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As I Want You To Be

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Peter had gone abroad once before in his life and that was during the Sokovia accords in Germany. After several month of therapy, he had finally had his last appointment two weeks ago and Tony had surprised him with a sudden trip to Bali.

He’d been freaking out all the way there as everything felt so new. Private planes, fancy hotels and a lot of good food. Tony had made sure he got to experience it all. The first week was filled with more ’Tony Stark’ kind of stuff, which meant dinners with important people and shopping for suits. But the week after that had been filled with action and adventure. It had been odd to see his father wearing less formal clothes.

Right before going back to New York, they had gone quad biking, which had been amazing but his favorite part of the vacation had been diving. It had taken a while for him to get enough courage to actually get into the water but Tony had helped him. He’d seen all different kinds of little fish and the water had been a beautiful turquoise color.

Of course Peter hadn't wanted to leave but eventually they had to. Now they were about to land to the airport and go back to the facility that had become their home after the attack on the Stark Tower.

There were two people waiting for them when they stepped out of the plane, they were getting their bags out of the baggage compartment. One of them welcomed them back to the country and Tony gave him a polite nod and a smile.

Peter could see Happy standing in front of a familiar looking black car. He was about to run towards him, when Tony stopped him.

’’What?’’ He asked, giving the older man a confused look.

Tony was looking at something with a stern expression and Peter couldn’t help but turn around to see what was going on. There were people standing behind some sort of a gate but they weren’t there waiting for their family or friends to arrive, most of them were holding big, heavy looking cameras.

’’What’s going on?’’ Tony wrapped an arm around his shoulders.

’’Paparazzi,’’ He replied quickly, making sure to cover Peter as much as possible. When Peter had been kidnapped, he’d shown his picture to the media in panic and ever since then people had shown interest in finding out who Peter exactly was. They hadn’t had any problems with paparazzi before though, since Tony had tried to keep it so that it would seem like Peter was only working for him. He wasn’t ready for everyone to find out about his son, just because he knew how cruel the media could be. He didn’t care about what they said about him; he’d heard it all before but he wasn’t sure if he could handle anyone saying anything negative about Peter.

’’How did they find out we’re here?’’ Peter asked quietly, when Happy opened the car door and Tony basically pushed him in, following behind him immediately.

’’That’s what I would like to know too.’’ Tony mumbled, giving Happy a look. They had to wait a while as the two men put their bags into the trunk of the car.

’’Someone took a picture of you in Bali, just one though,’’ Happy replied as he began to drive away, ’’But it was enough to spark interest. Somehow they figured out when you were coming home, I just don’t know how.’’

’’I did tell one lady at our hotel how long we were going to be staying,’’ Tony said, sounding disappointed, ’’I knew I shouldn’t have trusted her.’’

Peter looked at his father, worriedly, ’’B-But it’s okay now, right?’’

Tony’s expression immediately softened, ’’Of course, don’t worry about anything.’’

Peter nodded and turned to look out of the window. Bali had been amazing but it was nice to come back home. He’d missed the facility itself but mostly the people living in it. He just hoped that Steve and Bucky hadn’t been planning the indoor plant room too much, he really wanted to be part of it too. Peter had had flowers in the garden for a while but since the beginning of December it had been too cold. When Tony had seen how disappointed Peter had been, he had decided to build him and Bucky their own plant room with special lamps and everything else they needed.

’’Dad?’’

’’Yeah, Peter?’’ Tony asked with a smile as they began to get closer to the facility.

’’Do you think they’ve delivered our flowers already?’’ He asked.

’’I’m sure,’’ Tony replied, ’’They better have or I’m suing them.’’

Peter couldn’t help but giggle and Tony laughed along with him. He couldn’t wait to start planting all the flowers in their pots. Although his therapy had ended, he couldn’t get himself to stop the gardening hobby he had fallen in love with.

 

When they arrived at the facility, Peter was the first one to get out of the car and ran to the door. He was just about to ask F.R.I.D.A.Y to let him in when he realized he’d left his bag in the trunk of the car.

’’Don’t worry about it, kid,’’ Tony said before Peter could even turn around, ’’We got the bags.’’

’’F.R.I.D.A.Y, let me in. It’s Peter.’’

’’Voice recognized as Peter Benjamin Parker-Stark, door is now unlocked.’’ The familiar voice said, ’’Welcome back, Peter.’’

