Going Once, Never Twice
So I’m sitting down, watching a favorite musical of mine and I’m hit with a Starker drabble idea… wow, I need help. In other words, you know you’re in trouble when everything starts prompting fics/drabbles… Trying to write a soft, fluffy piece and my mind runs away screaming…
Pairings: Starker with background Stucky, Phlint, Thorki, Brutasha
Warnings: AU, no powers, kidnapping, inference to non-con/rape, human trafficking, characters aged up, dark avengers
NEW YORK CITY
In the hallway of the building, the squeaky wheels of a cart could be heard as it was pushed by the closed doors. No one paid it any mind if they heard it, background noise as it was. As it neared its destination, music could be heard coming from behind the door that it stopped at. The European folk music that was playing completely covered the slight noise of a key being slid into the well-oiled lock and the door opening.
A young, auburn-haired woman was sitting on a couch in the living room, back to the opened door. She was humming along to the music playing as she was browsing on a Stark tablet.
All of a sudden, hands came into her vision before her face was covered with a sweet smelling white cloth. The woman struggled for a brief minute before her body went limp. A pair of strong, leather covered arms lifted the sleeping woman and deposited her body into the waiting cart. The music was turned off and the apartment was vacated, squeaking wheels echoing in the hallway.
STILL NEW YORK CITY
Ned laughed at MJ’s latest quip about Flash’s latest embarrassing debacle at Columbia University, the prestigious university that all three attended. Flash Thompson was one of their high school tormentors that unfortunately followed them to the same place for higher education. The guy was a Class A Douchebag, but he was sadly also intelligent. Luckily for them, he was too busy being a “small fish in the suddenly bigger pond” to give them much trouble.
As they passed a smaller newsstand, one of the dying breeds that sold physical papers, both young adults waved to Mr. Lee, the owner. Neither paid the loud headlines “HOW MANY MORE WILL GO MISSING?” from the local newspapers any attention.
Ned opened the door to their apartment building, The Priscilla, and was about to hold it open for M.J. when her raised eyebrow made him think better of it. Knowing her disdain for “gallant gestures”, even if they were more suited to be labeled “general politeness”, Ned rushed through the door and M.J. followed. Both automatically headed to the front desk to see if they had any mail waiting on them.
As they neared it, both noticed a young man standing at the desk, two medium sized suitcases and a back pack lying on the floor next to him. Ned took note that the man was a respectable height, with a head full of chestnut curls. His body seemed to be on the leaner side, but hard to tell as it was covered up by a shapeless tan sweater and baggy jeans. MJ was more interested in his non-descript luggage, trying to see if she could deduce where he was from without asking.
As both young adults stopped near him, the young male turned and gave them a shy smile. “ Hello,” he greeted, his voice light and cheery.
“What’s up loser?”
The young man looked surprised by MJ’s caustic greeting, so Ned quickly rushed to assure him. “Don’t mind MJ, that’s how she greets everyone she doesn’t find currently offensive. It means she might like you if you don’t do anything incredibly stupid.”
The other man’s smile grew strained as he replied, “That’s both encouraging and terrifying really.”
MJ stared at him for half a minute before she gave a smirk and declared, “Cool. I’ve decided you can hang out with us. You know, if you want. I’m MJ.” She shook his hand briefly before turning her gaze on Ned.
“Oh! I’m Ned. MJ and I live on the 14th floor, apartments 1402 and 1404.”
Ned shook his hand as the brunette started to introduce himself. “Pleased to meet you, I’m Peter -“
“Here’s your ID back, Mr. Parker. Everything seems to be in order.”
Ms. Hill, the front desk manager, interrupted the introductions, coming back to the counter from the back room. In her hand was the aforementioned ID, which she handed back to Peter. As Peter busied himself with putting his card back into his wallet, Ms. Hill turned to Ned and MJ.
“Afternoon Mr. Leeds, Ms. Jones.”
“Afternoon,” they both chorused.
