EDIT 2/9/2014: Story's the same just going through and adjusting things. Proofreading and all that.


Chapter 1: Nepotism and Mephisto-Phil-es

Peter is sitting as still as he can trying not to look at the two adults staring at him in expectation and bemusement. This is so annoying.

"Peter?" Pepper's voice is soft and comforting. He doesn't want soft and comforting. He's an experiment. Not only in genetics but in psychology. The past few days he's spent a lot of time in the tower studying his DNA and even hanging out with Tony and Steve.

And he can't help but notice that a lot of his behavior is similar to theirs. Which bugs him but isn't nearly as bad as the times he's caught Tony, Steve, or even Bruce noticing.

But Pepper has just taken to treating him like he's a mini-Tony. Which is just so wrong because he didn't grow up like Tony. He grew up with Ben Parker who was a better man than either Howard Stark or Richard Parker could ever be. He has a small uncharitable thought that Ben was better than Tony as well or even than Steve.

The other man at the table breaks into Peter's thoughts with a cough. "Mr. Parker, in light of recent findings Mr. Stark and Captain Rogers would like to extend their aid."

Peter glares at that. "I don't need Tony's money or for Captain Righteousness to swoop in and save me."

Pepper blinks. "That's not-"

"No, I have a family, and Aunt May and I are doing fine."

Coulson raises his eyebrow. "Since your uncle died five months ago, your aunt has been selling off her antique collection, such as it was. She has also gotten another job. You didn't notice due to your recent activity as Spider-Man." He pauses. "Besides which you've worried her." He tilts his head inspected Peter. "May I ask why you haven't told her?"

"She wouldn't understand, and she would just worry more."

"That's not true." Pepper interrupts him. "It's always worse not knowing. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but its also more comforting. I know. I was Tony's PA for ten years."

Peter shifts uncomfortably. "Understood, Ms. Potts. But I'm almost out of high school-"

"Oh, no. Stop right there. You think that hiding this while you're in high school or still minor will do anything other than drive a wedge between the two of you, then you're delusional.

"But-"

"No, that is so not okay!"

"Ms. Potts," Agent Stoneface cuts in before she can really lay into Peter, but this still doesn't seem like happy fun times. "Mr. Parker, as much as I feel you should tell your aunt sooner, rather than later, about your extracurriculars, that is very much not the reason we are here." He taps the folder on the desk which is looming as much as a manila folder can loom.

Peter slouches into his chair. "Right, we're here to discuss how I don't need to get a job because Tony's simultaneously thrilled and horrified that he has seventeen-year-old-progeny. Thrilled because I can apparently science. Horrified because the other genetic donor is a man that his dad had a man-crush on.

Pepper sits back, and Coulson looks as pained as he can without actually moving his face. Peter can hear them thinking as loud as if they'd screamed it. "Yeah, definitely a Stark."

Which, dammit, was getting old. So he slouches a little more.

"Be that as it may, Mr. Stark is definitely interested in at least making sure you have proper resources for your education and extracurriculars."

"And as for a job," Pepper snorts. "Tony doesn't actually have general hiring power unless it's for his PA and even then the person has to be approved through proper channels."

Peter rolls his eyes. "Yeah, okay, but there are ways around that. Besides, any recommendation Tony Stark makes about some random young man would get me any job I wanted." He pauses to smirk at her. "Wouldn't it?"

She raises her eyebrows. "Don't be so confident. Tony has a reputation for being capricious in hiring." She gestures to herself. "Exhibit P: my jump from personal assistant to CEO."

Peter waves her objection away. "No, that really doesn't count. Like, there are odes that could be written about how that doesn't count. He told me about that. During the opening of Stark Expo, right? He was dying. Trying to be responsible and passing the torch to someone he trusted."

She blinks and sort of boggles at him.

Coulson sighs. "That was classified."

"That he was dying?" Peter splutters. "How do you classify someone's medical condition? Doesn't that interfere with HIPAA or something?"

Coulson stares at him blankly. What an ass.

Pepper clears her throat. "Yes, well, that period of time wasn't his best, I suppose, but -"

"Besides," Peter gleefully interrupts. "Tony is very anti-nepotism-without-actual-talent and that is also very much part of his reputation."

"Peter, do you actually want to work at SI? Because anywhere else might reserve the right to categorically refuse you because of Tony's recommendation."

Peter shrugs. Huh, he hadn't thought of that. "Maybe, but I'm really more interested in biology than engineering." He give them a dark smile. "Much to Tony's dismay."

"Which gives you far too much joy." Tony drawls as he strides in.

"Yeah, but my quote-unquote Stark keeps slipping out, and that's one of the few things that is decidedly nurture rather than nature."

Tony smiles. "Yeah, okay. That's fair, I guess." He raises an eyebrow at Pepper, Coulson, and the folder. "Hmmm, what's doing Pep? Agent acting out Mephistopheles instead of just Phil today?"

Coulson sighs. "No, Tony, no Faustian bargains, just an NDA."

Tony looks speculative at that, raising his other eyebrow. "Remind me of the difference again?"

"Tony, what're you doing here?" Pepper is straining to keep her voice level.

"Peter needs representation. I'm representing him at this shady rendevous with a government agent and a big bad businesswoman." No one says any thing for a moment. "My DNA was used to make him. That's good enough for most courts."

Peter sighs. "It's really not. Also, you are the absolute worst at describing relationships ever. Of all time." He covers his face with his hands. "Did you invite your baby daddy? Because that is just just like three people too many for this meeting."

Pepper frowns. "Who's the third?"

"Me. You guys could've just tossed me those papers and said them. And hey! I would've signed read and signed them. Without the torture. Or the references to Steve as a baby daddy. Which I am regretting so hard right now."