We Had A Bonding Moment There

August 06, 2018:

Stark finds out a bit more information after a meeting with his apprentice? Intern? Something or other. Peter Parker. That damn spider guy.

Stark Tower

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Stark Tower.

The home of one Tony Stark.

A man of many thoughts. Inventions. Actions. Loves. Hates….well…just a man of many things. Too many things sometimes. Which is why he sometimes falls asleep. Passes right the hell out. Which is what he is doing righ tnow. Tumbled over on a sofa in the corner of his penthouse apartment. A tablet precariously perched on his chest, wedged against his arm and the back of the couch. Tetering and ready to fall at every subtle breath…

…"Sir?" JARVIS' voice is just slightly exasperated. "Sir? Wake up, sir. You're supposed to be meeting Mister Parker soon. Sir?" A pause. "…oh bother."

ZzzzzzzzzzzZZZzzzz…

Stark replies.

"…perhaps there is something to Miss Potts suggestion of him getting more sleep…"


For someone who barely went outside Queens until only four years ago, Peter Parker has been to a lot of different places. He's been to Europe! (Technically!) Alternate universes! A building shaped like a T! How crazy is that?

But still, the one that always leaves him with a center sense of wonderment no matter how many times he's there is Stark Tower. Blame it on nostalgia, maybe. For as much as he's made it on his own… this is where things really got started for him. He knows it well, and yet it still manages to surprise him sometimes.

Others, well — others are things he's come to expect. Like Tony being late for appointments. Or Tony not actually being at appointments and sending an Iron Man Suit to talk through. Or Tony just sending an AI with a pre-programmed script that tries to guestimate the things Peter might say to him. Sometimes he gets pretty close.

Or sometimes, Tony works a bit too hard, shocking as such might be. Things Peter Parker has become accustomed to.

Which is probably why, as Tony Stark slumbers, Peter Parker is not waiting for him in the Tower.

*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*

He's waiting outside.

And there, pressed to a window, knocking on the reinforced glass, clings Spider-Man, white lenses wide as he presses his face against the clear material to peer inside to ask in a gentle, sweet, soft voice,

"HEY MISTER STARK ARE YOU SLEEPING"

… Okay, maybe none of those things are accurate.

"MAN I REALLY WISH I BROUGHT LIKE A BUCKET OF WATER OR A FEATHER OR A PERMANANT MARKER OR SOMETHING. JARVIS, DO YOU HAVE A PERMANANT MARKER."

Not even remotely.

But it's the thought that counts.


And slip goes the tablet.

THUNK it goes on Tony's head.

"SONOFA—"

And up he sits, bobbling the tablet so he doesn't fling it across the room to peer blearily around the room. One hand runs though his bed-head hair as he squints towards the noise at the window.

"No, Mister Parker. I don't have a permanant marker. I'm sorry." JARVIS says with that quiet english amusement as the window hisses open to let the Spider Man inside the building even as Stark covers a yawn with a fist and waves the boy from Queens inside.

"What time is it?" Stark's greeting might leave some to be desired. "What day is it?" A longer pause. "…what was I doing…JARVIS what was I doing?"

"Mapping out missing celestial systems to find an elder god's vehicle, sir."

"Oh yeah."

A shake of his head before he looks back towards Peter. A smirk. "I see you made it up here in one peace again, kid. Maybe I should install some defense systems up here and make it fun for ya?"


"Wow," begins Peter Parker, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, with a hushed sense of amazement as he slips inside of the room, making himself comfortable crawling his way across the ceiling as those white lenses whirl into a squint. Like someone on the dawn of a revelation.

"… I don't think I realized it until now, Mister Stark, but you're…" Amazing? A brilliant multi-tasker? An inspiration??

"… really, really old."

… or that.

"No offense. No offense either, JARVIS! You're cool. And young. Are you? I don't really know AI age too well. Are you like drinking age or-?"

The things he says to fill empty space.

Settling, cross-legged, on the ceiling directly above Tony, the young webslinger rubs the back of his head as Tony ruminates on his earlier activities. "That's not a thing. You just made that up. Like what, Cthulu drives around in the Fhtagnmobile? Come on."

His fingers wiggle, lenses going wide.

"'In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits Tokyo Drifting.' OoooOOOoo."

"Uh. Sorry. Sorry all around!"

