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"Hey, kiddos."

Peter looked up startled, and Shuri raised her eyebrows, not even looking up as she focused only on her project.

"H-hi, Mr Stark." He squeaked, grinning at the older man.

"Hi – get your backpack, I need to show you something." Tony said, turning away from those damn puppy-dog eyes.

"Well, I-?" Peter began uncertainly, casting his eyes to Shuri. She looked at him, shrugging in reply.

"Just come, kid. I think she can handle your absence for a few minutes." Tony sighed. What has he done?

"O-okay...um, see you later?" He asked Shuri, smiling.

"Yup. Have fun." She grinned, returning her attention back to the suit, picking at something with tweezers.

Peter grabbed his bag, running a hand through his hair, blowing out a big breath of air. Tony raised his eyebrows at him, then gestured toward the door. Peter nodded, scuttling through the lab and into the corridor, Mr Stark following closely behind.

"So...been getting along?" he asked from somewhere behind Peter. The teen pulled his eyebrows together suspiciously.

"Uh, yeah. Yeah, she's cool." Peter muttered, and Tony appeared at his side, having caught up. The billionaire slapped a hand onto Peter's shoulder as they walked.

"Well, don't spend too much time with her. T'Challa might think something smells a bit fishy. And the last time he did, he nearly killed the fu-sorry, bad language – the Winter Soldier."

"Mr Stark..." Peter began, shaking his head exasperatedly.

"Just saying, don't get too close, if you know what I mean."

"Mr Stark!" Peter said incredulously. "I-it's not like that." He added, to seem less suspicious.

"Oh, I know. Just making sure it doesn't become something like that. Anyway, you got that-that, furry-coat guy's daughter, right? Laura? Lisa? Lee?"

"L-Liz...and no. She moved to Oregon." And something in Peter's voice cracked, but not because of Liz. Probably more at the mention of the Vulture. God, he hoped he didn't have PTSD. He didn't think he could handle much more.

"Oh, no wonder you're so heart-broken. So, who is it now?" Tony asked, and Peter could hear the mocking smirk in his tone. He rolled his eyes, shaking Mr Stark's hand from his shoulder, an unwelcome smile creeping onto his face.

"No one." He said shortly, feeling his insides churn.

"Uh huh...I'm not convinced. But I'll interrogate you about it later, because now..." He trailed off dramatically.

They'd reached the end of the hall, facing large doors, that whirred to life. Moving apart, with a puff of smoke, Peter saw it.

In a glass cylinder, in the middle of a circular room, was a suit. But a suit unlike anything he'd ever seen before.

It was red, mostly, and gleamed brightly – was it vibranium? – and on the chest was the signature, black Spider. But it was huge – the legs spreading across the whole torso, the black shape outlined with shimmering gold. It was structured and shaped perfectly to Peter's size, and the eyes were so sharp Peter could see his own reflection in them. It amazed him even more than the Black Panther suit, because – because it was a Spider-Man suit...was it meant for him? Oh my god was it his? He gaped at Mr Stark, his eyes wide with astonishment.

"Happy birthday, kid." Tony grinned, returning Peter's gaze, trying to hide the love at Peter's reaction from them.

"Is this for me?" Peter asked, his voice low and quiet.

"Yup. Wanna try it on?"

"It's for me." Peter said again, staring at it in wonder. "Oh my...this is-this is...wow. Wow, Mr Stark. I-I...wow. And it's not even my birthday."

"Is that all you can say?" Tony asked, putting his sunglasses on. Try to act cool.

"Yeah, I mean, this-this is amazing. I-thank you, thank you so much, I can't-!" He stopped short, sighing deeply.

"All good, kid. You needed an upgrade, anyway. It'll...It'll keep you safe." Mr Stark said. Then cleared his throat. And thanked the lord for sunglasses. For the hundredth time since he'd met that damn child.

"Wait, so...why did you-when-what's the occasion?" Peter asked, tumbling over his words.

Mr Stark looked away from him at that, coughing slightly into his hand. Peter furrowed his brow.

"Um, okay, so did you wanna give it a test run?" He asked, and Peter felt a pang of confusion and suspicion. He'd totally just avoided that question.

"Sure, but-?"

"Well, I'll just step outta the room while you get changed...not particularly comfortable with the whole, you know – you are though, those security cams of you stripping in the middle of a street." Tony raised his eyebrows, holding his hands out as he stepped out of the room again, the sliding doors slipping shut with another burst of smoke.

Peter stared at the closed door for a few seconds, becoming more confused by each second he stood there, staring. But then his eagerness to try on the suit overcame his suspicion, and he undressed, until he was standing in his boxers.

Then he was reaching into the cylinder, feeling the surprisingly soft material under his fingers. It immediately fell limp – from its stiff, standing position – at his touch, and he caught it as it fell.

Next thing he knew, he was standing proudly in front of Mr Stark – who was smiling satisfactorily – in the Iron Spider suit.

"Well, I'd imagined what it would look like, but this – this is incredible." Tony exclaimed, walking a full circle around Peter. "I really do surprise myself sometimes."

Peter grinned, though Tony wouldn't have been able to see it. He looked down at his own body, examining every inch of the new suit in wonder. It fit perfectly.

"And guess what, kiddo?" Mr Stark asked. Peter looked up at him quickly, expectantly, and the billionaire just smiled.

"Hello, Peter." Came Karen's voice from within his suit.

He nearly jumped up and down with joy.

"Oh-oh my God, Oh my-hi, hi, hi!" He said excitedly, and he heard Karen laugh softly. She was basically human.

He loved Karen to bits. She was like his best friend, so human-like – way too human-like for an AI – and she was there for him, not that she had a choice, whenever he faced battles or problems. She was there in that warehouse...

"Th-thank you, so much, Mr Stark. This is...amazing. Incredible. I-I don't know what to say." He babbled, and Tony nodded in acknowledgement. Just nodded.

And that curiosity came back.

"Why'd you make it?" he asked innocently, trying not to sound obvious.

Tony looked at him deeply, seeming to deliberate his answer.

"It's more protective than your old suit. More features, more functional. All that." He said shortly. And although Peter knew what the man had said was the truth, he found himself wondering if it was the whole truth.

And it wasn't.

--

Only short, sorry.

450 reads. I am wow. Thank you, each and every one of you whether you liked it or not. Thank you. And thank you for all those votes. Thank you. Thank you.

Alright, I'm done.

I love you sm.

LuvForStydia xx

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