*slithers into your inbox* Hi. Can you write a fic where Peter's really clumsy and awkward around MJ and it takes Tony really long to figure out that he likes MJ and gives Peter relationship advice to which Peter feels really awkward about? Feel free to disregard or deny. Oh also, your works are awesome and congrats on 1k. *slithers back out*
It’s Rhodey who mentions it to him. He and Tony are sitting on the patio at the compound, enjoying the nice summer night while drinking some yellow smoothies (when Tony announced he will go completely sober, Rhodey immediately stopped consuming any alcohol when Tony is around, and Tony is so much more grateful for his support than he could ever put into words). “What kind of advice did you give Peter?”
“That he should avoid the sharp end of the knife.”
“No, the other one.”
“That not all criminals appreciate funny puns.”
“That he should always check the smoothies DUM-E makes him, no matter if the last five have been motor oil-free.”
“Not that one.”
“That he should take a look over his shoulder when he’s changing lanes because of the blind spot.”
“That nightmares are absolutely nothing to be ashamed about and that he can always call me if it’s too much.”
Rhodey rolls his eyes. “C’mon, you know what I’m talking about.”
“No, I honestly don’t, platypus,” Tony says. He could continue the list of what kind of advice he gave Peter, of course, but he has a feeling that those wouldn’t be the right ones either.
“I’m talking about MJ.”
“What about her?”
His friend’s mouth is already open, but he stops, blinking at Tony twice. “You didn’t notice?”
“Didn’t notice what?”
Instead of answering – at this point, Tony is half-convinced that Rhodey is only doing this to annoy him – Rhodey looks into the distance, shrugging once. “Well, I guess that makes sense. You were already at MIT at his age.”
“Not that I don’t love having long conversations with you, honey bear, but can you please enlighten me? What’s with Peter and MJ?”
“Peter has a crush on her.”
“What?” Tony all but yells, grateful that he didn’t had any smoothie in his mouth or he would’ve choked on it. “No! Why would you say that?”
“Did you seriously not notice anything about Peter whenever he’s around MJ?”
Instead of starting to yell again, Tony actually pauses and thinks about it for a second. For the last couple of months, Tony had bonded with both Ned and MJ – not entirely by choice. It started when Tony spontaneously decided to pick up Peter from school and invite him to an early dinner. However, the kid already made plans with MJ and Ned, so (even though Tony wasn’t too happy about it back then) he invited them along, too. More incidents like that happened. Eventually, Tony let them use his in-home movie theatre to watch their movies and quizzed them for an upcoming test.
Before he was fully aware it was happening, he more or less adopted those two teenagers as well. Not like he adopted Peter (not legally, of course, it’s more of an unspoken thing – and everyone who matters is aware of it), but more like these are my kid’s best friends and they’re good kids so I will clearly catch a bullet for them and buy them as much food as they want.
Even though Peter can invent better things than most of Tony’s colleagues, Ned is better at programming than him (Tony is absolutely not surprised when he found out that it had been Ned who hacked the Spider-Man suit). Tony tries his best to come up with challenges for him and introduces him to a few of his employees in the programming department. He also lends Ned one of his cars when his dad’s car breaks down just days before his driving test.
It was a bit more difficult to bond with MJ, but as soon as they found something in common they could talk about (their awe for Pepper Potts, and Tony is unbelievably happy that he found someone who can gush just as much as he about his soon-to-be wife), their relationship really took off. He helps her find good questions for their AcaDeca practice, introduces her to Pepper, and pulls an all-nighter researching good schools when she said she can’t decide.
They also have a group chat where they complain about Peter being a reckless (and on a darker note: where Tony keeps them updated when something happens to their favorite spider boy).
Tony invited all three of them to spend some time at the compound during their summer break, knowing that no teenager would ever say no to a pool like theirs and the gaming room. But now that Rhodey mentioned Peter being weird around MJ, Tony thinks back – and comes to the conclusion that his friend is right. Peter did start to ramble a bit more whenever MJ surprised him with a question, suddenly becoming unfocused to the point he would let things fall despite his stickiness and his spider sense.
He thought Peter might be overworked or something, but all of these things have one thing in common: MJ.
“Oh, shit,” Tony breathes, the realization falling from his eyes like scales. “Peter likes MJ.”
Rhodey snorts. “Aren’t you supposed to be a genius? Or close to Peter?”
“I have to give him some advice,” he says, completely ignoring the comment, his brain jumping to the I have to help Peter however I can default setting.
“Tones, I really don’t know if you’re the best one to give him some advice.”
“Nonsense! Why would you say that?”
“Because you’re Tony Stark. Your dating experience is very different from anyone’s else. On top of that, you skipped the entire embarrassing and awkward dating in High School phase. Maybe you should just… wait until he asks you something.”
Tony, of course, doesn’t listen to Rhodey.
So, the next day after making sure that both Ned and MJ are still asleep, Tony knocks against Peter’s door, stepping inside once he gets the boy’s permission. “Morning, Mr. Stark!” Peter greets him, way too cheerful for a teenager at this hour of the morning.
Tony smiles. “Morning. Slept well?”
“Of course. It’s literally impossible to sleep uncomfortable on this mattress,” Peter jokes, patting the bed he’s still sitting on.
Tony decides to rip off the band-aid. “So, you like MJ.”
Peter’s face loses it’s color so fast, it’s a bit concerning. “Wh-Wh-What?! N-No! Absolutely not! That’s- How did you come up with something so ridiculous?”
“Please, I’ve known for weeks.” (That’s a lie, obviously, but Peter doesn’t need to know.) Peter looks like he wants to say something, but Tony shakes his head. “It’s fine, Peter. Don’t panic. I’m not here to make fun of you.”
“It kinda feels like you are.”
“Rude.” Because the kid is still very much looking like a deer caught in headlights, Tony sits down next to him. “Hey. MJ is great, and I actually think you would make a cute couple.”
“We’re not a couple.”
“I know, you actually have to ask her out for that. But don’t worry, I’m here to give you some tips.”
“Oh god,” Peter mumbles, hiding his bright red face in his hands. “Please don’t.”
“So, the most important thing is to be honest and to always be yourself. And then-”
“Can we please not do this? Like… I would rather get stabbed.”
“I’m starting to think you don’t want to hear my advice.”
“No offense, but I heard a lot of stories from Miss Potts and Colonel Rhodes. I don’t think any of them will work with MJ. Or on, like, anyone.”
Tony grimaces. “Wow. Looks like everyone decides to stab me in the back. But one thing I have a lot of experience with is, well… how do I say that… to be intimate.”
“Nope!” Peter shouts, jumping off his bed, shaking his head, and getting at least three feet away from Tony. “Absolutely not. We’re not having this conversation. At all!”
“C’mon, this is important. And you have to know-”
“I already know! We talked about it at school and I already had one very embarrassing conversation with May and there’s the internet! I don’t need to talk with you about it, too!”
“Peter-” Peter shakes his head before jumping forward, grabbing Tony’s arm and pulling him up. Then, to the man’s surprise (and probably a true testimony of how much Peter doesn’t want to talk about it), the kid picks him up, arms wrapped around his middle, and carries him to the door like Tony weights nothing at all. “I just want you to know that if you should ever have any questions-”
“I’ll google them!” Peter answers, setting Tony down and slamming the door in his face. Finally, Tony doesn’t have to hide his smile anymore.