’’Hi, Fri.’’ He replied and walked in, leaving the door open for his father and Happy.

He almost tripped on the boxes waiting for him in the hallway and he knew that those were the flowers and other plants they had ordered. He was surprised no one had opened them up yet. Maybe they had been waiting for him to come back.

’’Peter!’’ He heard a voice calling for him and he looked up, only to find Steve standing there. He ran to hug him.

’’Did you have a good trip?’’ He asked, wrapping his arms around the kid, ’’You used sunscreen right? You don’t look burned, so I guess you did.’’

’’I went diving!’’ Peter replied happily as he let go of the taller man, ’’And I did. Tony made me, even though I’m not sure if I can even get burned because of the healing factor.’’

Steve smiled and ruffled his hair. He was just about to say something more, when Tony’s voice interrupted him.

’’Hello, Cap!’’ He said, walking to them, ’’Good to see you haven’t blown this place up.’’

Steve laughed, ’’No, I haven’t. Bucky did try a couple of times.’’

Tony laughed slightly, knowing that he was kidding. At least he really hoped he was.

’’Where do I put the bags?’’ Happy asked from the doorway.

’’Just leave them there, we’ll take them to our rooms ourselves. Thank you, Happy.’’ Tony replied.

’’You’re leaving already?’’ Steve asked, ’’You should stay for coffee.’’

’’Thank you, but no thank you,’’ Happy said, already walking out of the door, ’’I have something I need to do at the bank. I’ll see you later.’’

’’Bye, Happy!’’ Peter yelled after him when the man closed the door.

’’I bet you’d like coffee.’’ Steve said to Tony, already walking into the kitchen.

Tony shook his head, ’’I actually just had some in the plane, I was thinking we should open up those boxes. The kid has been waiting for them for so long.’’

’’Oh,’’ Steve replied, ’’Aren’t you two tired?’’

’’We spent two weeks relaxing in Bali,’’ Tony said, ’’I think we’ve rested enough. You’re not tired, are you?’’

’’Nope,’’ Peter said, eyeing at the boxes.

Steve nodded, ’’Alright. I guess I’ll just go get Bucky. We already set up the infrared lights in the room but other than that we’ve been waiting for you to do anything else.’’

Peter smiled and sat down on the floor next to the boxes and waited for Steve and Bucky to join him. Tony looked at his son just sitting there, looking innocently excited. He couldn’t help but smile brightly as he sat down next to him. The kid hadn’t told him what plants he had picked out, so he was curious.

Steve came back as soon as he found Bucky and they joined the other two on the floor. Steve was holding a knife in his hand.

’’Shall we start?’’ Steve asked with a teasing grin.

Peter was basically pouncing with excitement, ’’Yes, yes, yes!’’

Bucky gave him a small wave and a smile, ’’Did you enjoy your vacation?’’

’’It was awesome, I’m gonna tell you about it later.’’ Peter replied.

Steve opened the first box and took out several different size pots. He carefully placed them on the side. Two other boxes were full of bags of different types of soil and they didn’t bother opening them up just yet.

’’Alright,’’ Steve began and handed Peter and Bucky their own knives, ’’This box is yours, Peter. And this one’s Bucky’s. Go ahead.’’

Peter cut the tape off from top of the box. He felt excited to show his father what he had picked. Bucky already knew because he had helped him pick them out.

First he took out three sunflower seedlings and couldn’t help but grin with happiness, ’’Oh, so cute.’’

Bucky gave him a smile and took out his own sunflower seedlings, both of them had liked them, so both of them had ended up also getting them.

He unboxed some cacti, orchids and an aloe vera plant. He took a moment to look at each of them individually. Peter thought all of the plants were beautiful and he was going to take care of them in the best of his abilities (and with a little bit of help from Bucky) but there was one more type of flower waiting to get taken out of the box. It was the one Peter was the most excited about.

The flowers were red and had an unique look to them. He’d never seen flowers like it and to some they may have even looked weird but Peter already loved them. He lifted one of them up and showed it to Tony with a proud smile.

’’Dad, look,’’ The other man turned to him and looked down at the flower, ’’Do you wanna know what it’s called?’’

Tony smiled, ’’What?’’

’’Spider lily.’’

Tony felt like he was going to explode. How did the kid manage to be so cute all the time?

’’That’s cool, kid.’’ He ruffled his hair, ’’That’s definitely the perfect flower for you, spiderling.’’