“I see you’ve already met Mr. Parker.” As they both nodded, she continued to state, “Excellent. He’s moving in today. Short notice, but lucky for him we had a vacancy. If he has any questions and can’t reach someone at the desk, he can ask either of you. Makes my job easier. He’s actually your neighbor as he’s leasing apartment 1403.”
Both Ned and MJ looked at each other in surprise. Ned spoke his thoughts first, “1403? Wasn’t that leased to Wanda Maximoff? She just moved in!”
Ms. Hill looked at Ned, a slightly annoyed look on her face. “Wanda Maximoff just moved out,” she replied. “Said something about missing Europe too much and not being able to handle Americans very well.”
“Wow,” MJ murmured. “She didn’t even give it a chance.”
Ned and MJ shrugged at each other while Peter stood by, his fidgeting fingers a clear indication that he was slightly uncomfortable. MJ looked back at Ms. Hill and asked, “Mail come yet?”
“Mail was delivered, always something for you two,” she said, even as she was leaving the counter to retrieve it.
Ned looked at Peter and explained, “Mail is delivered to the front desk everyday and the building staff sorts it for everyone. Since the desk is usually manned 24/7, you just ask for it.”
Ms. Hill came back and handed a few envelopes to MJ and several to Ned. “Looks like your mother wrote you, Ms. Jones and there seem to be several letters from Ms. Brant, Mr. Leeds.”
Ned blushed, but said, “Yeah, Betty’s on her 6 month Humanities Internship and has no access to email or WI-Fi. Snail mail is her only option. Luckily her handwriting is much better than mine.”
“You still have to send her replies, dork,” retorted MJ.
“Oh, that’s right,” Ned replied, his expression falling for a moment.
Ms. Hill shook her head slightly before looking at Peter. “Will you be receiving regular mail from family members or significant others, Mr. Parker?”
Peter smiled sadly at the older woman before shaking his head. “I don’t have anyone to write to me,” he explained. “My parents died when I was 6 and my aunt and uncle died last year. I don’t have any known family left.”
Ms. Hill’s gaze suddenly grew sharper at Peter’s words. Her body straighted and she suddenly seemed much more interested in the conversation. Peter noticed this immediately, but dismissed it as neither Ned nor MJ seemed to noticed. Ms. Hill looked him straight in the eye as a slightly creepy attempt at a sympathetic smile crossed her lips. “So sad to be all alone in the world,” she murmured.
Peter nodded and dropped his gaze from hers. He was uncomfortable, but didn’t want to insult the staff of his new landlord on the first day.
“Well, make sure to come to our social Friday night, Mr. Parker. I’m sure you’ll make dozens of new friends,” assured Ms. Hill.
“Yeah, and we’ll help introduce you to everyone on the 14th floor,” cheered Ned. The trio moved away from the desk, Peter moving to grab his suitcases and backpack. He followed the other two to the bank of elevators, a necessity in a high rise building.
“So the 14th floor? How many residents are there on the one floor?” Peter asked Ned as the trio waited for a lift to arrive.
“Actually it’s the 13th floor, but the complex was built by superstitious engineers. They didn’t want to label the floor with the unlucky number 13, so they skipped it and labeled it 14 instead.”
As the arriving elevator doors slid open, allowing the three to enter and began to close, MJ could be heard saying, “And according to urban myth, the hotel is actually built on an ancient burial ground. Some say they can…”
Maria Hill waited until the trio was definitely gone before she called out, “Jasper? Come man the desk. I’ve got to talk with Fury.”
Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist.
All tags that accurately described the 35 year old man that sat in the conference room, signing some digital paperwork. Impeccably groomed and well-dressed, Tony Stark was a man that exuded wealth and privilege. His genius was not a trait detectable with the naked eye, but anyone who owned a smart phone or tablet clearly held the results of just two pieces of his work. Of course he was a philanthropist, he had to constantly work on his public image. Not only for the good of his company, Stark Industries, but also so that nosy paparazzi didn’t focus on other things that went on in his life.
Playboy. Naturally his other titles encouraged every gold digger and fame seeking maniac to accost him. Men and women, he loved them all. But after almost two decades of flitting amongst the debutantes and trust fund babies, Tony was tired. He wanted to settle on a more permanent arrangement. Something similar to what his friends had. Alas, he hadn’t found “The One” yet.
