#50 for the meet-cute prompts, please!
#50 Getting paired up on an amusement park that requires even numbered riders.
Wei Wuxian bounces on the balls of his feet, practically vibrating out of his skin with excitement as he waits for Jiang Cheng to catch up. This is it. This is everything he’s ever wanted since he was a tiny little child who had just discovered the thrill of rollercoasters. A lifelong dream about to be fulfilled. He looks up at the attraction sign and sighs blissfully.
“Only you would swoon like a lovesick teenager at the idea of a near-death experience,” Jiang Cheng grumbles, stomping up to him with a scowl.
“Don’t be a wet blanket, Jiang Cheng,” Wei Wuxian sing-songs. He does a pirouette on the spot for good measure, just to see Jiang Cheng groan. “It’s Space Mountain! Space Mountain! Do you know how long I’ve been wanting to try this one out?”
Jiang Cheng glares. “Not long enough, clearly.”
“Looking a little green around the gills there, lil bro.” Wei Wuxian nudges him with an elbow. “Did Pooh’s Hunny Hunt take you out?”
“Fuck off,” Jiang Cheng says, slapping him away. “Why do they have to fling you around in circles anyway? What happened to predictable trajectories and acceptable cruising speeds?”
He does look a little green. And crabbier than usual. Wei Wuxian decides to take pity on him for once.
“We can take a break,” he says. “I think Shijie says she and A-Ling are at the pizza place nearby. Let’s go get you a drink. Space Mountain can wait.”
Jiang Cheng narrows his eyes.
“Why are you being nice?” he asks suspiciously. “Did all those rides unhinge your brain?”
Wei Wuxian could slap him out of spite and indignation, even if he was sick. But he doesn’t, because he is nice. He’s willing to sacrifice Space Mountain for him! How could Jiang Cheng question his sincerity?
“I don’t trust you,” Jiang Cheng says flatly, before he can even open his mouth to retort. “I’m gonna go find A-jie. You go on the stupid Space Rocket or whatever by yourself.”
“It’s SPACE MOUNTAIN,” Wei Wuxian yells as he stomps off again. Jiang Cheng makes a rude gesture over his shoulder.
Whatever. He’s not going to let Jiang Cheng ruin his childhood dreams. He hands over his fast pass to the attendant with a huge grin and practically skips up the the escalator.
He hums to himself as he walks through the winding corridors that lead to the ride, taking in the campy effects and fixtures with unbridled delight. He’s so focused on taking in everything in the room that he doesn’t realise he’s reached the boarding area, and runs head-first into the person in front of him.
“Oh, shit, sorry!” he exclaims, rubbing his forehead.
“Watch where you’re going,” the person says. “And do not curse. There are children around.”
Whatever retort Wei Wuxian has in mind flies away when he looks up and sees an actual god standing in front of him. That is, if god were a tall, broad-shouldered, porcelain statue of a man who stares down at him with a disapproving frown. Which...is actually quite likely and completely beside the point. He offers a sheepish grin instead.
“Sorry, got too excited,” he says. The man raises an eyebrow. “What? I’ve been wanting to go on this ride for years. Since I was a kid actually. I’m allowed to be excited.”
“My apologies,” the man says, a hint of surprise in his voice even though his face barely twitches. “I did not mean to be rude.”
“All good, all good, don’t need to be so serious about it,”Wei Wuxian laughs. They obediently line up at their directed gate. “I’m Wei Ying, Wei Wuxian by the way. You can call me Wei Ying. Are you here by yourself? No offence, but you don’t really look the type to go on rollercoasters a whole lot.”
“Lan Zhan, Lan Wangji,” his companion responds, completely unfazed by Wei Wuxian’s barrage of questions. “I’m here with my brother and his family. The attraction requires even numbers, so I offered to wait for the next carriage.”
“Oh cool! I’m here with my brother and sister and her family, but my nephew is too young to go on most of the rides, and my brother gets motion sick.” The empty carriage pulls up and Wei Wuxian clambers in after Lan Wangji when the gates open. “He promised to go on at least one rollercoaster with me, but he looked like he was actually gonna be sick, so he’s resting now. Do you get motion sick, Lan Wangji?”
The attendant gives them the safety briefing and locks the handlebars in place.
“I don’t know,” Lan Wangji says. “I’ve never been on a rollercoaster before.”
The carriage starts rumbling forward. Wei Wuxian whoops excitedly and turns to Lan Wangji with a giddy laugh.
“Well, we’re about to find out!”
(He does get motion sick, as it turns out. And is disgustingly handsome even with jelly legs. Wei Wuxian falls just a little bit in love.)
// buy me a ko-fi //
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Hey! I love your writing! If you wanted to, could you write something about how maybe when peter is out in patrol, his suit malfunctions and tony freaks out?
