peter is convinced shouldn’t want anything to do with him. Maybe, just this once, the Universe was wrong.
But Tony Stark is desperate to prove that it is right.
Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 4 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
---
Tony dropped down onto the grass near an empty playground just by the water, laying Spidey on the ground gently before breaking his way out of the suit. The mechanic kneeled beside the teenager, grabbing his wrist and tearing the webshooter off of it. He pressed two fingers against the boy's wrist, sighing in relief when he could make out a surprisingly strong pulse. The relief only lasted for a moment before he moved onto the fact that the kid still wasn't moving.
Hesitating for only a moment, he reached for the mask.
A hand shot up just as his fingers brushed against the fabric, slapping his own hand away sloppily. Tony didn't mind, only letting out a sigh and sinking back onto his knees in relief as Spidey sat up, coughing so hard his whole body shook. The kid tore his mask up to his nose to throw up mouthfuls of murky water before settling back onto his elbows and pulling the mask back down harshly. Tony resisted the urge to pat the kid on his back, instead keeping his hands wrung and watching the vigilante sharply.
He coughed, "Uh, hey, Mr. Stark."
"Hey, kid." Tony offered him a smile. "Jeez, I leave you alone for one day and you almost drown. I think you're more danger prone than me, if that's possible."
"Yeah, you'd be surprised," Spidey said, sitting up farther before freezing and turning to regard Tony suspiciously. "How did you find me? Did you put a tracker on me or something?"
"No. No, kid, I didn't, I promise. My AI's been keeping an eye out for you, and she seemed to think you were in trouble."
"You're spying on me?"
"No, not--I'm not spying on you, kid," Tony rushed to assure. He paused and then conceded with the decency to shrug in embarrassment. "Okay, sorta maybe. Yeah. I'm kinda spying on you, but I also just saved your life, so."
"I had it," Spidey muttered, but it was ruined by another cough. Tony raised an eyebrow at him. "I did! At least, until that vulture guy showed up."
"Vulture guy?"
In a flurry of words, Spider-Man explained, and Tony was happy to listen. He was happy to hear anything the kid was willing to say to him, even if it began with him stalking out a weapons deal and ended with a man with metal wings grabbing him out of the air.
"--and then he just, he just, like, swooped down like a monster and he picked me up and, uh, he took me up, like, a thousand feet and just dropped me!"
Tony shook his head, wishing desperately he could see beyond the suit at any injuries the kid may have as he reattached his webshooter. He did seem okay though, if a little thin, if the way the soaked suit practically hung off of him was anything to go by.
"What were you thinking?" Tony asked, unable to keep the scornful fear from his voice.
"The guy with the wings is obviously the source of the weapons that I've been seeing. I gotta take him down!"
"Take him down now, huh? Steady, Crockett, there are people who handle this sort of thing."
"The Avengers?"
"No. No, no. This is a little below their pay grade," Tony explained. Spidey's eyes narrowed at him. "Look, forget the flying vulture guy, please."
"What? No! He's putting weapons out on the street, my street, I've gotta keep looking for him."
Tony pursed his lip, resisting the urge to argue further and wrap this kid up in bubble wrap. He relented, for the time being. "Fine. I won't stop you."
"Not like you could anyway."
"You're meaner than I remember."
"Yeah, well, get used to it I guess."
"Does that mean I get to hang out with my soulmate from now on? Possibly know their name?"
Spidey froze, staring past Tony in a tired manner. He slumped down onto the grass dramatically. "What time is it?"
"You're not gonna run out on me or anything are you? Or if you do, can you at least leave something behind for me? Like, a boot maybe?"
"Are you calling me Cinderella?"
"Sure. Cinder-kid. Cinder-whatever-your-name-is."
Spider-Man turned his head to glare at his persistent fishing. "I'm surprised you don't already know."
"I've got a list. Twenty-eight kids so far."
"I'm not a kid," he mumbled. Tony smirked.
"Nice try. I know your birthday." Spider-Man groaned. "Still no name?"
A moment. "Ben."
"There's no Ben on the list," Tony answered immediately.
"What, you just have that memorized?" When Tony didn't answer, save for the raise of an eyebrow, the kid groaned again. "If I tell you my name will you please tell me the time?"
Tony checked his watch. "8:17."
A very long, very tense moment before finally, "Peter."
"There's no Peter on the list either."
"Then your list sucks." Tony stared at him. "I'm not lying, you just need to be better at being a detective."
After a moment, Tony accepted it, though he didn't completely believe it. "Fine. Nice to meet you, Peter. I'm Tony."
"Yeah, I knew that."
"Are you always this mean or are you just in a bad mood?"
Peter ducked his head guiltily. "Sorry. Just kinda hungry. I didn't--uh, I didn't eat dinner. Yet."
"I can fix that," Tony said, holding out a hand. Peter stared at it for a moment before hesitantly taking it and allowing for Tony to pull him up. Both of them glanced at where their shadows switched. Peter tensed before tearing his hand away and shoving it in his pocket. Tony tried to not let his hurt show.
Peter let out a groan of annoyance, distracting Tony from where he'd been staring at the switched shadows to look at the kid, who had pulled out a phone as wet as it was cracked. The billionaire grimaced just looking at it.
"Yikes. If you need to call your parents, I have my phone with me."
Spidey winced. "No, uh, it's fine. Just, ah, I left my friend at a party, he's probably wondering where I'm at."
"Okay. If you're sure," Tony said. Peter nodded. "So, dinner?"
"I'm okay, Mr. Stark. I've got to get back to the party. My friend's mom is picking us up in an hour."
"Then, can we talk?" Peter dug his boot into the ground in such a childish manner it physically hurt. He clearly didn't want to talk, but that didn't stop Tony. "Here and now would be preferable."
"About what?" the kid rasped.
"A few things. The fact that we're soulmates, why you got involved in this, why you run around as a vigilante in the first place--"
"--I literally told you last night--"
"--and why you ran away yesterday," Tony finished, ignoring him.
"I have a curfew."
"What's your curfew?"
"Ten," Spidey muttered.
"So you were already late. If you'd waited a little bit longer I probably could've explained to your parents why you were late."
Spidey's head shot up, eyes narrowing. "That I was out being a vigilante?"
"That you were meeting your soulmate."
"Oh. That." The boot scuffed against the ground again, and Tony tried not to let his sullen voice get to him. "I don't think he would've cared."
That sounded horribly wrong to Tony's ears. He asked incredulously, "Your dad wouldn't have cared that you met your soulmate?"
"He's not my dad."
Oh.
"Who do you live with then?"
"Group home," Peter answered with a shrug. "Our curfew has no exceptions, so."
Tony hesitated. "Peter, can you take off your mask?"
"Why?"
"I mean, why not? I already know your name and birthday. I can find you pretty easily."
"I'm okay, Mr. Stark. I'm good. Besides, I should be getting back to my friend, so."
Peter moved to walk away, but Tony grabbed his arm hastily, desperate for this not to be how his first real meeting with his soulmate to go. Peter flinched immediately, and the mechanic let go as the kid stumbled back. That horrible suspicion in his chest only grew.
"Sorry," Tony apologized as Peter continued to stare at him. This wasn't going how he had envisioned at all. Soulmate meetings were usually thought of with an air of overwhelming happiness, maybe a few shed tears and a lot of hugs. But all Tony had was a first name, a smattering of depressing facts, and the knowledge that this kid didn't want anything to do with him. "Not an Iron Man fan, huh?"
Peter shrugged, but Tony noted it as a small victory that the tension leaked out of his small frame. "Thor's actually my favorite, so."
"Well, as long as it isn't Mr. America, then I'm good." There was an awkward silence only broken by the mechanical whir of Spidey's goggles as he glanced to the side, clearly searching for an escape. Tony bit down a sigh. "Go back to your party, kid. I'll see you around?"
"Sure. See you around, Mr. Stark."
Well, he didn't sound completely miserable about it, so Tony counted it as a win. He watched as the kid swung off of the trees back towards the neighborhood, a hint of hope warring with his hurt. Only once the hood slipped off of his shadow did the mechanic start moving again, stepping into the suit, which lit up as he fired into the sky.
"Okay, Fri. Find me a kid named Peter born on August tenth, 2001 with all the earlier guidelines."
"There isn't one, sir."
Tony thought for a moment. "Oh! Remove siblings as a statistic, look for one in a group home instead."
"One match."
"Save it to the file. I'll check it out when I get home."
 ---
  Toomes stared at the retreating figure of the Iron Man suit, his mask highlighting the flying hunk of metal before he turned away to stare at the playground where he and Spider-Man had been talking. Peter, apparently. Stark's soulmate.
He'd have to be careful, very careful, about how he played this.
Adrian had been set on flying away immediately after dropping the vigilante so that he could chew out Brice for being so reckless, but the sight of the Iron Man suit dipping under the water had stopped him. What the hell was the billionaire doing near his house? It had made him wary enough for him to dive down and perch a football field's length away, allowing for his helmet to pick up on the two's conversation.
That decision had probably been one of the best ones of his entire life. The kid was clearly very insistent to go after him and his business, while Stark not so much, but that didn't stop the fact that Peter was clearly desperate to take him down and had Iron Man even more clearly wrapped around his little finger. That was dangerous, and it was bad for business.
After checking once more that Iron Man was no longer nearby, he shot back up into the air towards his warehouse as he made a note to put Mason u[ to finding out who this Peter-kid was and he searched through multiple names in his personnel, looking for the best to keep an eye on the kid. No one was going to mess with his business. With his family.
  ---
"Alright," Tony said as he entered the lab through the window, stepping out from his suit and back over to his desk. He grimaced at where the web fluid had exploded over the desk while he'd been gone. Hopefully that would fizzle out in an hour or two. "What have you got for me, Fri?"
A screen popped up immediately, and Tony was shown his first true glimpse of his soulmate's face. His heart tugged both at the adorableness of the kid pictured in front of him and the fact that he was seeing the kid for the first time through a screen. He shook it aside, taking in the kid in front of him.
Peter.
The yearbook photo left the smile hilariously forced but no less adorable, especially with the way the kid's eyes read embarrassment and boredom in only a way a teen's could. His hair was tamed down generously for picture day, but a few stray curls forced their way loose. Somehow, he was exactly what Tony had imagined.
"Okay. Full life synopsis. Let's go," he ordered the AI.
"Peter Benjamin Parker was born on August tenth, 2001, to Mary and Richard Parker, both head researchers at Oscorp before their deaths in 2006 in a plane crash. Guardianship was transferred to Richard's brother and sister-in-law, Ben and May Parker. They were killed during a mugging six months ago."
"Yikes, kid. Not a super easy time for you, huh?" Tony glanced at the picture of the kid again. "Where does he live now?"
"At the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys under the guardianship of Andrew Fowler."
"Pull up his file. Any records of abuse or illegal activities?"
"Fowler has two DUI's from when he was nineteen and twenty-three, but nothing else. Nothing unusual about him, boss."
Tony hummed, crossing his arms and pursing his lips. After all of Peter's little flinches and shakes, he was still skeptical, but with nothing to prove, he left it alone. For now.
"Mr. Parker does, however, have a record."
His head turned. "He does?"
"He does." Multiple files were shoved in his face. "Nothing serious, sir, but he has multiple accounts of sneaking out and degenerate behavior. Smoking, loitering, and two misdemeanors."
Tony hesitated for a moment, but shrugged it off. He was a kid who'd had a rough life, and, really, Tony had done some similar shit when he was the kid's age, and the sneaking out could be easily waved off by Peter's vigilante actions. He moved on.
"How's the suit coming along?"
"Trials are finished and ready for 3D printing. All that's left is the fluid, boss."
Tony glanced at the table still completely covered with the white formula. He grimaced. "We'll deal with that later. Go ahead and print the suit, and I'm gonna need a couple of things before we completely shut down for the night."
  ---
I, Peter thought, am an idiot.
After returning to the party, he had changed back into his regular clothes and managed to draw Ned out from the crowd, who had been more than a little confused at his dripping wet hair and slightly bruised face.
"Dude," Ned had asked. "What the hell happened? What happened to the plan?"
"Sorry," Peter had muttered. "There was some weapons dealers. They got the drop on me and dropped me in the lake. And, uh, I met Mr. Stark again."
Ned had gasped. "Really!? Oh, my gosh, is he here? Can I meet him?"
"No, he left, Ned. He saved me actually."
"This is the coolest! You're superhero buddies!" He'd gasped again. "Oh, my God! Are you Iron Man's sidekick?"
"What? No, Ned. I'm not his sidekick." I'm his soulmate, which was honestly worse. Peter would be a better sidekick than a soulmate. "It was probably just, like, a favor thing since I saved him yesterday."
"Super. Hero. Buddies."
There hadn't been any arguing with Ned, he'd been too excited. But, thankfully, the arrival of Iron Man had distracted his friend from going back to the party and they'd called his mom so they could leave early. Not ready to take anymore chances that night, he'd asked Mrs. Leeds to drop him off right at the group home. Mr. Fowler hadn't been there when Peter had tiptoed through the door, so he'd just slipped up the stairs and taken a hot shower, not even bothering to try and take something from the kitchen. He didn't have the heart for another strike.
His spider sense had been going off the entire time, just like it had when he'd been talking with Mr. Stark. It had prevented him from falling asleep that night, thankfully it had been a Friday. But the fact that his senses wouldn't calm down, even now on Saturday morning, was more than a little concerning. Was he dying? Maybe it was the lack of food? Or were his senses trying to warn him about Mr. Stark?
That was the worst thought of all, but it'd popped into his mind whenever he'd caught sight of his shadow while he was eating breakfast the next morning. Everyone in the group home was at the table to watch his nervous jitters as he tried not to look too starved while eating his cereal. Tim and Eric had glanced at him a lot, clearly desperate for him to play some games with them today. The other two younger boys, Aaron and Juan, were much more calm, staring down at the table in an attempt to not draw attention to themselves. Though Jeremiah was winning that competition.
Mr. Fowler sat at the head of the table, a plate of eggs and bacon sitting idly in front of him as he rifled through the mail with annoyed mutters. The man had a lot of junk mail--seriously, he had more magazine subscriptions than Peter could count--so the boys could usually tell when he finally stumbled across something he liked in the mail. His muttering would pause, the rifling would stop, and he would hum in approval before setting the piece of paper aside. This morning, he found something he clearly didn't care for.
Mr. Fowler's muttering paused, the rifling stopped, and Peter waited for the quiet hum, but instead there was a displeased grunt. Heads turned as the junk mail smacked onto the table and a vanilla letter stood out in Mr. Fowler's hands with large letters scrolled on the front of it. Peter's name sat scrawled on the corner.
"Who the heck is 'TS?'" Mr. Fowler asked, glancing at the letter again. "With no return address?"
Peter panicked, almost choking on his off-brand Cheerios as he searched for an excuse that wasn't as flimsy as a feather.
"It's, uh, a pen pal. Thing."
Sure. Not flimsy at all, Parker.
"A pen pal?"
Peter nodded. "Yep. Um, through--through school. It's new. And we deliver them, by ah, ourselves. I delivered mine yesterday, so, no return address?"
"Fun... What's their name?"
He took another bite of his food to stall, mumbling through the soggy cereal, "Tony."
"Tony...?"
"Smart." Mr. Fowler glanced at him. Idiot, idiot, idiot. "Yeah. Tony Smart. He goes to Bronx... Anyway can I have that letter please?"
With a grumble, Mr. Fowler tossed the letter on the table in front of Peter. He quickly pocketed it, finishing his cereal as fast as humanly possible and placing it in the dishwasher. He passed by the table, promising to help the other kids with their dishes and their homework, before walking out the door and sitting on the steps outside the small and rundown building, ignoring the way his senses were still going off.
Peter muttered confusions under his breath as he pulled the surprisingly thick letter out of his hoodie, turning it over in his hands once before finally ripping it open. There were four things inside. He grabbed the letter first, unfolding it to read the loose lettering scrawled inside.
  Dear, Mr. Parker,
Letters aren't really my thing. I'm more of a talker, as you may have realized last night, so I've left a new Starkphone in the envelope to replace the one you broke last night. For talking. And whatever the hell teenagers do with phones too.
  Peter blinked, narrowing his eyes and his chin dropping as he fished the phone out of the envelope. It was horribly expensive under his fingers and he immediately flushed as he thought about how much it must cost. He didn't think it was even on the market yet. He shook his head and blinked furiously, returning to the letter.
  I've also included a Stark Industries badge that will get you into the tower for the next week or so until we move to the compound. You'll receive a new one once badges are printed for the Avengers Compound. My forehead of security will be very excited to be on the job. There's also a credit card connected to my account if you're ever in trouble or in the mood for something to eat. Of course, I don't know what your schedule is, but call me whenever, and you're always welcome in Casa de Stark.
-TS
P.S. Stop by the tower if you can today. I've got a surprise I think you'll like.
  Go to the tower? Peter glanced around the street nervously. He guessed it couldn't hurt, as long as he got all his Saturday chores done first.
After a moment of hesitation, the teenager folded up the letter, stuffing it in his pocket before turning back to the rest of the contents in the envelope. Like Mr. Stark had said, there was a Stark Industries badge, with his embarrassing yearbook photo and his name printed in bold letters, and an ebony credit card that practically gleamed even in the weak light of the gray day.
"The hell..." he muttered, staring at it. He didn't even want to begin thinking about how much stuff he could buy with this thing. The thought made him nauseous, and he moved to stuff it in his pocket as well, when he paused. His pocket was a horrible place to put this thing. He didn't plan on using it, but he'd have an actual stroke if he managed to lose it, or worse, if someone stole it. Mr. Stark already didn't seem overwhelmingly thrilled to have a snotty kid as his soulmate, no need to disappoint him further.