Peter’s eyes widened suddenly and he placed the flower in its temporary pot on the floor, ’’W-Where’s the other one?’’

’’What? The other one?’’ Tony looked around, looking confused.

’’There was one more flower!’’ Peter sounded panicked, ’’Dad, it was really important.’’

Tony ran his hand through the kid’s hair, ’’Alright, deep breath. It’s okay, I’m sure it’s in one of these boxes and even if it isn’t, we’ll get it delivered today.’’

’’Wait, is it this one?’’ Bucky was looking down into his own box.

Peter dragged himself next to the other man, looked down and let out a relieved sigh, ’’Yes, it is.’’

He grabbed the flower and moved back towards his father. He held it in front of his face.

’’It’s very pretty.’’ Tony commented, not really knowing what else to say. He didn't know anything about flowers.

’’You don’t get it?’’ Peter sounded slightly disappointed, ’’It’s… it’s a Columbine flower. It’s red a-and yellow and I thought it kind of looked like the Iron Man suit and-’’

Tony felt his heart melt and smiled softly, before laying his hand on the back of his kid’s neck, ’’Peter, it’s perfect. Thank you.’’

’’I thought that we could put the Spider lily next to the Columbine flower so that it’d be like us.’’ Peter explained quickly, ’’I tried to find flowers to suit the rest of the Avengers as well but the budget wasn’t enough.’’

’’The budget?’’ Tony asked and turned to look at Steve.

’’Yes, Tony, the budget,’’ The man replied, ’’They would’ve bought the entire store if I had let them.’’

Tony nodded, understanding the man’s point, ’’We’ll get them next month, alright?’’

Peter nodded, ’’I don’t mind not having them. As long as we have these two.’’

Tony smiled once more and placed a soft kiss on the kid’s forehead, ’’You have no idea how much that means to me.’’

Peter smiled back and leaned against his father. It was good to be home.

 

The rest of the Avengers had made their way into the facility when it was time for dinner. They all looked sweaty and kind of tired, which meant that they had been training for several hours straight. Bruce was the first one to go give Tony and Peter ’a welcome back’ hug.

’’It’s good to see you too,’’ Tony said, pushing the sweaty man further away from him, ’’Why were you training? Is Hulk not strong enough?’’

’’I was bored,’’ Bruce replied, ’’And Natasha may have made me do it.’’

’’He looked lonely sitting in that lab,’’ Natasha said in her own defence, ’’So I decided to make him have some fun.’’

’’If you call being kicked across the room by the winter soldier fun, you definitely do not know the definition of fun.’’ Bruce replied, chugging down a bottle of water.

’’Don’t call him that.’’ Steve mumbled.

’’Oh no, I’m sorry.’’ Bruce said, hurriedly, ’’I wasn’t thinking, I meant Bucky, I-’’

’’It’s okay, Bruce,’’ Bucky said to him, despite looking at his best friend, ’’It’s okay, Steve.’’

Steve gave Bruce an apologetic smile, ’’It is.’’

’’Wait,’’ Peter wondered out loud, placing his full plate on the table and sat down, ’’You were training before we started unboxing the plants?’’

’’Yeah,’’ Bucky replied, ’’Steve came to get me, so I had to finish before everyone else.’’

’’But you weren’t even sweating?’’ Peter asked with a mouth full of food.

Bucky shrugged, ’’I don’t sweat easily.’’

’’Have you guys started to plan the Christmas party?’’ Wanda asked, sitting down as well.

’’No, not really,’’ Tony replied, ’’Maybe we’ll just have Christmas dinner on the 24th and open the presents on the morning of 25th, just like everyone in America.’’

’’Sounds good to me.’’ Steve said.

’’I guess that’s the easiest way to go about it,’’ Clint joined the conversation, ’’We’ll just have to plan the menu… and get presents, of course.’’

’’I’m gonna make this Christmas cheesecake I saw in a magazine,’’ Steve said, ’’So there’s no need to worry about the dessert.’’

’’Alright, so Steve’s in charge of the dessert,’’ Tony said, making mental notes, ’’Are we going to order in the rest of the food?’’

’’That’d be easy.’’ Clint replied.

’’But it’s never as good as homemade stuff,’’ Peter mumbled, ’’May wasn’t the best cook but we always made everything from scratch. It was fun.’’

