"Tony come on at least come out of there to eat! It's family dinner night." came a shout from the kitchen. Tony had been in the lab all day and Steve would be upset if he didn't at least show his face for their family dinner.
Sighing he put down the tools he had been holding and instructed JARVIS to shut everything down for the night. As the many holograms that had been filling the air only moments ago flicked off the lab was light by one solitary light source, the blue light emitting from Tony's chest. He used it to navigate around all of the workstations and various bits and pieces he had left scattered on the floor.
Tony walked into the kitchen and saw that Steve had already set the table. A table that albeit was big enough for a large dinner party, but only had three place settings. Peter was already sitting to the left of the head of the table and Steve was finishing putting the meal on serving plates. Steve walked over and placed down a plate with five burgers on it, one for Tony, one for Peter and two for Steve. This was how dinner was always ordered or prepared, normal portions for Peter and Tony and a double portion for the resident super soldier.
Steve sat at the head of the table and Tony took the seat across from Peter.
"So, Peter how was your day at school? Pick up any chicks? It's about time you and that girl Gwen got together. Oh come on don't look at me like that, you haven't exactly been subtle about it."
"Tony, enough. We shouldn't pry into his personal life, he doesn't pry into ours."
"That's because our personal lives are publicly broadcast for the entire nation to see, he doesn't need to pry!"
"The kind of things you're pestering him about aren't publicly broadcast, thank goodness…"
"To be fair our wedding was a nationally televised event."
"Because you wanted it to be! If Peter wants to keep his relationship with Ms. Stacy on the down low we should let him."
"Peter, I'm surprised you haven't jumped right into this with your opinion on the matter yet."
"Tony, I know you are just dodging admitting to the fact that you were in the wrong, but I have to agree. Peter are you alright?"
"Hm? Ah… yeah, I'm fine just a headache I think. Can I go lay down I think I just need to sleep it off."
Tony looked to Steve who was busy trying to mask his concern and said "Sure thing kiddo, feel better ok?"
Peter got up quickly, carried his plate to the sink then rushed back to his room. Steve looked at Tony no longer trying to hide his worry and said, "Do you think he is really alright?"
"It seemed like it really was just a headache, which the last time I checked isn't typically fatal."
"This is the fourth time this week he has run off not looking good."
"You've been in the lab, that's why you haven't noticed."
"Well now I feel guilty… maybe I should go check on him?"
"And I'm uneasy about this sudden onslaught of headaches. Checking on him is a good idea."
Steve got up and cleared both of their dishes. Tony waited for him to finish and they made their way together to Peter's room. As soon as they had reached the door JARVIS announced a call from S.H.I.E.L.D.
"Cap, Tony we need you out here stat. I don't want to hear any excuses. I don't care what, or who, you are doing, I need you suited up and downtown ASAP." Came the voice of S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury over the house's speaker system.
"Good old Fury, cutting to the chase and blunt as always." Muttered Tony as he began to head down to the lab to get into the Iron Man suit.
"I suppose Peter will be fine for now, he'll be here when we get back." Steve said to no one before he proceeded to retrieve his own suit and shield.
Tony was flying over the streets of New York City, Steve was driving below, each making their way to the location specified by Fury.
"So fill me in, what's the game plan here?" Tony said into the S.H.I.E.L.D communication link.
'The guy's name is Dr. Octopus. He's got some mechanical appendages, nothing you shouldn't be able to figure out how to stop. He's strong but I can't imagine he'll give you much trouble. The real problem is that new guy that's showed up on the scene recently, calls himself Spiderman." Replied Fury.
"Yepp, heard of him. In fact I'm fairly impressed by those web shooters he has, I wonder what compound he uses to create those webs because-"
"Enough. You can ask him when you find him, because if you don't find him soon the guy is gonna be crushed by our friend Dr. Octopus. Cap, this is where you come in. While Stark is finding a way to disengage Dr. Oct you're going to get this Spiderman to safety."
"Roger that Director." said Steve.
