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Private Eyes

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 Private Eyes


Tony’s in the middle of giving a presentation when the alert goes off. Spider-Man’s blood pressure has spiked, the warning flashing red in the corner of Tony’s sunglasses. The kid’s been in the suit for hours with not even a blip but something had clearly changed.

Immediately, he has access to what the mask sees. Peter’s currently in an alley, searching desperately behind a dumpster.

Ah, backpack again.

Tony keeps talking with his attention partially still on the kid, who’s now on his knees scrabbling around on the dirty ground of the alleyway. They’d taken his backpack but scattered all of his clothes and books out beside the dumpster.

Assholes, that was uncalled for; but Pete really needed to start webbing these kinds of things up somewhere safer.

May was usually pretty understanding about the whole backpack issue so he’s about to put the whole thing out of his mind. The monitor feed goes dark so he knows the kid is changing. His heart rate and blood pressure are still through the roof though. Tony frowns.

He’s reached the end of his presentation and tosses himself back in his chair. There’s applause from the assembled heads of department. He smiles, allowing himself a moment to bask in it before reaching for his Stark Pad.

With a couple of taps, he takes control of every camera feed in the kid’s last known location.

Pepper’s frowning, she can sense his distraction. He gives her a tiny shrug and sets Friday to work on locating Peter.

The kid is shuffling down the street, head down, with his arms around a bulge under his T-shirt. Ah, that would be the Spider-suit. Tony immediately sees the problem. Those bastards stole Pete’s shoes. Now that  would be a concern for May. A $10 backpack was one thing, but a $100 pair of sneakers would be a stretch. No wonder the kid was upset.

Someone is asking him a question, which he fields on autopilot as he clicks open a link to the local athletic store.  

Peter is just disappearing down into the subway station, Tony can just see the top of his head as he is absorbed by the crowd. Good, at least the kid isn’t going to try to walk all the way back to his apartment in just his socks.

It takes him a few seconds to locate the low ankle style kicks the kid seems to prefer.

He probably should be saying something right now, but Pepper seems to have realized he’s currently a lost cause and taken over.

Size 11, add to cart. Why yes, he would like to pick up in store today, thank you.

In another window, he dispatches a courier from SI to the store.

Tony moves on to backpacks, sorts by price and sticks a low end nylon pack in the cart. This was a lesson learned by May and himself  many times over. Peter Parker is never getting a backpack that costs over 12 bucks, no matter who’s buying it.

He admires his cart aaannd adds a pack of socks because the kid has just stepped in a very questionable puddle.

Peter is currently standing in the middle of the subway platform, fists clenched,  head thrown back, eyes squeezed tightly shut. Probably cursing the fabled Parker luck or whatever superstitious nonsense he subscribed to.

Tony heads to checkout and Friday completes the purchase for him. Truth be told, he probably could have outsourced this whole business to Friday or some actual intern, but there’s a certain satisfaction to be found in a job well done.

Peter’s safely on the 7 train so Tony turns his attention to the courier. He fires off some quick instructions to the guy’s Stark Phone: Discard all packaging and tags, put the shoes and one pair of socks inside the backpack head to this location, and step on it.

He gets an email that his purchase is ready for pick up, perfect.

The courier is quick, Tony watches him race into the store and back out in five minutes, carrying the pack and leftover socks. It takes the man no time at all to make it the six blocks where Tony has the drone waiting.

Someone in the meeting is talking, he half pays attention as he pilots the sleek, mirrored drone through the cityscape. It’s his personal prototype, powerful and nearly soundless with camouflage ability. More than capable of carrying it’s current payload.

The kid’s still on the subway so Tony sets it in hover mode over the stairs and waits.  He doesn’t have to wait long as Peter trudges up from the depths. His head is bowed and his hair’s a mess, no doubt from anxiously running his hands through it. He’s hugging the railing, probably trying to keep his feet from being stepped on.

Tony moves the drone directly overhead. The throng of New Yorkers continue to stream underneath, not even noticing, but Peter’s head snaps up. His eyes finds the drone just as Tony manually releases the backpack. 

Peter catches it in one hand. It takes the kid a second to catch up, but he gets there. He presses himself against a wall and quickly unzips the pack. Tony can see him hunch over, no doubt stuffing the suit in and taking the shoes and socks out.

When he finally pops up again, the kid’s whole demeanor has changed. His face is etched with relief and the bounce is coming back to his step. Tony watches him toss his soiled socks in the trash and turn to hurry home. He smiles to himself.

Then Peter pauses and takes out his cell phone and starts typing.

Peter: Thanks Mr. Stark. 

Tony: Stay safe out there, Kid. 

The feeds all cut out and Tony sits up in his chair, straightens his jacket and he’s back. 

                        The End