Mr Stark has always been a tactile person. Peter likes that Mr Stark always puts an arm around his shoulder or a hand on his back when they walk together. When they’re working together in the lab, Mr Stark has a habit of touching Peter on the arm to emphasize a point as he gestures, and is never shy about brushing against him when he passes by. Peter doesn’t get a lot of touch from people other than Aunt May, and Mr Stark is his mentor, sort of a father figure. The contact is nice. Peter doesn’t think too much when he leans into these touches and smiles at his mentor.
In fact, Peter thinks nothing at all about it until one day he suddenly realizes that Mr Stark has his hand low on Peter’s waist and they’re so close that Peter is pressed against Mr Stark shoulder to hip, as they both lean over the hologram display in Mr Stark’s lab. Peter struggles to recall how they got into this position – vaguely remembers Mr Stark’s hand starting on his shoulder. It must have dropped lower as Peter leaned in to look at the display. He can’t be sure which of them moved to put them in such close quarters.
“Peter?” Mr Stark breaks off explaining his thoughts on the new tech he is showing Peter. “Still with me?”
Peter registers that they are standing too close to be appropriate for their relationship to each other, but Mr Stark doesn’t seem to have noticed, and honestly, Peter doesn’t mind. It’s quite nice actually. So he just nods and asks the question he thought of before he was distracted, and they’re on again as usual. The line of heat against his side and pressing into his waist are a pleasant presence as they talk.
It becomes common, Peter notices. Once he noticed that one time, there’s an awareness of it somewhere in the back of his head, tracking how much outside normal, outside appropriate, Mr Stark touches him. Where he could use words to direct, Mr Stark unfailingly chooses to put his hands on Peter to get his attention or maneuver him into whatever position he wants him to go. He likes to ruffle Peter’s hair (which Peter pretends to be annoyed at), and his fingers often linger a few seconds too long at Peter’s nape. When he hands Peter anything, their hands always manage to brush together.
Peter wonders what it means, whether it means anything at all. It’s not a lot, nothing worth mentioning, and he’d only sound silly if he brought it up. He imagines saying, “Mr Stark, do you know you touch me a lot?” and cringes at how it sounds even in his head. Creepy. Like he’s being molested or something, and that’s not it at all. It’s not that Peter’s uncomfortable, or that he even dislikes it at all; he doesn’t. It’s just that usually, when people touch you more than normal it means something. It means they like you, usually – maybe like you, like you. Surely that can’t be what it means with Mr Stark: he’s Tony Stark. You know? Actually, it probably doesn’t even mean anything, because he is Tony Stark and he’s not known for his stellar grasp upon and adherence to social cues. Chances are, Mr Stark’s never had a teenage superhero mentee and doesn’t even know the appropriate amount of touching between a mentor and mentee. There’s not a rulebook about it or anything. Peter briefly wishes to consult MJ, who is far more of an expert on people than he is, but again, he imagines explaining the situation and feels that he would combust with embarrassment at other people knowing about all his overthinking ways. So Peter just puts it out of his mind.
When Peter gets confused with a fancy high-tech soldering tool and asks Mr Stark about it, the man heaves a sigh and steps up behind him, picking up the tool around Peter as he shows him what to do. They are not in fact touching at all but Peter’s skin prickles from how close they are. Peter doesn’t mention it, points at the confusing buttons and voices his complaints about how it’s not working. Meanwhile, he steps back just a fraction, probably less than an inch, to make the contact solid. Now they’re pressed together way too intimately, Peter’s back against Mr Stark’s chest, his ass touching Mr Stark’s thigh, they’re practically spooning. When he looks up, he’s like, two inches away from rubbing his cheek against Mr Stark’s stubble. Peter’s heart races and he expects Mr Stark to step back a bit, say something maybe, but he doesn’t. He’s demonstrating how to make the tool work with Peter in his arms, focused and unconcerned. When he picks up a scrap of metal to put the tool to, his arms tighten a little more around Peter in what seems to be coincidence.