Peter went back inside, placing the card in his thin leather wallet that he kept in his bag, clipping his badge to the backpack, and then stuffing the letter underneath his mattress. Before he went to move back downstairs, his stomach rumbled and his eyes strayed back to the card. Mr. Stark had said he could use it whenever...and it wasn't like snacks were going to drain his account or anything. He bit his lip, forcing himself to turn back around and down the stairs. He wasn't a charity case, and he wasn't going to just abuse Mr. Stark's money like that.
The teenager shook his head as he hurried back to the common floor to begin cleaning up the kitchen as he tried not to think about how hungry he was going to be tonight. Only breakfast was allowed when grounded at Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, so tonight was going to be so much worse without a school provided lunch. And falling asleep last night had been almost impossible thanks to the gnawing pain in the pit of his stomach. Whatever. He'd figure it out somehow.
Cleaning the kitchen didn't take very long, both him and Jeremiah burning through the dishes and putting away food in less than ten minutes while the younger kids sat silently at the table, trepidatious noses stuck in books, though they'd been allowed a moment of calm reprieve when Mr. Fowler had stumbled upstairs for a few minutes before plopping back downstairs into his usual seat. Once the two were done, Jeremiah went to take out the trash while Peter stepped over to Mr. Fowler, who was just finishing scribbling on a thin piece of paper.
"I expect the receipt as usual, Parker. Not a penny missing." The man thrust the list in his hand along with a wad of tightly wrapped cash that Peter accepted more than a little nervously. Mr. Fowler was very particular about his money. "And don't forget to check the eggs to make sure they're not broken."
"Yes, sir," Peter nodded.
"And take the others with you. I need a few hours of peace."
"Yes, sir," he said again.
He motioned for the children to grab their bags from the hooks by the door while Peter dashed up the stairs and back down again with his own. He never left home without it, and the kids needed something to hold their stuff. Not that he would mind carrying a couple of books, but they had to carry all the groceries back, so the more free hands the better.
The ragtag group bounced onto the cracked sidewalk, the kids waving goodbyes to Jeremiah as they headed off towards the nearest grocery story. There was some excited babble as they all crowded around Peter, words tumbling from prepubescent lips as they all finally got their chance to inform Peter of their very eventful week. Mr. Fowler was never very excited to have the kids talking all at once. It disturbed his constant hangovers.
"One at a time, one at a time," Peter said with a reluctant smile. The chatter died down. "Youngest first."
Eric grabbed Peter's hand in response, the nine year-old babbling away about something new he'd learned in class and something funny his friend had said on Monday that he'd been waiting all week to tell Peter. Next was Juan, who had similar tellings, but the teenager responded just enthusiastically as he did Eric until they went all the way through the stories and ended up at the cheap grocery store.
Peter stopped them before going inside. "Rules?"
"Don't touch anything," all four chorused, continuing down the list. 1. Don't touch anything. 2. Stay by Peter. And 3. Hold your buddy's hand the whole time. Once they'd repeated them all, Peter nodded and led them inside.
The teenager tried his best to get everything on Mr. Fowler's list quickly, but refused to not double check for the cheaper brands that Mr. Fowler was always so insistent he buy. It irked Peter off, especially since grocery money came from the state and not the man, but there wasn't anything Peter could do without getting another strike, so he grabbed the blandest cheerios and the most unhealthy oatmeal and placed them in the basket in annoyance, doing his best to avoid any aisle with some kind of bright sugar. He still caught the other kids looking at cookies and cartons of ice cream longingly though.
Finally, after an agonizingly long time, they were all checked out and laden with groceries as they headed down the sidewalk back to the group home. There was more chatter from the kids as they pointed at fluttering pigeons and scurrying rats. There was even a parrot at one point that Peter was sure someone was looking for. He'd check around online later and see if he could give someone a tip about the scarlet bird that's shit narrowly missed Eric.
All was going well until the chime of an ice cream truck began down the small neighborhood street. Feet stopped and heads turned as the bright pink vehicle stopped in front of a group of clamoring kids. Peter could practically feel their want for something other than the same breakfast and dinner they got every day. Their most interesting meal was usually their school lunches, which was honestly more pitiful than anything the teenager could ever dream of.
Peter bit his lip as he stared at the ice cream truck and then sighed, setting down his groceries and opening the pocket of his backpack where he'd placed his wallet earlier. The wallet that now had a shiny black card connected directly to a billionaire that could give these kids a fun morning for once.
The wallet that was nowhere to be seen.
"Fuck," Peter muttered.
Eric gasped, pointing at Peter who was now practically tearing apart his backpack looking for the thing, panic rising in his chest. "Peter said a bad word!"
"Shit," Juan said in response. There were some giggles from the older kids but Eric gasped again. Peter ignored them, strangling in a reluctant breath as his hands finally stilled after coming away with nothing.
How the hell had he lost it? He'd had it for barely an hour! Think, Parker, think. It had been in his bag, he knew that. He'd put it in the second lowest pocket of his backpack, which he'd left upstairs. All the boys had been at the table, and Jeremiah had been cleaning the kitchen with him the entire time. Had someone stolen it at the store? It was possible but unlikely, what with his spider sense and the fact that four kids who'd grown up in New York's foster system paying constant attention to him. So how could it have--
Peter paused, bringing his hands up to cover the bottom half of his face as he clenched his teeth harder than he remembered having ever done before. Mr. Fowler had gone upstairs. And Peter's story had been complete bullshit. He must have found his wallet and taken it upon seeing the shiny black card just perfectly poised for the taking.
His legs stiff with terror, Peter stuffed everything he'd taken out of his bag back into it haphazardly, zipping it shut so harshly the tab ripped completely off. He grunted, throwing the piece of plastic to the ground and clutching his groceries back in his hands before stomping off. The kids stumbled after him once they'd realized he'd begun to move.
"Peter!! Wait up!" Tim called.
Peter forced himself to pause for them, but continued on the moment they were caught up to him. He tried to calm himself, but he couldn't stop the way his face contorted and he seethed in fury. He didn't give two flying shits about the crumpled bills in his wallet the man had taken, or the few personal items he'd kept in the wallet from his late uncle, but he was horribly angry that the man had taken something that was barely even Peter's.
There was no way in hell the teenager was going to explain to Mr. Stark that the card had been stolen from him not even a day after he'd gotten it. There was no way in hell was Peter going to explain that he, an enhanced that had just touted last night that he could take on the flying vulture guy, that he couldn't stand up to his foster father. Mr. Stark dealt with aliens. Peter could deal with Mr. Fowler.
His steps faltered.
He could. He could do it.
As he later found out, he couldn't.
  ---
Peter crept up the stairs of the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, having already set all the groceries he'd had on the kitchen counter for the other kids to put away. He tried to keep the shaking from his fear, unsure if it stemmed from fear or anger, but he was largely unsuccessful as he stalked past the kids' rooms and approached the one at the end of the hall.
As far as Peter knew, no one had gone into Mr. Fowler's room before. There usually wasn't a point. The man kept such meticulous track of his belongings that it was impossible to take something without him noticing sooner or later, and, not only that, but Peter was used to the click of a lock sliding shut whenever the man left his room unattended or went to sleep for the night. It left the teenager facing the unknown as he finally stepped in front of the door that was, in that moment, bigger than anything he'd ever seen.
He took in a shaky breath. Maybe this was a bad idea. The ringing of fear trembling up and down his entire self told him so.
But the anger wasn't completely overridden by the fear, and Peter was full of bad ideas anyway, so he raised a fist and knocked rapidly. There was no response, so Peter knocked again, just as forceful as last time but now more hesitant.
With a horrifying shiver down his spine, the door swung open. Peter swallowed but refused to take the step back that he desperately wanted to as Mr. Fowler towered over him. The smell of alcohol wasn't any kind of freshly strong like it had been a couple of nights ago, which was the only thing reassuring about the moment.
"What do you want?" Mr. Fowler demanded.
"My wallet." He willed his voice not to break.
Mr. Fowler's eyes narrowed as a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. "What?"
"My wallet. You took it and I want it back."
"It's my house, so it's my wallet."
"No it's not! It was my uncle's!" he protested.
"Oh, and was this your uncle's too?" The shiny black card was pulled out his pocket as Mr. Fowler flashed him a toothy grin. Peter's hands twitched with the need to reach out for it, but he kept his fists balled at his side. "Lying to your foster father now, huh? That was a nice little letter under your bed, too. New sugar daddy or something?"
Peter blanched, but then his face turned ghostly white. His voice was a horrified whisper. "You took my letter?"
"Under your bed? Really? You didn't even try, son!" Mr. Fowler taunted, pulling out a piece of crumpled paper and forcing it into Peter's hands. He tore it open, but the paper was so wrinkled he could barely read it anymore. "So, Tony Stark? I don't know if you sucked his dick or something, but I'm sure this card has plenty for me to use if it's connected to his account."
"What? No! That doesn't belong--"
He was cut off by a hand tugging a fistful of his hair. Peter winced but refused to let out a yelped cry even as he was dragged into Mr. Fowler's room. It wasn't much, he realized as he peered through squinted eyes at the bedroom. It was somehow grimy and tidy at the same time, with dust and dirt covering just about every corner, but his belongings were neatly lined and organized on the desk and bedside table. The only other thing that screamed about Mr. Fowler's uncleanliness was the bottles littering the floor that Peter had to fight not to trip over, made only harder as the fist let go of his hair and slapped him into the nearest wall.
"Now listen here, you little shit," Mr. Fowler started, cornering the scrambling teenager as his voice boomed so loud that surely all the kids downstairs could hear him. "I clothe you and house you and feed you, and I will not tolerate your levels of disrespect when you do nothing but run around like the little ungrateful shit you are! Anything you earn while under my roof belongs to me!"
"No it doesn't!" Peter found the courage to shout back. Mr. Fowler blinked in scowled surprise. "And you barely do any of that shit! I had these clothes before I got here, and you barely feed me! You barely feed any of the kids down there!! What the hell is wrong--"
His face stung with the slap that met it.
He grit his teeth, blinking away angry tears. It didn't hurt, it didn't hurt. He was Spider-Man. Being dropped into a lake had hurt, this was nothing. He couldn't really be hurt while he had these powers. He couldn't.
"SHUT UP!!!"
Peter cowered.
"You know nothing about what you're talking about, son," Mr. Fowler breathed, stalking forward until his face was only inches from Peter's and there was nowhere left to run. He scrunched his nose and screwed up his eyes, holding his breath against the man's stale breath as he turned his face away to stare past the man's shoulder. "Whatever you think, this is my house, and I took you in after your last foster parent got sick of your teenage horseshit. Sneaking out wasn't tolerated there, just as much as disrespect isn't tolerated here. So I think that's another strike, don't you? Or a good enough recommendation could get you to a juvenile detention center instead."
"No, please--"
The hand was in his hair again, tearing him forward with a pained wince and forcing him through the door. When Peter smacked up against the wall, he realized it wasn't the door to the hallway.
Scrambling, he swung around just in time to see the door slam shut and then click with the eerie noise of a lock, leaving Peter in the dark closet that was full of nothing but the stench of dirty clothes piled around his feet and the clinking of dusty bottles. He swallowed, wishing desperately he didn't make such stupid decisions, that he'd just kept his head down and forgotten about it and--
"Stay nice and quiet, and you'll be let out soon," Mr. Fowler called before the sound of the door clicked shut and the groaning of wood told him that the man was walking away.
And Peter was horribly alone.
 ---
  Tony glanced between the metal case sat on the table and the window displaying the New York night sky one last time before sighing and stepping off of the stool, Peter's shadow following him. He hadn't been Spider-Man all day, so Tony had no idea what could be holding him up. The kid hadn't texted at all either, though he was sure he'd at least set up the phone already.
Nervously, the billionaire tapped his fingers on the table, one of the last pieces of furniture that had yet to be packed on his floor. He'd delivered the letter himself, clearly addressed it to the kid and everything, but maybe he hadn't gotten it? Maybe it had been a little sketchy for a kid to get a letter with just initials on it and no return address. But he couldn't have gotten in trouble for anything like that, right? And Peter's foster father didn't have anything bad surrounding his name...
With a tired sigh, he asked his AI, "Anything?"
"Mr. Parker has still not entered the building."
"A few blocks out?"
"He does not appear on any security cameras." A moment. "It is past ten, sir. I do not think he is going to come."
"Keep an eye out for him, just in case." He continued to tap the table with a thoughtful hum. Just to double check. "Has the phone been activated?"
"Yes, sir. It started up this morning."
Okay, good, so he had gotten the letter.
"And the card?" he asked. His AI paused, and something hard settled in his stomach. "The card, Friday?"
"It has been in use multiple times since this morning." Tony blinked. That was something of a surprise, but he couldn't say he was disappointed. The kid looked like he could use a good meal or two. He took his jacket off, moving towards his bedroom.
"Great. Glad it's being put to use."
"Three hundred dollars have been spent on alcoholic beverages."
Tony froze where he stood, suspended in a feeling he couldn't even describe. Disappointment? Terror? Hurt? He stared down at the curly-haired shadow, eyes narrowing as he gaped at it. He hadn't exactly pegged the kid as someone who would buy boatloads of drinks, and he didn't even know if a fake ID would work for the kid. He looked all of twelve.
"Cut off the card until the next time I talk to him."
"Yes, sir."
"And track his phone. Where the hell is he right now?"
"His phone's location relays that he is in his foster home."
And that was that he supposed. The kid couldn't buy anymore alcohol and there wasn't anything Tony could do without talking to him directly.
Tony stepped into his bedroom, slipped into some old pajamas, and flopped onto bed with a twist in his gut. Something just felt wrong, and it was more than the kid buying alcohol that likely would barely affect him anyway.
His mind racing, Tony turned restlessly under the covers as the lights shut off around him. Peter's shadow disappeared, the room going with it, and when Tony blinked again, he found himself in complete darkness only broken by the shifting of clothes, the clink of bottles, and the sniffles of someone coming off of a breakdown.
He blinked back awake, sitting up and reaching for his phone. He scrolled through it until he found Peter's number and hit call. It rang. And rang. And rang.
"Hi, you've reached the voicemail of Peter Parker! I'm busy right now, I guess, so call me later, and yeah! Have a good day! Oh! And leave your message after the beep! BEEEP!!"
Tony didn't know whether to laugh or not.
Ch 1 // Ch 2 // Ch 4 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
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blindingdutchy · 2 days ago
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lamentation | THREE
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{peter parker x fem!reader AU}
based on All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
SERIES MASTERLIST
word count: 3,310
warnings: depression, anxiety, grief, mental illness! descriptions of injury/blood/gore! angst
18+!!! minors stay away!
Peter Parker: are you okay??
Peter Parker: (Y/N)?
Peter Parker: why aren't you at school? please tell me you're okay
You shut your phone off and buried your head under your pillow again, wishing for nothing more than to go back to sleep and escape life completely. All weekend long, and especially all morning, your phone had been ringing non stop with texts from Peter Parker. As much as you wished you could say you hadn't read them, you had.
You'd read them all almost as soon as you'd received them, but you just couldn't bring yourself to respond. You didn't need friends. You didn't want friends. Peter Parker was not your friend, and you were determined to keep it that way. No matter how hard he tried to force himself into your life, you were not going to let him in; you couldn't.
You couldn't let him in and risk getting hurt again, and today was yet another painful reminder of why. It was her birthday. At least, it would have been if she weren't dead. If you hadn't put her in the wrong place at the right time, ending her life and ruining yours forever.
For one tiny moment after you woke up, one minuscule fraction of a second, you forgot the importance of the day. You forgot what made the day different, and you forgot that your sister was dead. Or, rather, did you forget you ever had a sister at all? Had--that was the word that made you weep.
That fleeting moment of ignorance was the exact reason why it should have been you and not her. Surely, she never would have forgotten your birthday, or you, or your absence. She never would have looked at the date and even hesitated in remembering what the significance was. Always the better sister, the better person, the one who deserved it all.
Since that moment you had not left your bed, and Peter's latest slew of texts forced you to look at the time and acknowledge that hours had passed. It was lunch time, hours and hours since you'd awoken, and you had not moved even an inch. Everything felt too heavy.
The air felt too thick, gravity too strong, your body made of stone; you wondered if you were even able to move. Of course, you had shut your phone off so clearly you could move, but you didn't want to. It was so hard, so unbelievably hard to move. Why did everything have to be so tough?
As you laid there, staring at the blackened void of the backs of your eyelids because you just couldn't shut your mind off, your thoughts wandered through all the darkest places. Would she have been ashamed to see you like this? Would she have been disgusted with how you were acting, the person you had become?
God, why couldn't you just shut it off? Why couldn't you just make it all stop? That was all you wanted anymore. You wanted the thoughts, the feelings, the memories, everything, to just go away. You wanted to just exist in the empty void that only came about when you were sleeping. The space where your senses were gone and it was just you.
Or, maybe, you didn't want to exist at all. That wasn't to say that you wanted to die, even though you did, but rather that you just wanted to cease to exist. You wanted to never be, to never have been. It was complex thought that was equally as heavy and taxing to ponder.
Would that have made a difference? Would she have lived if you had never been around, never been alive, to lead her down all the paths that lead to that moment? If you hadn't existed, she wouldn't have been in the park at that perfect moment. If she, by some mystical force, had been there anyways, she wouldn't have lingered behind to save you.
Everyone's lives would have been so much better without you. Your parents wouldn't have had to work so much to afford everything for you and your sister. Your grandma might have lived longer, not having to exert herself so much to watch after the troublesome child that you had been. Maybe the butterfly effect of your lack of existence would have reached so far that the world would generally be a better place, too.
You barked a laugh at the thought, your voice hoarse from dehydration and lack of use. How pathetic it was of you to think you had so much of an impact! You surely were not so important that you changed that much about the world.
"(Y/N), honey?"
