~*~she hit you like a bang~*~
pairing: peter parker/shuri udaku
fandom(s): spiderman: homecoming/black panther (2018), the marvel cinematic universe
summary: of course the next girl peter has a crush on is even more out of his leauge than liz was
“First, you take me to California and it's not to go to Disneyland or Coachella,” A put-upon sigh, Shuri's lower lip thrust forward like she's the barely four foot little girl she used to be not too long ago. “Now, we're off to New York but not for Governor's Ball 2018 or to see Hamilton. What have I done to be punished like this, my king?”
“Dear sister, you would know if you were being punished,” T'Challa's upper lip curled just so, making her roll her eyes. “I have seen the youtube footage of The Avengers, for a man who calls himself a genius, Tony Stark's tech is all but ancient. So as far as I'm concerned, setting foot inside his horribly out-dated facilites, is a punishment worse than death.”
“So dramatic for one so young,” He teases, clicking his tongue. “Nakia,” He turns from his sulking sister to his lover. “Did you know I am sentencing my sister – by leaving her in one of Tony Stark's facilities to conduct experiements, among other things with one of America's most brilliant minds – to a fate worse than death? I do not believe that was on the itinerary Council Danib had drawn up for us, do you?”
Instead of Nakia answering, Okoye's smooth voice breaks through, “We have arrived.”
Shuri huffs, unfolding her arms and moving to the door of the Royal Tide Fighter where they will all exit after the landing. “Just for this horrible act of betrayal, dear brother, don't be surprised if you see the footage of you in my labs on the youtube channel I have set up for myself. I have over one million followers, you know.”
After her threat, she promptly sticks out her tongue, making Okoye's harden facade crack ever so slightly. “And what is this footage you speak of, my Princess?”
Shuri's dark eyes twinkle mischievously. “I will send it directly to your Kimoyo, Okoye. You can then share it with the rest of...”
“You will do no such thing,” T'Challa's voice was as cool as ice, making Shuri arch a brow. “And if I do, am I to be continuing our outreach program by studying radiation with Dr. Bruce Banner as further punishment, my liege?”
“Now, now children...” Nakia chided, clicking her tongue before smoothing the non-existent wrinkles from her deep green dress as they descended from the Tide Fighter's ramp. She pressed, what anyone else would have assumed was a jewel hanging from one of her many bangle bracelets on her right hand, and suddenly the royal ship was hidden from view.
“And I thought working for Tony for the past twenty years meant I had seen everything...” The wonder was evident in the strawberry blonde woman's tone that was suddenly in front of the foursome and Shuri groaned, her foot stomping. “Brother...” Her eyes were pleading. “Do not leave me in this backwards place with its low-tech ways! Can I not accompany you and Nakia? I promise to be good.”
“Do not let my sister's poor attitude influence you, Miss Potts...” T'Challa started to say but Pepper promptly waived him off. “Oh, I assure you, your Majesty it won't. I know all about dealing with sulking geniuses. Though,” Her laughter was warm, lighting up the ocean tint of her eyes. “I doubt Tony – despite graduating MIT at seventeen – was doing half the things you've done by now, Princess. If you will all follow me, I'll show you to our labs. And I would be remiss if I didn't say, it's a wonderful thing you're doing, Sir, opening up your country's vast resources to the rest of the world. So many are already benefiting from that generosity. And, please, call me Pepper.”
“Just be cool, Pete, just be cool,” Peter mumbled to himself as he paced outside the lab Mr. Stark let him use. He couldn't believe he was about to meet a Princess... but, like, not just a princess... The Princess of Wakanda, Shuri. Her youtube channel was legendary and her snap chat was well on its way. She was so funny and smart and, he swallowed thickly, pretty.
His palms were suddenly sweaty and seriously why did that last thought have to enter his brain? She was going to be walking through those doors any second and he was going to have to shake her brother – gulp – the King's hand... the King who was also The Black Panther who had seen him in his suit fighting alongside him with War Machine, Black Widow, The Vision and Mr. Stark back in Germany and his hand was going to be sweaty and it was going to be gross and... just breathe, he reminded himself, taking in heavy breath after heavy breath.