Peter still has no idea what this is about and it’s now definitely not appropriate. He’s pretty confident he would now be justified if he brought it up – that is, if he wasn’t the one who’d actually turned this into a hug spoon situation – but he doesn’t want to. He likes it so much, Mr Stark’s aftershave smells great and he feels so safe. No one ever touches him like this, he can’t remember ever doing this, why don’t people do this when it feels so good? Social norms are stupid and not for Spider-men, he decides. He doesn’t say anything and tries not to smile like an idiot. He especially doesn’t say anything when Mr Stark hands the soldering tool back to him to try again, and his arms loop casually around Peter’s waist.
“That’s great, Peter,” Mr Stark says, ticklishly close to his ear. Peter struggles not to preen.
Peter understands that the name of the game is pretending nothing is out of the ordinary, and no one can say he’s not good at it. Up there in the realm of the spoken word and eye contact and other people present, he and Mr Stark are getting along better than ever. He has so many cool upgrades to his Spider-man suit, and they’ve really come along on applications for the web fluid. Occasionally, Mr Stark takes Peter on Avenger missions and it’s mind-blowingly awesome. They chat about sci-fi and robotics and vintage bands. Mr Stark is so talented, so brilliant. Peter has always known that Mr Stark is an attractive man, but now he really appreciates it. He spends more and more time at the Tower, belting out of the classroom the moment the bell rings and not leaving until late, Mr Stark driving him home more often than not.
When they are alone, Mr Stark never says a word when the first thing Peter does is run at him and hug him in an enthusiastic tangle of limbs like a five year old home from kindergarten. It’s such a relief to bury his face in his neck and breathe in Mr Stark’s familiar scent. If Peter can’t help leaving a kiss before he pulls away, Mr Stark doesn’t mention that either. Mr Stark likes to, well, pet Peter. This is not unknown to Peter – he has grown up as a sweet, polite boy with childish features and has often fallen prey to people who like to ruffle his hair or pinch his cheeks and call him adorable. He generally doesn’t like it, but he likes it from Mr Stark. When Mr Stark runs his fingers through Peter’s hair, or strokes his hand down Peter’s spine, Peter often gets that nice fuzzy feeling that tickles down his back. He preens and smiles and if he could purr he would be purring.
It’s inevitable that Peter starts to get erections about it, seeing as he’s fifteen years old and prone to pop one at the slightest touch. Not that Mr Stark has touched him sexually. He just keeps wondering if Mr Stark likes touching him because he likes Peter, and the more he thinks about it the more the idea excites him. He doesn’t usually like men (if there can be such a thing as usually when he’s had all of three crushes and one date), but he could be gay for Iron Man. He could totally be gay for Mr Stark. If Mr Stark is gay for him – and he blushes at the idea. Ned would be surprised to know (not that Peter would ever tell him) that Peter’s enhanced senses don’t usually make it easier to jerk off. Sure, he feels the sensations more, but he also feels everything else more: weird smells, May singing in the shower, a lumpy spring in his mattress, Trevor barking two streets away. It’s generally hard to concentrate on whatever fantasy he’s jerking off to. But now Peter pulls his Spider-man mask over his head and thinks about how it feels when Mr Stark touches him. He imagines him going a bit further. He imagines kissing Mr Stark. The idea makes him a little embarrassed, it’s a little weird, sort of wrong. But it tickles at him and he quickly rubs one out at the thought.
Peter tries to hide the boners he keeps popping at Mr Stark’s touch with uncertain success. Uncertain because, well, it’s not as though Mr Stark would mention it? But he’s not sure he wants him to notice, not sure that’s what the man wants. It’s entirely possible Mr Stark just enjoys touching Peter platonically, thinks of him as a child. Could be that Mr Stark is just lonely after all the other Avengers left and he broke up with Ms Potts. Humans need touch for emotional support or something like that, right? What if he realizes that Peter’s getting aroused by his touches and freaks out because he doesn’t mean it that way? Peter really doesn’t want him to stop. He’s so noticeably more cheerful and bubbly these days, all his friends and May have commented on it. He’s even keeping ahead of his homework despite all the time he spends at the lab – homework goes real fast when you have Tony Stark and his ultra smart AI baby to help when you get stuck.