The world got a little heavier at the sound of your door creaking open and your mother's soft, hesitant voice. When you didn't respond, nor even move a muscle, she sighed, "(Y/N), you need to eat. I made some soup, I'll even bring it up to you if you want."
Despite the fact that you didn't feel hungry in even the slightest capacity, your stomach rumbled loudly at the mention of food. "Okay." you whispered, and when the door clicked shut again the silence was overwhelming.
She would have been so disappointed in you. You knew just how much you worried your parents with every passing day, and as much as you wanted to be better and make them feel better, you just couldn't bring yourself to care. You couldn't bring yourself to care about your wellbeing or how all the things you were doing, or not doing, affected your parents.
Caring wasn't easy anymore, and it felt foreign. You were so bogged down under all the baggage on your back, on your shoulders, and on your head that you couldn't expend any of the energy required to do so. If you did, if you tried, you'd surely have collapsed under the weight.
Your mother came back and left once more just as quickly, sighing quietly as she tried and failed to rouse you from your bed. You'd remained silent through the creak of the door, the soft clatter of the bowl and spoon being placed on your nightstand, her soft breathes of disappointment, and the click of the latch as she left again. You even held your breathe, so immersed in listening to all her little noises that you forgot about the air you needed to live.
When your mother returned to your room later that day, though it felt like seconds for you, she ripped the blankets from your body and blinked down at you tearfully. "You didn't eat." she stated simply, gesturing to the still full bowl of soup that was now ice cold.
You blinked back, though the tears in your eyes were due to the sudden burn of being open rather than emotion. The numbness had creeped in at some point during the day, and you couldn't feel a thing aside from empty. She waited there for a long, pregnant moment for you to respond, but you had no words.
What were you meant to say? You could hear your sister's voice scolding you for ignoring her, but you just couldn't think of the right thing to say anymore. "Get up, (Y/N). Dinner is getting cold and you're going to eat with us, even if I have to drag you out of this bed myself." your mother finally demanded.
Weakly, you clambered out of your bed and followed her downstairs. She tried to hide it, probably for your sake, but you could see the pleased smile on her face as she finally got you out of your bed. You wondered what it felt like to smile anymore. Could you smile anymore? You'd tried a few times, but it always felt awkward and forced and never looked quite right.
"She lives!"
You grimaced, your version of a smile, at your father's bland attempt at humor that earned a warning glare from your mother. Yes, you lived, and that was the problem. You didn't want to. You shouldn't have. It should have been her coming down to dinner to celebrate her birthday, not you trudging to the table to try and ignore the party that should have been taking place.
She would have been nineteen. Would she have liked college? Would she have found a cute college boy to date, maybe have brought him home to meet the family on her birthday? Your mother made her favorite food, a family recipe, and you pretended you didn't notice.
It didn't taste as good without her around to gush over it in anticipation. You'd never been much of a fan in the first place, but as a little sister it was your duty to love everything your big sister did. Food included, and you'd eagerly sucked down that casserole for years and claimed it was your favorite too.
"I'll be right back, don't go anywhere!" your mother announced, wiping her hands on a napkin as you choked down the last pea on your plate.
When she returned a few moments later with a large chocolate cake in her hands, a cold sweat blossomed over your body and you stiffened. "What's that?" you demanded, staring wide eyed at the all-too-familiar cake incredulously.
It was a rhetorical question. You knew exactly what it was, but you were horrified to see it. She'd made her famous chocolate cake, the same cake she'd made every year for your sister's birthday because, like the casserole, it too was her favorite.
Was this some kind of sick joke? Why did she make a cake? Your sister was gone, and there was nothing to celebrate. If anything you wished to still be hidden away under your blankets, moping and wishing for peace. Yet, here was your mother, placing the cake down on the table with a sheepish smile and watery eyes.
She stared at the cake, avoiding your eyes as she sniffed, "I just... I thought that maybe this would make it feel like she's still here. I just wanted a little bit of her to make the day a little less sad."
"She's not here, Mom." you snapped, "She's not here, and this isn't going to change that."
With a loud screech from your chair that scraped across the floor, you bolted away from the table and back to your room. God, why are you being so horrible? She's just trying her best, you don't have to be so hard on her... Your sister's voice echoed in your mind, rattling around your skull so hard you swore you could feel your teeth chatter.
She was right, and you knew it. You knew you were being unfair, cruel even, but you couldn't help it. You couldn't help the uncontrollable guilt that seeing all your sister's favorite foods brought creeping back over you. You couldn't help the bile that steadily rose up your throat at the thought of her, the sight of her ever-present empty chair.
You couldn't help any of it. The anger and guilt was too much to bear, especially as you heard your mother's choked sob echo from the dining room all the way to your bedroom. You'd done that. You'd made her cry with your selfish contempt. You were truly the worst.
Collapsing back onto your bed and burying yourself under your blankets, you smothered yourself with your pillow until it felt like your lungs were going to explode. The tears never came, though you wished for them desperately. You felt like crying, you wanted to cry, but you couldn't. You were all cried out once more.
A loud knock on your window startled you awake, and you blinked in surprise at the pitch darkness of your room. You couldn't remember falling asleep, but that was fairly typical anymore. When you don't dream, there's never really much to differentiate between wake and rest. It was always just like blinking your eyes--one moment it was one day, and the next it was another.
Time moved pretty strangely ever since the incident, you'd discovered. Sleep made time seem longer, more impactful, and without it the days all blurred together. Another knock caught your attention, followed by another, before there was a steady rapping at the glass pane that made you furrow your eyebrows.
You clicked the power button on your phone only to huff when you remembered you'd shut it off, and turned to face the window. A shadow passed before it and your heart stuttered frightfully. Another knock, another shadow, and you were surprised you hadn't peed your pants in fear. There was someone out there.
A head popped up over the windowsill, falling heavily against the glass with a loud bang that made you jump. "What the--Peter?" you gasped, your eyes slowly adjusting to the dim lighting until you could make out the familiar suit of Spiderman.
What the hell was Peter doing at your window, and why was he still dressed up in his stupid costume? Begrudgingly, yet secretly curious, you creeped out of your bed and opened the window with furrowed eyebrows. "Peter, what are you doing here?" you whispered, but he didn't respond.
Well, he didn't respond with words. He groaned, a strange gargled noise like he was trying to talk through a mouthful of water, and his head lolled to the side weakly. Prodding his shoulder, he nearly tumbled to the ground until you caught him awkwardly and strained to keep him upright. "P-please, help." he gasped.
Your heart was racing, and your mind was moving nearly as fast with a million questions. How the hell did Peter know where you lived? Why was he at your window? What was wrong with him? Why did he think you were the person to help him? Why, what, why, how, all the questions remained unanswered.
It was a great struggle to drag Peter through your window, a task that was done without much help from the surprisingly heavy boy who leaned nearly all of his weight onto you. You did it, though, and bit back a scream when you pulled your hands away to find them covered in blood. As you stared at the dark, red stains on your flesh, the smell of it hit you and your head was spinning.
Blood, and a lot of it. Immediately your mind brought you back to that fateful day, images of your sister's lifeless form flashing before your eyes and blurring the world around you. Your breathing grew shallower, and just as the tunnel vision started to encroach, Peter garbled, "Please, (Y/N), you need to help me."
He weakly slapped at his chest until his suit deflated like a balloon, peeling away from his body like a loose tarp that was easily pulled away from his skin. "Oh, my god!" you wailed. His body was riddled with cuts, scrapes, and bruises galore. You wondered if any of his skin remained unbroken, because everything was black, blue, and red.
For the first time in what felt like forever, your fight or flight switched gears to fight. You weren't entirely sure why, because you were crying and holding back vomit like your life depended on it, but you raced around your room to gather anything you could to staunch the bleeding. Every breathe you took overwhelmed you with the smell of blood, that familiar metallic scent of iron or pennies, but you couldn't breathe through your mouth.
If you opened your mouth, you were surely going to lose all the food you'd eaten for dinner. All you could think of was your sister. You thought of what she would have done, and you knew that you were making the right choice in helping him. She would never have left him to fend for himself. Most of all, though, you thought of your sister and how you hadn't stopped her from dying, and you couldn't do that again.
You couldn't let another person die as a result of your actions. You couldn't, and you wouldn't. So, you worked hard and fast through all your crying to patch Peter up as best as you could. Nothing needed stitches as far as you could tell, but nearly every inch of his skin was broken with some form of scrape, scratch, or cut.
It was messy, and by the time you finished you were pretty sure you had more of Peter's blood on your skin and clothes than he had on himself. He was asleep, or unconscious, you weren't entirely sure. What you were sure of, though, was that the sun was rising and he needed to leave. You needed him to get out, both for the sake of your mentality and your parents'.
So, you jabbed your fingers into his shoulder and hissed, "Wake up!"
He awoke frantically, his eyes snapping open and his body lurching upright as he looked around in a panic. "Get away--(Y/N)? What... What am I doing here? Where am I?" he stammered, slumping back onto the floor with a wince as he continued to scan his surroundings in confusion.
"You're in my bedroom, Parker, and I don't know why. You showed up covered in blood and begging for help." you grumbled in annoyance. "You need to go. It's almost morning."
He blinked in surprise, glancing out your window to see the early hints of dawn on the horizon. "I, uh, I'm... I'm sorry. I don't remember coming here." he mumbled, "Woah, did I hurt you? Oh my God, I hurt you, I'm so--"
"This is your blood, Peter." you growled, cutting off his frenzied rambling as he finally caught sight of the red stains all over your body. "Get out."
He stared at you with parted lips, eyes wide with panic and apprehension. "Are you crying?" he finally asked, his voice timid.
It took you a moment to realize that, yes, you were in fact crying. You hadn't realized that the tears were still flowing from your eyes, but as you did the adrenaline wore off and you choked out through a sob, "Get out! Get out of here, Peter!"
Without the adrenaline pumping through your veins to keep you grounded, the emotion of the entire situation caught up to you. All the fear, anguish, guilt, and anxiety--it all washed over you in an instant and you were losing it. But, you were also angry. You were angry with Peter for putting you in that position.
You were angry that he'd show up, barely alive and begging for your help, when he knew somewhat of what you'd been through. He knew, at the very least, that your sister's death was on your hands, and he put you in a position to put another name on that list. Most of all, though, you were angry that already all of your worst fears were thrown in your face.
Peter wasn't your friend, but some part of you wanted him to be, and already you were faced with the prospect of him dying and you being helpless to stop it. Why was the universe so cruel to you? Were you cursed? It was all a sick, twisted joke, and you wanted no part of it.
"(Y/N), what's wrong--"
You cried, "Just, please, go. I'll see you at school, okay? Just go!"
And, after a moment of hesitation, he went. He climbed out of your window from where he watched you for another minute longer, clearly unwilling to leave you alone in such a state. Peter watched wordlessly as you fumbled to close and latch the window, until you shut the curtains and shut him out again.
Peter Parker: i'm so sorry
Peter Parker: please be okay
Peter Parker: i better see you at school tomorrow or i'm coming back to check on you
Peter Parker: or today i guess
SERIES TAGLIST {ask to be added}:
@msmimimerton @zendayasfwb
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housepartyprotocol · 3 days ago
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Chapter 6
Summary: Bucky Barnes’ little sister, ex-winter soldier was taken as a child and trained. In and out of cyro for years she has the physical age of a 17-year-old. After being in Wakanda for two years, she is rejoining society and going to school. What happens when she meets a boy, and what happens when somebody wants her back?
Warnings: language
Series masterlist
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housepartyprotocol · 3 days ago
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Chapter 5
Summary: Bucky Barnes’ little sister, ex-winter soldier was taken as a child and trained. In and out of cyro for years she has the physical age of a 17-year-old. After being in Wakanda for two years, she is rejoining society and going to school. What happens when she meets a boy, and what happens when somebody wants her back?
Warnings: don’t think anything
Series masterlist
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iwritedumbshit · 3 days ago
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Comfort in My Shadow
Chapter 2: Right Through You
By @iwritedumbshit for @iron-mum
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark, Minor Pepper Potts/Tony Stark
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Ned Leeds, James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Summary: Soulmates are definite in the universe. Nobody knows exactly why they exist, or what dictates who is bonded to who, the only thing known is that they are never wrong. But Peter’s not so sure about that.
Living at the group home had taught Peter a lot about laying low and how to stay alive when nobody cares. But he’d always clung to the hope of the shadow at his feet reflecting his soulmate that had watched over him for years.
Typical that his soulmate is actually a superhero that Peter is convinced shouldn’t want anything to do with him. Maybe, just this once, the Universe was wrong.
But Tony Stark is desperate to prove that it is right.
Ch 1 // Ch 3 // Ch 4 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
---
"I'm sorry." It was the last thing Spider-Man said before he swung away, swallowed by the darkness of an alleyway. It was a whimpered choke. Fearful.
"No! Wait--" Tony tried to call, but it was too late. The man was gone. No. Not a man. A fifteen year old. Tony glanced down at his shadow and then back at where Spider-Man had disappeared. Spider-Man was his soulmate. And he was fifteen. Tony had to catch himself against the wall as his chest squeezed painfully tight and his throat closed up in panic, barely managing to mutter out, "Jesus Christ. Fifteen."
That was horrifying on an entirely different level than what had just transpired. Not only had his soulmate flinched away from him and then run off the first chance he'd gotten, he was swinging around the streets of New York and putting himself in danger and he was a kid. Did his parents know? Maybe that was why the kid had run off so quickly. He'd freaked out so horribly when he'd realized the time that Tony had to blink away the horrible memories of his own father with his backhanded slaps and harsh words that had stung even more.
Tony sucked in a cold breath as he stared at the spilled hot chocolate mixing with his own dropped coffee. How often had Spider-Man been hurt? On the street or at home? Suddenly all Tony knew was terror at the implication and newfound knowledge of just exactly who his soul was connected to. Just who the shadow that had been with him for fifteen years really had been. And all he knew was the horrible guilt that he clearly wasn't what his soulmate had been looking for. Could soulmates be wrong? Knowing himself, it was possible.
The mechanic shook his head furiously, forcing himself to stop leaning on the wall and take a deep breath. He'd found his soulmate--sort of--and he wasn't about to just let them go that easily. If he could just have one good conversation, preferably without that mask, about their connection, everything would be okay. Or, it could at least be resolved. If the kid didn't want to know him, didn't want to be his soulmate--well...
Tony sniffed, snatching the cups off of the pavement and throwing them in the trash. He'd cross that bridge when he got to it.
Tony began to make his way back to the tower, his steps slow and stumbled, eyes fixated on his shadow whenever it came into view. After a few minutes, the hood disappeared and fuzzy hair took its place. Well, now he knew why his shadow always looked like they were bald in the afternoon and at night.
"Friday," Tony started, his glasses lighting up at the call of his voice. "I need a full search of the city. As in-depth as you can get it. Follow Spider-Man, look for his identity, and focus on kids born on August tenth, 2001."
"There are six hundred thirteen people born on that day currently living in New York."
"Okay, filter out for boys in Queens. Between 5'7" and 5'9."" He paused, thinking about the fingers that he'd seen through Spider-Man's gloves. "Lighter skin, too."
"I have forty-two possible matches."
"Well, it's better than six hundred," Tony sniffed. "Keep an eye on them, and keep a special eye on Spidey. If he looks like he's in a situation he can't handle, alert me. Or just tell me the next time he pops up."
"Of course, sir," Friday agreed. "What shall I file this under?"
Tony mused for a moment. "Create a new file, and place it on my private server. Name it 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider.'"
Hopefully he'd have a face to that protocol soon.
 ---
  Peter stumbled up to the front door of the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, his breaths quick and furious as he scrambled for a decision. After escaping from Mr. Stark's disappointment, he'd fled across the bridge and eventually found an alleyway to change into where his spidey sense had finally calmed down. Cameras were following Peter now wherever he went as Spider-Man now, he was sure, so he'd had to be painfully and slowly careful. Finding an alleyway out of the sight of any cameras had been simple enough, but it would be relatively easy for Mr. Stark to triangulate his location, so Peter had changed and thrown on a hood and forced himself to become lost in the New York crowd of people on the night shift or party-goers higher than a kite.
So far, the teenager thought he'd managed to get away with it, but he'd have to be more careful about when he went out if he didn't want Mr. Stark to find out who he was. The man already seemed disappointed to find out his soulmate was Spider-Man, he couldn't imagine what realizing it was actually Peter Parker would do to him.
Peter swallowed down the trepidation that bubbled under his skin in boiled anxiety as he shuffled in front of the door to the group home. Maybe Mr. Fowler hadn't realized he was late and he could try and sneak in through the window instead of being caught outside the door. Then again, if he did know, he was likely waiting for Peter to slip in that way and catch him red-handed. The real question was what would end in less punishment?
The teenager's musings were cut short by a spike in spidey sense and the wrenching open of the chipped red door, bringing with it the dangerous stench of stale beer. Mr. Fowler's displeased grin froze Peter to the floor in terror until an outstretched hand reached out and gripped his arm in a vice. "You're late."
Peter held back a wince as he was pulled in through the door, forcing himself to stumble along as the door was slammed shut behind him, rattling the old building. Mr. Fowler dragged him towards the dining room as he rushed to apologize. "Sorry, Mr. Fowler. I--I didn't mean to! I just got caught up on the subway and my phone died and--"
"I've heard that one before," the man snapped. Peter's jaw clamped shut with an audible click. He bit his tongue to keep his feeble excuses from escaping as he was pushed into a chair roughly. The man's hand gripped onto Peter's shoulder painfully tightly, but the liquor on his breath kept the boy glued to the chair more obediently than anything else. "Now where have you actually been, Peter?"
"I-I didn't mean to be late," he tried again. "I was just--"
There was a harsh smack to the back of his head, whipping it forward. Peter winced, but it didn't really hurt, so he forced himself to sit still. He was fine. Mr. Fowler couldn't really hurt him, and even if he did, it didn't matter. Peter would heal. Every bruise he'd ever gotten here had always been gone by the morning.