And so, clearing his throat, Spider-Man quiets anew; such things can't last forever though, especially when people are speaking /at him./ Come on. That's just asking for it. "Oh yeah, it was a cinch!" he declares, lenses slit in something like pride or amusement or pridemusement as he rubs the back of his head. "… err. Not that I'm saying you suck at security, Mister Stark. Did you get that impression, or did I just make you think it by saying it, because, uh, I mean — y'know. Super impressive security. Please don't install more. I like not dying. It's working out for me."

change the subject peter change the subject

"Soooo… … nappy time, huh?"

Good job.

idiot


"Gee thanks, kid. I never noticed." Stark's reply comes with a smirk as he gets to his feet and stretches. The ARC reactor easily visible under the t-shirt he wears. The wound of his own pride that he carries like a badge now.

"Technicly, sir. I am not conventionally old enough to drink by most reckoning. I am one of Mister Starks more recent creations."

"He's only a baby," Stark replies with a flash of a grin. "Younger than you are," This towards Peter before he shakes his head slightly. "And no, not Cuthulu. Atum. Old Egyptian solar god. Apparently related to Thor? I wasn't paying too much attention. I mean Immortal level drama is like high school times twelve. Its like they have nothing better to do than play mean girls over and over."

A smirk though crosses his face. "A cinch eh? Huh. Well then. I'll keep that in mind. JARVIS do you think you can think up some things for Mister Parker next time he visits?"

"Of course, sir!" A pause. "And don't worry Mister Parker. You won't die."

A shake of his head. "Nappy time aside, what you been up to kid? I know you've been talking with the rest of them over at the T. Right? There was something I wanted to pass on…"


Gee thanks, kid. I never noticed.

"I mean — y'know. Anytime. That's what I'm here for. Probably."

Grim reminders. That sounds like Spider-Man's job. Right?

Hands settled in his inverted lap, the webslinging vigilante cants his head faintly towards the right as they discuss JARVIS' age. "Well, like, you never know, right? Maybe old AIs are young for us. Don't worry though JARVIS, you'll get there. We'll hold a party for your coming of age birthday. When is your birthday, anyway? … what would I even get you for a present…? Hmmm…"

This will be on his mind for a while.

Scratching the side of his masked face, he tilts his head down to peer at Stark curiously as he speaks of old, ancient beings of vast power and — "So is he like the Rachel McAdams of his group or the Lindsay Lohan? Is he in the clique or out of it? Either way, sun god, so you're probably looking for, like, a convertible, off the top of my head. Would a god drive a convertible?" He shrugs, oh-so-helplessly.

"I don't know, I don't do god stuff that often. But stuff belonging to someone like a 'sun god' probably has to have some kinda, I dunno, unique solar energy signature to it, or something, right? Gods don't strike me as the subtle type."

"Oh my god, I can't believe I'm having a serious conversation about Egyptian sun gods' convertibles, what is my life anymore? This is seriously awesome, you don't even know, Mister Stark! … Well. … You probably know. Just… … shut up."

And with that eloquent speech delivered, Spider-Man proceeds to laugh awkwardly and give an oh-so-meek, "You don't have to do that JARVIS I was just playing around and — oh you're already — uh — thanks??" Shoulders sag in defeat.

"Your faith means the world to me."

Really.

But, he can only meander around a topic for so long, and as Tony turns the lens on him, Peter hesitates. For just a single, solitary second. "— I'm good. Yeah. No. I'm great, Mister Stark. I'm just…" Trying to make sense of everything that happened in Hell's Kitchen.

"… you know, staying on the ground. Relatively."

But when the distraction comes in the form of the Titans, he's all too happy to jump on that, one lens narrowing in curiosity as he tilts his gaze Stark-wards. "Oh yeah, the Titans! They're kind of my super team. They're good people. Red Robin needs to work on his wordplay game but… uh. Anyway. What's up, Mister Stark? Whatever you need, I'm your guy! Numero uno, right here! Let me have it!"

A second passes.

"Wait wait it's not something bad is it—"

NO TOO LATE


"Well believe it, kid." The one known as Iron Man replies with a shake of his head. "This is something that took a lot of me getting used to, too. But yeah…man I hope he totally has a space convertible. That would be amazing. And I'd totally bring it back and give people rides." A beatpause. "I bet its something like an old boat though."

A shake of his head then before he smirks once more. "No it isn't anything bad, why do people always assume its something bad when I say things like this! …but the Pink Bugie /totally/ needs some more wordplay work. I think its a Batfamily thing. The training sucks out their sense of humor."

A pause again. "Anyway…see…" He raises his hand and a holoscreen opens. "…I've gotten reports of these new agent guys showing up. Some of them work for Hydra. Some of them work for some /real/ assholes. Like super bigots. But the point is I've seen these new guys show up multiple places that are entirely unrelated. I don't like it. I don't trust it. And just tell the Titans ta keep a look out for people that regenerate bullets, and have a unfortunate tendency to explode."