Peter’s sprawled on his front, legs kicked up into the air, on the enormous sofa in the penthouse’s living area, finishing up his math homework. Mr Stark wanders over, sets down a glass of cranberry juice on the sofa’s arm.
“Here you go, Underoos.”
“Thanks, Mr Stark,” Peter mumbles, pouting as he works the eraser over a section of equations he’s messed up. He tips his head back when Mr Stark runs his fingers through Peter’s hair, and when the sofa dips behind him, he lets his legs drop into the man’s lap.
One warm hand rests on the back of his knee, bare as he’s wearing shorts in the warm weather. When Peter glances over his shoulder, sipping on his juice, he sees Mr Stark tapping away at his phone one-handedly, brow furrowed and muttering under his breath. He does that when he’s answering emails – cussing and grumbling about the inconvenience and stupidity of everyone that works for him. Peter is amused to hear it.
Peter grins, blows away the eraser shreds, and sets about redoing his calculations. Mr Stark begins rubbing slow circles against the soft skin behind Peter’s knee, the light touch triggering Peter’s senses until his skin tingles. By the time Peter has finished salvaging this question, the stroking has migrated half way up his thigh, strong fingers kneading his thigh through the rough fabric of his shorts. Peter’s cock swells until it’s uncomfortably trapped against the sofa, so he shifts slightly. Mr Stark freezes. Peter makes a very small noise of protest that he covers by flipping to the backside of the worksheet noisily. He spreads his legs and arches a little. Mr Stark begins to rub and knead again, even higher up Peter’s thigh. Peter’s cock throbs and he tries not to squirm too obviously.
He’s so glad Mr Stark can’t see him from this angle, because he’s entirely given up on even pretending to do his homework. He bits his lip and tries to restrain from humping the furniture and is probably red as a tomato. He wants to moan Mr Stark’s name, ask him to stop teasing and put his hand where it matters. He struggles to remember why he shouldn’t. When Mr Stark takes a handful of Peter’s ass, Peter smothers a groan and pushes back against the tight grip. It feels so good. When Mr Stark presses his finger exactly over Peter’s asshole, Peter shouts in surprise and his pants flood with wet heat. Oh shit. Oh shit! He lets his head fall into his arms, body flooded with dopamine and equal mortification.
“You okay, Pete?” Mr Stark says flippantly, sounding not at all as though he might have been aroused by the whole situation.
“Yeah, I’m good,” Peter says sheepishly, muffled, not lifting his head.
“Alright, I’m just gonna get something from my bedroom.”
Once Mr Stark has left, Peter shoots up and winces in dismay at the unmistakable wet spot at the front of his shorts. He runs for the closest bathroom and tries his best to clean himself up, almost sobbing with embarrassment.
“Peter?” Mr Stark raps on the door.
He opens the door a fraction and meets Mr Stark’s eyes for less than a fraction. A bundle of cloth is thrust into his hand.
“These should fit you alright.”
He snaps the door shut, leans against it and rubs his face. He tries not to think about whether that counts as talking about it, whether he’s ruined it. He leaves in what appears to be Mr Stark’s pants and tracksuit bottoms. He jerks off to the memory of Mr Stark’s hand on his ass so many times he breaks his personal climaxes-per-24hr-period record.
When Peter next sees Mr Stark, he has trouble looking him in the eye. Of course, Mr Stark talks to him just as usual, but the full step of space between them gapes and claws at Peter. He’s miserable and distracted and he can’t help it.
“Mr Stark, I’m sorry,” he blurts out, cutting off whatever his mentor had been saying and he hadn’t been paying attention to.
Mr Stark stills. Then he chuckles, perfectly casual.
“Whatever do you think you’ve done this time, kid?”
“Nothing. I’m just-I, I’m so sorry.” Peter looks at Mr Stark, knows that he doesn’t want to talk about it, so he just looks at him beseechingly.