Tony got to the scene first; he saw a red blur scaling a building with a slightly slower gleaming silver mechanism chasing after him. From the looks of it he could clean up this mess before Steve even got here. He readied an EMP, flew in closer to the machine scaling the building. Upon closer inspection the machine wasn't just a machine, there was a man attached although his four extra limbs seemed to be doing most of the work. He didn't even appear to be manipulating them with any kind of controls, though it was definitely a machine not a mutation. Perhaps the mutation was in his mind not the device itself, Tony knew that the Mutant Magneto had the power to manipulate magnetic fields and as a result could move metal with his very willpower, maybe this was a similar situation. Either way a machine was a machine, an EMP would take it down.
Tony flew in just close enough to activate the EMP and paralyze Dr. Octopus's extra appendages. The Doc let out a cry as his limbs began to seize up, the claws at the end of his tentacles had frozen while they were stuck into the wall of the building.
"Well I hate to leave you hanging so I think I'll get someone to come pick you up, would you like that?"
Tony didn't even listen to his response; instead he made a radio call to S.H.I.E.L.D.
"If you want the Doctor you'll find him stuck to the north side of the Empire State building, you might get to take a little of the building with you as a souvenir his tentacles are gripping it pretty tight."
"Good work, we have a pickup a minute away. The Cap will supervise the pick up, we need you to get Spiderman."
Looking up Tony realized that Spiderman had been climbing the past few moments, apparently not realizing his attacker had since stopped chasing him. About a second later he stopped climbing and looked down the building seeing the Doctor frozen he ceased his ascent for a just a moment, it was when he laid eyes on Tony that he resumed his climb, even faster than before if that were possible.
"The hell?" thought Tony.
Whoever this guy was Tony had no idea why he would be running from him. He also hadn't gotten the memo that the suit could go supersonic, because even at half speed the suit moved faster than this guy was climbing. Tony lined himself up and launched himself up at Spiderman. He wrapped his arms under Spiderman's armpits and carried them both up and to a flat roof nearby. Spiderman struggled trying to either force or squirm his way out of Tony's grip.
"Hey buddy, calm down. I'm not going to hurt you. To be honest I'm probably not even going to hand you over to S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm all for the vigilante thing: no boss just your own rules, man those were the days. That doesn't mean I'm going to let you get off without at least introducing yourself."
The man continued to struggle and didn't make a sound.
"Ah, I see the quiet mysterious type of hero, definitely not my style. Well listen up, we can do this my way or do it your way, really both ways end in me getting what I want which is finding out who you are. Your way, where you just tell me is easier for the both of us. The alternative is I just rip off this mask of yours and run your face through my onboard computer's databases until I find out who you are."
Still no reply came although the man had stopped struggling. Finally an eerily framiliar voice said "Even if we did it your way I don't think you would need to bother with JARVIS."
Tony was stunned into silence, something that did not happen to him often.
"How did you… why do you know about JARVIS?"
"You have got to be kidding me."
The man, or rather the boy, stepped forward out of Tony's grasp. Turning to face Tony he removed the hood.
"Peter… I don't even know what to say. No, scratch that, I know exactly what to say. You are grounded, you are so grounded."
"But Dad I have a date with-"
"No. You are not ungrounded, not even for a date."
"I said I was sorry!"
"I need Steve up here." Tony said with a sigh then shouted into the comm link "Someone get Captain America a lift to my location right now!"
"What's wrong is there an emergency?" responded a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
"Family emergency." was Tony's only response.
When Steve got to their location he reacted as Tony expected. There was a lot of yelling at first, then a stern lecture, all followed by tears and exclamations of how Peter could have died five times over by now.
"Listen I'm really sorry, honestly I am. This is exactly why I didn't tell you, I knew you would worry and not let me go."
"Damn straight we wouldn't let you go." said Steve.
"Steve, honey isn't that a little hypocritical? Think of how many times he has sat at home powerless, or at least powerless up until the spider bite incident, and watched us both have countless near death experiences."
"This is different Tony, this is… this … " he let out a heavy sigh "You're right. It isn't really any different is it?"
"There we go, now you've seen the light."
"So does this mean I'm not grounded?"
"NO!" Steve and Tony both shouted at once.
"The only thing this means is we're going on missions as a whole family now. Cheer up Steve, this means our family bonding time isn't limited to family dinner day anymore! Now Peter you have to tell me how you designed those web shooters…"