"Enough with the excuses, Pete," Mr. Fowler ordered. "I just need an answer for the report now that I have to write up your next strike."
Peter flinched. The system at the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys was extremely strict. Three strikes and you're out. Peter already had one strike when Mr. Fowler had caught him sneaking an extra snack after dinner. He'd been drunk then too.
Four strikes meant that Peter would be moved to another home for "troubled teens." That he'd attend another school and have to forge a new system of being Spider-Man. And, most importantly, it meant he'd be leaving the younger kids here to Mr. Fowler's wrath by themselves. Peter was the second oldest at the group home of six. Jeremiah was the oldest, but he'd be aging out in barely a month, leaving Peter to try and take care of the others, all no older than twelve.
Peter would heal, they wouldn't. It was as easy as that. But it didn't seem like Peter was going to escape this strike and that he'd have to be careful about even thinking about patrolling for a few weeks. Then again, with Mr. Stark possibly looking for him, maybe it was for the best. And it would just be for a little bit. Just a little bit.
There was a horrible shiver up the teenager's spine, and Peter had to force himself to stay still as there was another slap to his head, this one harder than before. He bit his lip as Mr. Fowler leaned in closer, the staleness of liquor on his breath making the boy's nose crinkle in barely concealed disgust.
"Listen to me when I'm talking to you, son," Mr. Fowler sneered. "Failure to do so can end in another strike, y'know. Two in one day and you'll be shipped off to Jersey tomorrow morning. So?"
Peter took a deep breath through his nose and grit his teeth. He knew what the man wanted to hear. What he wanted to put in Peter's file. It seemed to be a personal pleasure of his to fuck with his file, and all the other boys' really, as much as humanly possible.
"I was out goofing off with some friends. We were smoking and throwing cans at cars and I lost track of time."
Mr. Fowler tutted. "So irresponsible, Pete. I will have to write that up, y'know, and you'll receive the usual grounding. One week. Now why don't you go and head to bed?"
It wasn't a question, so Peter stood shakily and forced himself near the stairs, knowing better than to ask if he'd get some kind of food before he went to sleep. He wouldn't be getting any dinner for the entirety of his grounding anyway. Peter was lucky that he got away without any bruises, instead only escaping with a dull pain in the back of his head.
He slipped up the stairs and into the room he shared with Jeremiah and Tim. Jeremiah had his back turned to Peter, clearly just fixed to keep his head down for the next month, but Tim was sat up straight in bed, bright black eyes staring at Peter in awed worry. The teenager forced himself to look away, instinctively turning to his dull shadow but snapping away from that as well to stare at his bed instead.
"Go to sleep, Tim. You have school tomorrow."
"But, Peter--"
"Go to sleep, Tim," he said again, a little more forcefully this time. Tim stared at him for another painful moment before slipping down under his covers and turning to face the wall opposite Peter. It dragged a stone of guilt into his stomach, but Peter just couldn't at the moment. Even as he changed out of his ratty clothes into even rattier pajamas, the new knowledge of who his shadow really was wouldn't leave.
Peter turned the light off in the hall and closed the door to him and the other boys' room, grateful for the first time in his life to see his shadow disappear. He knew he was being just a little ridiculous, it wasn't like Mr. Stark hated him or anything, at least, Peter didn't think he did. But, well, the teenager was exactly that; a teenager. One that was poor and alone and had superpowers that he used to do little good deeds around his neighborhood. And Mr. Stark was Mr. Stark. The universe had to have been wrong this one time.
And what was worse was that Peter had just run away. He'd acted like an overdramatic romcom character when discovering that their soulmate was the quarterback they hated or something. It was possibly the worst part of all of this.
Peter kept in a sigh as he dropped onto his old mattress, pulling the lumpy covers over himself and squeezed his eyes shut in a half-assed attempt to bully out the pain of hunger in his stomach and the ache of undeserved longing in his heart. He so desperately wanted to be able to know his soulmate, but there was no way that Mr. Stark would be excited to actually know him. Besides, Mr. Stark pushed the Accords, and Peter was an unlicensed vigilante on the street. It was the man's job to find out who he was and turn him in.
Being soulmates didn't change that, even as his vision flashed to show a dark and fancy lab. Well, now he knew why his soulmate had always had such nice stuff.
 ---
"You what?"
"I found my soulmate," Tony snipped. "Keep up, honey bear. You're losing your touch, old man."
Rhodey ignored his comment, still staring at Tony from where he sat on a box in the Avengers common room that was probably filled with either dishes or Avengers gear. Tony passed the colonel a horribly green smoothie that he accepted without complaint, still staring at Tony but this time with a wide smile on his face.
"You really found him? Just walking around Manhattan?" Rhodey asked.
"Well, technically someone was trying to kidnap me, but sure."
"I'm sorry. What?"
"Relax. Everything turned out fine since my soulmate showed up."
Rhodey gave him a look, eyes glancing from the billionaire to the short shadow on the ground. "Your soulmate who is fifteen, saved you from a kidnapping?"
"Well, yeah. But he's got superpowers, so I don't think it was much of a sweat for him."
"Super--who the hell is your soulmate? Is this Twenty Questions? First guess: Ant Man."
"Hardy har," Tony joked. "No, not Lang. It's the spider kid."
Rhodey paused. "You have no idea who he is, do you?"
Tony shrugged, twirling the straw of his own green smoothie for a slight distraction from the fact that his soulmate had flinched and then ran away from him. It had kept him up with an anxiety-filled kind of drive as he'd tried to pick out which of the kid's was his little shadow. He'd only managed to weed out a few of the kids of the forty-something.
"No. He, uh, ran away. Friday's on the job looking for him right now, but he's a slippery one, 'cause, uh, no luck so far."
"I'm sorry, man," Rhodey apologized. "That sucks. Do you...do you know why he ran?"
"Something about a curfew."
"Then maybe he'll be out soon looking for you. Once school is out for the day, of course."
"Yeah. Maybe," Tony agreed, but he thought differently. The shake in the kid's voice, the flinch as he'd ducked away from Tony's hand, and the horrible defensive tenseness when he'd looked away from their switched shadows to look at him. He didn't think Spidey was exactly thrilled, or that he'd be looking for a way to tell the billionaire exactly who he was.
"Any flashes?" Rhodey asked. Tony hummed in confusion. "Since you realized you were soulmates?"
"Oh, uh, just a room last night. I don't know, it was pretty hard to make out." Tony had turned off all the lights in his lab once he'd arrived in it, hoping for some kind of flash of where his soulmate was. It had been reassuring to see the connection still intact, but it wasn't like the dark and bare bedroom had been much help. "I think he has siblings or something. There was another bed in there. Oh, add that to the search engine, Friday."
"Of course, sir. Now down to twenty-eight kids."
Tony smiled. Maybe he was actually getting somewhere.
  ---
"You what?"
"Shut up, Ned," Peter shushed, curling forward in another sit-up to hiss at his best friend who was staring at him in amazement. Ned didn't seem deterred in the slightest, but at least his voice dropped to match Peter's hushed whisper.
"I can't shut up. I'll never be able to shut up again! You met Tony Stark last night! This is the greatest day of my life."
"It really wasn't that big of a deal," Peter lied. He had conveniently left out the part where the billionaire was his soulmate, and considering Ned's reaction of his just meeting the guy, Peter was going to keep that to himself for the time being. Or forever. Whichever came first. Ned continued to stare at him in astonishment, and Peter relented as he curled up again. "Okay, it was pretty cool. He bought me a drink."
"What, like a beer?"
"No, Ned, a hot chocolate."
"Ohhh. That makes more sense."
"Yeah," Peter agreed. "And keep it down. Please? I don't need anyone thinking I drank last night. Mr. Fowler already put a new load of bullshit on my record and you know all the teachers get updates on the shit I do."
Ned's eyes darkened. "He gave you another strike?"
"Yeah," Peter panted, curling up faster as anxiety pumped underneath his skin. "My fault. Stupid. Shouldn't have been late."
"How late were you?"
"Like, ten minutes I think."
Ned spluttered, "But it was just ten minutes!"
"Mr. Fowler's a rule stickler," he half-truthed. Ned didn't need to know how shitty his group home leader was. "I'll just have to be more careful for a while and get back on his good side." Like Mr. Fowler had a good side. "It'll be fine in another week or two."
Ned clearly wanted to protest more, his friend was always so suspicious of Mr. Fowler and so insistent that Peter should just tell the man that he was Spider-Man and that he was helping people. Well, Ned thought they should tell everyone that he was Spider-Man, clearly thinking that it would help him get away with late assignments or missing curfew, but really it would only succeed in him getting arrested. Besides, now that Mr. Stark might be looking for him, he was determined more than ever to keep his identity safe.
Coach Wilson passed by, complementing, "Looking good, Parker."
Peter slowed down, faking a tired grimace and just wishing with every fiber of his being that PE would be over soon.
"So I guess that's a no on Liz's party, then?" Ned asked. Peter turned away from watching Coach Wilson walk away to stare at his friend.
"Liz is having a party?"
"Yeah? She talked about it last decathlon practice. Were you not paying attention?"
"I guess not. My bad," he mumbled. "Is it tonight?"
"Yeah, but you're probably in trouble aren't you?"
"Yeah," Peter agreed, thinking about the dinner he was going to miss tonight. Then again, if he went to the party, not only would Liz be there, but there'd probably be some snacks too. "But my curfew doesn't change."
"It doesn't?"
"I don't think it ever will. Like I said, Mr. Fowler is a stickler for rules, and the curfew is his favorite. It's completely unmovable in his mind."
"Weird."
"Yeah. He's pretty strange," Peter agreed. "So, what time tonight?"
"Seven, I think. And anyway, remember my idea about telling everyone that you're--"
"No, Ned. We're not telling people that I'm--" he lowered his voice dramatically, "--that I'm Spider-Man."
Ned pouted. "Fine. But could you, I don't know, appear as Spider-Man?"
"What? Why?"
"C'mon! Think about how cool it would be if you dropped down and were like, 'Hey, Ned! Whattup? Where's my buddy, Peter? 'Cause we're besties and I'm a cool superhero!' Wouldn't that be cool!?"
Peter stared.
"Ned, literally no one cares about Spider--"
"Now, see, for me, it would be F Thor, marry Iron Man, and kill Hulk," came the voice of the girl's sitting on the bleachers. Peter and Ned turned to listen.
"Well, what about the Spider-Man?" Charles asked.
"It’s just Spider-Man," Betty replied. Peter raised an eyebrow at Ned in a way that meant, See?
"Did you guys see the bank security cam on YouTube? He fought off four guys," Liz argued, her voice climbing just a little higher. Peter's eyes widened.
"Oh my God, she’s crushing on Spider-Man."
"No way."
Liz shrugged, tugging a strand of hair behind her ear. "Kind of?"
Peter turned back to Ned. "Yeah. Okay, sure, I'll bring the suit."
  ---
"Thank you, Mrs. Leeds!" Peter called, waving at the woman through her beat up green Toyota. She waved back at him and Ned with a cheery smile.
"See you two boys later! I'll be back at nine to make sure you're home on time, Peter."
"Thank you!" he said again as she drove off.
"Bye, Mom!" Ned said. There were a few looks sent their way, but Peter didn't really care. Even when Flash liked to humiliate him in front of the other kids at school, Peter never felt more than surface level embarrassment. He was past the point of caring about high school drama, but Ned ducked his head nervously, readjusting his new hat. His friend turned to him and whispered, "Dude, you have the suit right?"
Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, Peter gestured to his backpack. "Yeah."
"This is gonna change our lives," Ned squeed as they stepped up the driveway. Liz had a large house on a well-lit street in the suburbs. He could see even more colorful lights inside, just as bright as the music was, and anxiety rolled in his chest. He didn't care about what other people thought of him, he really didn't, but he couldn't stop the nerves at such an unfamiliar environment.
Peter stared down at his shadow on instinct, searching for comfort in the familiar fluffy hair. Catching himself, he forced himself to turn away and stare forward as he stepped through the door behind Ned.
He almost stumbled back as the noise hit him. There was the movement of chatter and the blaring of shitty and loud music. Peter stared as some girls walked past, swallowing nervously as his gaze went from them, to Flash DJ-ing, and then landing on Michelle, who glared at them as she spread jam on a piece of toast.
"Can’t believe you guys are at this lame party," she said. Peter frowned in confusion.
"But you’re here too," Ned said, confused hesitation taking up his voice.
"Am I?" And then she stalked away. Peter and Ned glanced at each other in confusion.
Ned recovered first, tapping his backpack. "Okay, anyway, we’re gonna have Spider-Man swing in, say you guys are tight, and then I get a fist bump or one of those half bro-hugs and--"
"Oh, my gosh!"
Ned was cut off as Peter turned away from him to look at Liz. Redness flushed onto his cheeks as she approached them with a wide smile and a red cup in her hand.
"Hey, guys. Cool hat, Ned."
"Hi, Liz," Ned said with a wave.
"Hi, Liz," he said, cursing himself as his voice broke immediately.
"I’m so happy you guys came. There’s pizza and drinks. Help yourself."
Peter's stomach rumbled at the thought, but he forced it down with a smile and a warbled, "What a great party."
"Thanks," Liz smiled. There was the shattering of glass, making her turn sheepishly. "Oh, I... My parents will kill me if anything’s broken. I gotta--"
"Yeah."
"Have fun," she said, hurrying away. Ned turned to him furiously, gesturing to where the senior had left.
"Dude, what are you doing? She’s here. Spider it up."
Like a flip had been switched, Peter remembered that Iron Man was probably looking for him. No way he could get away with showing himself at a high school party. This would be all over social media in barely an hour. "No, no, no. I can’t... I cannot do this. Spider-Man is not a party trick, okay? Look, I’m just gonna...be myself."
"Peter, no one wants that."
"Dude," Peter snapped, but even as he walked away, he knew it was true. He thought of the image of Mr. Stark's face when he'd realized they were soulmates.
Now more than a little out of it, the teenager finally made his way through the house, searching desperately for wherever the pizza was. He didn't make it very far down the hall when there was the screech of his name over a microphone.
"Penis Parker, what’s up?!" Flash yelled over the microphone. People turned to stare at Peter and Ned, sneers or sympathetic smiles decorating their faces. Peter tensed, glancing over to Ned. "Thought you were stuck at the group home! And didn't you know you were supposed to dress nicely for a party?"
Ned gave Peter a look, and that was how the superpowered teen ended up on the roof in his shitty superhero costume with his mask in hand as he chewed his lip in jittered fear.
"Hey, what’s up?" he said in a deepened voice, grabbing his mask from the bag and straightening it out. "I’m Spider-Man. Just thought I’d swing by and say hello to my buddy Peter. Oh, what’s up, Ned? Hey, where’s Peter, anyways? He must be around..." Peter sighed, dropping his hands and digging his fingers into the mask as his brows furrowed. "God, this is stupid. What am I doing?"
Peter stared from the roof down at where Ned was waiting, looking around anxiously, his friend's shadow bright underneath the lights. He glanced out of the corner of his eye down at where his own was scrunched beside him, wondering what Mr. Stark was doing right now. Maybe he was doing cool Iron Man stuff in the lab he'd had a flash of. Maybe...maybe he was wondering what Peter was doing too.
Just as he was about to sigh about how unlikely that was, there was the sound of a distant crash and a plume of bright blue. He began to push himself up, leaning forward to try and get a better look at the thing as his senses rang.
"What the hell?"
Peter stuffed on his mask and swung away, making his way through the neighborhood. After running across an embarrassingly long golf course, the sprinklers biting against his skin with the freezing water, he finally arrived at where he'd seen the blue smoke. Spider-Man dipped himself low, clinging to a small bridge and popping his head around the corner.
There were three men, a broken down old car, and a classic kidnapper white van. Peter watched as one guy whooped at the explosion that burst out from the weapon in his hand against the car. The two other men cringed back as he flinched at the bright light. The man returned to the van, putting the gun down and grabbing another one. It looked extremely similar to the one that had been used against Mr. Stark last night.
"Now, this is crafted from a reclaimed sub-Ultron arm straight from Sokovia. Here. You try."
The guy passed the weird arm-gun to the man with curly hair, who examined it in confused disdain. "Man, I wanted something low-key. Why are you trying to upsell me, man?"
"Okay, okay, okay. I got what you need, all right?" the guy placated, moving back to look through the van. "I got tons of great stuff here. One sec. Okay, I got, uh, black hole grenades, Chitauri railguns..."
"You letting off shots in public now? Hurry up," the tallest one warned. He stepped up to the curly haired guy. The buyer, Peter guessed. "Look, times are changing. We’re the only ones selling these high tech weapons."
"Oh, so this is where bad guys are getting their stuff," Peter whispered to his shadow out of habit. He shook his head, glaring forward and away from where Mr. Stark's silhouette extended.
"I need something to stick up somebody. I’m not trying to shoot them back in time," the buyer complained.
"I got anti-grav climbers," the guy at the van suggested. That seemed to finally get the third man's attention.
"Yo, climbers?"
And then, of course, Peter's phone rang. Immediately guns were drawn, clicking towards the buyer as Peter tore his phone out of his pocket, almost swearing as he caught sight of Ned's caller ID and shutting it off.
"Okay, what the hell was that?"
"Did you set us up?"
"Hey, hey, man."
His senses ringing, Peter dropped from the bridge, catching the men's attention. "Hey! Hey, come on. You gonna shoot at somebody, shoot at me."
"All right."
The gun clicked towards him. Peter shot a web, tearing the gun away, and then ran forward. His senses spiked and then pain jolted through Peter as something bright smashed against his face. It launched the teenager straight into the leg of the bridge, the concrete crumpling under his force. He groaned in pain, forcing himself onto his elbows.
