Tony is fifteen. He wants it and he doesn't. The guy's name is Jace and he's refilled Tony's beer cup three times now. Tony knows he's wasted, knows he shouldn't keep drinking, but he's curious and Jace is attentive and warm. He doesn't treat Tony like a kid or a nuisance.
"Electrical engineering, huh? I'm comp sci. So I guess you build the computers, huh?"
"Robots," says Tony. "I build robots."
"That's fantastic," says Jace and listens to Tony talk about robots. He asks questions, little detail questions that show he's been focused on what Tony has to say. Jace isn't drinking quite as much as Tony, and he's got more tolerance built up, from experience and size advantage. Jace is twenty-two. Tony is growing fast, but he's still 5'4".
Tony wants it and he doesn't.
They're in Jace's room. Tony doesn't really remember walking up the stairs. He settles onto the dusty mattress while his head swims with booze and freedom.
Jace latches the door shut so they won't be bothered by anyone else at the party and suddenly Tony feels funny, like something isn't quite right. He tries to stand, but he's pretty wasted. Jace catches him by the elbow. "Whoa, man. Don't hurt yourself."
Tony settles back onto the mattress. He doesn't really remember how they got naked, but now he's underneath Jace and he's hard and Jace is much stronger and it's not that Tony's never seen someone else's dick before, it's that he's never seen a live one, hard and up-close, not one that's so big and is leaking out the top. It makes Tony panic. He tries to crawl away, but he's uncoordinated and Jace is bigger.
Jace laughs. "You're gonna love this," he says.
"I don't-" slurs Tony, "I don't think I-"
And Jace has a hand over Tony's mouth. His arms are longer than Tony's torso, so he keeps his hand there while he starts sucking Tony off. Once Jace hears a muffled, pleased moan, he releases Tony's mouth and goes about prepping the kid's ass. He doesn't spend too long, just some teasing and some lube. He likes it tight. Tony's not arguing or fighting or any of that. When Jace pushes in, Tony hisses but he doesn't gasp. Jace wraps a hand around Tony's erection while he thrusts and after a few minutes, Tony comes with a whimper. By the time Jace comes, Tony is biting his wrist and making no sound.
Jace ties off the condom and falls asleep. Tony's not asleep, but he can't seem to move for what feels like hours. He feels…weird. He has that light-and-loose feeling he always gets post-orgasm, but he feels wound up and frozen too. And the alcohol is still in his system, though its effects had moved past disinhibited and onto half-speed.
Tony raises his hand a few inches. Its silhouette looks too small in the thin light from Jace's computer monitor. He flexes his fingers. The visual image doesn't feel like it matches the motor data. The fingers don't feel like his. Moving his body is difficult, especially because he doesn't want to wake Jace. He rolls off the mattress and onto the floor with a thud that makes his breath catch. The light is bad and he can't figure out which clothes are his, except the jeans, because Jace was wearing track pants.
Tony puts on the jeans, no underwear, and his shoes, no socks. He unlatches the door and creeps down the stairs, wishing he knew what time it was.
When he leaves the frat house, he feels around in his pockets for his keys and his wallet. They're still there. He still has this feeling like things aren't quite real. He walks slowly because he hurts and he's still drunk and his body just doesn't seem to be obeying his brain like usual. He walks past a row of pay phones and he stops. He's on automatic when he digs out the quarters and dials.
"Stark residence, may I ask who is calling?" It's Jarvis's voice. Tony's fingers apparently called home of their own volition.
It's Jarvis's voice, but it's not Jarvis. It's a really simple program Tony's dad cooked up a year or so before Jarvis died. Tony knows the system well enough to rout his call right to his parents' bedside or to stick it in an infinite loop if he's in an obstinate mood. Instead, he just says, "Beta 0-3-2," the code to restart the answering sequence.
"Stark residence," says Jarvis, "may I ask who is calling?"
"Stark residence, may I ask who is calling?"
"Stark residence, may I ask who is calling?"
Tony hangs up and walks the rest of the way back to his dorm. He lays back on his bed and, in a rare moment of introspection, tries to figure out what he's feeling and why he's feeling that way. He's certainly old enough for sex. Plenty of regular people have sex at fifteen, and Tony's a college student, which ought to count for something. And he'd known Jace was flirting – realistically speaking, what other end to the evening could he have possibly expected?