Thanks so much! Here you go :) Sorry it turned into like an entire fic lmao, I’ll throw it up on my AO3 as well
There are a lot of people in Queens.
Peter, of all people, is mind-numbingly aware of this. He hears them on the bus to school, breathing loudly, the overlapping smells of strong cologne and food and body odour almost overpowering his gag reflexes. Usually, he walks. It’s still painfully loud, with the screeches of taxi wheels - that horrible tug of rubber against concrete - and the shouts of angry, angry, angry people, but it’s less crowded, he guesses, and it’s nice when MJ walks with him (though he’d never admit it to her, her soft smirk of ‘later, loser,’ at the front gate is always the highlight of his day).
So it’s always a shuddering relief when he pulls his mask on and Karen blocks out the bustling of the city. It’s a warm summer evening and the orange-and-rose-tinted dusk light is just about filtering between the skyscrapers. Peter’s perched on the corner of one such building, his eyes wide and bright beneath the crimson fabric.
“Hey Karen,” Peter breathes, a smile just about tugging at the edges of his lips. “What’ve we got today?”
“Good evening, Peter. I’m picking up on an armed robbery. I’ll send you the co-ordinates.”
“Thanks!” He can barely conceal the excitement building up in his chest. Sure, it’s small-scale, but he’s realised it’s better than bringing down a cargo plane. Peter leaps off the roof and rears his wrist back to aim a fine stream of webbing at the adjacent building, soaring over the multitudes of people below, and finally dropping in front of the crime scene amidst a swarm of civilians rushing in the opposite direction.
Peter enters the shop. It’s not particularly big, but large enough that there are customers on their way out, and Peter moves in front of them to shield their escape. He glances at the counter, where a man is pointing a gun at a cashier while she frantically pulls money from the register to give to him.
Peter clears his throat in such a dramatic manner that it’s almost comical. The man glares at him, and a partner appears from one of the aisles, aiming another gun at Peter’s head.
“Whoa, guys,” he says. “Uh, isn’t it wrong to take things that aren’t yours?”
The man at the desk pushes the gun directly next to the worker’s head, and she releases a choked sob. Peter raises his hands instinctively, his eyes wide.
“Hey, hey, hey, we don’t have to hurt anyone! OK, look, just, uh, just take the money, I’ll stay here.”
Peter offers an encouraging nod, and one gun goes down but the other stays trained on him.
The lady finishes and hands over the rest of the money and they’re not interested in her anymore. Peter nods to her and she ducks down under the counter. The first guy raises his gun again, so this time two of them are aimed at Peter.
“Karen?” he mumbles. “What are my chances of getting out of this?”
His AI, for the first time, does not answer his question. The ominous silence makes Peter’s skin crawl. Is he going to die? Is Spider-Man, the guy who fought the Avengers, going to meet his end in this too-clean, too-bright aisle of a supermarket during his summer break?
“Karen come on!” Peter’s panic is poorly masked, and the young men’s gazes flicker up to the eyes on his suit, and realise they’ve been reduced to tiny, bright red pinpricks amidst a sea of emotionless black.
A gunshot fires through the room, and Peter instinctively moves, and rushes forward to snatch the gun away. But as he reaches out there’s a weird weakness in his arm and all of a sudden the suit’s overtaken it somehow, and he’s aiming a powerful punch to the guy’s head. With his strength, he could-
“Karen stop! D-Deactivate instant kill!”
Peter barely overpowers the force in his suit, but he manages to drag his arm back just before he hits the guy. The other one has run away with the money, and Peter tries to hold himself still so this enemy can escape too. Peter scans his build and mannerisms so that he can find him later.
He’s positively vibrating in the suit, trying to suppress its want to kill. Peter gazes around in a panicked haze, spots the door and webs himself out, doing his best to avoid people on the streets. Peter runs and runs and runs, and he doesn’t stop until there’s no one he can hurt.
Tony Stark receives the bleep from his lab. He’s holding a screwdriver between his teeth and his eyes are narrowed as he tinkers with the Iron Spider suit and his hair is completely tousled from constantly tugging his fingers through it. There are bruise-like shadows beneath his eyes and an empty mug on his desk rimmed with coffee.
“Boss, Peter Parker has left Queens.”
Tony’s sleepless-hazed brain takes several extra seconds to chew on that, but eventually he averts his gaze to the ceiling, his head cocked at FRIDAY’s words. “He’s - what? Is he coming here then?”
“Wow. Elaborate?” Tony waves his hand in a dismissive gesture, pushing himself away from his desk and wandering over to his tablet.
“He’s heading along the Hudson River, towards the sea.”
Tony bites his lip. Peter hasn’t been particularly fond of swimming since the parachute incident.