Tony looked around at the men and woman he chose to surround himself with. All with talents and gifts of their own, they had all combined their resources together to form Avengers Incorporated. AI was a company that just about had their fingers in every pot. Military weapons, espionage, technology, bio-engineering, pharmaceuticals… the list went on. Stark Industries was his legacy left to him by his father, but Avengers Incorpoated was his baby. And it was because of some of the work done by AI that the government and law enforcement turned a blind eye to darker activities that might cross their paperwork and desks concerning the founding members.
Tony cracked his neck before setting his tablet down and said, “Well, congrats to us, Gentlemen and Lady. We’ve just closed the deal that will net us an easy $500 million in profit.”
Smiles were shot his way as the others wrapped up their paperwork. “I think we deserve some R&R,” he declared. “Let’s escape to The Compound for a few weeks. Let Pepper and her team earn their ridiculous salaries and hold the fort down. Bring all of your partners.”
Natasha, a fiery red-head, gave Tony a sharp grin. “It’ll do Bruce some good to get out of his labs for a bit. He won’t admit it, but he’s getting stressed.”
Phil, head of AI’s legal legions smiled softly. “Clint’s been such a good boy lately, he deserves such a treat.”
Tony swiveled his head towards the other two men in the room. “How about it, Point Break? Buckaroo? Steve and Loki are the newest pets to the group. They good for an escape?”
Thor frowned, but he agreed, “Loki needs some discipline work. It would be good to get him isolated where I can devote my full attention to his conditioning.”
James, or Bucky to his friends, nodded his head. “Steve’s not completely there yet. It would do him good to interact with Bruce and Clint. See that it’s okay to surrender. Little punk keeps trying to test the boundaries,” he added, his tone fond despite his criticism.
Natasha turned to Tony, “What about you?”
Tony grinned at her, “ I’m sure I can find -”
Tony was interrupted by a chime coming from his phone. It was a chime that was echoed simultaneously by every cell phone in the conference room. The tone was unique, easily recognizable by everyone present. With raised eyebrows all around, each adult took out their phone and opened the text they all received.
AUCTION LOT 23-WM-PBP. 5 Min. Click link if interested.
Tony leaned back in his chair, even as he clicked on the provided link. He was prepared to be disappointed, as the last several dozen offerings had left him uninterested. As the link was loading, he noticed the others putting away their phones. Made sense, after all they had already won their auctions and had their prizes. No need to look anymore for them.
As the link opened on his phone, Tony took one look at the provided pictures and nearly fell out of his chair.
Clearly pictures lifted from an ID card and from a surveillance camera, the details were still captivating enough to knock the breath from him. Whisky-colored doe eyes stared up at him, almost teasing beneath a delightful mop of chestnut curls. Pale skin, complimented by smooth lips in an adorable grin, teased with a light brushing of freckles across an impish nose. A full body shot hinted at a lithe body, but gave no more tantalizing details.
Tony felt interest immediately spike in his lower regions, just from looking at those lips. He could already imagine those eyes filled with shining tears as those lips were wrapped around his cock. A red collar would look stunning around that pale neck. He eagerly absorbed the provided basic details.
AUCTION LOT 23-WM-PBP
23 year old Caucasian male.
Name: Peter Benjamin Parker
Current Location: New York City, USA
Weight: approx 167lbs
Starting Bid: $100,000USD
Tony clicked on the provided link, which he knew from experience would redirect him to a secure server that housed the auction house, Black Noire. He was going to win this auction, no matter the price. And he was absolutely sure it was going to skyrocket.
As he waited the few precious minutes before the bidding frenzy went live, he glanced up at his friends. By now, they all had noticed he hadn’t put his phone away in disinterest, so their curiosity was piqued. He smirked, waggling his eyebrows, watching as delighted smiles crossed his friends’ faces.
Another soft chime echoed from his phone, indicating bidding was now open. As he confirmed his first of what he suspected would be many bids, Tony couldn’t help the already possessive chant going through his mind.