Tony smiled, ’’We could do that, right?’’

’’Right,’’ Steve smiled, ’’I think we could do that. But I’m going to need some helping hands, I’m not going to do it alone.’’

’’I’ll help!’’ Peter said immediately, ’’And so will dad. Right?’’

’’Right.’’ Tony replied. He didn’t remember the last time he had cooked a whole meal but he wasn’t completely out of his element when it came to cooking; he had had to make Peter food several times. He didn’t want the kid always eating fast food.

’’I can help as well.’’ Thor’s voice boomed, ’’I haven’t ever really cooked anything but I can do it.’’

’’Yeah...’’ Steve thought about it for a while, ’’Thank you, Thor, but it’s not good to have too many chefs in the kitchen. We’ll ask for extra help if we need it.’’

Thor only nodded and continued to eat his meal. He seemed happy with the answer.

’’Ugh, I’m so full...’’ Peter whined after finishing up every last piece of food on his plate, ’’And now I’m sleepy.’’

’’It’s only 9 PM, kid,’’ Tony said to him. He knew that they were having dinner so late that you could call it supper but usually the kid had energy left until at least 11 PM, ’’But you can go to sleep if you want to.’’

’’I think I’ll go,’’ He yawned, ’’Good night everyone.’’

All of the Avengers replied with some version of ’Good night’ and Tony placed a small kiss on the side of the kid’s forehead before wishing him sweet dreams. Peter felt slightly embarrassed that his father had done that in front of everyone and blushed slightly. He hurried out of the kitchen.

Peter had forgotten how nice and soft his bed was and how comforting it was to be back in his own room. The hotel room’s bed was soft too but nothing beat his own bed, the one he had picked out with his father.

He burrowed his face into the pillow and closed his eyes. The day had been busy but exciting and it had been great to see everyone again, despite the fact that he had loved spending time alone with his dad without anyone else taking his attention away from him. He knew that that sounded slightly selfish, but he couldn’t help himself. He liked his attention.

Sometimes when his dad spent too much time at work or talking with someone else, he couldn’t help but feel a small bang of jealousy. He knew that he couldn’t be around Tony 24/7 and it had gotten easier as time went by. Maybe he graved a lot of attention because he was still afraid of losing a parent, even though he had mostly gotten over that fear. His therapist had helped him a lot.

Peter shook his head a little bit, trying to stop his train of thought. He took a deep breath and began to count sheep. He hoped tomorrow was going to be as good of a day as today had been.

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Here are the flowers I talked about in this chapter:

Spider lily:

spiderlily

Columbine flower:

columbineflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The lab was one of the most interesting places in the entire facility in Peter’s opinion. Despite the walls being white and almost everything else in the room being grey, it wasn’t boring. There were everything from usual computers, microscopes and electrochemistry meters to smaller things such as test tubes, pipettes and petri dishes. But Peter’s favorite part of the entire lab was locked in the chemical storage cabinet. The chemicals; solvents, indicators and everything else he could dream of. The first time Peter had tried to unlock the cabinet, F.R.I.D.A.Y had stopped him and said something along the lines of, ’’Mr. Stark has forbidden me to let anyone other than him or Dr. Banner to unlock the chemical storage cabinet, especially you.’’

And that was how Peter found out about ’baby safety lock protocol.’

And that was also why he was sitting in the lab, watching Netflix, while Bruce was working on something with all the cool stuff. His father had been working since the morning and he had been so busy, that he hadn’t even said good morning to Peter. He had missed a lot of work because of everything that had happened, first with Hydra, then Peter’s therapy and then the sudden trip to Bali.

Peter felt grumpy. So extremely grumpy.

’’Mr. Parker-Stark, it is 12 PM. Around this time your father would be encouraging you to have a snack.’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y’s voice broke the silence in the room.

He leaned his face against his palm, ’’Not hungry.’’

The clanging that was coming from where Bruce was working immediately quieted down. Peter looked up from the screen, only to find the other man staring back at him and giving him a warning yet soft look. Peter couldn’t help but feel small beneath his gaze.

Bruce made his way around the worktable and opened up a fridge that Peter’s hadn’t even known was there as it blended in with all the other cabinets. He took out a small bottle of Coca Cola and some sort of a chocolate bar.

He placed them in front of him and offered a careful smile, ’’Eat.’’

Peter sighed and looked up at him, ’’You don’t need to worry about me.’’

