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Mind Control

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“Peter, pay attention.”

Peter’s chattering abruptly cuts off as he twists in midair, a beam of light narrowly skimming past him.

Peter manages to look sheepish behind the mask as he swings after his assailant.

Tony shakes his head exasperatedly as he flies after him.

When Strange had requested help with catching two rogue sorcerers terrorizing Manhattan, Peter had begged to come along. Tony had finally relented with the condition that Peter followed orders and didn’t do anything stupid. Peter was practically vibrating as he grinned and promised he would listen.

“Tony,” Steve called over the comms, “Clint, Nat, and I have the first sorcerer, we are waiting for Strange to come and grab him. What’s the status of the second?”

Tony dodges a blast as Peter narrowly misses the sorcerer's hand with a web.

“Nearly got him, Cap, I’ll let you know when he’s cornered.”

The sorcerer moves to blast Peter as a web hits its mark and brings him crashing to the ground, pinning his arm. Tony shoots a repulsor blast as Peter webs his other hand.

Peter grins as he turns towards Tony.

“That was awesome, Mr. Stark, did you see? He tried to hit me but I swerved, then….”

Tony flips his faceplate up and looks at him with amusement as he continues to wildly gesture and recount the fight. “You did good kiddo, nice work.”

Tony turns to talk to Steve as Peter fiddles with his web-shooters and talks excitedly.

“He’s webbed up, Cap, whenever Dumbledore's ready.”

“Strange just took the first one, we’ll send him over as soon as he’s back.”

“Got it,” Tony says as he turns back to Peter and the Sorcerer.

As Tony turned back he saw the sorcerer had just escaped the webs and was aiming at Peter, who was too busy beaming and rambling to notice.

Tony only had time to push Peter out of the way before he was hit. All he saw was a flash of green before he fell and everything went dark.

Peter Stumbles as he turns to look at the flash of light that hits Tony square in the face.

Peter turns back to the sorcerer and barely has time to blink before his spidey sense screams and he narrowly dodges the blast of light. 

“What the heck man,” Peter cries, as the sorcerer dodges a web aimed at his face. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you it's rude to attack people when they aren’t watching?”

As the sorcerer turns to aim a blast, Peter hits his arm with a web and jerks him back onto the ground.

“Looks like I shot first,” Peter says, grinning. 

He’s about to shoot another web to keep the sorcerer down before a metal hand suddenly grips his wrist, crushing the web-shooter aimed at the downed villain.


Peter yelps in surprise as the hand gripping his wrist flings him headfirst into the side of a building.

Peter looks up in time to see the sorcerer flee before Mr. Stark grabs him by the neck and slams him back into the wall.

“Ka….ren….,” Peter gasps, as he claws at the hands gripping his throat. “Call….help.”

All he hears, as Mr. Stark flings him to the side, is static.

“Mr. Rogers,” Peter skids to the side to avoid another repulsor blast. “Please… anyone... somethings wrong with Mr. Stark, I need help.”

His comms must have been damaged when Mr. Stark threw him because the static persists as he desperately tries to evade Mr. Stark's attack whilst blindly shooting with the one functional web shooter.

“Mr. Stark,” Peter pants as a repulsor blast hits him in the stomach. “Mr. Stark, please, this isn’t you. Please, please wake up.”

The cold blue eyes of the mask stare at him as Mr. Stark aims a fist at his head.

Peter barely has time to dodge before Mr. Stark grabs his working web shooter and crushes it along with his wrist.

Peter’s scream tears out of his throat as he stumbles dazedly.

Peter tries to dodge another attack as his vision blurs and pain dominates his mind. 

He stumbles as Mr. Stark makes a grab for him.

And Peter, already injured and barely able to stand, can’t keep up.

Peter groans as a metal hand grips him by the throat and slams him into the ground.

As Peter’s vision continues to blur, all he can do is look up as the faceplate retracts and Mr. Stark stares at him, a gauntlet held up over his face. Brown eyes, normally warm and fond, gaze at him with cold indifference.

Peter looks up at him and he knows. He knows this is it. All he can think, as he rips off his own mask and looks at the man he sees as a father, is that he hopes Tony doesn’t blame himself. That he can forgive himself knowing none of this was his fault. He wants Tony to know that he forgives him.

“It’s ok Tony,” Peter murmurs as the hand at his throat tightens and his gauntlet charges up. “I forgive you. This isn’t your fault.” A tear slips down Peter’s bloody cheek as he whimpers, “I love you, Mr. Stark, it’s ok.”

As Peter continually whimpers and tells Mr. Stark that he loves him, he searches the man's face, hoping to see some semblance of recognition. When he sees none he lets out a choked sob and tells Mr. Stark one more time that he forgives him.

Mr. Stark’s face remains impassive as the gauntlet aimed at his face charges to its full capacity.

Peter closes his eyes as he hears the sound of a repulsor firing.

Steve sighs as the orange circle closes behind Strange and the first sorcerer.