"What the hell?" he muttered. The revving of an engine tore his head to where the van was beginning to drive off. He shot a web to the back of the van, attempting to stick to the ground but only succeeding in being dragged away and onto the harsh road, eliciting a surprised yelp from the high schooler.
Spider-Man shot another web in an attempt to right his balance, gritting his teeth as the road tore at his skin. The van dragged him around, swerving intentionally and smacking Peter through at least five trash cans before finally losing him into a pillar of solid brick. He groaned in pain even as he pushed himself to his feet and shot another web. It attached to the door, ripping it to the ground with a metal screech. Peter threw his hands up in exasperation.
"Great! Guess I'm gonna have to take a shortcut."
Peter leaped over a car into a yard and then a few more yards. At least there was a cute dog, but he wished he'd had more time to play with it.
The superhero stumbled along after scaring a couple of girls--his bad, but they'd get over it eventually. Hopefully--diving over a fence and skimming over a pool in a crowd of people that stared at him in gawked surprise. He called, "Great movie!" before swinging up with a tree and landing just a little too hard on a nearby roof. He panted heavily even as he kept going. He caught sight of the white van.
"Almost got you," he said to himself. "Thought you got away from me, didn’t you? I got you right where I want you. Surprise!"
Finally close enough, Peter leaped from the roof. His spine shivered, his hairs raised, and his heart leaped in fear as metal claws clamped down around him. Peter screamed hoarsely, twisting in midair as he was propelled away from the ground at a frightening speed. "AgH! What the hell!!??"
Peter barely took in the large wings, instead focusing on digging his hands around the metal claws clenched around his ankle. Whoever the bird guy was, he certainly didn't appreciate it. Haunting green eyes met Peter's wide white. His heart beat rapidly. How high up was he? The ground below looked so tiny. At least there was water under him.
And then he wasn't so thankful as the metal digging into his feet released all of the sudden. Peter screamed as he fell, twisting in midair as he searched desperately for an escape. The water underneath him grew closer and closer and there was nothing for Peter to grab onto. Nothing to web. Oh no, oh no, oh no oh no oh no--
Peter slapped against the surface. All the air was forced from his lungs as he was carried under by the lapping waves.
 ---
  "Sir--" Friday started. Tony didn't look up from where he was writing out code that he'd been pouring over for hours, going through every idea and web combination imaginable.
"Please don't turn down my music, honey," Tony said, swiveling in his rolly chair and wheeling over to the table where the webs he was in the process of replicating were beginning to formulate. He was on his fourth attempt now, and he was getting close. "I'm working."
"I am operating under the Itsy Bitsy Spider protocol."
Tony readjusted his glasses, turning away from where he was stirring the sticky formula to glance at the hologram of the suit. He'd been wondering when the kid would show up again. He hadn't been out all afternoon. "Yeah? What's up?"
In response, Friday popped up a video. It was clearly shot through a phone, shakily recording the kid skimming off of a pool before launching himself in the air. It dragged an amused smile from Tony, but it dropped as the next video played.
This one was clearly a security camera from the suburbs. The video was only a couple seconds long as a shuddering white van sped past the house, smoke flying from behind it. There was a bright purple shot and then Tony finally managed to catch sight of the bright red and blue suit being dragged along. Tony turned to his shadow, staring at where the hood was pulled up.
"What the hell have you gotten yourself into now, kid?" he asked it. "How old is this video?"
"Barely a minute."
Tony glanced at the unfinished suit and then back at the video playing on a loop. He guessed the suit would have to wait.
"Get me Mark Forty-Eight and take me to where this video was taken. Quickly, dear."
The suit activated across the room, stepping out of its case and allowing for Tony to be covered by it. The screen lit up immediately, his path highlighted to where the nearest window had opened. Tony shot out into the New York night, his heart beating rapidly. The kid had to be okay, right? He probably dealt with weird shit all the time.
The thought didn't stop the mechanic from being nervous. The kid was fifteen after all. He wasn't exactly equipped for this kind of thing.
It took barely a couple of minutes for Tony to arrive at the street where the video had been taken. There was a burn mark on the road, but no Spidey, and no sign of that van. He hovered, scanning for where the kid could be.
"Heat signatures, Fri. Give me something to work with."
His screen lit up, orange and red figures milling about in houses. There were a few people walking streets over, a car roving by slowly, a clash of body heat that made him think of a party, and a red dot hurtling out of the air ever closer to the river. Wait--
Tony fixated on where the red dot was slowly approaching the water, his heart pounding. "What is that? Friday, zoom in."
The video clipped towards the red dot, and Tony gasped as he recognized a body twisting through the air. And not just any body.
Spidey.
His thrusters whined before forcing the suit forward towards the dot that had disappeared from view. He turned in air, hovering over the body of water, before glancing down with a fearful swallow. A heat signature was illuminated.
"Kid," he gasped.
Tony dove down immediately and broke through the water's surface. It was dark underneath, but he could make out where the kid was. He wrapped his metal arms under the kid's armpits before shooting back into the blissfully cold air.
"I've got you, kid. I've got you."
Spidey didn't respond.
Ch 1 // Ch 3 // Ch 4 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
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housepartyprotocol · 4 days ago
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Chapter 4
Summary: Bucky Barnes’ little sister, ex-winter soldier was taken as a child and trained. In and out of cyro for years she has the physical age of a 17-year-old. After being in Wakanda for two years, she is rejoining society and going to school. What happens when she meets a boy, and what happens when somebody wants her back?
Warnings: language
Series masterlist
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4 from the college prompts ned and Peter platonic please and thank you
sdjfhsdjfhsd I want to say I didn’t get sent to counseling but honestly I probably did
prompt: “I’m gonna get sent to counseling if I turn this in.” “English paper?” “Yeah.” (from this list)
Read Warranting Counseling here on ao3
~~~
Above him, Ned heard the sounds of… was that laughing or crying?
“Uh Peter?”
A wheezing Peter Parker’s head popped out from the top of their bunk bed. “Yeah?”
“You doing’ okay, bud?”
Peter let out another broken giggle. “I’m gonna get sent to counseling if I turn this in.”
“English paper?”
“Yeah.”
Ned sighed. Of course he was having a mental breakdown over an English paper. “Need me to proofread it?”
“Would you? It’s done, I just need to make sure it’s alright.”
“Sure. Email it to me. You can check over my physics homework while I read it.”
“Ooh, gimme.” Peter made grabby hands for his notebook which Ned gave up willingly.
Once the paper loaded on his laptop, Ned switched it to editing mode. “What’s the prompt?”
“Life changing event,” Peter answered.
“Oh dear god. Uncle Ben, Spider-Man, Germany, or something else?”
“Germany isn’t believable to normal people. I went with ‘my ex-girlfriend's dad was a super villain who tried to kill me because I happen to work for Tony Stark.’ Obviously.”
“Obviously,” Ned muttered. “And what did you learn from that?”
“Um. Date women who are already more than capable of kicking my ass without the help of a parent?”
“And?” he prompted.
“And… listen to adults when they tell me to stop because I tend to get in over my head and might die?”
“Bingo. Now, how do you work that into your thesis without using the word ‘ass’?”
There was the sound of a pencil tapping. “Through my experience of dating a woman with a criminal as a father who happened to have a vendetta against my boss, I learned that strong willed, independent women are inherently safer to be around due to the lack of murderous fathers and to listen to adults when they try to prevent me from getting murdered by said fathers?”
“Yeah, that’ll work.” Ned made a note in the intro paragraph. “Minimum work count?”
“750 words. Maximum is 1,500.”
“Cool. Give me 20 minutes.”
A while later, Ned knocked on the bottom of Peter’s bunk. “I fixed all your grammar errors and made notes on some of your evidence, but otherwise you’re good. It’s definitely gonna get you sent to counseling, but at least your grade won’t suffer.”
“Fantastic. I marked your consistent problem areas, but like, what’s up with your theoretical equations?”
Ned groaned. “I think it’s the whole theoretical thing. You know me, I’m hands on keys. If I can see it, I can understand it.”
“So draw it,” Peter said.
“What?”
He hung backwards off the bed to face Ned. “Here-“ he pointed at one set of numbers “-this should work this way, right?”
“Well sure, but then the end result would- oh. Oh shit okay.”
“Got it?”
“Got it. You going on patrol tonight?”
“Yeah.”
“I’ll leave the window unlocked.”
They worked in silence for a bit longer. Finally, Ned groaned and tossed his notebook to the side. “I can’t do this anymore. I’m going on a walk and then I’m getting dinner. I’ll see you whenever you get back.”
“Yep.” Peter gave him a thumbs up from where he was still typing.
Ned grabbed his keys and went for the door. “Wait.”
Peter paused and looked up at him. “What’s up?”
“Who’s your professor for that class?”
“Harrison, why?”
“APA format.”
He blinked. “Son of a bitch, you’re right. Thanks!”
“Not a problem dude. Later!” he called as the door closed behind him. Maybe he should go to counseling if the stress of his school work is getting this overwhelming.
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delusionalwriterr · 4 days ago
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Toothbrush
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Pairing: College!Peter Parker x Reader
Summary: Your best friend, Peter Parker, was known to be the campus crush. However, little do they know that your name is the only one he’s moaning in bed and little does he know that you’ve been falling for him despite the boundaries of your “agreement”.
Word Count: 3.6k
Warnings: sexual themes, cursing, angst
A/N: This wasn’t a request, but it just sort of popped into my head as I was listening to the song “Toothbrush” by DNCE, but I hope you still enjoy! Peter and reader are both over 18.
Masterlist
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FRIDAY
You collapsed onto the bed as you gasped for air, Peter beside you doing the same just as breathless. The sounds of your heavy breathing filled the room, a common occurrence during your ‘hangout’ sessions.
“Jesus…” you trailed, your eyes fixed on the ceiling. You heard Peter let out a soft chuckle as he leaned over the bed to hand you a glass of water that was sitting on the bedside table.
“Nope, it’s just Peter,” he laughed as you took the glass with one hand and playfully hit his chest with the other. “You’re an idiot,” you mumbled before taking a swig of water, letting it soothe the dryness of your throat caused by the screaming from earlier.
You set the glass down on the table by your side of the bed then pulled the covers over your body. Closing your eyes, you sighed. “I should probably go,” you stated to Peter who was resting his head on your shoulder, staring at you.
Silence filled the room except for the faint sound of the clock on Peter’s desk. This was a normal night for you and Peter. One would turn up on the other’s door, expecting to receive or provide some sort of relief for the other. It became an unspoken rule between the two of you that this was a regular thing. It usually happens thrice a week, but it would become more frequent if you were both stressed like when it was finals week or if Peter had a particularly rough patrol.
It would always end up in messy sheets and tangled up limbs as you two would make each other forget about your days. It was just you and Peter, and nothing else mattered.
However the fairy tale would always end just as quick as it started because that was all you and Peter had to offer each other. Nothing was ever discussed further than the current arrangement and after a serious discussion, you both agreed to keep things as it is for the best.
“Yeah, you should,” Peter replied, leaning over and placing a quick kiss on your lips. You stood up to collect your clothes only to remember that Peter ripped your shirt into two a few hours earlier. You turned to him, “Can I borrow a shirt again? You seem to make it a habit to rip everything I’m wearing whenever we fuck.”
Peter laughed before walking towards his dresser to grab one of his larger shirts. It was an oversized Black Sabbath tee, one of his favorites to give you after every time. “Things would be easier if you just showed up naked every time you come here,” he quipped, throwing the shirt to you.
“Screw you, Parker.”
“You just did, (Y/L/N).”
You scoffed as you grabbed your bag and slipped on your shoes. With Peter on your trail, you tiptoed towards the door, careful not to wake his roommate, Harry. “I’ll see you tomorrow, man,” you said, offering him a smile before opening the door and exiting his dorm.
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WEDNESDAY
“Oh, I’m really flattered, but you’re not really—“
“I’m not your type, huh?”
“It’s not you, it’s me, really,” Peter replied sheepishly as he stared at the girl in front of him who just handed him a note to confess her feelings while you desperately tried to melt into the ground to hide yourself from second hand embarrassment.
You were quietly having your lunch with Peter at one of the benches scattered around campus when Leah, who you recognized to be a year younger than you and Peter, shyly approached your bestfriend and handed him a note.
“Hey, I could set you up with one of my friends if you’d like?” Peter suggested, earning a disapproving look from Leah. You watched her shake her head before snatching the piece of paper from Peter’s hands. “No thanks, I’m not that desperate,” she muttered through gritted teeth before stomping away.
“Sheesh,” you teased, dragging out the word as you fiddled with your sandwich. This wasn’t anything new for Peter as he was well-known around campus as the pretty boy genius, Stark-prodigy, who also happens to be Spiderman. Girls (and the occasional boys) would always come forward to tell Peter that they’re attracted to him in some sort of way, but he would always turn them down for some reason.
“That’s the third time this week and it’s only Wednesday,” you pointed out. He didn’t reply, but you saw him slowly try to reach for the other half of your sandwich which was out in the open beside you. Your hand quickly flew out of your pocket to swat him away.
“Ow,” Peter whimpered, cradling his hand to his chest. “Look who’s keeping count,” he quipped, smirking. “Don’t worry, baby, they could never steal me away from you,” he continued, making kissy noise towards you only to have you shove his face away with your hand.
Your hand remained covering his face, a desperate attempt to silence him, only to have you recoil in disgust upon feeling something warm and wet on the palm of your hand. “Gross!” you exclaimed, wiping the saliva on Peter’s hoodie as he doubled over in laughter.
“You’re an idiot,” you groaned as his laughs died down. “That’s not what you said last Friday,” he retorted, raising his eyebrows. “Yes, it was. I literally call you an idiot every time we hang out.”
Peter laughed, “Touche,” as he was finally successful in snatching the other half of your sandwich.
Silence consumed the both of you as you ate your sandwich whilst admiring the scenes in front of you. By the lawn, the cheer team was practicing their newest routine (much to Peter’s delight), and across from them were a few couples practically eating each other’s faces off (much to your disgust).
“So prom’s coming up,” Peter piped up with a mouthful of bread and turning to you, “you coming or what?”
You groaned, snatching the juice box beside him and taking a gulp. Sandwiches and juice boxes, a seemingly childish meal for two college students, but no one was looking.
“You know I don’t go to those things, they’re excessive and unnecessary,” you explained, earning a snort from Peter. “Would it help if you had a date?”
It was your turn to snort. “And who would want to be my prom date?” you asked turning to him only to be surprised that he was already staring at you. His curls were slightly all over the place as they tousled from the lightest breeze, perfectly framing his angular face.
“Me,” Peter answered in a tone that would’ve fooled you into thinking he was serious.
“Really?” you stuttered, an unfamiliar feeling pooling in your chest as your gaze stayed fixated on your best friend who was doing the same. Suddenly, it was just you and Peter— the rustling leaves from the trees above you and the shouts from the cheerleaders growing distant.
You saw Peter nod ever so slightly, but just as you were about to say yes he opened his mouth to say, “So I won’t feel bad after rejecting anyone’s promposal, you know?”
You tried to hide the way you deflated after realizing that he was just doing this so that people would lay off of him during promposal season. You masked your disappointment with a roll of your eyes. “You really are an idiot,” you quipped, finishing his juice before throwing the box at his face, completely catching him off guard as it bounced off of him and onto the floor.
“Hey, what was that for?” he whined, picking the juicebox off of the floor and throwing it in the bin beside him. “You know, for someone who claims to have super speedy reflexes, you’re pretty bad at catching things,” you retorted, standing up and dusting off bread crumbs from your lap. Just then, you heard the bell ring, signalling that break time was over.
“Well flying juice boxes are exempted from those super speedy reflexes,” Peter replied, mirroring your actions.
You laughed as you slung your bag over your shoulder, preparing to part ways with him for your next class. “You never answered my question,” he reminded.
You paused, trying to restrain yourself from saying yes. You were just friends anyway, what was wrong with going together just so he could get away from the girls that constantly swarmed him?
There was something inside of you that prevented you from agreeing to these terms. It was new and uncomforting, a juxtaposition to the overwhelmingly addicting feeling you experience whenever you have sex with Peter. Nevertheless, you decided to listen to it just to see what will happen.
“I know you’re not used to hearing this, but no,” you said, tauntingly.
“What, why?” he asked, quickly following behind you as you started to walk away from him. You shrugged your shoulders, trying to think of another excuse for your rejection other than the fact that you just wanted to go to prom with him if he wasn’t just going to use you.
“I told you I don’t go to those things, Parker. It’s a waste of my time,” you replied, nonchalantly. You saw him nod his head in understanding, before quickly turning to you. “Give me a chance to convince you otherwise,” Peter suggested, hope filling his eyes.
For someone who was just using you to get girls off of his back, he sure was determined to get you to agree, you thought.
Reluctantly, you whined, “Fine, you have one week.”
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MONDAY
Peter proposed to you again four days after the initial proposition.
“So prom?” he asked, in between breaths as you tried to catch your own beside him. You laughed as he pulled the covers over both your bodies and guided you towards him. You immediately wrapped your hands around his torso and buried your face in his neck.
“If you think mind-blowing sex is enough to convince me to go to prom with you, think again,” you chuckled as he groaned. “Boo,” Peter pouted as he pushed you off of him. You took this as a sign to stand up and pick up his discarded shirt to put it on. “What can I say, if you want me you gotta work for it.”
Peter rolled over to his side and propped his head on his hand to look at you. His eyes quickly scanned over your figure as you were slipping into his oversized shirt, the material barely covering your bare bottom half. Involuntary, his tongue peaked out to swipe his bottom lip at the sight of you.
“That certainly wasn’t the case when you showed up at my door earlier,” he teased, causing you to grab a nearby pillow and throwing it at his face.
