Little Orphan Spider 5
Monday morning was a good one for Peter. After talking to Ned, he felt calmer and was able to get some sleep. So, it was with a yawn that the boy got dressed and threw shoes on when he heard a knock and Mr. Martin poked his head in.
"Morning, new Intern!" the man said with a happy smile.
Peter jumped at that, eyes going wide. It was today!?
"Oh shi-oot!" he corrected at a look from the home's director. "I completely forgot about the internship!"
How had he forgotten? Well, he did have a busy weekend, with meeting Mr. Barton-who tried to shoot him- and the incident, which Peter was not going to think about. Nope. Now excitement at being in an actual lab and terror at being in the place where the Avengers lived, fluttered through his heart, but the boy couldn't keep a smile from his face.
"That's good! Breakfast is being served right now, so hurry up, or you won't get your usual amount. I'm sure you're hungry. I seriously don't know where you put all that food," he said good natured voice.
"Well, growing boys and all that." Peter grabbed his bag, checked his web shooters were there, and headed downstairs. As usual the 'cafeteria' was packed full, all the boy's talking about their classes, or just goofing off. It made Peter smile, but it also hurt his too sensitive ears.
He had to know if there was a way to turn down his hearing, or if it would stay like this forever.
Getting on line, he smiled at the cook, who winked at him and gave him a huge helping of oatmeal with three slices of toast and a big scoopful of eggs. Peter downed the school-type food in minutes and took off, following a few of the boys that were going to school.
The minute the brunette walked into the hallway, he noticed everyone was staring at him. At first he thought there was something on his face, and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. But, when nothing came off, he had to wonder what they were all staring at until he saw Ned talking to MJ.
MJ was a pretty girl, with curly brown hair and eyes that shone like topaz in the sun. But, Peter didn't like her at all. Nope. So when he got closer, and Ned turned, he smiled at them both.
"Hey loser," MJ said with a smile.
"Hey yourself. How was your weekend?" Peter felt a familial connection with his two friends, and felt like he could be himself with them no matter what. But, that wasn't all the way true. MJ didn't know his secret, so he still had to be careful.
"Protested for women's rights," the girl said, pulling a book out for homeroom.
"Played Counter Strike," Ned lied. He was helping Peter all weekend with his patrolling. The bell rang and the trio made their way to their first class, and sat together.
The class went by fast, the two boys arguing about who was the better Anakin, but decided to call it a draw when the bell rang.
"See you, losers," MJ said with a smirk, shaking her head at the boy's antics. But, that frown turned into a frown when she noticed Flash coming towards them. He had a look on his face that was meant for his target; Peter Parker.
Peter's senses tingled, but he didn't dodge the punch that was aimed at his back and let it hit him, crying out when his kidney took the brunt of the force.
"Hey Penis! Getting ready for your fake internship?" the bully smirked, pushing the boy into a locker. "I'm sure the whole school's gonna want proof. So, maybe you can get the Avenger's autographs, huh?" He smiled evilly. "Or, maybe one of them will take you in! Awww, little Orphan will finally have a mommy and daddy! Or, they'll see how dumb you are and kick you out on the first day." With a final punch, the bully left, his friends laughing around him.
Peter was boiling at the bully's words. Even though he was used to them, he still let them get to him sometimes. The bell rang and Peter forced himself to calm down. "Come on, guys, we'll be late." He walked away from his friends, head hanging as he walked towards his next class.
After that, Flash left him alone, for now.
At lunch Ned continued their Star Wars debate, which was quickly settled when MJ threw a roll at both their heads and calling them 'super nerds'.
Flash was still bothering his victim during the day, calling Peter Orphan and Penis instead of using the boy's name, but the brunette refused to listen.
When Chemistry class finally came, Peter felt relaxed and sat at the table in front of the beakers and Bunsen burners. This was his world, his calling.
So when the teacher started droning on about a new chemical compound they were making, Peter was busy mixing more spider webbing in the bottom drawer of the desk, making sure to take notes as well as mix.
Once the class was finished, Peter quickly put his mixture into a brown glass bottle and slipped it into his backpack. Chemistry was the last class for the day, and then he was free....but he wasn't.
Peter longed to be above the buildings as he usually was after school. But, he was still excited to be going to his internship, even if he wished he were going through the air, it was still pretty cool.
Peter stepped off the subway at the bottom of Stark Tower and had to stare up at it. It was so beautiful, with the sun bouncing off all its windows....he had to wonder what it would be like to just hang off the top and see everything. He had been wanting to do so for the longest time, but with Mr. Stark on his tail recently, he didn't want to chance it. So, he had to go in through the front door.