“Hello, your Royal Highness...No, no that's awful. She probably wants to be talked to like a regular person. What's up? Yo? How you doin'? Ugh, I sound just like Joey from Friends. Uh, I'm Peter, it's nice to meet you, your Majesty. What was that? Uh, FRIDAY?” He tilted his head toward the ceiling, desperate for the AI's guidance when he hears Mr. Stark's voice instead.
“You're not sick are you?” He questions, peering curiously from behind his tinted glasses. “Because you're looking, how do I say this politely, like the color of warm milk. If you're sick, you shouldn't be here. FRIDAY run a full body scan on Underoos here...”
“No, no, no! FRIDAY, abort! I mean, uh, don't do that, please, ma'am. That's, uh, not necessary, Mr. Stark, sir I'm fine. Really, I am. It's just, uh, y'know,” Peter rubs the back of his neck. “Nerves and stuff. Like I'm meeting a Princess. I'm just a dork from Queens... stuff like, uh, meeting Princesses and whatever doesn't y'know happen to me.”
“Right...” Tony's tone was wary, his deep eyes skeptical but the subject was dropped as the automated doors to the lab opened and Miss Potts, King T'Challa, Princess Shuri, and two women Peter didn't recognize walked through. One of them was bald with special tribal markings (he guessed) carved along the side of her head and she carried a spear with her. He swallowed thickly, feeling like he was two inches tall even though he could lift a school bus.
His eyes immediately fell on the Princess. Great, he thought, rubbing his palms on his jeans she's prettier in person. Her hair was done in two small buns on top of her head kind of like Serena in Sailor Moon and her white t-shirt had in script across it, Don't Want None Unless You Got Bunsen, which made him laugh out loud.
Suddenly everyone was staring at him and seriously why didn't his powers come with invisibility?
“Sorry,” He squeaked, his voice going high and maybe he should just ask FRIDAY if she can open a hole in the floor so he can fall through it. “Your, uh, shirt... your Majesty,” He rubbed at the back of his neck. “It's, um, funny.”
Her smooth brow arched slowly, making him feel like he was pinned to where he stood. Her gloss painted lips twitched slightly. “Don't Believe Atoms, They Make Everything Up,” Oh, wow he thought feeling his cheeks heat up, her accent's better in person. “Huh?” He mumbled, blinking and she giggled briefly, pointing at his own tee. “That's a good one. And you are?”
Seriously, Princess Shuri liked my dumb science pun t-shirt...Wow...
“Underoos,” Mumbled harshly with a subtle kick to the back of his leg by Mr. Stark brought Peter back and he didn't think it was possible but he felt like his skin was hotter. “Uh, I'm Peter, Peter Parker, Mr. Stark's, uh, intern. It's nice to meet you, your Majesty. Your, um, youtube is, like, legendary.”
“Lengendary, you say?” The look she gave her brother over her shoulder could only be described as smug, her smile wide as she flashed brilliant white teeth. His heart tripped up and his palms only became more sweaty, which he didn't think was possible either. Thankfully, he quickly wiped his right one on his jeans before he took her offered hand and shook it.
“Do not encourage her further, Mr. Parker. My sister's head is big enough already.”
“I'll,um, do my best, Mr. Panther... Uh, your Highness, sir.”
“Yeah, yeah two genius babies, this is all so adorable. Pepper, make an appointment with my dentist, I think I'm getting a toothache from just being in the vincinity. Your Royal Panther-ness, I believe,” Tony turned with a flourish to the King and Nakia. “We have grown-up things to discuss, do we not? The, uh, September Foundation and such. So let's leave the kiddies to break some eggs, shall we?”
“Alone?” Okoye's tone was dubious as she stepped forward, effectively shielding her Princess from the genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist and the teenage boy. “I do not think so, Mr. Stark. I will stay with the children.”