“What’s the rush, it’s barely eight,” Peter asked as he took note of how you were already getting ready to leave which was unusual for you, considering you hang around until the early hours of the morning every time you and Peter get together.
“I have a date,” you replied, stepping into the bathroom. Peter’s ears perked up upon hearing the word as he swiftly stood up and trailed behind you. “A date? Who the hell with?” he asked, an unfamiliar feeling creeping up his chest. “Some guy from my literature class,” you replied as you searched for something by his sink.
“Crap, I forgot to bring my toothbrush,” you muttered to yourself, but was loud enough for Peter to hear. From the corner of your eyes, you saw Peter reach for something on the shelves and realized it was an extra toothbrush.
“Here, I bought one in case you wanted to leave a toothbrush at my place,” he explained, handing it to you.
Trying to hide the shock on your face, you politely accepted it. “Offering me to leave a toothbrush at your place? That’s a big step for someone who claims to be afraid of commitment, Parker,” you teased, turning on the faucet and began to brush your teeth. Peter only laughed in reply before placing a firm slap on your ass and heading out of the bathroom to let you prepare for your date.
“You want me to go back to your dorm to get some clothes?” he shouted from outside.
“No,” Peter heard you reply as the bathroom door opened, revealing you wearing his shirt with a pair of high waisted jeans.
Peter scoffed as he approached you, placing his hands on your waist. “You’re seriously wearing another guy’s shirt to a date?”
You laughed, placing your hands on his and detaching them from your torso. “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” you replied, placing a chaste kiss on his cheek before grabbing your bag and heading out the door. “Later, Parker!” you shouted, leaving Peter behind to process what he’s feeling.
Later that night, Peter woke up and almost threw his lamp at you when you entered his dorm. “Woah, hey, it’s me!” you exclaimed as you froze in your tracks.
“Sorry, I know you hate it when I use the spare key, but I left my keys here and I didn’t want to wake you up,” you explained, shly walking to Peter’s desk where you had left the keys to your dorm.
“You should’ve just knocked, I would’ve woken up either way,” he mumbled, sleep still evident in his voice as he rubbed his eyes. “I know I’m sorry, I thought I could beat your Peter tingle,” you replied as Peter rolled his eyes.
You picked up the keys and stuffed them into your bag as you began to make your way out of the room. Suddenly Peter piped up. “Stay the night,” he murmured, causing you to stop in your tracks. Slowly, you turned to him, “What?”
You never spent the night. Ever. It was one of the first rules you talked about upon coming to your current arrangement.
You and Peter, no matter what the circumstance, are not allowed to stay the night. Even if it was the apocalypse and zombies were walking along the hallways, you weren’t allowed to stay the night. So your heart is racing at the fact that Peter is willingly breaking that rule, but for what reason? Did he actually want to spend the night with you or—
“Maybe I can convince you to go to prom with me with my insane cuddling skills,” he continued.
Right, everything still goes back to prom.
You stood there and stared at his face. His stupid, gorgeous face, who was looking at you with the prettiest eyes. His eyebrows were furrowed in anticipation as he awaited your answer, almost as if he really wanted this. But with a sigh, you replied, “You know the rules, Parker. We can’t spend the night.”
Without another word, you turned away and walked out the door, failing to catch the look of defeat on Peter’s face.
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FRIDAY
You were studying when you heard a series of knocks coming from outside. Quickly setting your textbook aside, you ran towards the door to open it, only to reveal Peter whose chest was heaving, cheeks were red, and eyes dark.
“Hey, what’s u—“ before you could finish the question, Peter’s lips were already on yours as his hands framed your face. Closing the door behind him, he began to guide you to the nearest wall, as his lips parted from yours and his hands immediately went to unbutton your pajama top. You teased, “Slow down, tiger.”
“Shut up,” Peter said through gritted teeth as he began to nip at your neck. Your hands flew to his head and slightly tugged at his curls, earning a low groan from him and causing him to plant his lips back on yours.
He was having a very bad day. Not only did he have to turn down three girls who confessed today, but his professor gave him a grade he didn’t deserve for a paper he worked hard on. Other than that, he didn’t get to see you all day so it made things worse.
His hands traveled down to your thighs and squeezed them, making you instantly jump and wrap your legs around his waist. Your lips moved to work on his neck, immediately going for his sweet spot, drawing another heavenly sound from his mouth.
He traveled towards your bed as he set both of you down, with you straddling his hips. Successfully unbuttoning your top, your hips began to grind just where Peter needed you the most. His hands instantly flew to your hips, fingers digging into the flesh as he threw his head back. “Fuck, baby, just like that,” he groaned, only urging you to continue. “You like that, tiger?” you whispered in his ear, nipping at it as you pulled away.
He nodded in response. “God, when I’m done with you, I’ll have you saying yes to be my date to prom in no time,” he muttered, immediately causing you to stop.
You lifted yourself off of Peter and began to get dressed again. “What?” Peter asked, sitting up and looking at you.
“Seriously, Peter? Is that really what’s on your mind when we hang out? I feel like every time we talk, you always find a way to make it about prom. I mean, are you really that desperate to take me so that your army of girls will get off your back?”
Peter raised his eyebrows and let out a scoff in disbelief. “You really think I’d just use you so that people will lay off of me? Do you really think I’m that shallow?”
“Well, isn’t that what you said when you asked me in the first place?” you retorted as you started pacing around the room, something you usually did when you were anxious.
Peter stood up from the bed and walked to the opposite side of the room, running a hand through his hair. “Have you ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, I wanted to take you to prom because I actually wanted you to be my date?”
“How was I supposed to know, Peter? You could’ve asked anyone to be your date to prom. Anyone! You chose me because I was the closest to you, because you were comfortable with me, so why would I think I was someone special?”
“Because you fucking are!” he shouted, catching you off guard. He ran a hand down his face in frustration. “God, (Y/N), you’re hot as fuck, but you’re one of the densest people I fucking know.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” you asked, crossing your arms as he began to walk closer to you.
“Has it never crossed your mind that I reject every person that’s confessed to me because I’m already in love with someone else?” Peter asked.
You shook your head. “It never has because you said it yourself, you don’t want to be in a serious relationship.”
Peter let out a bitter laugh. “Yeah, I don’t want to be in a serious relationship if it isn’t with you, dumbass!” He was now right in front of you. “Haven’t you noticed that I haven’t been with any other person after we started whatever this was? I love you, (Y/N). I have for a long time now and I know I’m taking a huge swing here, but please tell me you feel the same way. ”
It was at this moment that you felt the world stop spinning and time stop running. It was as if the world around you was crumbling down, but at the same time being rebuilt again. With those three words that came out of Peter’s mouth accompanied by your name, you were rendered speechless and frozen in your place.
It was at this moment when all the pieces started clicking as if you finally found the missing jigsaw after searching for years.
He loved you and you loved him back.
But at what cost?
Reluctantly, you took a step backwards. “This wasn’t part of the agreement…” you stated.
“Screw the agreement! Let’s scrap that and make a new one,” Peter exclaimed, taking another step closer to you, hope filling his eyes once again. It was the same hope his eyes had when he first asked you to prom and when he asked you to spend the night.
“What if things go wrong? What if we don’t work out and I lose you forever—“
“You won’t, baby. I promise you,” Peter interjected, placing his hands on your face for the second time this night. Only this time, it was gentle— the gentlest touch you’ve ever felt from him.
“Okay.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah.”
Peter threw his head back in relief and glee. “Great, thank god. I thought I was gonna have to go down on one knee or something,” he muttered, causing you to let out a laugh. “You’re an idiot.”
“Does this mean you’ll go to prom with me?” Peter asked as you pretended to think. “On one condition.”
“Oh yeah, what is it?” he asked, holding you by the waist.
“We are not having sex under the bleachers,” you replied and now it was Peter’s turn to laugh. “Whatever you want, baby, you got it.”
“Looking at you being all soft for me,” you teased, putting your arms around his neck and resting your forehead against his. Peter smiled before placing a chaste kiss on your lips. “I’m always soft for you.”
“That certainly wasn’t the case when you showed up at my door earlier.”
“You’re an idiot.”
“That’s my line!”
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A/N: I’m gonna write my first Loki fic soon!
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housepartyprotocol · 4 days ago
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Chapter 3
Summary: Bucky Barnes’ little sister, ex-winter soldier was taken as a child and trained. In and out of cyro for years she has the physical age of a 17-year-old. After being in Wakanda for two years, she is rejoining society and going to school. What happens when she meets a boy, and what happens when somebody wants her back?
Warnings: don’t think anything
Series masterlist
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baloobird · 4 days ago
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By @baloobird for @iloveirondad
Rating: Gen
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark, May Parker & Tony Stark, May Parker & Peter Parker
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, May Parker
Summary:
Tony doesn’t say anything at first.
He’s just standing in the doorway of his lab, watching in perplexion at what’s before him.
His kid, this person who always does so much good in the world is doing something the older hero would never expect in a million years.
Peter is currently taking money out of his father figure’s wallet.
-
This is my submission to the @friendly-neighborhood-exchange! To my giftee, I had so much fun with your prompt, I really hope you like this!! 💜💜💜💜💜
Prompt Used: Peter is in a bad situation and he decides to steal money from Tony who of course finds out and is very angry about it.
*taglist under the cut*
Taglist: @bestofirondadfics @canonismybitch @starkaroos2034 @dexteritymisdirectionsuggestion @peuty @sdottkrames @podcastsandcoffee @desirexwolf @theoneexile-blog  @just-the-daydreamer @my-leg-is-not-a-chew-toy @diminajackson @theofficialdeannawinchester @whatwasmyprevioususername @ironmanismydad @tinyandsteven @folklorianwoods @intuitive-mathgeek @legendarypenofeating @petermyspiderson @zselenophile @and-so-my-adventures-begin @fandomsofrandom @cluusheen @pxterbpxrker @innocent-until-proven-geeky @aizawa-wears-crocs-old @jaelyn-raquel @iron-damn @anyonewantathroatsweet @m0ther-of-dragonsx @chaos-with-a-pen @wisterispidey @bthtallmadge2 @the-reverse-mermaid @icymapletree @kitkatwinchester @hold-our-destiny @ghostinthebau @tmifangirl24 @loverofstuffsworld @stuck-in-a-fictional-universe @drowned-in-books @peanutdoodles @hauntedbybleachella @aelinasardothien @tonystark-built-this-in-a-cave @stillwaitingformagic @7peternotparker7 @justme--emily @dykeragee @jmercer1997 @swagfictionreadingnerd @fallenstar07 @starkfridays @romeoandjulietyouwish @spiderling-the-meme @iron-loyalty @tonystarkdadmode @hopefuldreamers-world @riseuplikeglitterandgold @joyful-soul-collector @loveliestdisappointment @ladyigraineofhistory @whumpstash
Let me know if you wanna be tagged/removed!
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iwritedumbshit · 4 days ago
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Comfort in My Shadow
Chapter 1: Hand in My Pocket
By @iwritedumbshit for @iron-mum
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Relationships: Peter Parker & Tony Stark, Minor Pepper Potts/Tony Stark
Characters: Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Ned Leeds, James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Summary: Soulmates are definite in the universe. Nobody knows exactly why they exist, or what dictates who is bonded to who, the only thing known is that they are never wrong. But Peter's not so sure about that.
Living at the group home had taught Peter a lot about laying low and how to stay alive when nobody cares. But he'd always clung to the hope of the shadow at his feet reflecting his soulmate that had watched over him for years.
Typical that his soulmate is actually a superhero that Peter is convinced shouldn't want anything to do with him. Maybe, just this once, the Universe was wrong.
But Tony Stark is desperate to prove that it is right.
—-
The red glare of the setting sun set the City That Never Sleeps in a persistent glow as the last of the golden rays disappeared behind the pillars of the city, outlining every shadow. There was the silhouette of buildings, of cars racing along the road, of people stalking down the street in the usual New York bustle, and there was the shadow of Spider-Man as he swung overhead. Not that it was really his shadow.
Where there should have been a perfect replica of the boy clinging to a web as he dipped low (one that outlined his lumpy goggles and rumpled suit) there was instead the poofiness of fluffed up hair and sharp slacks. The movements of the shadow replicated the boy, like they were supposed to, but nothing else indicated that this shadow belonged to the vigilante swinging through the street.
And Peter liked it that way.
Observing the difference between people's shadow had always been a game to the boy, to watch a thin woman walk around while a curvy figure followed her, or too see a little boy being tracked by the silhouette of a tutu and puffy hair. Until very recently, the teenager had loved to stare at his Aunt and Uncle's shadows whenever he could, always fascinated by the way they reflected each other with a broad smile on his face.
Now, though, neither of them had shadows, and Peter didn't smile as often. He didn't feel like there was much reason to. It had been his fault, after all. His fault they'd never get to see flashes of each other when their shadows disappeared in the dark, his fault they'd never walk under the sun with their shadows in line with the other. It was his fault they'd bled out in an alley so dark their shadows hadn't even been there to comfort them as they left.
Spider-Man rattled an anxious, forced breath through his tight lungs as he propelled himself upwards on his webs. He instinctively looked for the taped together watch he kept on his webshooter to catch the time, though he knew he had plenty. Still, after his last time missing curfew at Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, he wasn't anxious to repeat the experience. And he did have to swing across the bridge to make his way back to Queens since he'd branched out to Manhattan for the night.
The cracked watch read that it was barely seven, though, so Peter still had a few hours before he had to be back. Mr. Fowler didn't care much what they did as long as they were back before ten, unless it was one of his "days," which really just meant he was as drunk as a skunk and completely willing to smack a few boys upside their head and be unreasonably dickish about the rules. But other than that, Peter was usually left to his own devices to patrol around the streets of his city and try everything in his power to make up for what had happened barely six months ago.
But it would never be enough.
Peter stopped on top of a billboard that clung to the side of a building, landing clumsily and only barely managing to slip his fingers around the poster for a new movie. His world swam--just a little bit--as he regained his bearings. He shook his head at the dizziness that had become a constant ever since moving to live at the Queens Pinehill Group Home for Boys, but it wasn't like it was their fault. All the boys were reasonably well-cared for, with regular mealtimes, a generous curfew, and easy access to schools, but they weren't really equipped to deal with Peter.
The teenager held back a sigh as his stomach grumbled painfully. He'd eaten the last of his stash of granola bars that he'd bought after a tourist he'd helped had forced a few bills on him. He didn't like taking money, but he couldn't deny that those bars had helped for the two weeks that he'd made them stretch.
Forcing down a hungry grumble of annoyance, Peter turned to survey his shadow instead, the one that had always been the same. Ever since he could remember. Even when he'd been in kindergarten, there'd been the tall and protective shadow of his soulmate behind him. Despite everything, and despite how selfish it felt, it was comforting to look down and see that familiar crop of hair. He reached a hand up to touch his head, never quite used to the way his fingers brushed up against cloth but the shadow underneath him swept through fluffed up tufts.
His soulmate's hair today was messy, not as poofed up as it usually was. Today must be a casual day for him or something, which weren't very often, but when they did occur they often lasted for days. Other days he could make out the outline of glasses and the sharp angles of clothing that made him think of a business suit, though he couldn't be sure. They were only a shadow after all. Peter wondered what his soulmate thought about his own shadow, if he'd noticed anything odd, but, then again, Peter's shadow probably just looked like he was wearing a hoodie all the time, and maybe what could pass as some pretty obnoxious glasses. He'd used to have those anyway.
Peter tilted his head, enjoying the way the hair on the sidewalk underneath him flopped with him. For some reason, Peter found it very amusing when one had hair showing and the other didn't. It just looked a little ridiculous. Recently, it had been the teenager who had been donning the hoodie over his head, but Peter assumed that his soulmate was usually wearing something too. More often than not, he'd look down to see the hair gone, covered by a sharp outline that really had him questioning his soulmate's fashion sense.
The thought brought a snicker to his lips. He nestled more comfortably atop the billboard. There hadn't been any good action in a while anyway.
"Where do you think we should go next?" he asked aloud, and he didn't know if he was asking himself or the shadow of his soulmate underneath. He didn't know why, but he'd always felt like they'd give really good advice. "There hasn't really been much going on, and I haven't seen any of those alien-weapon guys since the knock-off Avengers robbed that bank. Maybe we could try and find out whoever you are again. That'd be kind of fun."
'Kind of fun.' Yeah, right. It was the only thing Peter looked forward to anymore.
Before, he'd always been excited to graduate, to go through college and apply to Stark Industries, his Aunt and Uncle's smiles egging him on the entire way. He'd looked forward to band and robotics and, while he'd stayed, decathlon too. It wasn't as fun as it had been before, but Ned was still there. Liz too. They were nice, and it was good to see their smiles and hear their occasional pitying encouragement that usually only pissed him off (not that he'd ever let them know, they were just trying to help after all), but they weren't what Peter was looking for.
Then again, Peter wasn't 100% he knew what he was looking for either.
He was pretty sure his soulmate was something to look forward to. Ben and May had always described what it felt like to find your soulmate, to be able to stare at shadows your entire life until you found who you were looking for. You would touch their hand and your shadows would switch, and when you let go, the shadow remained to your universe approved bond again. The satisfaction of finally piecing together the flashes you got whenever both shadows disappeared into the darkness. It was something Aunt May and Uncle Ben had always enticed him about, always encouraged.
Maybe if he could find his soulmate, everything would be better. Everything would be perfect, like May and Ben had always proclaimed.
But that was childish, and Peter knew it. Soulmates didn't fix everything, and meeting his soulmate certainly wouldn't improve his situation. They were a regular person with a regular life. He was a second-rate vigilante that had been orphaned twice. Besides, nothing could really help Peter. Not that he needed help. He just needed to grow out of the system so he could make something that actually felt like life rather than the scraping by that it had become.