’’I’m not,’’ Bruce replied bluntly, going back to his work place, ’’I’m just worried about getting beheaded by Tony, if you end up fainting in my lab, when I’m supposed to be keeping an eye on you.’’

’’Right...’’ He mumbled, getting back to his show, ’’Fri?’’

’’Yes, Mr. Parker-Stark?’’

’’Could you call me Peter?’’

F.R.I.D.A.Y paused for a short while, ’’Alright, Peter.’’

’’So, how has it felt to be a Stark?’’ Bruce asked, taking a short break from working. ’’Any different than being just a Parker?’’

’’Nope.’’ He whispered, with a small hint of a smile on his face, ’’It felt nice though.’’

’’Oh, kid, you should’ve seen the look on your face the day you were adopted,’’ Bruce laughed, turning around in his chair, ’’You looked like you were going to explode from happiness.’’

Peter unwrapped the chocolate bar and took a small bite out of it, ’’It was nice… Definitely got a lot of attention at school, mostly not so good attention.’’

’’Just remember that the bad attention usually comes out of jealousy. It might take a while but if school’s anything like it was back in my day, everyone will be talking about something else next week. Just remember that if you anyone starts to bully you because of it, you have to tell someone.’’

Peter groaned and slammed his laptop shut, ’’God, you sound like my dad.’’

’’Ugh, no one wants to be like Tony.’’ Peter shot a glare at him, ’’You know what I mean, kid. Tony can be quite… unique. In a good way. It just doesn’t suit me.’’

Peter laughed at the rambling man, ’’I know. No need to explain.’’

Bruce turned around in his chair once again, ready to get back to work. He seemed slightly embarrassed about what he had said about Tony, even though Peter had understood that he hadn’t meant it in the way that it had sounded.

’’Hey, Bruce…?’’

The man turned to look back at him, just when he was about to put on his safety glasses, ’’Yeah?’’

Peter could feel his cheeks heating up, ’’Can I ask you a question?’’

He looked slightly worried and even confused. Bruce was usually the one to start a conversation between them, ’’Of course.’’

’’Do I-?’’ Peter cleared his throat, ’’Am I like dad?

’’I don’t… quite understand what you mean.’’

Peter sighed, ’’Do I remind you of him? I mean, of course I know that we don’t share any DNA but I’d like to think that-’’

Bruce let out a sigh of his own and got up from his seat, only to sit down next to Peter, ’’I’ll stop you right there. DNA has nothing to do with this. Tony is your dad and has had a big influence on you, despite him being in your life for a short while. Sometimes, you act like him. You say things that I can easily imagine Tony saying and the weirdest part is that you… you look like him.’’

’’W-What?’’ It was Peter’s turn to be confused, ’’I-I can’t-’’

’’No, no,’’ Bruce continued, placing a hand on his shoulder, ’’I know you can’t exactly look like him but sometimes the faces you make and the way smile, you look like him. Maybe you have unintentionally picked up some of the expressions Tony makes or the habits he has. Kids do that a lot when it comes to their parents, it’s only normal.’’

’’I think that’s kind of creepy.’’ Peter couldn’t stop blushing.

’’It’s cute, really...’’ Bruce said with a smile and gave him a final pat on the back, before getting up once again, ’’I think it’s time for you to water the plants, Tony wouldn’t want you scooped up here all day long, watching… whatever it is that you’re watching.’’

’’Oh, I completely forgot about the plants.’’ He whispered to himself.

’’Bucky must be already waiting for you,’’ Bruce said, getting ready to get back to his project, ’’Take the drink with you. Go along now.’’

’’Thanks,’’ Peter replied and gladly got up from his seat. He’d been sitting for so long that he couldn’t feel his legs. He stretched them out before walking out of the lab, his laptop tucked under his arm.

 

The living room was entirely empty, which was quite rare. It usually meant that everyone were at the training facility/at work or that there was a mission they were on. Peter knew it wasn’t the second choice because his father never left without telling him first.

Feeling too lazy to walk all the way to his bedroom, he left his laptop on the living room table before making his way to the plant room that they had made out of an empty bedroom no had used in a while since it was smaller than the other bedrooms in the facility. Bucky was standing in front of the room, waiting for Peter, just like Bruce had told him he was going to be.