“Grace Jones... I appreciate your, um, concern but this building – like all of my buildings – are perfectly secure, something I know you know as you wouldn't even be here, if they weren't. My AI FRIDAY is installed and she'll keep track of the kiddies. Just, uh, give her a shout if you think anything is amiss. Parker's a good kid, he wouldn't be here if he wasn't. I'm sure you're aware that I don't trust easy and he's, like, twelve so they'll be fine. Now, like I said...”
“This is not up for discussion, Mr. Stark...” All Peter could see was the warrior woman's spear about an inch from Mr. Stark's throat and he didn't the only thing he could think of. The webs shot out from his wrist, wrapping the spear head and great, everyone's staring at me again.
“I'm, uh, Spiderman?” And seriously FRIDAY any time you want to just, um, make hole in the floor so I can fall through it, that would be great.
“A hole, Mr. Parker?” The AI's modulated voice floated through the building. “I do not think that is wise. General Okoye would most definitely not change her mind about you being alone with the Princess if a hole in the floor were to suddenly appear.”
“Wow, I said that out loud, didn't I?”
Shuri's giggling brought his attention back to her. Her brown eyes were twinkling and he could see the dimples in her cheeks. “Spiderman, huh?” She reached out for his wrist, her thumb brushing along the spot where his pulse resided and he hoped she couldn't feel it speeding up. “You have to tell me everything.”
Okoye cleared her throat and Peter scrambled toward her, nearly tripping over his own feet. “I'm really sorry. It's just, uh, Mr. Stark has done so much for me and he and Miss Potts are back together and after everything that happened in Germany and stuff, he finally seems happy again and like, I couldn't just let you spear him, y'know? It comes off. Like your spear's still gonna work and I probably shouldn't be touching it, should I?”
“What makes you think I should leave you alone with my Princess?” Okay, yeah, now I'm two inches tall again, awesome.
“Okoye, please,” Shuri's tone was all but begging. “You'll have to excuse her, since she became a Dora only a very select few get to see that she actually has a personality. I can protect myself, in case you have forgotten. Clearly,” She sighed, reaching out for Peter's hand and pulling him toward her. “He is harmless. He trips over his own two feet, he is as red as a tomato, what could he possibly do to me?”
“Harmless?” Peter squeaked, eyes going wide. “Quit while you're ahead, Underoos.” Mr. Stark clapped him on the shoulder. “Now... Has it been settled? Are the kiddies going to be left with alone?”
“Just as Mr. Stark's AI is watching, Mr. Parker, so am I.” The threat was clearly evident and alll Peter could do was nod.
“Finally,” Shuri breathed after all of the adults had taken their leave. “Oh, do not worry about Okoye, she is harmless, I promise. Sooooooo...” She drawled, her eyes bright. “Spiderman, you say? Did you come up with that all by yourself?”
“Yeah...Because, y'know, I'm a man with spider powers.” That sounded so much better in my head, seriously, FRIDAY a hole, please?!
“Spider powers?” Her tone was even but there was definitely intrigue behind it. “And how did you come to acquire these, spider powers, as you call them?”
“Oh, wow...” Peter gasped as Shuri showed him how the Kimoyo beads worked. “That's amazing... I've never seen anything like this. We, um, still text and dm and stuff.”
“Text? You are still using phones?” She was practically wheezing, her laughter bouncing off the walls of the lab and right back to his ears, making him wish he could have that beautiful sound on a loop. With her head thrown back and her small hands holding her sides as she calmed down, she looked like a normal teenage girl, not a Princess from a foreign land.
His heart tripped again and when she calmed, her big brown eyes were soft and focused on him. He flushed under her stare. She let out a small laugh. “I have never seen someone become so red before.”
He ducked his head, rubbing at the back of his neck. “It's, uh, not everyday a dork from Queens meets a Princess. Especially, uh, one that's so cool,” He settled for, his chest releasing a heavy breath because, whew, he did not say pretty like he thought he would.
“Hmmmmm,” She hummed, nodding. “I guess not all Americans are as backward as they appear. Now, let's talk about improving your Spider suit.”