By the time Peter moved from his spot, it was because his shadow had dimmed with the entrance of New York darkness. He stood up, barely able to make out the faintness of his soulmate, and flicked his wrist out. He still had a little bit before he had to be back at the group home, so he reckoned he'd be fine. He'd be back in time that Mr. Fowler wouldn't give him another strike and he could still eat dinner. He'd do his homework, go to bed, and the next day would be the same horrible numbness of before.
"Any ideas on where the best crime is, Matey?" he asked his shadow, "Maybe superpowers can leech over to soulmates. That'd be really cool actually. Soulologists haven't been able to prove anything other than memory flashes. We could break that entire field of study if that were true."
His soulmate, of course, didn't answer. But the scuffle of a fight and a warped sound unlike anything the teenager had ever heard, did.
 ---
 Tony glanced around his emptying lab, a tired glint in his eyes as he did. Large portions of the tower had been emptied and organized into large crates as they anticipated the move from the tower to the compound. Most of his lab had stayed the same throughout the process, as staff weren't allowed up here, leaving it mostly up to the billionaire himself to pack up his things. Glancing around at the piles of disheveled work and unfinished projects, he might have to get some help anyway. Or, if he started packing now, he'd have plenty of time to do it by himself.
He turned back to the suit he was working on.
The horribly challenging nanoparticles as part of his newest suit were barely coming together. It was incredibly difficult, which made it the most fun thing he'd worked on in a while, which also meant he'd been working on it for two days straight. It was a good thing Pepper was working in another country at the moment and wasn't there to make him go to bed or take a break or anything worthless like that. Then again, he guessed Pepper wasn't the only one with the power to do that.
"Sir," Friday started, "You are approaching your extent of working without a break. I suggest you go to sleep."
"I'm almost done, girl," he replied at the same moment the gauntlet he was working on sparked. He hissed in pain as he withdrew his newly burnt fingers, his vision swimming slightly. He blinked furiously to clear the dark spots from his sight. "Okay, maybe a break isn't such a bad idea."
"Great choice, sir."
"Don't patronize me," he scolded, grabbing a nearby jacket to throw over his stained shirt and a pair of sunglasses despite the late hour, "I'm taking a break, not going to sleep. Keep the lab running for me, I'm gonna go grab a coffee."
"Might I suggest a calming tea instead?"
"You most certainly may not."
Tony stepped into the brightly lit elevator, staring down at his shadow as he usually did when he was alone. The sight of the usual hoodie brought a smile to his face. His soulmate must have a hoodie addiction as strong as his coffee one, though he usually preferred whenever he could see the kid's curly hair before it was eventually tamed down by what he guessed was a godly amount of hair gel.
His soulmate had turned fifteen recently, he knew. August tenth was the first day he'd had a shadow, one of a tiny baby curled up at his feet. He remembered fondly what it had felt like to look down one random morning and see the dark blob at his feet, the confusion and the joy as he'd realized it moved with him. After thirty-one years, a soulmate of his very own.
He'd loved to watch them grow through their shadows, though his favorite was the little snippets he'd get of their life. Like for everyone else, they were very rare, especially in the bright cities he was accustomed to living in. There was always just a little bit of light somewhere in New York, but he remembered vividly the little snatches he'd managed to get from his soulmate's life when both of their shadows faded into a shade of the dark completely.
A deeply nerdy room with Star Wars posters. The bustling streets of a city. And, more recently, dark alleyways that had made him more than a little nervous. His soulmate was only a kid after all, but it was a bit hypocritical for him to be any kind of judgmental after his own teenage years, and it wasn't like he could do anything.
Other than what he was doing now.
The flashes of the streets he'd seen in his soulmate visions had reminded him deeply of New York (though they could just as easily have been from another city in the States), so Tony had made the effort to go out more whenever he could. Usually he couldn't stay for long, he was pretty busy after all. Still, local coffee shops and street vendors had become frequented by Tony Stark as he'd searched. He knew it was a little ridiculous to parade around the streets of New York City in the hopes that he would stumble upon his soulmate, but after everything that had happened with the team, he could at least try to throw in a little optimism.
The mechanic blinked out thoughts of the broken team as the elevator opened on the empty bottom floor, making his way through the darkly lit lobby and out the door into the streets. Street lamps were lit brightly, and, coupled by the headlight of cars and the alternating colors of traffic light, his soulmate was able to walk alongside Tony as he crossed the road and began down the sidewalk.
"Any recommendations for a good coffee shop, my little shadow?" Tony asked his soulmate. The people on the street paid him no mind, not that it was unusual for people to talk to their shadows. "If you do live around here, you must have at least a few recommendations. Well, I guess you are a kid, but I drank plenty of caffeine when I was your age, so."
He shrugged to himself, stopping at a street corner and pursing his lips as he thought. He'd really only explored Manhattan when looking for his soulmate, but walking across the bridge into Brooklyn and Queens would take much too long. He did want to get back to his project after all.
Tony made a turn, resolving to just find whatever new café he could. Maybe he'd explore Brooklyn or Harlem after the move. Or maybe Queens, he had been wanting to try and meet that Spider-Kid for a while anyway. He'd thought he'd had an opportunity when Rogers and his merry band had taken Barnes and left in Germany, but everything had gone by just too quick and he didn't even know the guy's identity. Not for lack of trying. The guy was pretty good at avoiding cameras, it almost made Tony jealous.
The billionaire walked for about fifteen minutes, passing by every coffee shop he'd already been to in search of a new one. There were plenty in Manhattan, but Tony had been to so many at this point it was a little ridiculous. He stopped, ready to pull out his phone and see where the nearest one he could find was, when he caught sight of a man out of the corner of his eye.
He frowned. How long had that man been following him? A few blocks at least, he recognized that green jacket from when he'd passed by Beany Business.
The light turned from an orange hand to a white silhouette, and Tony hurried across the street. He hadn't brought any kind of weapons with him, and he really wasn't in the mood to cause some kind of scene. If he was quick, he could probably lose this guy and still get to his coffee shop without some kind of annoying disturbance.
Tony allowed himself to be swept up in the crowd of late-goers, moving with them quickly. He let that crowd trickle by and joined another, and then joined one more of a drunk afterparty before finally slipping down an alleyway when he could no longer see the green jacket. He blinked in surprise as he caught sight of a coffee shop just across the street, bright red letters reading 'The Coffee Club.'
He smiled. Perfect.
Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he strolled down the alleyway towards the cheap looking café. And then a figure stepped in the entrance, blocking the view from across the street and slapping Tony's easygoing smile off of his face.
The billionaire immediately tensed as his eyes roamed over the green jacket, the covered face, and finally the gun pointed towards him. His eyebrow raised as his gaze rested on the weapon that wasn't really a gun. It was splayed out like a robotic arm, shiny and just a little bit clunky but clearly dangerous.
"Hands in the air, Stark," the man ordered. Slowly, he followed the man's orders. "Phone and glasses on the floor. Now."
"I'm gonna have to move my hands for that," Tony snarked. The man gave him a slight snarl.
"Just do it. Slowly. And throw them over here."
"Sure," he agreed, fishing his phone out of his pocket and taking his glasses off of his face before letting them clatter to the ground. The man kept the robotic gun trained on him as he grabbed the devices, placing them in a pocket in the thick of his jacket. Tony frowned. "So, what is this? A kidnapping? Taking my wallet? Genuinely interested."
"I've been watching you for a while, Stark," the man said, "You go out at night a lot. I knew it'd only be a matter of time before I could get what I want from you."
"And I would love to know what that is. As well as where you got that neat little arm-gun there. Is that Sokovian?"
"Shut up, Stark. I don't need your snark, just some information, and I'll take your wallet too."
"Mind leaving me enough cash for a coffee?"
The gun cocked. "What did I just say?"
"Hmm, I forgot."
"Very funny."
"Thanks, I thought so too," Tony joked. "Anyway, back on topic of what this is all about."
The gun whined and then quickly shot, whizzing past Tony to burn the wall just behind him. Tony turned his head to glance at the large ring of smoke before facing the man in the green jacket again.
"Shut up," he ordered again. "No more words from you unless they're the password into the DODC."
"There's more than just one password. You got a pen? This could take a while."
"No, you're coming with me."
"Oh, so this is a kidnapping."
"I can't have you changing the passwords and alerting anyone of this," the man answered like it was the most obvious thing in the world, but Tony could already count five thousand ways this could go wrong for Green Jacket Guy. One being that Tony wasn't up for being kidnapped at this moment in particular, and he definitely wasn't going to let this schmuck take him while he was just trying to get a decent coffee. "Keep your hands in the air and don't move, or else I'm hitting you with this."
When he gestured to the gun, Tony just gave him a bored look. "You know you're not getting any passwords or anything if you kill me, right?"
The man flicked a switch on the gun. "It's set to stun. It won't kill you, but it will definitely knock you out for a few hours."
"Good to know."
Green Jacket Guy approached, a pair of cuffs poised to slip around his outstretched hands. The man's steps were jauntily hesitant, but clear apprehension didn't stop the man from grabbing his hand and forcing the first cuff around him. He moved to click it around the billionaire's other wrist, but was met with a snapping punch to the face.
Green Jacket Guy stumbled back, a hand pressed against his newly bloody nose in a grunt of clear pain. Tony dove when the man quickly gathered himself and raised his gun, forcing himself behind a trash can as it whined and then fired. The trashcan forced itself against Tony, slapping the mechanic against the wall with a shouted groan, his shoulder barely breaking his fall. That was going to bruise in the morning.
Forced to his knees, Tony scrambled back up only to be faced with the robot-arm-gun pointed directly in his face. It charged up in its now annoyingly familiar warped whine, and there was nowhere to go. He was trapped and he was not excited to be blasted by this thing and if he got kidnapped again Happy was going to have a heart attack, he might as well--
"Hey! Watch where you're pointing that thing!" called a squeaky voice. Tony and Green Jacket Guy both turned as a red blur shot into the alleyway, a thwip! knocking the gun from the man's hand and the red blur knocking into him. The man was barreled to the ground with a pained groan before he was covered in a flurry of webs, the Spider Guy standing over him. "Pointing guns at people is illegal y'know! Sorry to be a party pooper, but I will be calling the police."
Tony blinked, forcing himself to his feet fully as the vigilante turned around, the lenses of his goofy goggles widening in comical shock.
"Oh, whoa."
 ---
 "Oh, whoa," Peter breathed as he caught sight of literally Tony-freaking-Stark dusting off his pants as he stood up. His eyes instinctively fluttered to the man's shadow, expecting the long hair and slim figure of Pepper Potts but catching sight of a short and rumpled man instead. Huh.
"Whoa yourself, kid," Mr. Stark responded, stepping over to where the man was knocked out cold and webbed to the ground. He dug through the man's exposed green jacket and pulled out a pair of glasses and a sleek phone, but Peter's eyes were locked onto the strange gun on the ground. His eyes narrowed at how similar it looked to the ones at the bank. "What're you doing out here? You're a Queens guy aren't you?"
"Oh, uh, yes-yes, sir. Usually, but I was just, uhh, I was just around and I heard the fight and, and yeah..."
Mr. Stark turned to look at him, an eyebrow raised in suspicion as he glanced over Peter's ratty superhero suit. He shuffled on his feet nervously, trying desperately to keep himself still and untense his shoulders, not that it had much affect. The teenager choked down agitation, trying his best to not glance at his watch. It was getting late and, while Iron Man was his second favorite Avenger, the last thing he needed was Tony Stark finding out his secret identity.
"What's your name?" Mr. Stark asked.
"Spider-Man."
"And your real name?"
Peter paused. "Spider-Man. On my birth certificate and everything."
Mr. Stark frowned, and Peter thought he was going to demand a legitimate answer, when he shrugged and stepped away from the guy on the ground. "Fine. You helped me out, I won't bother you about it. For now."
Peter let out a low sigh, muttering, "Thank you, Mr. Stark."
"I am going to bother you about other things though," Mr. Stark said, "I've been meaning to talk to you, and no time like the present."
"Oh, uhh, I kinda have to--"
Peter was interrupted by the painful rumble of his stomach. His face turned as red as his mask, and he was thankful the man couldn't see his embarrassment, not that that stopped the superhero's teasing smirk. With a wave, the man stepped out of the alleyway. "C'mon, let's go."
"Go--go where?"
"Coffee. I came to get a good black coffee and I refuse to leave without one."
Peter glanced down at the guy he'd webbed. "What about him?"
"My AI already called the police. They'll be here soon. Now, c'mon. I'm not gonna ask you twice."
"Yeah, yeah. Ah, okay, Mr. Stark."
 ---
 Peter shuffled his feet nervously, his arms crossed and constantly turning so that he could peer at the time on his watch. Twenty minutes. Not looking great, but it wasn't like Peter could really leave while Mr. Stark ordered his coffee. That would be rude, and plus it was Iron Man, so, overall a bad idea.
He glanced over from where he was leaning against the brick wall of the coffee shop to stare at the clear door. Like a final answer to his prayers, the billionaire stepped out, a drink carrier in one hand and a small brown bag in the other. The man didn't look exactly like he'd thought he would. Tony Stark had always been almost hilariously imposing in his mind, with a sharp suit and a sharper goatee, but this man was softer. Rougher.
His clothes were stained, his leather jacket rumpled, his hair messy and his face worn with the lines of memories. He seemed almost familiar somehow, and it unnerved Peter just as much as it comforted him.
"Here ya go, kid. Black coffee for me, hot chocolate and a snickerdoodle for you," Mr. Stark said once he'd walked over. Peter blinked in surprise, but managed to accept the drink and the bag with stumbling fingers.
"Oh, wow. Thank you, Mr. Stark, but you really didn't have to."
"Billionaire here, Spider-Kid. I can afford a cookie and a drink."
Peter thanked him again and, after a moment of hesitation, pulled his mask up to just above his nose, starting on the cookie. It was almost impossible to not fork it down immediately with how starved he felt. Mr. Stark waited patiently until he was finished with his snickerdoodle to start speaking, and Peter's ears burned.
"So," Mr. Stark started, "New York's benevolent vigilante that directs tourists and saves kittens from trees. Doesn't seem like a very exciting gig."
Peter narrowed his eyes, shuffling on his feet again nervously. What was his game?
He shrugged, taking a sip of his hot chocolate before answering, "It doesn't have to be exciting. I'm just trying to help out."
"Why?"
"Why--why help?"
"Exactly," Mr. Stark pointed, and suddenly he wasn't strangely familiar, he filled up the whole street. "Very few people help just to help, and even fewer dress themselves up in something that embarrassing just to help a few old ladies across the street. Why are you doing this? I gotta know. What's your MO? What gets you out of your apartment and into that onesie in the morning?"
"It's not a onesie," he muttered. Peter forced his fingers not to grip around the cup as images of a bloody street and dying shadows filled his head, instead redirecting the agitation into the scrunch of his face. He imagined he had his usual and embarrassing puppy scowl right now. He tried to release it with a sigh, but he didn't feel much better as he answered. "Because...because I've been me my whole life, and I've had these powers six months..."
Mr. Stark hummed in confirmation, goading Peter on. He swallowed down sick at the image of his aunt's brown hair drenched in blood before he continued. "I...I tried to move on at first. Just, hey! I have powers and I'm just gonna ignore it and showboat it. But...when you can do the things that I can, but you don't...and then the bad things happen..." He took a deep breath as Mr. Stark leaned in closer. "They happen because of you."
"So you wanna look out for the little guy? You wanna do your part? Make the world a better place, all that, right?"
Peter nodded fervently. "Yeah, yeah just looking out for the little guy. That's--that's what it is."
Mr. Stark nodded, his eyes glanced Peter up and down quickly before he asked softly, "And what about looking out for you?"
Peter startled, glaring at the man defensively. Did he just look like shit that much?
"What are you talking about? I'm doing fine."
"You reek of someone who hasn't been taking care of themselves, kid."
"I'm not a kid," he muttered, "And I'm fine."
"Yeah? Your arm's shaking."
Peter glanced down to see that, yes, his arm clutched around the hot chocolate was indeed shaking. Peter switched the drink to his other hand before shoving his arm in the pocket of his hoodie. "Just tired."
"It's barely ten."
"And I've been patrolling for--did you say ten?"
Mr. Stark seemed perturbed by his sudden shift, but Peter couldn't be bothered at the way his voice had lowered and shaken with slight fear or the way his entire self had tensed. Peter tore his hand out of his pocket to glare at the watch on his wrist. 9:57. Shit.
"Shit--fuck!" Peter exclaimed, pulling his mask back down. "Oh, shit. Sorry, Mr. Stark, I gotta go. Thank you so much for the hot chocolate, sir!"
"Kid, wait--"
He flicked out a wrist onto a nearby building, bending to leap when Mr. Stark's hand wrapped around his wrist.
Peter blinked at the odd sensation, holding back a flinch at the unexpected touch and tensing as his vision seemed to leap just a foot to the left before fizzing back to what it had been before. It left him dizzy and disoriented, but he only had a minute to get all the way from Manhattan to Queens. Maybe if he made it home within ten minutes he could get away with it or--
"Oh, my God..."
Peter turned at Mr. Stark's voice, realizing the man's hand was still gripping his wrist. He followed the billionaire's horribly stricken gaze to stare at whatever had left him dumb. Peter's jaw dropped as he caught sight of his shadow. It was his shadow.
The fluffy hair of his soulmate was suddenly gone and, instead, Peter's masked silhouette stood in its place. He glanced down at Mr. Stark's shadow, actions slow and jerky as he caught sight of it perfectly reflecting his own perked up jacket collar and outline of glasses. Carefully, Mr. Stark let go of his hand in a motion that felt like he was testing the waters. The shadows switched. The hooded figure shadowed Mr. Stark while the fluffy hair stood where Peter's shadow once had.