“He’s webbed up, Cap, whenever Dumbledore's ready.”

“Strange just took the first one, we’ll send him over as soon as he’s back.”

“Got it.”

Steve looks up as Natasha and Clint, both bruised but generally unharmed, come up next to him.

“How are Tony and the pipsqueak doing with the other guy,” Clint says as he slings his bow back over his shoulder.

“Tony says he and Pete have the second sorcerer detained, they are just waiting on Strange.”

Clint looks over, seemingly concerned. “Should we head over, make sure they have it handled?”

While Clint and Steve discuss heading towards Tony, Natasha goes to check their status over the comms.

“Tony, Peter, state your location,” Natasha says, as a circle of orange appears to Steve's right.

Steve and Clint frown, looking towards Natasha as all they get back is static.

“Tony, tell us where you are,” Natasha says, as they try to remember the direction Tony and Peter went when chasing the sorcerer.

Strange steps through the circle, asking Steve where the second sorcerer went.

Steve frowns as he rubs the bridge of his nose. “Tony said he and Peter had him secured, but something seems wrong. Neither of them are answering their comms.”

“I think they initially went that way,” Clint says, pointing down the street behind them. 

“Nat, keep trying to reach them,” Steve says as they all move in the direction Clint indicated. “We’ll head down this way, see if we run into them, or see any indication of where they ended up.”

As they continue running down the street, turning when they see one of Peter's webs hanging off the edge of a building, Steve can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding. Nat still couldn’t get ahold of Tony and Peter and the streets seemed eerily silent.

As Steve runs ahead, turning around a corner, the silence is broken by the sound of a piercing scream. 

The team skids to a halt as they turned in the direction the scream seemed to come from. They all looked at each other apprehensively before taking off again, running faster as they tried to reach Peter in time to fight whatever caused him to scream like he was dying.

As Steve and Strange round the corner, Steve hears the sound of Tony’s gauntlet firing. His blood turns to ice at the scene laid out before him.

Tony is standing over Peter’s limp body, gauntlet raised and ready to fire again.

Tony turns as the team approaches, and Steve barely gets a glimpse of Tony’s empty eyes, before a metal fist swings for his head.

Steve gasps as he dodges, “Tony,” Steve cries as he attempts to block another hit, “Tony what the hell?! Tony stop!”

“We need to pin him down,” Strange shouts as he dodges a repulsor blast and yanks Tony to the ground with a lasso of magic. “He was hit with a control spell, he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Tony gets back to his feet, lurching towards strange and shoving him down.

Natasha jumps onto his shoulders, thighs wrapped around his neck and Clint aims a taser arrow and brings Tony to his knees. 

As Tony tries to regain his footing, Natasha hits him with a widow bite and shoves him to the ground. 

Natasha moves out of the way as Clint aims another arrow at Tony and Steve gets behind him, pinning him in a headlock with one arm and holding him still with the other, as Strange slowly approaches. 

Steve grunts, trying to hold Tony still. 

“Hurry, I can’t keep him still much longer.”

Strange comes up next to them as Tony struggles against the arms holding him.

As Tony struggles, Strange holds his hands up to Tony’s temples. Tony falls limp as orange sparks fly from  Strange's hands and he murmurs under his breath.

Tony lies there as Strange finishes, before he flails upward, gasping and panting.

“Wha.. What happened? Where’s the Sorcerer? Where’s Pete…”

Understanding and dread flash across Tony’s face before he’s scrambling toward the previously overlooked red and blue figure splayed across the ground.

Steve watches in grief and disbelief as Tony gathers Peter's limp body in his arms, and he shakes and begs for Peter to open his eyes.

Looking at him, Steve knows he’s dead. His face is bloody, his body eerily still. The silence, normally filled with Peter’s happy, excited chatter, is replaced with Tony’s grief-filled sobs.

Tony cradles Peter’s body to his chest, his hand hiding Peter’s face in the crook of his neck.

“I’m sorry Pete, I...I’m so sorry buddy. I..I didn’t.. I didn’t mean it. Please please wake up.”

Tony’s body shakes around Peter’s, as he remains stubbornly still.

“You're ok kiddo. You’re ok. It’s ok, buddy, it’s going to be ok.”

Tony continues to sob brokenly as he curls around Peter.

Later, in the quiet of his lab, Tony will search for the escaped sorcerer. Later, he will find him in an empty warehouse, and only when there is barely anything left of him to identify, he’ll leave and inform Strange he no longer has to worry about the second sorcerer. Later Tony will fall deeper into his guilt and grief as he mourns the boy that was practically his son; as he looks down at his hands that will always be covered in Peter’s blood.

But now, Tony sobs as he cradles his child's rapidly cooling body to his chest. He runs his trembling hands through Peter’s blood-soaked curls as he begs for forgiveness, begging Peter to come back, telling him how much he loves him, how brave he is, how proud he is, as he breaks down in the street. The rest of the team looks on in silent grief and horror for the young boy they all came to love, as he remains limp and still in his fathers' arms.