Mr Stark’s features soften with affection. He pulls Peter into a hug and Peter all but melts in relief.
“It’s okay. You’re wonderful, ba-Peter.”
Did Mr Stark just almost call him baby? Peter tightens his arms, warm and elated. He’s so glad Mr Stark still likes him. He kind of wants to kiss him. Peter peeks up through his lashes and almost goes for it, but that’s the moment Mr Stark lets go of him and goes back to what they were talking about before.
The problem might be, Peter thinks, that he’s fifteen (almost sixteen, not too long now). It’s illegal for Mr Stark to do, uh, anything R-rated to Peter, even if Peter wants to. For example, even if Peter wants Mr Stark to touch his cock, he can’t do that without breaking the law. Or maybe it’s only, um, penetration, that’s illegal. Peter doesn’t really want to look that up right after ‘age of consent new york’. There are good odds the police keeps an eye on that sort of thing.
Peter is a vigilante; obviously he understands that illegal acts aren’t always wrong. He’s not a child, he knows what he wants. But he doesn’t want to get Mr Stark in any trouble, though he really can’t imagine anyone trying to arrest Iron Man, especially for a thing like this. But he supposes Mr Stark cares about the law and accountability – he’s basically the only Avenger that signed the Accords, after all.
All they have to do is keep it a secret though, and Peter has kept bigger secrets than this. If Mr Stark will do it, Peter is up for it. If only Peter can be sure that Mr Stark wants him this way.
Peter tries touching Mr Stark more flirtatiously, though he has trouble keeping his poker face while he does. Next time they are in the lab together, Mr Stark’s hand resting on Peter’s waist, Peter nods thoughtfully and oh-so-casually begins fiddling with Mr Stark’s belt buckle. Mr Stark doesn’t actually stop mid-sentence (probably thanks to his years of experience being functional and charming), but he does let the gap between two sentences hang for several seconds before he starts talking again. Peter is having a blast. He suppresses his grin and examines Mr Stark’s belt, then he runs his palm up the fine fabric of Mr Stark’s shirt, curiously circling each pearly button. Mr Stark gives up talking about something else when Peter traces his skin just inside his open collar, two buttons undone, as though he might unbutton a third one. It’s silent for long enough Peter has to give up playing with the button and look at him. Mr Stark’s poker face is so much better than his.
“You seem distracted today,” says Mr Stark, just dryly enough to allude to Peter’s wandering fingers.
“I like your shirt!” Peter smiles brightly.
“Yeah? You like my belt as well?”
“Uhuh, yeah, what is that, a dragon?”
Mr Stark hums and looks down at himself, grabs the buckle and tips it up to get a look.
“No I think that’s a-”
Peter reaches for it too. Since Mr Stark just hoisted it up a bit, it so happens that Peter aims a little low and grabs a handful of-
“A crocodile,” Mr Stark croaks, stumbling back several steps and not meeting Peter’s eyes.
Peter does his best to look like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, a look he has been told he is very good at. Mr Stark has an erection. As Mr Stark isn’t a teenager, it’s probably safe to assume Mr Stark likes Peter.
Mr Stark says that he would like to do something with Peter for his birthday, and that Peter should let him know if there’s anything in particular he’d like. This gives Peter a Bright Idea.
“Actually, I’d quite like to go somewhere, for like, a weekend,” Peter tells him. “I’ve never really had the chance to do something touristy, that would be cool.”
“With me?” Mr Stark confirms, sounding surprised.
“Yeah!” Peter hopes he does not sound over eager. “I can tell May it’s another field trip. If you- if you have time.”
“You really want to go on a trip with an old man like me?”
“You’re not old, Mr Stark.” Peter meets his eyes evenly. “And I love spending time with you.”
Mr Stark holds his gaze for a long moment. Then he smiles and shrugs.
“Well I can’t say you don’t have great taste. Where do you want to go?”
Peter’s gaze flickers upwards as he tries to recall which of the states where the age of consent is 16 are particularly touristy.
“Vermont,” Mr Stark repeats, amused.
“Yeah, or uh, Maine.”