The boy walked through the automatic doors and had an automatic geek-gasm. Technology was all over the place, from the walls to the scanners, an Irish voice coming from each one after she had finished scanning each person. "This is so cool," he whispered. He wasn't looking where he was going, when suddenly he walked into what he could have sworn was a wall wearing clothes, but when he looked up, he stared into a frowning face.
"School tours aren't scheduled," the slightly chunky bearded man said in a firm voice, dark brown eyes staring suspiciously at him .
"O-oh! I know, um...I'm here for the, uh, the internship? Y'know, Peter Parker.." He waved at the last part. The man didn't move, just continued to stare at him, until Peter got his school ID out, showing it to the living wall. "Here? See? Peter Parker..." He flashed a smile, then it disappeared.
"Front desk," the man said, his voice still firm.
'Geeze that guy was happy,' he thought as he walked towards the front desk.
"Bag," another security guard said suddenly, pointing towards the scanners.
"Oh, oh yeah. Here ya go." The teen gave his bag over, glad he didn't have his spider-suit now, and walked through the scanners, waiting for a moment while the blue light ran over his body.
"Clear. Congratulations on starting your internship today, Peter Parker," the Irish voice said, making the boy smile.
"Thanks, scanner lady!" He grabbed his bag once it was cleared and walked to the desk. "Hi, I'm-"
"Yeah, I heard Friday. So, you're the kid everyone's talking about, huh?" The blonde woman smiled, making Peter blush cutely. "Adorable. You already have an ID made." She handed over said card and gave the boy a wink, making him turn even redder. "Good luck, hon."
Peter nodded and left, his face hot as he got into the elevators with a bunch of suit wearing adults. That's when it hit him, he didn't even know where to go! He was about to call out to the desk lady, but the doors closed at that moment and the elevator started moving. Peter looked around nervously, wanting to ask one of the adults, but they were all on their phones and he didn't want to bother them.
So, he just rode the elevator with them until they all got off and followed them until they turned and went into another elevator, where Peter followed until the last floor and he was alone.
"Peter," the Irish voice said from the ceiling. "You do not have clearance to be on this level."
"Oh, um...I kinda got lost," he said sheepishly looking up at the ceiling. "Is there anyone I can ask where to go?"
"If you tell me what it is you're looking for, I can take you down to the level you need."
He was about to open his mouth when he heard a stern voice calling out to him. "Hey, kid, you're not allowed to be up here without security clearance."
Peter stiffened when he looked right into the face of Captain America, his own face going white.
"What's a kid doing here?" Another voice asked, and Clint Barton came around the corner.
"Damned if I know. Hey, kid?" Steve waved his hand in front of the wide eyed teenager's face "You lost?"
It took a minute for the kid to nod and the man's face melted into a smile. This kid was cute. "What are you looking for?"
"Um..I'm looking for the, uh, the in-intern labs? I st-start today..The Ceiling lady told me she had it though."
Steve furrowed his brow. That voice...it sounded so familiar, but he couldn't place it. It was on the tip of his tongue.
"Wait, intern? How old are you kid?" Clint walked into the elevator and slung a n arm around the kid's shoulders, noticing how he flinched back. Odd reaction, but then again, Clint knew who he was in the eye of the public.
"Um, I'm in high school. I just didn't know where to go, honest!" Peter grabbed nervously onto his backpack his knuckles turning white. If these guys recognized him, they would capture him for sure! He had to get outta there! He tried to calm down, but that was hard to do with his senses screaming at him to move, just run! "I got lost, and there was no one to ask."
"Why didn't you just ask Friday?" the archer asked, his brow quirked, noticing the boy shaking under his arm.
"Leave him alone, Clint. He's just a kid on his first day, I'm sure he's nervous. Friday?"
"Yes, Mr. Rogers?" the AI answered.
"Can you please tell-what's your name?"
"Peter," the boy answered quickly.
"Can you please take Peter here to the intern labs?"
"Of course, Mr. Rogers. Mr. Barton, if you are not using the elevators, please exit them so I can move to the correct floor."
Hawk-Eye trudged out of the elevator, but just when the doors, Peter held up a hand with a nervous smile. "Thanks, Captain, sir. Have a good day."
"I didn't know we were hiring kids," Clint said, shaking his head. "How old is he, twelve?"
Steve chuckled. "He has to be pretty smart for Tony to take him on in any way. Just leave it at that," he said and walked back into the room with Clint.
"But did you notice how nervous he was? Way too nervous if we were just talking to him. I think something's up with that kid."