"Or like, a chariot, or something. With… I dunno. Flying space camels."

Given Thor, Spider-Man feels this is a reasonable guess as to the vehicle of a god.

"It could be worse though, y'know? Like… I fought a guy who got around on a pair of super-stilts. He called himself Stilt-Man. Stilt-Man." Slowly does Peter Parker rub his forehead.

"It's… it's not easy sometimes, Mister Stark."

Eventually, flipping up (down) onto his feet, the webbed vigilante makes his way from the ceiling down across the wall in a leisurely walk as Tony starts to prep up his message. He pauses exactly once:

No it isn't anything bad, why do people always assume its something bad when I say things like this!

"… Er. … … … Did you want me to answer that honestly, or is this one of those rhetorical things-?"

Holoscreens skirt around that awkward moment nicely; clearing his throat, Spider-Man hops onto the floor like a normal person (relatively) as those images spring up. He follows along easily enough, putting together the pieces quickly. "Okay, so like, if they're unrelated… designer soldiers? Someone selling tailor-made grunts off to the highest bidder, or-"

And just tell the Titans ta keep a look out for people that regenerate bullets, and have a unfortunate tendency to explode.

"… explode?"

Entirely too quickly.

Lenses hiss to a squint. Behind the mask, Peter Parker frowns. "Like… 'running too hot' kinda explosion? Do these guys vent excess heat and stuff? Because, uh… we might have run into something like that. Maybe three months ago? A guy who was flipping cars like they were pillows, you know, real hot to the touch. I swear, he…" Those lenses squint further, as if trying to shut out some memories. "… he didn't look like he knew what he was doing, Mister Stark. All disoriented and everything. We took him out, brought him to the lab — we found nanomachines in his bloodstream. And then something happened, and those nanomachines started going -haywire- inside of him, and he… he…"

He just gestures, at the holoscreens.

Exploded.

"Like… someone sent a signal, and…" His head shakes. "That anything like what you're dealing with here-?"


"I'm having a fragile week, lets just keep it rhetorical." Stark quips right back towards the kid in the suit before he nods easily enough. "Yeah…thats what its looking like. We need to figure out just what the hell is going on…like how they are doing thi—"

/…explode?/

Slowly Stark turns to look towards Spidey there on the floor. Narrowed eyes and everything. His eyesbrows slowly raise up as Peter's story tumbles out slowly and…

"And you didn't tell me about this? WHY?"

The exasperation in his voice is there before he shakes his head and sighs. "…but yeah. Yeah pretty much exactly like that." A pause. "Nanomachines though…you're sure?" A frown at that, tugging down his features. That is disturbing. There are way too many pieces adding up and he isn't sure he likes the picture its making.

"See if the Robin guy minds someone coming over to look at the data would ya? " Because Jane should look at it.

Then a pause.

"But…he wasn't /going/ to explode and then something made him explode?" A longer pause. "…experimental one perhaps. Or a prototype."

His moment of ire forgotten Stark starts to pace now, snagging a bag of dried mango to munch on and absently offers some to the masked man on the ground.

"Yeah though, that is just like it. Which means it started around here…and…its been around for awhile…a few months…" A longer pause. "…I really don't like where this is going."


And you didn't tell me about this? WHY?

The frustration is clear in Tony's voice. It instantly makes Peter feel like he's screwed up, somehow, in some way he didn't conceive. It's not a pleasant feeling — and one he has been experiencing far too often. And so —

"Because it didn't involve you!" — he lashes out.

White lenses widen a bit; red-wrapped hands fly into the air. "I'm not — like — a psychic, Mister Stark, or some weird wizard guy with rubbermaid gloves or something! I can't spider-sense all the — whatever — crazy pies you've got a finger in! We didn't have any idea what was going on and I tried — we tried — to help him and it just — god! God! We were just… trying to figure out what happened. We tried and…"

And came up short.

Like so many other times.

The mask helps to hide fatigue, or frustration; but it can't hide the sag that comes after. His hand comes up to his forehead, rubbing there for a moment. A sigh escapes his lips.

"It was definitely nanomachines," he says, with no less than absolute certainty. Goofy though he may act — Peter knows his stuff. "We got him sedated, brought him back to our lab at the Tower. If it wasn't nanotech, it was something… y'know, super duper close to the core concept. If they've got something like that in their system…"

Well, it explains a lot, really. Just not nearly enough.