“How about California? I have a house in Malibu.”
Peter shakes his head firmly. “Nah, I uh, I don’t like California. It’s too hot in August.”
“FRIDAY, what’s the average temperature in Cali in August?”
“The average temperature for California in August is 72°F,” FRIDAY informs Peter pleasantly.
“I wanna go somewhere with forests,” Peter insists, trying and failing not to blush. Maybe he ought to have paid more attention in geography.
“I suppose that would be fun for you,” Mr Stark concedes with a smile. “You could swing from the treetops for a change, huh?”
Peter smiles back.
“Well, I’ll see what I can do.”
Mr Stark takes him to Norway. Peter’s already had a cozy dinner with May and a day outing with Ned and MJ, and he’s been looking forward to this so much. They get into Mr Stark's plane, just the two of them, and Peter's glad he spent all of the last time he was here freaking out about how cool it is so now he's not distracted. Mr Stark seems tired; he's not as talkative as usual. He bears with Peter's bouncy excitement when they meet up, but once the plane takes off, he sinks into a seat and closes his eyes. He replies to Peter in hums and then not at all. Peter kneels on the seat beside him and tilts his head, wondering if Mr Stark has fallen asleep. He knows that Mr Stark has trouble sleeping. He should probably let him sleep. He has shadows under his eyes.
Peter's resolve lasts twelve minutes, because he's bored and excited and horny. He sits in the seat next to Mr Stark and spreads his legs so their thighs are touching. No response. He shifts closer and gently starts playing with Mr Stark's hand, tanned and calloused, a stark (haha) contrast to Peter's pale smooth skin. No response. Carefully, deliberately, and cautiously, he cups his hand over Mr Stark's crotch. There's a soft bulge to the left. He squeezes gently, marveling at how weird it is to feel this on someone else. He glances up. Oh- Mr Stark is looking at him, expression unreadable. Peter's eyes widen nervously. Moments like this, he still feels like maybe Mr Stark will tell him off. It still makes him cringe mentally when he remembers the telling off Mr Stark gave him after the Ferry Incident, though they know each other much better now and Peter doesn't think Mr Stark will talk to him like that again.
Mr Stark very deliberately closes his eyes, turns his head, and begins to breathe deeply in and out. He doesn't open his eyes as Peter slowly rubs at him through his pants, the bulge under his hand hardening and lengthening. It's sort of surreal - not the sort of thing Peter ever saw himself doing. He keeps looking up at Mr Stark's face and getting a thrill that this is happening in real life. After a while though, Peter realizes he doesn't know where he's going with this. He doesn't think he's going to be able to get Mr Stark off like this, and he's not sure wants to um, take it out. He's not sure Mr Stark would let him. His ineffectual attentions trail off and he blushes, cursing his lack of skill or experience. In desperation, he climbs into Mr Stark's lap instead. His mentor immediately puts his arms around Peter, and they shift around until they get comfortable. Peter has his head on Mr Stark's shoulder and his hand on his chest over the arc reactor and he thinks he can feel Mr Stark's cock against his ass. Mr Stark starts stroking down his spine from Peter's neck to his tailbone and Peter actually falls asleep.
Mr Stark owns a house in Norway, a luxurious cabin that includes over 100 acres of the surrounding forest for Peter to Spider-man in. There's two bedrooms, but Peter hopes Mr Stark will let him sleep in his bed. After he's showered, he puts on a big t-shirt and goes over to Mr Stark's room, asks him if he wants to watch a movie. There's a bottle of whiskey on the bedside table, half empty. He climbs into Mr Stark's perfectly made bed with the mountain of pillows and cuddles up to him, while Mr Stark turns on the projector and flips through movies. They decide on a noisy, mindless action movie, something to fill up the silence. Under the covers, Mr Stark's hand brushes the hem of Peter's t-shirt and pushes it up, his palm coming into contact with Peter's bare bottom. Peter gasps.
Mr Stark says, "I know, right, that stunt is both physically and medically unsound."