“You do know,” Tony whispered to T'Challa as they walked back to his old lab space where Peter and Shuri were. “If we left the three of them alone,” Meaning Pepper, Nakia and Okoye. “They could take over the world and have us under their feet in about, oh, twenty minutes?”
“Then we must always be under their feet, as you say, Anthony. But if that day ever comes, I do believe they would be benevolent overlords.” There was a hint of humor in his smooth tone.
“Would you look at that...” Pepper murmured, making Nakia and Okoye turn toward the clear doors of the lab. Peter and Shuri were bent over something, their heads nearly touching and identical blinding smiles on their faces while they spoke animatedly, their hands moving every which way. They both wore the same light flush to their cheeks, as well, making the women smile softly.
“Do try to refrain from embarrassing your sister,” Nakia instructed, her hand closing around T'Challa's wrist. “That boy may be the only one who will ever be able to keep up with her always active mind. That is a gift, to connect with someone who understands you so deeply, beyond just what is in your heart and the words that you speak.”
“It has only been five hours...” T'Challa started to protest. “If I remember correctly,” Okoye's lips twisted ever so briefly. “It was all but two minutes after you met Nakia, My King, that you fancied yourself something of a Langston Hughes, writing your poetry and sonnets.”
“Poetry and sonnets?” Pepper inquired, clearly impressed. She gave Tony a long stare. “That's so romantic....” “Pep...” The engineer groaned. “You could stand to learn a few things from, T'Challa it seems, that's all I'm saying.” Her smile was blinding and the peck she gave his lips made him scowl at the Wakandan King. “We need to talk about the standards a man is expected to keep up in relationships the next time you swing by, Your Panther-ness.” He clapped the King on his shoulder before entering the lab with his usual flourish, making Peter and Shuri break apart as if they had been electroctuted.
“Improvements to the Iron Spider design, huh?” Peter opened his mouth and Tony promptly closed it for him, “Things can always be improved, Underoos and if a beautiful woman is behind those improvements, all the better, I say. As much as this pains me, because I'm sure you two have just been having oodles of fun on this little promptu play date, it's time for the Princess to take her leave. His Panther-ness has decreed it, I'm afraid, so you'll have to take it up with him. You're welcome back any time. And I have to say these little doo-dads,” He swiped the Kimoyo she had shown Peter, swiftly tossing it back and forth between his palms before throwing it back at her. “Amazing.” Praise complete with a wink htat mde Shuri scoff and shake her head.
Discretely she slipped Peter the Kimoyo after she had caught it from Stark. Goodbyes were said and she watched as Nakia uncloaked the Tide Fighter. Her heart flipped and her stomach tumbled strangely as she thought of Peter once she was settled in her seat.
He was nothing like she expected. He could keep up with her, his brain seemingly working as fast as her own. She liked the little nickname he had gifted her with 'Q', he explained it was from James Bond. She told him she was more familiar with Lucius Fox from the Batman series and the way his eyes widened and he fumbled around, made the word cute slip through her mind. And he was... cute.
His hair a soft shade of brown that swept delicately over his forehead, his pale skin decorated with freckles, thin lips furrowed in concentration.
“For something that you thought was a punishment worse than death,” T'Challa mused from her right side. “You seem to have a permanent smile on your face, usisi,” He touched the familiar dimple in her cheek and she swatted at him, eyes narrowed. “Do not think you are forgvien, ubhuti,” Her tone haughty. “Just because not all Americans are as backward as I perceived, does not mean I am still not upset. Hamilton, ubhuti, we could have stayed just a few hours more and seen it, you know.”
“Will anything ever please you, usisi?”
“If Red Velvet came to our ampitheater, that would please me, ubhuti.”
“And what is this smile on my Shuri's face,” Umama greets her when they have landed at the Palace and a furious blush takes over, making her groan. “Umama, please,” She hisses. “You have seen me smile many times, this one is no different.” And as quickly as she appeared, the Princess takes off for the entrance of the Palace, her sneakers screeching along the golden floors.
“My son...” Ramonda's unspoken question lingers. “I believe the Westerners call it,” He gave a heavy sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose. “A crush or as we would say an infatuation.”