’’Hi.’’ He said to the other one before telling F.R.I.D.A.Y to open the door. He and Bucky had gotten closer when Peter had began the gardening hobby. At first he hadn’t been sure what to think about the it, let alone Bucky, who was teaching him but he learned quickly that although Bucky looked quite mysterious and maybe even slightly threatening, in reality he was only shy and it just took him a longer time to get used to new people.

Bucky was the first one to step into the plant room when F.R.I.D.A.Y unlocked the door, making the light on the door handle turn from red to green.

They had moved all the gardening equipment from the garden to the corner of the plant room, along the side of their shared watering can but it had been so big and clumsy to use that they ended up taking it back outside for the next summer and bought themselves two smaller watering cans. A red one for Peter and a blue one for Bucky.

’’I wish I would’ve gotten those tulips,’’ Bucky said to him, turning on the infrared lights. There was a skylight in the room, along the side of big, normal windows, making sure that the plants got enough sunlight, but today was a gloomy day, clouds were covering every bit of the sun.

’’Maybe next year,’’ Peter told him when he’d finished watering the plants, ’’They would’ve looked pretty though.’’

Bucky hummed in agreement. They both took one last look at the flowers, they all looked like they were doing well and getting all the care they needed. Feeling satisfied with everything (especially the fact that the plants were still actually alive), they both walked out of the room.

 

Peter knew that around this time of day Bucky liked to have a cup of tea with Steve. It was something Peter had seen happen every single day ever since they moved in. He thought it was kind of sweet and had wanted to join but didn’t, because he knew it was their thing and Bucky didn’t happen to like change.

Bucky had seemed embarrassed at first but allowed Peter to make the tea for him. Peter could’ve sworn he’d seen a small hint of blush on the other’s cheeks. He decided not to say anything about it, knowing how annoying it was to get teased about things you couldn’t help happening. All the Avengers liked to do that to Peter but he’d already gotten used to it, so he didn’t really mind it anymore.

Bucky sat at the kitchen table as Peter got the water boiling. Obviously Bucky had been taught how to make a cup of tea but Steve had explained to Peter that despite the fact that all the orders Bucky had been given through Hydra were long disappeared from his mind and because of that he was considered healed, he still struggled with his memory. He sometimes forgot how to do the simplest of things, like making tea or tying his shoelaces. Some tasks just didn’t stick to his mind as well as others but he managed and was still getting better everyday.

’’Steve made cupcakes with chocolate frosting last night,’’ Bucky said suddenly, getting up from his seat. Peter watched as he took the cupcakes out of the fridge and placed them on the kitchen table, ’’I’m sure he won’t mind if we take a couple.’’

Peter smiled as he poured the water in Bucky’s cup and handed him a teabag. He didn’t exactly know what type of tea Steve usually made but the only type that they had had in the cabinet was green tea.

’’Do you want milk with that or…?’’

’’No.’’ Bucky looked like Peter had said the worst thing in the world, ’’Steve says that if you put milk in green tea it’s basically like sacrilege.’’

Peter couldn’t help but laugh out loud, he could definitely imagine Steve saying that. He sat down and took one of the cupcakes, knowing they were going to be good before even tasting it.

’’Did you know my aunt really liked tea?’’ Peter asked Bucky, mouth full of the chocolatey goodness.

Bucky shook his head but seemed ready to listen to whatever it was that Peter was going to say next.

’’She used to make all different types of tea, she even taught me.’’ He said, ’’She never drank coffee and told me to never do so either. I haven’t, but I don’t like tea either.’’

’’I didn’t like it at first either.’’ Bucky told him, also taking one of the cupcakes, ’’But Steve said that green tea is healthy so I kept drinking it. Now I think it’s kind of good but I also find it comforting.’’

Peter nodded, understanding the other man well. There was something about warm drinks that managed to make anyone feel all cozy and relaxed.

Suddenly there was a flash that made both of them jump. Peter stood up and turned around to see where the odd light had come from, only to see a man standing on their terrace with a big camera in his hands.

’’What the hell?’’ Peter asked, walking towards the glass doors. Bucky was now rubbing his eyes, trying to make the colorful spots disappear.

Peter closed the curtains as quickly as he could and turned back to look at Bucky, leaning against one of the glass doors, ’’F.R.I.D.A.Y?’’

’’Yes, Peter? I’m already looking into what’s happened.’’

’’How did someone get to the yard? Shouldn’t there be security?’’ He walked back to the kitchen.