Peter giggles, keeps playing the game. Mr Stark has lube hidden somewhere around here that he accessed possibly with super powers, because Peter doesn't notice how all of a sudden the fingers rubbing against his asshole are cold and wet. Then they're stroking up inside him and Peter has lost all composure, moaning softly into Mr Stark's neck. It's helpful, the unfamiliar environment, the crashes and bangs of the movie playing, and Peter closes his eyes the way he always does when he jerks off. At some point, he turns on his side, facing away from Mr Stark as he continues to finger Peter (good god, Mr Stark is fingering Peter), and he pulls at himself until he comes with three fingers in his ass. Then there's a cock nudging his ass - Mr Stark's cock nudging his ass, what the hell -
“Peter,” Mr Stark says, his voice tight in a way that Peter’s never heard before. “Do you want to go to bed? Or do you want to keep watching the movie?”
If Peter stops to think about it, he might realize that he never quite expected to end up here. But instead, he’s thinking about the fact that he’s in bed with his mentor in a cabin in Norway, speaking in code, and he couldn’t possibly mess this up.
So he says, “I want to keep watching, Mr Stark. Turn the volume up.”
Mr Stark does actually turn the sound up. The even louder sounds of bullets flying and bombs exploding and people yelling effectively drowns out Peter’s yelp when Mr Stark’s cock breaches his body. He doesn’t go fast. In fact, Mr Stark rubs his hand over Peter’s skin comfortingly and rocks his hips in tiny, tiny increments. Peter notices that Mr Stark completely stills whenever the movie goes quiet for more than a few seconds. It’s like he’s still trying to pretend that this isn’t happening, even though he has his cock buried in Peter’s ass. It’s a little weird, but something about it also turns Peter on - the secret, forbidden quality of it.
He’s finally pressed flush against his mentor, the full length of the man’s cock embedded inside him. He’s never felt so connected with someone. They’re touching as much as it could be possible for two people to touch. Or, well- now they’re touching as much as it’s possible for two people to touch, once Mr Stark lifts a hand to Peter’s face and presses two fingers inside his mouth. Peter wonders if these are the same fingers that were just now inside his own ass, realizes they are, and licks them even more enthusiastically, eyes fluttering closed, higher thought processes shut down, and just enjoys the warm contact. Fingers pump gently into his mouth, to the same rhythm as the cock ruts into his ass, and the hand strokes his cock. There’s nowhere to go and he loves it. It’s so wrong, so good. He feels animalistic. He wants to just whine and keen. He sort of wants Mr Stark to do him harder, properly, the way he’s seen in porn. But he doesn’t, and Peter can’t ask.
When Peter comes again, it’s from the slow build up of arousal, no fast hard relief. It doesn’t hurt any more to be penetrated, his body having adjusted to the intrusion and tingling with stimulation. He’s drooling around the fingers in his mouth, and come bubbles up out of his cock. Mr Stark doesn’t change the rhythm a bit as his hand slicks with Peter’s ejaculate. Then he removes the hand, and Peter hears some wet pops - thanks to a quiet moment on screen - and realizes that Mr Stark is licking Peter’s come off his fingers. The realization makes him wish he could come again.
Peter doesn’t actually realize when Mr Stark comes. He doesn’t make a sound or speed up or anything, though he may have ground his cock into Peter a little bit harder. Peter only realizes when Mr Stark pulls out. He turns around to look at him, and finds Mr Stark tying off a condom. Peter hadn’t even known there was a condom.
Mr Stark looked at the screen. “Movie’s over. You ready to get to bed?”
Peter looks, and wow, the credits really are rolling. He’s momentarily impressed with Mr Stark’s mad timing and dedication to metaphor.
“Can’t I just sleep here?”
“You should sleep in your own bed, kid.” Peter almost rolls his eyes at that, because, really? But then Mr Stark adds more sensibly, “Besides, I need to change the sheets.”
“You could sleep in my bed. I don’t mind.”
“That’s okay, thanks. But I can help you get cleaned up, if you want to?”
