The Unexpected Interviewee
Relationship: Peter Parker/Michelle Jones
Summary: As the Chief Operating Officer of Stark Industries, Peter reports directly to his mother and CEO Pepper Potts. When the Stark heir arrives at work, ready to conduct an interview, he's unaware it will be with an unexpected "enemy" from his past.
Word Count: 1,754 words
MJ and Peter sat lazing around in Peter's office. His office had better views out of the two, so the couple were often found there, just relaxing when they were not working. After both had graduated from University, MIT for Peter and Harvard for MJ, they had both immediately taken up their destined roles in the world of work, well destined for Peter at least. MJ could never have imagined working her way up into the role of Stark Industries' Head of Public Relations, all because she decided to take an interest in Reporting, and then later Business Journalism. In the case of Peter, he knew from the age of 10, that he would be following in the footsteps of his father. That he would become the CEO of Stark Industries, one of the most famous roles in the world. Perhaps because, the young Stark knew he would inherit the top job of the company, his mother and father had worked so hard to sustainably build, he wanted to feel like he deserved it, he didn't want it to be just handed to him. Which is why, to his mother's delight, and father's distain, he had asked to start at an Intern level, though quickly working his way up into the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO), where he now reported directly to the CEO, Pepper Potts. Just because Peter was her son, she didn't let him off for anything, doing so could be interpreted by employees and the general public, that the company's senior management was corrupt, which would go against the company's code of trying to run as democratically as possible. Even so, Peter thought his mother could go a little easier on him during work hours, especially on days like today.
Peter had been in three back to back meetings, with potential new clients, a meeting with the Heads of Department, and then finally two interviews for new employees, and it was only 1 pm. Which is why, himself and MJ, were now relaxing in his office.
"I've missed you MJ."
She playfully slapped his arm, "Idiot, you saw me two hours ago, in the Heads of Department meeting." She said, smiling down at her boyfriend.
"But that was two WHOLE hours ago."
"Remind me how you're meant to be the CEO one day".
Peter just smirked up at her.
"Anyway, don't you have another interview at 2 pm."
"And you know it's 1:50 pm now."
"Yea-Oh crap, I'm gonna be late!"
MJ laughed as she watched her boyfriend untangle himself from her arms, and straighten out his tie, just as FRIDAY's voice came from the ceiling.
"Mr Stark, Miss Potts would like me to remind you of the interview you are conducting at 2pm."
Peter groaned, he hated when people called him Mr Stark. Mr Stark was his dad, so it made him feel weird. Friday only called him Mr Stark during work, in order to "maintain a professional atmosphere" as his mother always said. Whenever he asked FRIDAY to change it, that recorded phrase would be played back to him, he'd given up asking by now.
"Yeah, yeah, I know Fri, lead the way. Bye MJ."
"Bye Mr Stark", MJ replied, grinning, as she smoothed out her skirt.
"Illuminating route to Interview Room 3, Mr Stark."
Peter sighed, as he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, before following FRIDAY's path.
Peter reaches the interview room at 1:57 pm, "Plenty of time to get ready.", he said to himself.
"FRIDAY, who have we got next?"
"This is a final interview, for the role of Assistant Aerospace Engineer. The candidate's name is Eugene Thompson."
"The candidate's name is Eugene Thompson. Is something wrong Mr Stark?"
"No no, FRIDAY, continue." "How did Flash pass the previous interviews, with his attitude."
"Notes from previous interviewers, suggest he is an excellent candidate for the position, although one makes note of slight egotistical behaviour."
"Maybe's he's changed, Dad's egotistical anyway. FRIDAY, activate the Interview Protocol."
The Interview Protocol was perhaps one of the simplest ones, it merely recorded the room and real-time fact-checked the interviewee for later analysis.
"Of course Mr Stark. Mr Thompson is waiting outside, should I tell him you're ready for him."
As common practice in all businesses, Peter expected a knock, before telling the interviewee that they could enter, even though it was his old bully, he still expected it. Which is why when Flash just strolled in, hands pocketed and just sat down of his own accord, laid back in the chair, Peter was schooled, although he really shouldn't have been this was Flash after all. Flash had yet to look at Peter, so when Peter said, "Welcome to your final interview, Mr Thompson.", he looked up sharply not quite believing what he was seeing.
"May I first congratulate you, on reaching this far in the interview process."
"What the-, Parker!? You're doing my interview?"
"It's Stark, actually. Now first I'm going to ask a few basic questions about your CV to ensure we have everything correct, now where did you-."
