Weakness

Author's Note: Hello! :D This is my first Glee/Avengers crossover and I'm really happy that I wrote it because I love to read them and then I wrote one and weee! I hope you like it!

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or The Avengers. RIB and Marvel own them respectively.


When the face of a curly-haired, wide-eyed teenage by appears on the projection screen, Steve Rogers knows there's no turning back. He can hear the change in Tony's breathing beside him, and casts a glance over to his friend to see his shoulders tense under the fabric of his dark T-shirt. That's his kid on that screen, his enthusiastic little seventeen-year-old by the name of Blaine Anderson that came into their lives one year ago when the boy's mother died.

"I don't like it when people take my stuff," Tony mutters darkly. It's a stark contrast to his early sarcastic demeanor when Ronald Pike first contacted them. He was brushing off the man's threats with a sassy confidence but, now that his son's uncharacteristically pale face is in front of him on the technological communicator as a new kind of threat, he begins to show the suppressed signs of true fear. On the face of Tony's computer projections, they can see that Blaine is tied to a chair. His hair is ruffled and his clothes are dirty, his lips are pursed by there are no tears in sight. However, he does show signs of a beating—a split lip and a bruise on his left cheekbone stand out harshly on his young face. Ronald Pike, a balding man in his thirties, walks into the vision of the camera he must have set up and stands beside Blaine.

"Are you ready to listen now, Mr. Stark?" Pike grabs a fistful of the boy's curls and Steve can practically feel Tony tense up beside him. He places a hand on the shorter man's forearm, but he shakes Steve's touch off irritably and stalks forward.

"What do you want?" the genius growls, all bravado gone. Dr. Banner is muttering in the background to Natasha about tracking the signal. Apparently, JARVIS has been on it the minute the video surveillance came through. Thor looks like he's ready to lunge through the projection and use Mjolnir to send Pike flying to the moon; Clint is analyzing the situation critically; Steve is trying to find any semblance of order.

And Tony is like a loaded gun. He narrows his eyes dangerously as Pike walks around a slightly trembling Blaine to drone on about ransom money and secret files. The man is tall and sturdy, but ugly in a ragged way. His pale forehead gleams with sweat near his hairline as he speaks—a clear indication of nervousness. He hasn't done this before.

Tony has.

"Let me talk to my son," he commands briskly when the man is done stating his demands.

After a few seconds, Pike concedes. "Fine," he spits, "But you only get five minutes."

Pike walks out of sight, and the camera zooms in a little closer to Blaine. Steve purses his lips when he can see the boy's bruises and cuts at a closer viewpoint. Thor lets out a growl.

"Hey, kid. How you feeling?" Tony asks.

Blaine breathes in through his nose. "I've been better," he admits. His voice, usually pure and clear for singing, has a slight rasp to it that wasn't there before. He's afraid, but trying not to show it.

"Has he hurt you?"

There's a pause and then a quiet, "Yes."

Tony clenches his fists. "I'm going to get you out of there, Blaine," he says in a tone that Steve has rarely heard from him, "I promise."

"Okay."

"Stay strong, son. I'm proud of you."

Blaine nods in response to his father's words, a little shaky but stubborn. Pike then re-enters the screen to reiterate his demands and make more threats. Tony brushes him off with an impatient, "Yeah, yeah. Are we done here?"

Pike narrows his eyes. "I guess we are. I'll be seeing you in two hours with everything I asked for."

Tony ends the call without responding.

He storms out of the room to get on the Iron Man suit. "Everybody be ready to go in five minutes," he barks.

Steve follows him. "Do we know where he is?" he asks, watching as the machines work around him.

"Of course we do," Tony scoffs, "This Ronald Pike is alright with computers, but he's still an amateur. Sending a streaming link straight to my technology, goading my team into action, taking my son…he's damn stupid." Steve just stands there and listens to this muttering, so Tony whirls to face him. He was typing on a keypad in the wall and stating commands to JARVIS. Now, he flicks his hand at the blonde man. "What are you waiting for? Suit up, Captain, we're leaving in under three minutes."

Steve doesn't usually condone taking orders from Tony, but this time he just obeys. This is Mr. Stark's mission—it's his son at stake—so Steve's not going to interfere. He walks out of the room just as the Iron Man suit clamps itself around Tony's body.


Flying over New York, Tony can't stop his mind from running in all different directions. He tries to concentrate it to the task at hand, but it keeps veering off into dangerous depths of 'what if's and imaginary scenarios. He knows logically that Pike won't do anything more; he thinks he's getting everything he wants because of his bargaining chip, but he harshly misjudged that. His risk would not pay off.