Peter doesn’t know quite what Mr Stark means, but it sounds like it means more touching, so he agrees. In Mr Stark’s bathroom, he pulls off his stained t-shirt. Mr Stark wets a towel and gently wipes down Peter’s cock and ass, never meeting Peter’s eyes. He lets Peter borrow a bathrobe, walks him to his bedroom door, and says, “Good night, Peter.”
Peter tries to kiss him again, but Mr Stark doesn’t let him get far enough to have to visibly reject him. He puts a restraining hand on Peter’s shoulder the exact moment Peter thinks about straining up for it, as though he can read Peter’s mind.
Peter lies in bed and freaks out. He’s so anxious - doesn’t know what Mr Stark is doing with this, this hot-and-cold. He’ll stick his cock in Peter but he won’t let Peter kiss him. What is this, fetishizing of subtext? What does he want? Peter freaks out and freaks out, his emotions going all over the place. One moment there’s tears of frustration in his eyes from the conviction that Mr Stark’s just using him, the next he’s horny and imagining Mr Stark giving it to him nice and hard, then he’s worried wondering how Mr Stark will treat him tomorrow, and in the future, whether he wants to do this again.
Peter has no idea when he managed to actually fall sleep, but he wakes up feeling strangely normal. He’s not tired, not sore. He goes into the bathroom and stares into the mirror, and he doesn’t look like he had sex with Tony Stark last night. He doesn’t hurt back there - when he touches it, it doesn’t feel any different. If not for the fact that he’s wearing Mr Stark’s robe, he could have hallucinated the entire thing. It’s so frustrating Peter wishes that Mr Stark left him bruises, or fucked him bare and left semen dribbling out of his ass.
Peter storms out of his room, searches around for Mr Stark, finally finds him in his room, still in bed, still sleeping. Riding the end of his frustration fueled adrenaline rush, he slams the door open, throws himself onto the bed with a bounce, and announces, “I want to talk about it.”
Mr Stark rubs his eyes. He looks at his watch, then at the door, then at Peter, with a look that makes Peter feel less intelligent than a bug. His expression shutters, detached and resigned.
“Okay,” he says. “What do you want to talk about?”
Peter is taken aback. He’s never heard that tone of voice from his mentor - cold and too casual, like he’s talking to paparazzi or something, an annoyance that he just can’t completely brush off. Cold floods through him and, faster than he thought possible, his eyes prickle and his nose burns and he ducks his head to hide his trembling lip. With one sentence Mr Stark has made Peter feel like a child, and he has no idea what to say.
He mumbles something he’s not even sure of himself and leaves. He closes Mr Stark’s door behind him quietly, goes back to his own room, where he throws himself down on the bed and starts to sob. He’s so confused and miserable, and just the thought of the look on Mr Stark’s face is enough to bring wave after wave of fresh tears to Peter’s eyes.
He looks up and blurrily sees Mr Stark standing at his door, fully dressed. He looks away, sniffling. Mr Stark hesitantly comes closer, sits down beside Peter, reaches out to put a hand on his arm. The moment he makes contact Peter clings to him, crawls half into his lap and hides his face in Mr Stark’s neck.
“I’m- sorry,” Mr Stark says awkwardly. “I’m not such a morning person, that was…not cool. I’m sorry.”
“What do you want from me?” Peter sobs.
There’s silence, but Mr Stark wraps his arms around Peter and holds tight, so it doesn’t feel too terrible. Then Mr Stark clears his throat and says, “Good question.”
“Fair question. One that I owe to you an honest answer, which is.” Another pause. “Do we have to talk about it?”
There’s a whine in his tone, childish and jarring for Peter, who doesn’t think of his mentor like that. He knows Mr Stark’s reputation but doesn’t think of him, ever, as someone who screws up, throws tantrums, starts dysfunctional who-knows-what-you-call-it’s with his mentees. It weirdly calms Peter down a little.
“Why can’t I kiss you?” He asks instead, hoping that one’s a little easier to answer.
“I…have issues,” says Mr Stark, which isn’t really an answer, but better than nothing.
“Like how you don’t like being handed things?”