“And he’s in the Spider-Man suit?”
“I wouldn’t be able to track him otherwise.”
“Shut up.” Tony rubs his face. “’M tired.”
“Then I would advise sleep.”
“Helpful,” murmurs Tony with the semblance of a smirk. “But unfortunately, impossible, thanks to this kid.”
“Glad I could be of service,” says FRIDAY.
Tony pulls up Peter’s location on the screen and narrows his eyes as he continues down alongside the river at a rapid pace. He seems to be staying as high above the ground as possible.
His mind an anxious, sleep-deprived mess, his armour closing around his small frame, Tony steps into the light of the setting sun, takes off, and mutters: “Alright, FRIDAY, let’s find out where the fuck this kid is going.”
Tony lands by a surprisingly quiet patch of concrete that pans outwards from the city, and finds Peter facing the opposite direction, talking to himself- no, to Karen.
“Kid?” Tony allows his armour to slip away. “You okay?”
“M-M-Mr. Stark!” Peter whips around, and Tony frowns at the ominous pricks of red at his eyes. “O-Oh my g-god, get away from me, get away-”
“Kid! What’s up?” The armour stays open behind Tony. The man takes a tentative step forward. “You’re -”
Peter lunges towards him and Tony’s eyes widen as he sidesteps to dodge the punch. He glances at Peter in surprise, and the suit is wracking with gentle sobs.
“Peter - I’m gonna go back in the suit, okay -”
“P-Please,” Peter cries, trying to direct himself away as Tony steps back into his armour, the faceplate forming around his worried expression.
“Can you not deactivate Instant Kill? I’ll override it, alright? Just hold on,” murmurs Tony. At his words, FRIDAY drags up a screen in front of his eyes. But Tony frowns. “Wait a sec, Pete, can you not control your movements at all? Instant Kill isn’t supposed to-”
Suddenly Tony’s suit opens again and powers down. He stumbles out of it and glares at the armour in shock, a million theories running through his mind, ‘broken’ not being one of them. As he gazes back at Peter, who is trembling violently as he struggles to hold himself in place, he realises that they’ve been hacked.
“Pete,” Tony spins around on his heel and claps his hands together, focusing on the matter at hand. “We’ve been hacked, you understand? I’m gonna bring it up on my phone and override our suits, you’ve just gotta hold on until I can-”
“Mr. Stark, I can’t - I can’t - I’m so sorry-”
Peter rushes forward again, hands clenched into tight fists, his eyes squeezed shut beneath his mask. He’s tried taking it off but something’s keeping it in place.
Tony tries to focus on his phone but ducks to dodge Peter’s first punch; the second just about gets him, striking his shoulder powerfully - Peter whimpers loudly at the contact, and murmurs another “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” his arm jerking violently as he tries to rear it back.
Tony does his utmost to hide his wince, his ever-suave features contorting just slightly for the briefest of moments; then he’s back on the app, sporting a probably-dislocated shoulder and trying to dodge a sobbing mess of a spider-enhanced kid.
"I’m s-so s-”
“I don’t wanna hear it,” murmurs Tony, sidestepping this time to avoid a kick.
“F-Fight me back, Tony,” Peter cries. “I’ll hurt y-”
“Again,” says Tony, clenching his teeth as Peter hits him a couple more times in the ribs, and desperately coding into the device, “I don’t wanna hear it, Pete.”
So Peter’s sobbing and trying to hold himself back. At one point Tony ducks behind his open suit, just for a few moments of peace so he can finish overriding the system, but then Peter kicks it aside and it crumples sadly on the ground and Peter releases another pained cry - he’s always looked up to Iron Man - that makes Tony’s heart scream. Peter tries to claw at his mask but it’s stuck, still; and with the armour out of the way, his suit forces him towards Tony again, his web shooter combinations switching ominously to one unbeknownst to Peter, like the worst rendition of Russian roulette.
“T-Tony, I don’t know what-”
The web lands on Tony’s phone and Peter yanks it away. Then he throws a web grenade.
“Shit!” Tony rears to the side, just about avoiding the bulk of the onslaught of webbing, but it catches the back of his leg and keeps him standing in place. Trapped. A human punching bag.
Peter sways slightly but the suit keeps him upright. Tony gazes at him imploringly.
“Peter. You can do it, kid. I just need the phone. I just need to put in one more number. Can you pass it over?”
And Peter gazes at him. Peter gazes at his broken mentor - ribs arm shoulder leg head heart - and the tears keep on spilling. It’s all blurry, but the phone’s in his hand, and his suit is trying desperately to crush it.
Peter tries to pry his fingers apart, clenching his teeth at the squeezing tension on his body, just like Tony had when he’d broken him. Tony is strong and he needs him to be strong too.
