Justin Alexander Hammer was born on the 17th of July in Surrey, England, to Caroline (née Theroux) and Alexander Hammer. The Hammer’s were doing business in England at the time, the original plan being that they would be back in New York by the birth of their son, but Justin had other plans, and wanted out three weeks before he was due, and came to the world on a rainy summers day.
The first six years of Justin’s life were happy ones, jetting back and forth between New York City where his father had the headquarters of his newly started weapons manufacturing company – Hammer Industries, and where the family had their home, and Monaco, where his mother was originally from. The time in Monaco was fun and games for the young boy, as his grandparents spoiled their only grandchild, treating him like a little prince, which was what they called him as well. Their ‘Petit Prince’. New York on the other hand was a different story, as his father was working hard to get the business off the ground, and therefore had little time for his son, as at such a young age he was of little help to him.
At 7 years of age Justin was shipped off to boarding school, where on his first day he met a young boy named Anthony Stark, who had been sent to the principal after yelling at one of the teachers because she had called him ‘Anthony’, over his preferred ‘Tony’. As it turned out, the boys were set to be roommates, and that night, when they should have been asleep, they instead sat together under propped up covers with a flashlight for light, and swore that they would be best friends forever, and it was a friendship that would blossom.
Over the following years, the bond between the boys grew stronger for each passing day. Their fathers were, naturally, not all too pleased with the friendship between them, but as they realized that it would take more than their rivalry to separate the boys from each other.
Friendship wasn’t the only thing that blossomed for the boys in those years. Slowly but surely Tony’s brilliance began to shine, leaving Justin in the dust trying to keep up with him, but to no avail. He was jealous, as anyone would be, but neither let that drive a wedge between them. Instead Tony became someone that Justin looked up to, a role model of sorts, despite him being just a few months older than him. Age was just a number, after all, and Tony’s range of wisdom was so much larger than his, that it didn’t seem so illogical after all.
It was the year the boys turned 11 that became a turning point for them. Tony’s parents were killed in a car accident, leaving him without a proper guardian, at least while the papers and all were being sorted out. He was worth billions, after all, and the paperwork for a billionaire 11 year old was substantial. Justin begged his parents to let Tony stay with them for the summer, he had during previous years after all, when his father had been busy, and once permission had been granted by the lawyers the boys moved in together in Justin’s spacious bedroom that was a little less of that now that there were two beds in the room. It was going to be the summer of brotherly love, but plans don’t always turn out the way they’re meant to.
The summer started out perfectly. They went to bed late, and got up just the same – It was summer after all and they had nothing else to do. They bossed a driver around to take them wherever they wanted to in the city, and did all the things little boys do during their summer break. There was even talk of Tony joining Justin in Monaco at his grandparents’ estate for a month, if the papers cleared. But then Alexander decided to take the boys to his headquarters to show them around it, and Tony’s brilliance shone through as he spoke about things with passion and understanding people he employed didn’t even have.
And thus began the summer of failure. It wasn’t the summer that was a failure, but it was the summer where he truly started to feel like one – at least in his father’s eyes. Tony became the golden child, and Justin was constantly compared to him; told by his father that he should try to be more like him. That he could learn a thing or two from him. And despite looking up to Tony, and still seeing him as his best friend, it hurt that his father was basically saying that he liked his friend more than he liked him. To make matters worse, Tony didn’t even seem to notice, or care. When they would finally talk about the summer years later, Justin would come to understand why Tony had been so receptive to the compliments and glory, and feel bad for what he felt at the time, but for an 11 year old boy it had been the worst summer of his life. He was a bit dramatic, after all.
Despite it though, the two have remained close throughout the years, and now, at 20 Justin isn’t sure what he’d do without his best friend. There are times that he wishes that he’d never met him. The times where his father tells him that he wishes he was more like Tony, because that has never stopped, but deep down he knows that he probably couldn’t live without him, no matter how homo that sounds. They’ve stuck together through thick and thin, through Tony leaving to get his degree early, to now taking over Stark Industries properly. They’ve always been there for each other, and he hopes that that’s a constant that never changes.
Justin’s set to take over Hammer Industries one day, and become the reluctant rival of Tony Stark. His father’s hold the shares close to his heart, though, so when the takeover is to happen, he’s not sure. He’s happier like this, right now, where he doesn’t have as many burdens to bear. All he wants right now is to hear his father tell him that he’s proud of him, but he’s slowly coming to realize that it’s more than likely one of those things that’s only going to stay in his dreams. In the end, though, he’d probably give anything to hear some praise.