“Did you do it on purpose?” Peter asks, somehow feeling the need to lower his voice though they’re probably the only humans here for miles. “T-touching me?” It still feels idiotic when he says it out loud, but at this point, at this point Peter is sure he’s not imagining things.
“Man, you are really bad at this communicating thing.” Peter pulls his face up to glare at him.
“I know!” Mr Stark throws up his hands, looking at Peter helplessly. “Why’d you think I never do it?”
Peter wipes his face. “Jesus fucking Christ.”
Mr Stark’s eyebrows shoot up. Probably because Peter’s never said anything worse than ‘shit’ in front of him, but Peter feels justified to do it right now, for fuck sake.
“I’mma make this real easy on you, Mr Stark.”
“O-kay,” he says with an intent half-frown, crossing his legs and pulling fussily at his sleeve, unintentionally looking unfairly attractive.
“Do you like me?”
“Do you wanna bang me?”
Mr Stark briefly looks at the ceiling. “Yes.”
“You feel bad about wanting to bang me?”
Mr Stark pokes his tongue at his cheek and does like, a facial expression version of a shrug. “Yes.”
“You feel bad about wanting to bang me cos I’m sixteen?”
“Among other things.” He clasps his hands together and squeezes until his knuckles turn white.
“Is it hard to talk about wanting to bang me?”
“I would appreciate if you stopped saying ‘bang me’, yeah.”
“So you…what, found it easier to just, like, grope me?”
Mr Stark’s composure breaks. He covers his face with his hands and dramatically drops down on his back on Peter’s bed.
After a pause, he says, muffled, “This is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever done. And I’ve done some pretty bad things.”
Peter, perversely, smiles at that.
“No, I’d say you’re quite good at groping.”
Mr Stark makes a gap between his fingers and peers at Peter, looks perplexed to find him smiling.
“I’m a creep.”
“Uhuh.” Peter’s still smiling.
“A creepy old man.”
“I should probably go to jail.”
“Yeah, I don’t think you actually broke any federal law…” Peter tilts his head. “Doesn’t seem like a coincidence.”
Mr Stark evidently finds the gap between his fingers insufficient to his need to stare at Peter now, and lowers his hands. He lifts himself up on an elbow and says, “No offense, but…why aren’t you crying anymore?”
Peter shrugs. “No offense, but…you’re kind of a shithead, Mr Stark.”
Peter has the pleasure of rendering Tony Stark utterly speechless.
“You like me. I like you. You wanna bang me. I want you to bang me. Preferably harder and with more talking next time.”
“I don’t like how you’ve treated me. Don’t do that any more.”
Peter pats his confused mentor patronizingly on the hand.
“Good talk, Mr Stark.”
He jumps to his feet and smiles widely. “I’m hungry. I’m gonna find some breakfast. I won’t have to hunt it myself, will I?”
Mr Stark trails after Peter, confused and speechless, down into the kitchen, where he hovers, watching Peter raid the cupboards.
“Cool, weird European Froot Loops.”
“Uh…Peter?” Mr Stark says. “I’m gonna need a…keynote summary of what just happened.”
Peter turns around and looks at him airily, bites into an apple with a crunch.
“You’re my boyfriend now.”
Mr Stark blinks and blinks. “What?”
“Normally,” Peter chews. “People would say this is not a good basis for a relationship. But,” more munching, “I have superpowers. And you have the emotional maturity of an eighth grader.”
“I never went to eighth grade.”
“That makes so much sense.”
“You…really think this is a good idea?”
“It’s probably a stupid idea, but I’m going with it. Are you with me?” Peter hopes that his nonchalant facade doesn’t crack right here.
Mr Stark laughs incredulously, shifts awkwardly where he stands. He studies the toes of his shiny shoes then finally looks up at Peter with an odd look on his face.
“I think I owe it to you to go along with your stupid idea for a change.”
Mr Stark steps forward, closes the distance in two strides, dips his head, and gives Peter a good, long smooch. It’s too long in coming, all out of order, this is the stupidest thing, but Peter is happy now.