“What number?” Peter gasps.
His legs force him closer to Tony. Peter staggers to pull them back, but he’s approaching, his free arm raised in a fist, maybe ready to give Tony’s black eye a twin.
(Or maybe ready to deliver the killing blow. It’s Instant Kill Mode, after all.)
His fingers are still half-clenched around the phone. He’s trying so hard to focus his energy on it. He supposes it makes sense that the suit is built to counteract super-human forces.
He’s way too close now. Tony is looking up at him. His features curl upward to form something of a smirk.
“That’s okay, kid. It’s not your fault. I’m proud of you, Pete. You saved so many people.”
Peter is still crying. The fist is closed above Tony’s head. He’ll snap his neck back.
He wants to say something. Maybe sorry or maybe that he’s become a sort of father figure, but Peter can’t say that because it’ll be too painful when he’s gone. So he says nothing, he keeps his hand trained on Tony’s head, and for one heart-dropping, fleeting moment, Tony’s eyes slip closed in acceptance.
Then Peter’s finger hits the button.
Tony opens his eyes. Peter’s entire body has relaxed, and he’s holding the phone in a shaking hand, and with the other he rips his mask off and his eyes are glazed and exhausted and his face is pale and there are tear tracks down his cheeks. Tony’s arms open instinctively and Peter stumbles into them, his legs buckling as they both sink to the floor.
Tony pulls his fingers through Peter’s curled locks, brushing them from the thin sheen of sweat on the boy’s forehead. “You’re okay, kid.”
“But you -”
Tony cuts him off before he can get the words out. “No, it’s not your fault. Got it? I need to fix your suit.”
Peter sniffs and briefly pulls away from Tony to grab his rucksack. He rummages through it and pulls out the keys to his apartment and tosses them across to Tony, who smiles and starts cutting through the webbing on his leg.
When he’s freed himself, he stands up and brushes himself down. Peter is sitting cross-legged on the floor, his face in his hands. He doesn’t look at Tony, whose movements are slow and painful, as much as the older man tries to hide it.
“Kid,” says Tony softly. He’s extended his arm to Peter, who lowers his hands to his lap and glares up at Tony tearfully. Tony retracts his hand and runs it through his hair.
“Don’t blame yourself,” says Tony, half-joking. “Or you’re grounded.”
“What? That makes -”“- no sense. Just like you blaming yourself for someone else hacking your suit. So come on, Pete, I want ice cream.” Tony folds his arms across his chest and glares down at Peter defiantly.
Peter half-smiles. “What flavour ice cream?”
“Maybe if you get off your ass, I’ll let you choose.”
That gets Peter up.
It’s the same routine. Tony steps back into the armour, which is working again, and Peter steps on the suit’s feet and they both head back to the Compound. When they get there, Tony doesn’t tend to his injuries. He disappears and returns to the living room with a blanket and a Star Wars movie and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s (”Stark Ravin’ Hazelnuts?” Peter laughs) and forces the kid onto the couch.
“Mr. Stark, are you -”
“Minor injuries.” Tony waves a hand dismissively. “FRIDAY says it’s fine if I wait a bit. We’re sorting you out first.”
“Put on the movie, I can’t work the DVD player,” murmurs Tony, sinking back into the cushions.
Peter smirks, certain that’s a lie, but he quickly bounds forward and slips the movie in. He returns to the couch and Tony pulls an arm round him.
Peter manages to watch a good portion of it; Star Wars is his favourite movie, after all, but there’s a tugging fatigue at his eyelids and after an hour or so he can’t seem to fight the weight of them anymore. His eyes close to the hum of the TV and to Tony’s absent fingers tracing patterns in his hair and to a warm burst of affection in his chest.
When Peter wakes up, Tony isn’t beside him. His head is propped against a pillow instead of the man’s chest, and Peter realises with a jolt that he’s probably caused more damage to Tony’s broken ribs. He leaps to his feet, discarding the blanket and glancing at the TV for an indication of time, but the credits are rolling on a loop.
“Mr. Stark?” Peter calls. He wanders into the lab, where Tony always is, and finds the man passed out at his desk among his tablet and an improved Spider-Man suit. There’s a messily-made bandage on his arm, which helps ease Peter’s conscience somewhat, because at least he’s tried to take care of himself.
Peter traces the suit and the eyes briefly light up with a soft, “Good morning, Peter. Would you like to test the new anti-hacking protocol?”
There’s a hacker out there he needs to catch and young men who got away with robbing a bank, but Peter’s got Tony, and that thought alone is enough for the corners of his mouth to twitch upwards into a smile.
When Tony wakes up, there’s an inexplicable blanket draped across his shoulders, and a note on his desk in joyfully scrawled font: Thanks, Mr. Stark!
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