A second passes by; the vigilante looks at that dried mango for a moment, before taking it with a quiet, hesitant murmur of, "thanks." Rolling up his mask halfway, he takes a bite, chewing on it as those lenses narrow almost in thought. "Yeah. He… looked like he might've blown when we found him, but we got it under control. He went off in the labs. Some sort of long-range transmission. I tried to look, but…"

He shakes his head. Nothing.

"I can talk to Robin. The labs were damaged but, knowing him, he's probably got like, fifteen different back ups and fifty back ups for his back ups or something. He really likes back ups."

To see how much this is proliferating, though — Peter can't help but shake a little, niggling core of guilt. He hesitates. "… If — if you need me for anything with this, Mister Stark, you know…"


Caitlin Fairchild pages: Hey bossssss

He sounded like his dad.

Stark /knows/ he sounded like his dad just now and he hates it. There is an internal wince as Peter explodes back at him, as he notes that slump of his shoulders. That fustration and self blame he's seen so many times in his mirror.

"Kid," The word meant to stop Peter from that guilt spiral that seems to be starting. There is a heasitation for a moment before he reaches out to clap one shoulder easily on Spidey's.

"You did good." A twitch of a smile. "This stuff isn't easy. You did your best though and sometimes that is all you can do. So keep on doing that and you'll be good. Hell, you'll be better than me napping in the middle of the damn day. Come talk to me about any weird stuff that you Titans don't know about, that's all. But…you still did good."

A pat on the shoulder again. A gesture that is rare from Stark.

A beatpause.

"Right, that'll get awkward. Moving right along…" He spins around, walking off. The moment over. But that is Stark's way.

"I'll give ya a call, kid. I promise. You just keep an eye out for anything else like this. I have some things lined up later. Introduce you to some X-men too." A beatpause. "…and if these nanomachines show up again, tell me. Especially if it has anything to do with demons. Because…" A beatpause. "…well I hope I'm wrong. I /really/ hope I'm wrong."

…but most of the time he isn't.

"We'll find this guy, Peter. Trust me on that. We'll find him."


Frustration. That's a good way to describe how Peter's feeling right now. Like a knot you can't untie no matter how hard you try. He feels his fingers curling in against his palms, exhales a slow breath that burns at his lungs as if to remind him just how long he'd been holding it. Inwardly, he curses himself. It's just…

Frustrating.

He's lost in his thoughts for a long time after he makes his tentative half an offer, so much so that the normally hyper-aware young man doesn't even notice Tony's approach until the weight of his hand is resting on Peter's shoulder. The young man practically jumps with a start, lenses widening as he looks to the hand, to Tony, to the hand again.

Is he —

— this is probably some kind of mistake —

— probably just accidentally dropped his hand on his shoulder on his way to get liquor —

— no wait there's no alcohol immediately surrounding him —

— which means —?!

"Wh-what's going on here-" is about all Spider-Man manages to squeak out before he is delivered a compliment. Genuine, heartfelt, encouragement. It's hard to quantify in words the sense of pride that swells within him from that simple acknowledgment, how much it brightens the rest of his day, how much it really means to him.

"oh my god is this really happening"

That's about the best he can come up with.

And so, white lenses wide as dinner plates, possibly literally, Spider-Man reaches up gingerly towards that hand on his shoulder —

— just in time to pat his own when Tony withdraws his a second too soon.

And so it was that Spider-Man was left awkwardly patting his shoulder while Tony turns away, saving the webbed vigilante from looking like a complete ass.

See? Things are already looking up!

"Uh! R-right, yeah. Totally, man," he coughs out, moments after, as he hops back up towards the wall to make his way towards the window he entered from. Is he trying to pitch his voice deeper?? "It's cool. For real. I'll let you know if I find anything and oh my god demons? Why does everything have to get so weird!" Because heat-venting nanosoldiers, that's not weird. Definitely not.

"A-anyway. I'll let you know if I find anything strange. Okay? I promise. Anything at all."

He pauses, there, at the window. Hesitates, crouched at the edge. Don't say it, Peter. I'm not going to say it shut up. Seriously Peter don't say it it's a bad idea don't say it —

"So we like — we had a bonding moment there, right, Mister Stark?"

"I mean not like weird bonding but like kinda like a pseudo-father-son-mentor-mentee bonding thing where you reached out to me emotionally and maybe learned a little about yourself too-?"

why are you not letting it go just let it go

"Well anyway I'll get a hold of you okay and I'm counting that as a bonding moment OKAY GONNA GO LATER MISTER STARK"

And just like that, Peter whisks away.

Before his precious bonding moment can be taken from him.

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