"What the..." Peter trailed off. His breaths felt lighter all the sudden. Fast. Too fast. The street was closing in, the cars passing nearby too loud and too bright and oh God his soulmate was Tony Stark. He swallowed painfully, tears biting at his eyes as he struggled for a breath.
His soulmate wasn't supposed to be Tony Stark. Peter couldn't--Peter couldn't live up to that! Mr. Stark had saved the world and he was an Avenger and he was the smartest man in the world and Peter was just some useless kid who got bullied and had a curfew and Jesus Christ he was going to be so late Mr. Fowler was going to be so mad and--
"Kid?" Mr. Stark asked, placing a hand on his shoulder. Peter flinched and ducked away, the cup he'd been holding clattering from his hands as he stood opposite the man. Defensive. A shadow flashed against the man's face.
Peter read it as disappointment.
"I'm sorry," he choked out. He shot a web and leaped away, but he could never escape his shadow.
Ch 2 // Ch 3 // Ch 4 // Ch 5 // Ch 6 // Ch 7 // Ch 8
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writing-wh0re · 4 days ago
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HOLY MOLY! 
It’s happened, I have hit 1,000 followers! When I joined back in February I did not expect to even make it to 100 followers, let alone 1000. This is incredible, I love you all so much and cannot thank you enough. I’m so glad you all enjoy what I create, I enjoy writing for all of you ❤️
  So with that being said, I have come up with a little writing challenge for you all  ❤️  Rules:
✏️ You don’t have to be following me to participate in this challenge, however it would be amazing to see what my wonderful followers can produce! ❤️ Otherwise a reblog of this post would be very appriciated!
✏️ Must be a reader-insert, considering this is what my blog consists of. 
✏️ Can be any of these characters that I write for: Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Draco Malfoy. Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Spiderman - Peter Parker, Loki Laufeyson. Sebastian Stan, Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Tom Hiddleston.  Billy Hargrove. MGK (Colson Baker). Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester. 
✏️ Blurbs, One-shots, Imagines and Series are accepted. If you do write a series please create a masterlist or include previous chapter links. 
✏️ Smut is prefectly okay, however please ensure you include warnings on the chapter and a ‘read more’ insert. (Over 18′s only, please ensure your characters are of age as well.) 
✏️ Any other genre is fully accepted, this is time for you to let loose and explore different ideas / concepts! Include any and all warnings at the begining of your fic!
✏️ This should go without saying but no PEDOPHILA, R*PE, RACISM OR INCEST ALLOWED. (You will be blocked if this occurs.) 
✏️ Choose one prompt from the list and send me an ask (Ask box only and off anon please) of which one you have chosen and the character you’ll be writing it for. Only one person per prompt - first in, first served. 
✏️ A crossed out prompt means it has been taken - once a prompt has been written the author will be creditied beside it. 
✏️ If the word prompts don’t excite you, I have also listed a few different AU concepts / Tropes and have provided different songs (with links) for you to write about. Same rules apply - one person per idea. 
✏️ No minimum word count however anything over 500 words please insert a ‘keep reading’ break. (Ctrl - Shift - K on windows computers)
✏️ Not mandatory but just to make it easier for me please bold the prompt you use within your story! Please also list which AU / Trope / Song you choose. 
✏️ Hashtag your writing with #writing-wh0re-requests1k
✏️ Please tag me once you have posted your fic so I don’t miss it! @writing-wh0re 
✏️ Due date: July 4th, 2021! (In your timezone) I hope that’s plenty of time for you to get creative x  However if you’re creating a series and need more time, please message me. 
✏️ After the 4th of July 2021, I will create a seperate masterlist to make it easier for everyone to find. 
Prompts are below the cut. 
Prompts: 
1. Really? You’re choosing them over me? @meph1stophelian
2. So I mean nothing to you? - @midgardianweasley
3. Do you ever shut up? 
4. Have you been drinking? @annyadawson
5. If you had just asked me, I would have. 
6. Shut up for a second. 
7. Do you not understand what I’m trying to say?
8. Kiss my ass. @harleytonks
9. Fuck you, pay me. 
10. Can we not make this work? 
11. Um, how about go fuck yourself. 
12. You didn’t seriously say that? Did you? 
13. Play nice. 
14. This means the world to me. 
15. I can do this, with or without you. 
16. If you don’t do as I say, you’ll die. 
17. You’re marrying him? 
18. I can’t believe you. 
19. Get it through your head. 
20.  We’re just friends. 
AU Prompts: 
1. Sibling’s Best Friend AU
2. Roommates AU
3. CEO AU
5. Professor AU
6. Body Guard AU
7. Prince/King AU
8. Sailor / Pirate AU
9. Apocalyptic AU
10. Vampire AU @skarlettmikaelson
11. AU of your choice. @samineisntmyname
Song Prompts (enjoy my mixed music taste): 
1. Leave the Door Open - Bruno Mars
2. Drunk Face - Machine Gun Kelly 
3. Dangerous - LEFT BOY
4. Heat Waves - Glass Animals
5. Daddy Issues Remix - The Neighbourhood
Tropes: 
1. Blind Date - @horrorxweasley
2. Forbidden Love
3. Long-Distance Love
4. Secret Relationship
5. Love Triangle
6. Fake Date / Fake Dating. 
7. Enemies to Lovers
8. Friends to Lovers
I tried to give you a variety of options! I hope you all enjoy what you create, I know I will enjoy reading it all. Thank you again for your amazing support, love and encouragement. Stay safe in this crazy world! xoxo
Don’t forget to tag me in the stories and #writing-wh0re-requests1k 
Tagging a few mutuals who may want to join / will reblog for me  ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
@maybesandohnos @gaycatlord-stuff @midgardianweasley @horrorxweasley  @justadreamyhufflepuff @hufflepuff5972 @mathletemadison @black-like-my-soul @harleytonks @meph1stophelian
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blindingdutchy · 5 days ago
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lamentation | ONE
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{peter parker x fem!reader AU}
based on All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
SERIES MASTERLIST
word count: 2,725
warnings: thoughts of suicide! unsuccessful attempt! depression, grief, angst
18+!!! minors stay away! TRIGGER WARNING.
Nothing made sense anymore. The world was upside down, all messed up, and you were hanging by a thread. How could it have been a year since the incident? How could you be okay with being older than her now?
Grief is something that nobody expects to be easy, but you never expected it to be quite so hard. Every day people promised that tomorrow would be better, but it never was. It never got better. It never got easier. You were fairly sure it never would, because if it still hurt this bad after thirteen months, twenty-two days, and six hours, how could one more hour, day, month, or year bring any sort of respite?
It couldn't. It wouldn't. Sometimes you wondered if this was your punishment. Maybe you felt this way because you deserved to, because you had earned a life time of suffering when you let her die. Sure, big sisters are supposed to look out for little sisters, but at the cost of their life? That couldn't go unpunished.
Every day was the same since she died. Wake up, wish you hadn't, feel everything and nothing all at once, and go to sleep. It was a strange and horrible existence; people weren't meant to feel so many big things at the same time. The guilt, the shame, the anguish, the longing... it consumed every part of you like a black hole until you were left with nothing. Until you felt nothing, thought nothing, you were nothing.
They were all the same until today. It was your birthday, your eighteenth birthday to be exact, and for once that ever present black hole in your chest was gone. Instead of waking up to the constant weight of all those heavy emotions on your shoulders, you woke up with the familiar numb emptiness you felt at the end of every day.
There weren't words to describe how much that terrified you. Every single day since your sister died, you'd wished endlessly for those painful feelings to go away. You'd begged for relief, for peace, and you'd taken solace in the hollow of the evenings. Waking up already vacant and listless did not bring the comfort you dreamed of.
You were officially older than her. You'd finally reached that first milestone she'd never reach, and the thought of it punched a hole in your chest so large you wondered if there was anything left of you at all. It wasn't fair--how could you celebrate the big ticket birthday she'd yearned for so anxiously? You couldn't.
You didn't deserve to celebrate. You didn't deserve to achieve all those goals she never had the chance to. You didn't deserve to live through all the years, experiences, moments that she never would. You didn't deserve to live.
It was all your fault, after all. It was your fault that she was there that day, it was your fault she lingered behind, and it was your fault she died. If you'd just gone shopping like she'd asked instead of insisting on going to the park, she'd still be here. If you hadn't frozen like an idiot, she'd still be here.
With a mind swimming with all the reasons everything would be better if you just weren't around anymore, you snuck out of your bedroom window. It was finally dark outside; you'd managed to make it through the day for your parents. But, with the day over, you couldn't hold on any longer.
The letter you'd written for your parents to find was tucked under your pillow, and with one final glance around the bedroom you used to share with your sister, you made peace with your life. This was for the best. Everyone would be so much better off if it had been you instead of her, and now you were going to make things right. It wouldn't bring her back, but at least you wouldn't be there as a reminder of what should have been.
As ready as you were, you didn't really have a plan. There were a million possibilities as far as how you could execute your desires, but none of them seemed right. It had to be fast, though, and something that didn't require much work. If it took effort, conscious thought and execution, you wouldn't follow through. You'd learned that the last time.
That was how you ended up on the roof of one of the more swanky apartment complexes. It was a tall building, taller than those surrounding it, and a fall from that height would surely do the trick. Strangely, the moment your feet dangled over the ledge with your bottom firmly planted in place, your mind went blank.
All those thoughts of the stress and pain you caused went silent, and you finally could breathe. With a deep exhale, your body relaxed for the first time since the incident; you didn't feel any of the bad things anymore. There was no pain, no grief, no sadness, nor were there any of those empty or numb feelings. You just felt peace.
The peace was short lived as you looked down to the street far below, though. This was it, this was the end, and suddenly your mind was racing with all the what if's. What if it could get better? What if it didn't work? What if this made everything worse? What if this was a mistake?
What if, what if, what if, "Whatever, just shut up." you gasped, clutching your head in your hands to keep it from spinning. "Get it together, (Y/N), this is the right thing to do."
Pulling out the letter you'd written to your sister, you opened it and cried for the first time in months. You'd long ago stopped crying; despite how many horrible things you'd been feeling, the tears just never came. But reading the words you'd written to her, thinking of her as you came to terms with your decision to join her, it was as if a metaphorical flood gate opened.
Thirteen months, twenty-two days, and seven hours. You couldn't wait any longer. You couldn't do it, do anything, anymore; you just needed to rest. The clock was running out, and your time was up.
"You can do this." you whispered, "For once in your life, do something right."
With shaky hands and weak knees, you scrambled up onto your feet and stood atop the ledge. You weren't that tall, but somehow the new perspective made the drop look so much longer and your stomach heaved with fright. Sobbing, you stumbled back to your knees and threw up the little bit of cake you'd forced yourself to eat earlier that evening.
You wiped the sick from your mouth and stood up again, this time with panting gasps for air and knees that shook so violently you feared you might fall before you were ready to. Maybe that would have been for the best, though, because the longer you looked down the more doubts you had. No one would ever know it was an accident if that were the case.
A sudden noise behind you startled you, and your heart seized in your chest as your knees gave out and you tipped dangerously over the edge. You didn't fall, though, because a sticky substance latched around your arm and dragged you back over until you were laying on the roof. For a moment you just laid there, staring up at the empty sky where the stars were all drowned out by the city lights, and you tried hard to figure out what had just happened.
"Are you okay? Oh--oh my god, are you hurt? What were you thinking? Shit, oh shit, Karen, what do I do?" A masked head leaned over your face, blocking the starless sky from your view, and all the feelings came flooding back like a tsunami. "Um, can you hear me?"
One feeling stood out against the current, and your body tensed as you were overcome with seething, white hot rage. An anger like you'd never felt before; you were furious. How dare he stop you? How dare he ruin everything?
It was Spiderman, the friendly neighborhood hero who'd been gallivanting around Queens for some time now, and that made you even angrier. Spiderman was one of them, one of the ridiculous superheroes who'd killed your sister without a single care in the world. He was one of them, and he'd just stopped you from finally fixing everything they had ruined.
You stood so fast you nearly threw up again, but you swallowed the bile down and hissed, "You should have let me fall. I wanted to fall."
Spiderman pulled you back with a firm grip on the web that was still wrapped around your arm, stopping you in your tracks as you stomped back toward the ledge. "Hey, stop! I'm not going to let you do this." he shouted, but his voice was more nervous than commanding.
"Get out of here, Spiderman. You're not saving the day by stopping me, okay?" you snapped fiercely. No matter how hard you pulled against the webbing holding you back, you couldn't break free. It didn't budge when you pulled at it, clawed at it, or even pried it. "What the hell is this shit?"
He pulled you in further, and you stumbled over your feet as you tried to keep your distance. "I'm not going to let you do this. You don't need to do this." he repeated, this time more firmly.
For a moment you were silent, studying the masked hero as he stared back at you with a hidden face. "You don't even know me. Why do you care?" you tried again, but your voice was softer, more fragile. The numbness was creeping back in again and you knew that you wouldn't be able to follow through anymore, even if he let you go.
"I do know you, (Y/N), and you don't need to do this. We can--I can help you. Let me help you."
Your eyebrows furrowed as you narrowed your eyes suspiciously. How the hell did he know your name? Did you know him? Even though your mind was running wild with unanswered questions, you seethed, "You can't help me. Unless you can go back in time and kill me instead of my sister, you can't fucking help me."
The eyes of his mask widened at your shout, and he stammered, "I--no, I can't do that, but I can help you. I can be your friend, you... you can talk to me. I know what it's like to lose someone, (Y/N)."
You scoffed, "Do you know what it's like to watch a family member die right in front of you? Do you know what it's like to see someone get killed, and it's all your fault? You can't help me!"
"I do, actually." he stated.
Your entire body slumped at the revelation, the anger leaving you as the numbness finally took over completely. It was silent for a few long moments as you cried noiselessly, the only sounds being those of your still frantic breathing and the bustling traffic far below. "If you know, then you know why I have to do it." you whimpered.
Spiderman dropped the web keeping you in place as you collapsed onto your butt, your legs too weak to support you anymore from exhaustion. "I know why you think you have to, but I also know why you're wrong. This isn't the answer." he responded, tentatively taking a few steps closer to you.
You didn't respond, looking up at him as you wiped your cheeks and nose weakly, and he took the chance to continue, "I'm going to make you a deal. I'm going to take my mask off and show you who I am. If you still want to do it after, fine, but at least you'll know who will be blaming themselves afterwards."
True to his word, his fingers creeped under the edge of his mask as he stared you down intensely. Your breath faltered as you watched, completely still as you realized he was serious. Spiderman was going to reveal his identity to you, and you knew that once he did it was game over. As much as you felt the world would be better off without you, you couldn't bare the thought of leaving someone behind to feel the way that you did.
So, stubbornly, you squeezed your eyes shut tightly and refused to look. "I'll wait here all night if I have to. Besides, I could just say my name, you know. I'm pretty sure you know me too."
"Don't." you pleaded.
"Open your eyes, (Y/N). You want this, right? Knowing who I am shouldn't change anything, then." he urged, his tone soft despite his harsh words. "It's Peter. Peter Parker. I've sat behind you in at least two classes since freshman year, and I've lent you pencils before. You always give them back, and you always let Flash copy your homework even though he's a total dick to you. You--"
Your eyes snapped open as you cut him off, "Stop! Just because you know things about me doesn't mean you know me."
It really was Peter Parker, and the numbness faded a little to make room for anxiety and guilt. You knew Peter had lost too much in his life; his parents and his uncle, too. Could you add your name to that list? Could you jump when you knew he'd blame himself for the rest of his life?
You couldn't. You wouldn't. Peter's brown eyes were filled with worry and sadness as he studied you, his mask clutched tightly in his fist. When you remained silent, he sat down and spoke quietly, "I know enough to know the world would suck without you. I could be your friend, you know, you don't have to do this alone."
"I don't need friends." you huffed.
Peter frowned briefly, before rubbing his nose and hiding it again. "I did just tell you my biggest secret, (Y/N), so I think we kind of have to be friends now." he finally rebutted, a faint twinge of humor in his voice, "You might not want friends, but you do need one. I'll be your friend."
You stared back at Peter blankly, uncaring as he shifted uncomfortably in your silence. Why did he want to be your friend? He already got what he wanted. You weren't going to go through with your plan, and he wouldn't have to live with guilt like you did every day. So, why was he still here?
Part of you wanted to believe he really cared, because he seemed to pay a lot of attention to you to notice the little things you did, but you knew better. He didn't really care about you. He only cared that you knew his secret and now you had leverage over him. You could out him if you wanted to, and that meant he had to keep tabs on you.
"I don't need friends." you repeated stiffly, "Don't worry, Parker. Your secret is safe with me."
His eyes widened as he stammered, "That's not--"
"Save it, Peter. Can you please just get this shit off of me so I can go home? I want to go to bed." you cut him off with a deep sigh, gesturing to the web that was still hanging from your arm.
He looked like he wanted to argue, to further plead his case, but after a few moments he visibly wilted and gave in. "It'll dissolve in two hours. I'll... I'll see you at school, (Y/N)."
It was a statement, but it sounded more like a question. You knew he was still hesitant to let you out of his sight, fearful that you'd go back on your word and follow through, and this was his way of confirming you wouldn't do just that. Achingly stretching up off the ground, you muttered, "Yeah. Bye, Peter."
Peter tugged his mask back over his head, but didn't make any move to leave until you were opening the door that lead back into the building. As you stepped through the threshold he gave a forlorn wave, before jumping over the ledge and swinging away. The door shut behind you as the weight of the world settled on your shoulders once again. You'd failed, like always.
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ronbowie · 5 days ago
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Let’s face it Spies In Disguise is basically just Sam Wilson and Peter Parker being idiots on a mission together.
I’m right, and you can’t tell me otherwise.
(Robo Hand is the Winter Solider if you wanna be imaginative—)
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