Steve laughed, but it was half hearted. "I think that's just your paranoia talking. You and Nat spend way too much time watching the X-Files." He would have to look into this 'Peter' kid.
"Intern labs," Friday's voice told Peter. "Thanks...Ms. Friday, was it?"
"That is correct, Mr. Parker."
"Oh, you can call me Peter, if you want Ms. Friday. Thank you so much for bringing me here."
"You're very welcome, Peter. Have a great first day."
"Thanks Ms. Friday! Talk to you later!" Peter rushed out of the elevator and into the lab just as it turned three-thirty, panting from having ran all the way. "Hello?" he called. A second later, a blonde woman came out from behind a machine and her eyes turned quizzical.
"Hello, sweetie. Are you lost?"
Peter was getting so tired of hearing that today. "No, ma'am. I'm here for the internship?" The boy held up his pass. "Peter Parker. It's my first day."
It took a minute for the woman's face to light up. "Oh, you're adorable!" she squealed, running over to him. "I'm Gwen Stacey, Peter. It's nice to meet you." Instead of shaking his hand, she reached out a hand to ruffle the head full of curls, giggling as the boy made a face. "I'm glad you made it on time. I was starting to worry."
"Oh, yeah...I got a little lost," Peter hurriedly said, then blanched. Why did he tell her that? Why couldn't he made something up that sounded cooler?
"You too, huh? I admit, even I get lost in this building still. It's just too big!" Gwen lead the boy over to a station and pointed to a lab station, fully equipped with everything Peter had been wanting. "So here's where you'll be working, though, I will tell you, Mr. Stark made your project himself."
At that Peter almost fell over. "Wh-what?!" he cried, his eyes getting to the size of dinner plates.
"Yeah. He told me he called it the 'Baby Monitor'. It's just because you're so young, he didn't want you getting into the more advanced or dangerous projects."
Peter's happiness ended right there. He made a face and groaned. Why did everyone have to make his age a thing? He could handle more advanced things...
"I'll leave you to get settled. The coats are over there, but I don't think we'll have any that fit you, though...." Gwen tapped her pen to her lip. "But, I'm sure we can come up with something, so just take the smallest one for today." Gwen turned when she heard a voice calling her and sighed. "I have to go, but just have fun, okay?" She ruffled the boy's curls again and walked off.
Tony Stark was angry. No, he was more than angry. He was pissed off. Fury had called him, reprimanding him for not getting the annoying spider on their side yet, or even finding out who he was...which was also getting on Tony's nerves. He had been trying to find out for months who the man was, but every plan he made, every drone he sent after the vigilante, he either dodged or destroyed it. He couldn't explain it. He pulled up a video of his last encounter with the spider and examined it.
It seemed as if the small man knew exactly where Tony's drones were coming from without looking. So, he must have a radar, right? Or, could it be something else? Tony looked over the footage again and again, but each time left him further from any clues, and it was starting to get to him.
"Tony? You okay?"
The man turned to see his fiancee standing in the doorway, a cup of coffee in her hands. She walked over to him and handed the mug to him, looking at the video. "Spider-Man again, huh? Any luck?"
Stark groaned, letting his head hit the table, wincing at the pain. "Not a single fucking thing....and I'm getting angry. Fury's been up my ass about this for weeks now, demanding I find out who this guy is, or at least turn him over to our side....but every time I try, the guy tells me the same thing."
Pepper made a sympathetic noise, her fingers running through his hair. "Then why not tell Nick that the guy doesn't want to join and leave it at that?" Tony gave her a look from the table that screamed 'hell no'.
"Why? Because it's personal now. I will find out who this guy is one way or another." Now his stubborn pride was getting in the way, but Tony didn't care. When he set his mind to something, he didn't let it go. The man sat up and sipped his coffee. "But, what do you need? Besides to bask in the glory that is me?"
Pepper rolled her eyes at that comment. "This came from the King of Jordan today, about the little 'incident' that happened in his country that's now worldwide news." She handed her fiancee the tablet which already had the article on the front page of a small knocked over building, rubble spilling into the streets as workers cleaned it up.
"I have no memory of this, so it didn't happen. Tell Air Jordan that I was simply on vacation with my beautiful fiancee and I have no recollection of it besides the glorious moments in the bedroom."
The strawberry blonde smiled and smacked his shoulder. "He wants a formal apology for destroying a temple, and as your CEO, the public also needs something that says you care, because that temple was being made into an orphanage."
At that, Tony had a spark of guilt. "Then, apologize for it, and send the country some money to make a better place for the kids."