Tony knows this, he knows how powerful and efficient the Avengers are, how naïve Pike is, how stubborn Blaine is. But, as a father, he can't stop thinking of all the different ways that this could go wrong…the different ways that Blaine could get hurt.

Black Widow places a hand on his knee. "It's going to be okay," she says calmly, "We'll get him back."

"And then I'll throw him out of the window and smite him where he lands," growls Thor from across the plane.

Captain America glances at the god beside him. "I think you need to calm down," he suggests.

Thor's blue eyes narrow. "Nobody of worth hurts Blaine son-of-Ander. He has a good heart and doesn't deserve to be targeted."

"Oh, let him be, Cap," Tony interjects, "His enthusiasm is appreciated…and I don't plan on going easy on that idiot Pike when we get to him. Thor's right, my kid doesn't deserve this."

Hawkeye nods. "Pike crossed a line, taking your boy."

"Yep, he did," Tony agrees. He always knew that there was a possibility of Blaine being taken captive for leverage purposes—both Tony Stark and Iron Man have lots of enemies—but he found that he wasn't nearly ready when it actually happened. The warnings he got when Blaine was taken into his custody a year ago (Your son might be held for ransom purposes. Be prepared for this.), they used to be just words. But, now, they have a visual to them—a hazel-eyed boy shaking and tied to a chair, trying valiantly to not show his fear—and a feeling associated with them, deep in Tony's chest—an aching doubt mixed with small flares of panic, all trying to be subdued by a blanket of logic.

But he's not alone. Tony's not the only person who cares for Blaine and who's willing to risk himself to save him. Blaine's such a charismatic, caring and good young man that everyone who meets him grows fond of him almost immediately. Since becoming acquainted with Tony's long-lost son, even a group as diverse as the Avengers became attached to the boy. Steve helps him with his History homework, Natasha and Clint teach him self-defence, Bruce has chats with him over breakfast (because Blaine can't judge somebody even for unexpectedly turning into a mindlessly angry, green beast), Thor enjoys the boy's company and tells him endless stories of Asgard. Hell, even Nick Fury doesn't mind the kid.

And Tony loves Blaine, even with his annoying singing and dancing, and his occasional, interrupting need for attention.

And Ronald Pike is going to pay.

It seems to take an eternity, but they finally land close enough to the building from which they tracked the video. They fly close to the tall structure, beside a window of the floor they know he's on. When the plane is near enough, Iron Man shoots a jolt of energy to shatter the window. A small ramp is lowered down and the Avengers jump off of it to land inside the building. Not exactly a low-key operation, but effective.

They end up in a hallway. Armed men, startled into action by the explosion, come running in with their guns raised. Iron Man doesn't bother dealing with them; he saw the door that they came out of and he takes after it immediately. It's not like him to forego a fight like this, but his team seems to understand. They deal with any of the guys that get too close and, pretty soon, Iron Man is kicking the door down with a little more force than necessary.

Ronald Pike is standing there in the middle of the room. His face is shining with sweat and his eyes are wild with nerves; he obviously didn't foresee this outcome to his plan.

Stupid.

He also has a gun pressed to Blaine's left temple.

Very stupid.

Blaine is still tied to the chair, placed in close range to Pike. He's got a gag in his mouth this time, but his hazel eyes are wide and fixated to his father's form in the doorway. The desperation in them fuels Tony's rage like a fire.

"Don't come any closer!" Pike yells, nudging the side of Blaine's head with his weapon. "Or I'll blow his brains out!"

"Oh, no you won't," Tony mutters darkly.

There's a streak of movement from behind Iron Man and then Pike lets out a shout and staggers back. Protruding from his right shoulder is a black arrow, and his gun has clattered to the ground near Blaine's feet. The boy's ankles are tied together, but not to the chair itself, so he immediately kicks the weapon away from himself and his captor. Iron Man has no use for guns and neither does Hawkeye behind him, so it's crushed beneath the strong metal of the father's boot.

Tony's first instinct is to stalk over to Pike, humiliate him, and then punch his face in. But the Hulk presently crashes through the door behind him and throws Pike against a wall. The giant green man is followed by Captain America, who valiantly tries to get Pike away from the danger of being crushed in order to take him into custody.

Tony figures that situation is handled well enough.

Really, Pike is so stupid that they didn't all need to come on the operation; Iron Man probably would have been fine by himself. But, Pike bit off way more than he could chew when he decided to snatch up Tony's son. Blaine had more powerful friends than Pike gave the boy credit for.

Black Widow hands Iron Man a knife as he passes her by. He thanks her with a nod. When he reaches Blaine, however, the helmet slides away to reveal his face, and he becomes Tony. "Hey, kiddo," he says as he kneels down to untie the gag behind the boy's head.