’’I’m not exactly sure,’’ The AI replied, ’’The guards are taking care of the intruder now. I’ll inform Mr. Stark of what’s going on.’’

’’Alright,’’ Peter replied as slumped down on one of the chairs, ’’You okay, Bucky?’’

Bucky only nodded and began to drink his tea, as if nothing had even happened.

 

Tony had been working for so long that he felt like he couldn’t even read anymore. The black ink against the white paper seemed to make the words jump around everywhere, making his head hurt. Pepper walked into his office the moment he was going to throw all the papers in the trash can.

Pepper took a seat on the empty couch in the corner of the office and kicked her heels off of her feet, ’’I’m glad you’re back at work but you’re going to lose the last bit of your sanity if you keep going at this pace. Take breaks, Tony, come on.’’

’’I know, I know,’’ Tony replied, ’’But you know that I can’t stop, now that I finally have time. There’s so much to be done.’’

’’You could hire someone else?’’

Tony sighed, ’’You think I haven’t tried that? All these papers are important documents and contracts that only I am able to take care of, no one else.’’

’’Well,’’ Pepper began, ’’Stop thinking about them for the next fifteen minutes, I have something I have to show you.’’

’’Oh God, what?’’ Tony turned around in his chair, already knowing that whatever it was that she had to say, wasn’t going to be good.

’’Here.’’ Pepper handed him a magazine. It was one of those tabloids that had pictures of drunk celebrities at a bar in the cover, making sure that everyone wanted to buy them.

On the cover of the first magazine was a blurry looking picture of him and Peter playing by the pool in Bali. Despite the blurriness of the picture, he could see that both of them were laughing. It almost made him smile until his eyes traveled further up and saw the headline.

’Millionaire Tony Stark seen with his underage intern on vacation in Bali – What is their relationship really about?’

’’Oh. My. God.’’ Tony rubbed his face in frustration, ’’Should I read the article?’’

’’I don’t think you should.’’ Pepper answered honestly, taking the magazine away from him before he could even properly think about it, obviously not wanting him to read it.

’’Do they think...’’ Tony didn’t know how to say what he was thinking about, it was making him feel disgusted, ’’Are they actually saying that… that we… You know?’’

’’Something like that.’’ Pepper seemed uncomfortable as well.

’’Can we sue them?’’

’’We could,’’ Pepper replied with a slight smile on her face, ’’But I don’t think it’s worth it.’’

’’Not worth it?’’ Tony looked angry, ’’They’re saying horrible, disgusting things and-’’

’’I know, I know, but it’s only a small magazine and even if people read about it-’’

Tony huffed out a bitter laugh, ’’Everyone’s going to read it, Pepper.’’

’’You’re right,’’ Pepper said quietly after a while, leaning against the back of the couch, ’’The only thing you can do now is… tell the public about how you’ve adopted Peter. It’s the only way we can make these ridiculous rumors end.’’

’’And then everyone would be even more interested in Peter, I don’t want that,’’ Tony replied, deep in thought, ’’I don’t want him to be exploited the way I was when I was little.’’

’’Tony-’’

’’He needs to be kept safe,’’ Tony continued, trying to calm himself down, ’’I’m not ready for the public to know. There were already people taking pictures of us when we were on vacation and they’re only going to get more interested in us, if they find out that Tony Stark, the person who swore he’d never have children, has adopted a teenager. Come on, Pepper!’’

’’Sir, there was an incident in the kitchen/living room area,’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y’s voice interrupted their conversation before the moment could get any more heated up.

Tony’s eyes widened and he was out of the office in a second, ’’Are everyone alright?’’

’’Yes, sir,’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y replied with her annoyingly calm voice, ’’There was a paparazzi out in the yard. He seems to have managed to take one picture of Mr. Barnes and Peter. The security men have already taken care of him.’’

He managed to breathe a little easier now that he knew the man had been caught already and the picture was going to get deleted. Knowing his security men, they probably had destroyed the entire memory card, if not the entire camera.

When he finally got to the kitchen and saw Peter and Bucky sitting around the kitchen table, looking like they were alright, Tony let out a breath he didn’t even know he had been holding.

’’What in the hell happened?’’ He asked, standing next to his kid and wrapping an arm around his shoulders, wanting to take a good look at him. He hadn’t seen him all day.