Pepper shook her head. "Nope, not good enough. We have to show the world that you care about the children of the world, and throwing money at them isn't enough."
Tony didn't like where this was going and the look he was getting. "No...no, no, you know how I feel about kids. They get messy and their hands are always sticky, plus, how am I supposed to take care of a kid when I need parental supervision?"
Pepper laughed. "I agree with that, but this has to be done. I'll make sure it's an older child that can take care of themselves. You'll be there to offer some guidance and a job once the month is over. Unless, you wind up wanting to adopt the child."
She giggled at the face her fiancee made and shook her head. "Who knows, fatherhood may do you some good. I'll make the announcement and all the arrangements. But, the only stipulation is you will have to keep the child for at least two months."
Stark groaned at that, but then something clicked. "Hold on...the new intern. I remember reading something about him...Friday, pull up the file on the new intern."
"Yes, boss," the Irish AI said, putting said file up on Tony's desk.
The man's eyes read the boy's information and he clapped his hands. "Yes! This, this is the kid, definitely. Plus, he's a little genius, so it will be like talking to a past me."
Pepper walked over and made a noise at the boy's picture. "He's adorable! Look at those curls! Okay, I'll make the arrangements." She kissed Tony on the cheek, feeling his rough stubble against her lips. "I'm sure you'll be great, Tony," and she walked out, already pulling out her phone to set things up.
Peter had logged onto his monitor and the first thing to show on the screen was the screen saver, which was a large pacifier installed with a baby crying. The boy's face went red as the other interns laughed at their own stations.
He swore Mr. Stark was just trying to kill him of embarrassment. Clicking off the screen, he logged in, creating a password he would remember, and got straight to work on his first project.
It seemed easy to do, create a system firewall. So, he set to work, trying to code in an algorithm, but he was denied at every turn. What the heck? He tried again, when suddenly Friday's voice came from his station.
"I'm sorry, Peter, but that is certain programming is off limits for the Baby Monitor file."
Peter groaned. How did Mr. Stark expect to get things done? But, then he had an idea. "Ms. Friday? I'll need your cooperation, if that's okay? I want to override at least a few of the 'protocols' in my file so I can work this and other projects in the future. Can you help me?" The AI was quiet for a minute.
"I don't think that's a good idea, Peter. Mr. Stark has made this system to keep you safe."
"Yes, but I've been doing more complex algorithms in school for years now. Please? I want to show Mr. Stark what I can do." He wanted the man to leave him alone, and this was the way to do it. What could go wrong?
"Fine. But I will inform Boss on what you are doing."
"Okay, but at least, not yet. Let me get this done, then you can tell him?" He looked at his monitor with big, brown puppy eyes. "Please Ms. Friday?"
"Fine Peter. I will help you, but I will inform the Boss when it's complete."
The boy smiled and hacked into the system, finding his protocol file. He wished Ned were here, this was more his thing, but he had to do this alone. So, hacking into the folder, he found the level of security and balked.
He was at a zero? How old did Mr. Stark think he was? Shaking his head, Peter changed them all to level two's, to keep Ms. Friday off his back, and backed out, taking all trace of him with it. "Okay, done. Thank you, Ms. Friday!"
"I still do not approve, Peter."
"I know, but I had to do something! I wasn't allowed to do anything with what I'm working on now." With that, he got to work on the firewall, now so more challenging than it had been with the lowered security level. When he was finished, he had a full firewall in place, protecting all of his future work.
He smiled happily as he double checked his work before pushing back, looking around the room for Ms. Stacey. When he found her, she was in a group that was arguing over something. Curious, the boy got up and walked over, peering over one of the older intern's shoulders.
Oh. They were fighting about how to figure out a problem. He studied the equation for the chemical compound, completely in his element before going over to an empty board, still unnoticed by the group. He wrote down the problem, studied it for a moment, then got to work on it. Ten minutes later he was standing in front of a fully solved equation. "Uh, hey guys? Is-is this what you were fighting over?"
Gwen turned and looked at the whiteboard with a stunned expression. "Oh my God!" she ran over to the board, her eyes flitting to everything. "This is....you solved it!" She gave Peter a hug, which in turn made the boy blush a bright red.
"Oh, this is going to make Mr. Stark so happy! And, once he finds out you solved it, he'll definitely want to meet you! Oh, exciting!" She went back to her group, who were all giving Peter a thumbs up.
Peter, on the other hand was freaking out. He'd just hacked into Mr. Stark's files, and now the man would know, and he'd be kicked off the internship. What was he going to do?