Once Blaine regains the power of speech, he whispers, "Dad, you came."

Tony scoffs. "Of course I did, don't be ridiculous." He reaches around to cut through the ropes binding Blaine's wrists together, followed quickly by the ones around his ankles, then he drops the knife dismissively. Once freed, the seventeen-year-old attempts to stand up, but he's weak in the knees and he crumples forward.

Tony catches him and holds him close as Blaine trembles a little and clutches around the shoulders of his metal suit. He places his cheek carefully on top of his son's curly hair and whispers, "It's okay, Blaine, I've got you. You're safe."


When Pepper Potts comes back from a meeting, she finds Tony in the main room, standing and fiddling with mathematical formulas on his projection. Blaine is curled up on a nearby couch, asleep.

"How's he doing?" she asks softly, setting her bag down beside the desk. She moves to the end of the couch, near Blaine's head, and brushes his dark curls away from his serene face. He has a couple bandages on his forehead, and some on his wrists, but he appears unharmed otherwise. Pepper was informed of the situation before they left to retrieve the teenager, but she hadn't been able to leave her work until now. It's nice to see Blaine in one piece.

Tony looks up at her, then rubs his forehead. "He's alright," he says, "Kurt was with him for a while; he just left about an hour ago. Now Blaine's passed out on the couch. Refused to sleep in his room."

"He just wants to be near you," Pepper reminds gently, still smoothing Blaine's dark hair. The boy sighs a little in his sleep at the motherly contact. The blonde woman looks at Tony and studies the tense set of his shoulders as he works. "Are you alright?"

There is the predictable, dismissive reply of, "What? Of course I am."

Pepper moves away from the sleeping boy and towards her boyfriend. He has his back facing her. When she is close enough, she wraps her long arms around his shoulder. "There's something bother you. Don't try to hide it," she states matter-of-factly.

Tony's quiet and still for a few moments, then he resumes typing on the holographic keyboard. "He's not safe," he mutters, "Around me. Hell, he was taken just outside of the school. They just drugged him and threw him in the back of a van like any other kid. I should be able to protect him."

"You can't watch him all the time. The boy needs his privacy, especially at school with his friends; he doesn't want to be Blaine Anderson, son of Tony Stark/Iron Man. He just wants to be Blaine."

"Yeah, well, the dangerous people in the world don't see just Blaine. They see Tony Stark's weakness."

Pepper kissed his cheek and then moved away, planning on leaving him to his work. "You two need to have a little something called 'communication'…when he's feeling a little better. That should help your situation."

"What situation? I'm going to improve his protection and work on an available surveillance program…this won't happen again. Not on my watch."

Pepper knows what this is, this stern obsessiveness with an edge of something mysteriously foreign. This is Tony Stark's way of dealing with fear. And it's not fear for himself, but for this boy which is his responsibility of just over a year and holds the key to his heart.

Tony's right; Blaine is his weakness. But Pepper pities anybody who attempts anything like this regarding the teenager, because they will surely pay.

With one last fond look to the man deep in thought and the boy fast asleep, Pepper leaves the room.


Since coming home to Stark Tower, Tony had too many cups of coffee. He is not unable to relax and his son is passed out on the couch. Tony's restless, but his mind is slightly muddled, so he can't even consistently or effectively do his work.

Blaine fell asleep horizontally in the center of the couch, but neither his feet nor the top of his head reach the ends of it. Tony sits down for the first since bringing his son home, and he settles in the space between Blaine's head and the arm of the couch. Tony places a hand gently on the seventeen-year-old's dark curls and remembers the way he trembled as Tony held him, the way he stubbornly refused to cry until he was safely at home, the way that he curled up into his boyfriend's side when Kurt whirled into the room, the way that he fell into a restless sleep as Tony cursed and muttered to his technology.

At his father's touch in his hair, Blaine shifts a little in his sleep, mutters something intelligible, then shifts over so that his head is resting in Tony's lap. When his torso is settled across his father's legs, his breathing evens out once more.

Even though it's not the most comfortable situation he's been in—really, the kid is too old and too heavy to be this much of a cuddler—Tony finds that he doesn't really mind. The man runs his hand through his son's curly hair and allows himself to be lulled into relaxation by the sound of Blaine's breath, the feel of his warm body and his heartbeat against his legs.

Steady.

Safe.

Tony holds his son close and finally lets himself sleep.


Author's Second Note: I hope you liked it! If you did, please let me know in a review! Also, check out my tumblr! I promise I'm friendly. :P

Take care.

-Patricia Sage