So Tony decides that it doesn't make sense for him to feel bad. So Tony decides that he doesn't feel bad. He won't go back to Jace, of course – it was just a one night stand and it would be bad form to get all clingy – but he's going back to the frat quad next weekend.
Tony is leaving the dining hall when a black luxury car pulls up beside him. The backseat window rolls down and it's Obie. He beckons with a smile and says, "Get in."
Tony would never admit it out loud of course, but it's good to see Obie. He's always been friendly, proud, and permissive, like a favorite uncle. He opens the door and slides inside. "I don't know what you've got planned," he begins, "but I've got class in-"
Obie cuts him off. "This is more important." He pauses for an avuncular smile. "And you're acing all your classes. You can afford to miss a lecture."
Tony shrugs. It's not like skipping class isn't part of his normal behavioral repertoire.
Obie hands Tony a yellow-brown mailing envelope. It's addressed to Howard Stark and it's been opened. Tony looks at it for a moment before glancing back at Obie, who gives a little 'go ahead' nod.
Tony reaches in and he pulls out a small stack of photos. It's him. Him on his knees, him on his back, him on all fours. It's him passed out drunk with semen smeared across his face. It's him with a leaking condom poking out of his ass. It's him giving a blow job to a guy who – god, in the picture, the age difference looks huge, Tony swears the guy didn't look that old when he met him. Tony looks like a stupid little kid.
Tony doesn't remember anyone taking any pictures and he sure as hell wasn't expecting this, but he forces himself to sit up straight and put on his all-purpose casual smirk. "Hey, I'm a popular guy. I try to rein it in, but there's no stopping my charisma."
"One of your classmates tried to blackmail your father with these."
Tony feels a little twinge and he can't tell if it's embarrassment or some kind of bizarre vindication at the thought of his father seeing the photos. "Well, that's stupid," says Tony. "I'm legally a minor, we can just charge whoever it is with making kiddie porn." He rubs his hands together in a washed-clean gesture.
"Right now, the only people who've seen them are me and your dad. If we make this a legal matter," says Obie, "a lot of people will join that list, including your mother."
That knocks the wind out of Tony's sails. He's not wearing the smirk anymore. He can't let his mother see him like that.
(Except there's a tiny part of him that wants his mother to know what he's been doing, what's been happening to him, a tiny part of him that wants her to hold him and kiss his boo-boos and tell him that everything will be okay and she won't let anyone hurt him anymore. But those guys didn't hurt Tony, and he's not a little kid so the whole thought makes no sense.)
"Your blackmailer wasn't very clever," says Obie. "It wasn't hard at all to get his name. I'm here to clean up this mess-"
Tony exhales. Obie will solve it.
"-And I'm here to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Tony nods, the chastised kid look.
"Look," says Obie, grabbing Tony's arm, "you really think you're popular? Because those aren't pictures of popularity." He shakes his head. "You need to know your limits. You need to know some rules – I guess Howard never bothered to teach you." Obie has this conspiratorial look, the one he gets whenever he criticizes Howard in front of Tony, the one that says 'I'm on your side, kid.'
"So, number one," says Obie, "you either get your own drinks, or you watch them being made. Or you drink from a sealed container. Number two, you don't get wasted with people you don't know. If you've never met them before, you have one drink, maybe two. You're young, you have plenty of time to build up tolerance. Get it?"
"And number three," Obie reached into his suit coat pocket and handed Tony a small piece of plastic, about the size and shape of a key, with two metal protrusions on the end. "I don't know what happened and I don't want to know, but if you need an out, that'll get you one."
Obie smiles that uncle-smile again and answers in a friendly-tolerant voice. "I said I don't want to know. None of my business what you kids get up to these days. Don't worry too much, Tony. We can make this go away. You just make sure it doesn't happen again. Join a club or something."
Tony looks out the car window and they're approaching his dorm. Perfect timing. He holds up the envelope with the pictures. "Can I keep these? I mean, you've got it worked out, right?"
"Sure, suit yourself."
Tony goes inside, heads up to his room and plays around with some circuit drawings he'd been doodling the night before. He stays in his room for the next twelve hours, pretending that he's not waiting by the phone hoping that his father will call and show a little interest in his son's massively unhealthy extra-curricular campaign.
Tony decides to join the chess team.