Second in the line of moodboards inspired my the devil all the time.
He helps Gwen wrangle her hair together backstage, fingers quickly snatching wayward strands and taming them with one of the many pins clutched between Peter’s lips. Natasha comes over to them, adjusts the girl’s tutu, raises the stockings while mumbling in russian, pride for her girls clear even in a different language. His sister’s back straightens impossibly, spine curved and he’s very nearly spilling all the pins over the floor because god, he loves watching the dancers work. They were beautiful in big sweaters, worn leggings, beat up flats and half done ponytails, Peter always thought so no matter how many times they teased him about trying to butter the ballerinas up. They were gorgeous 24/7. But when they were preparing to go onstage?
That was ethereal, something only seen in dreams of tucked away childhoods, beauty found exclusively on fairytales. He caught a glance of the divine each time his sister and their friends went to battle. Five seconds left and no, you will stay away from the light, damn you. Peter growls, distantly hears a semi quiet click, ignores it, slams five pins around a particularly demanding curl and Natasha hums when she revises it, fingers gently touching the bun. She whirls around the room without a word but he’s proud. He made something worthy of Romanoff’s approval. The girls are called to stage and Gwen turns, kisses his cheek and off she goes. Peter lurches forward, plants his lips to the taut shoulder blades just as she’s passing the door’s threshold.
His sister doesn’t really believe in luck, more prone to appreciating hard work and determination. But the youngest Parker child preferred to be on the safe side of things, try to ensure success in as many ways as possible. The music outside begins to stir the audience up, announces the arrival of the group and yeah, he’ll never get over seeing Gwen fly through the air. Another click, but this time he inclines his body back towards it and suddenly the world goes white, a fierce bright thanks to a flashing bulb. He topples back on instinct, hands scrambling for purchase, legs caught on a stray tutu, mind dreading the sharp, incoming impact. It never comes.
There’s movement, lightning fast, a hand around his own, body being yanked, back pressed to a broad chest and then the colors slowly appear in spots as he heaves for breath. A chuckle against Peter’s left ear, amusement and perhaps fondness.
“Should’ve figured the brother of the future prima donna was clumsy. The universe being ironic and all that. But I knew beauty ran in the family. I’m afraid we’ve never been introduced, Mr Parker. I’m Tony Stark, main photographer for the company.”
He’s dead. He must be. No human had a voice that smooth, that enchanting and soothing. The guy had to be an angel of some sort because these things didn’t happen to Peter. His life wasn’t exciting enough that a man half a foot taller and several inches wider than him could just wrap him in strong arms and make them stay in an upright spooning position. Curved hips sit right above his ass, there’s a toned stomach pressed against his back and warm air is teasing the curls on his nape. This type of thing, of situation didn’t occur to Peter Parker.
When the world settles down, he licks dry lips and tries to breathe deeply. Only for him to realize both his hands are immobile. One is being clutched by the wrist, that’s the right hand the photographer had tugged on to twirl Peter round and mesh them together, afar from the lights. His left arm is also being held, although that may just be the man forgot to let go after stabilizing him. He’s immobilized but he feels…completely safe here. Slowly, Peter relaxes enough for his mind to drift, exclusively focus on Gwen and musky cologne.
“I’m Peter. Gwen’s brother. But you already knew that, Mr Stark,” great going, Pete, “Any reason we hadn’t met? Then again, Gwen’s the dancer. I’m just, just a cab driver. I’m not beautiful, nothing special.” He’s not embarassed. He’s not, Peter’s very proud of his job, of how good he is. The 60’s weren’t exactly easy to live in, but he’s managed to keep on going and that’s a hell of a lot more than some people got.
Nonetheless, he dips his head down, ashamed because what if he’s diminishing Gwen’s glow by being a driver, by being boring and dull? What if-
“Bullshit, you’re worthy of a set. Most gorgeous person I’ve seen in years and here you are thinking you’re nothing. I’d kill for a chance with you. I love Gwen, she’s amazing, but I’ve been trailing her more just so you can appear in some of the pictures. I wouldn’t do that for nothing, Parker. Oh, that’s a lovely leap.”
Don’t cry, don’t cry, it’s only the kindest compliment Peter’s received in a long while, the first one that doesn’t have to do with the speed limit or itchy seats or satisfied customers.
“Well,” it’s like sand paper stuck in his throat, “ you wouldn’t have to kill. If you ask, I’d say I’m free on Saturday. ”
What. Are. You. Doing.
Shit, did he just.
“Kid, I’d love that. We could get coffee, I know a place nearby with great chocolate cake.”
Gwen will kill him if she/when she finds out Peter asked someone out without her being around to witness it.
He can’t help it that he beams, “I think that’s great, Mr Stark. Definitely better than being here and acting as the seventeenth wheel.”
“Call me by my name, Peter. We’re basically already snuggling, no need for seriousness. Although, I actually didn’t plan on this. No matter what type of crazy goes through my head, it’s never this fast or this crazy.
"And here I thought photographers were the most serious and aloof with their brooding self portraits.”
Tony laughs and Peter grins, happy to feel the rumble up his back and shoulders. Maybe he’ll develop an urge to get some portraits done. Just one or three every month.