"Yeah right, Parker, you are not a Stark! Also, you better not cost me this job, just because you were weak in high school."
"I assure you, Mr Thompson, I conduct every interview in the same way, no matter the interviewee."
"Good, now come on, I want this job."
"Pretty sure you just want the salary that comes with it."
"Of course. Now, what year did you graduate from, Stanford University?"
And so the interview continued, Peter asking questions, Flash answering them. After around 10 minutes, Flash interrupted Peter again.
"How long is stupid thing supposed to take, I've already done this twice."
"At Stark Industries, Mr Thompson, the interview process is split between three stages: A Preliminary Interview, to check a candidate is properly qualified, A Department Interview, with the Head of Department whose department you have applied for, and finally A Management Interview, with a member of the Senior Management Team who reviews the results of the previous interviews and concludes whether that interviewee is the right individual for the role."
"Yeah, yeah I know Parker, that told me this already. What I wanna know is why I'm with you and not a senior manager, like you said."
"Well, Mr Thompson, I am in fact a member of Senior Management, as I am the Chief Operating Officer for SI, alternatively, SI's CEO, the Chairman of the Board, the CFO, the CIO, the CSO and the CGO, also take this third interview stage."
"So you decide if I get the job then?"
"That is certainly one way of looking at it, Mr Thompson, may I continue."
"No! You're doing this on purpose, Parker. You don't even want me to get this job!"
"Mr Thompson, I assure you, I am willing to overlook our past for this interview. I give people second chances."
At the point, something seemed to release in Flash, as he violently lunged across the desk towards Peter, his sixth sense allowing him to evade Flash's punch at the last second.
"FRIDAY! Alert security now!"
"Of course Mr-."
Peter didn't hear then end of FRIDAY's response, because another of Flash's punches had collided with his nose, instinctively raising his hand, he felt the warmth of his own blood as it trickled down his face. Peter knew he couldn't fight back partly because he didn't want to hurt Flash, no matter what, but also because he worried he'd lose control of his super strength. As Flash, started screaming at Peter, something at ruining his life, Peter started dodging the items on the desk, Flash was now hurling at him. As he felt a stapler skim past his ear, security barged into the room, and was on Flash in seconds, restraining him. Peter breathed out a breath he hadn't released he'd been holding and slumped down against a bookcase. As the guards finished restraining and searching Flash, a senior guard cam over to Peter.
"Are you injured, Sir?"
"No, I'm fine.", Peter replied as the guard helped him into the previously overturned desk chair.
At that point, Tony Stark came into the office, pocketing his sunglasses and giving the security guards a nod, before they pulled Flash from the room and left.
"Oh hey, Dad." Peter said, wincing as he talked, "Who knew desk supplies could hurt this bad."
"Jesus Christ, Pete, are you alright? Why'd he attack you?"
Tony didn't get an answer, as MJ burst into the room, "Oh my god Peter, what the hell happened?."
"The guy attacked me, but you'll never guess who it was."
"It was Flash, you know from Midtown."
"What really!? You really are unlucky Pete."
"Back up a bit, cause you've lost me, if that was a friend from school, why did he attack you?"
"I er, l don't know..."
"He used to bully Peter, at school."
"You were bullied!?", that didn't come from Tony though, rather an angry-looking Pepper Potts in the doorway, who instantly ran over to check her 23 yr old son over.
"Why'd you never tells us Pete?", she asked, while helping Peter over to the sofa in the corner of the office.
"I could handle, Mom."
"Yeah, like you just handled that.", Tony snorted.
"I didn't want to hurt him..."
"Peter, he bullied you for years."
"Yeah, but it was better me, then you or Ned, I was Spider-Man by then, I could take it."
"No you couldn't, but that's not the point, as a couple we're supposed to work things out together."
"I know, no more secrets. Promise."
"With you, I doubt that's everything. Have you got any more secret superhero identities or secret powerful last names, I should know about?". Pepper and Tony laughed at that.
"You know, you're a lot like Pep,
Michelle, and that scares me."
"Someone's got to look after you too.", Pepper replied.
"Oh god, my badass girlfriend and my mom, are teaming up."
"Trust me Pete, although it may not seem like it now, it's good thing."
"Tony's right, and if it stops you getting beat up at work, then so be it. Now I think you two should have thrust of the day off, MJ can you help Peter get cleaned up?"
"Of course, come on you, let's go."
"Wait, how come Pep can call scary girl, MJ."
"Probably because you call her 'scary girl', dad.", Peter said, laughing, as MJ pulled him out of the room, towards the elevators.
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