’’I’m alright.’’ Peter replied, leaning against him without even noticing, ’’It was just really weird.’’

Tony nodded and glanced at the glass doors that were now covered with curtains before sitting down next to Peter. He took one of the cupcakes and began to eat it, still holding onto his kid.

’’Bucky hasn’t spoken since it happened.’’ Peter whispered to him, ’’Do you think he’s alright?’’

Tony took a quick look at the man sitting in front of them, sipping his tea, ’’Maybe it just... scared him a little. Don’t worry.’’

’’But-’’ Peter was about to say something but got interrupted by Steve running to the kitchen, looking around in panic. He was out of breath which meant that he had had to run extremely fast.

When he noticed them sitting around the table, you could see the panic in his eyes slowly disappear, ’’What the hell happened? I saw a guy being dragged away from the facility… He had a camera.’’

Tony sighed and set his cupcake down on the table, ’’There was a paparazzi taking pictures out in the yard.’’ He answered as simply as he could, already tired of talking about the situation.

Steve looked distraught, his eyebrows furrowing, ’’What?! How?’’

Tony sighed once more, ’’It’s already taken care of, so let it go. It won’t happen again.’’

’’And how do you know that?’’ Steve asked, stepping closer.

’’We’ll figure out how he got in and then do what has to be done.’’ Tony replied, even though he knew the situation wasn’t that simple, ’’Steve, I promise.’’

The man seemed to relax slightly, the wrinkles on his forehead smoothing out. He walked around the kitchen table to get himself a glass of water, ’’So I- Are those my cupcakes?! Why are you eating them?’’

Tony shrugged, ’’Because that’s what cupcakes are for?’’

’’Bucky said i-it’d be alright.’’ Peter replied, looking almost ashamed. Tony didn’t care and kept on eating.

’’Bucky, you know those were for dessert,’’ Steve sat down next to his friend, ’’I wouldn’t have minded if you all took one each but you’ve eaten several. So stop eating, Tony!’’

Tony actually listened and stopped for a second, ’’I’m sorry but I can’t, these are so good. We’ll help you make more.’’

’’Yeah, no thank you, I’ll ask Bruce or Wanda to help me,’’ He replied with a soft smile on his face, ’’I can’t stay mad at you; they are just cupcakes. I’m glad you like them.’’

Peter smiled back at him and grabbed another cupcake when Steve gave him an approving nod.

It didn’t take long for Steve to notice the odd look on Bucky’s face. It was mostly neutral, just like it was most of the time but this time around there was something else in his expression, Steve just wasn’t sure what it was. Tony leaned in to whisper to him what Peter told him just a small while ago.

Carefully, he placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder, ’’Is everything alright?’’

Bucky didn’t answer. He just placed his now empty cup on the table, before getting up and making his way to the living room and sitting down on the armchair.

’’Now I’m definitely worried.’’ Steve mumbled, ’’He couldn’t have gotten afraid of one random paparazzi guy.’’

’’Who knows,’’ Tony replied, ’’You’ll figure it out.’’

’’Yeah, I guess so.’’ Steve said, trying not to think about it too much. You could still hear the worry in his voice.

’’It’ll be fine, Steve,’’ Peter said with a smile, ’’Maybe he just needs some time alone.’’

’’Maybe.’’ Steve gave him a soft smile.

’’Okay, my break is over,’’ Tony pushed himself up from his seat, ’’I’ll see you when it’s time to eat dinner, okay?’’

’’Yeah, whatever.’’ Peter replied lazily, not even bothering to look at him.

Tony gave Steve a confused look but the blond man only shrugged. Despite wanting to stay with Peter and ask him about what was going on, he knew he had to work. There was so much more paperwork to be done and now he was also going to have work on the security of the facility and maybe even build an extra gate or two, just to make sure that no one would get into their yard ever again. He was only half-joking.

He ruffled the kid’s hair before leaving, ’’I love you.’’

’’Love you too.’’ Peter mumbled back, meaning it but still feeling disappointed about the fact that his father hadn’t paid attention to him all day. Maybe tomorrow was going to be a better day.

Chapter Text

If there was one thing Steve liked to nag at Bucky about, along the lines of healthy diet and getting a good night sleep, it was going outside. Now, he did like eating and sleeping but didn’t enjoy the outdoors as much as people usually did. Most of his days he spent training, gardening with Peter or watching the TV. Once in a while, when Sam came to visit, he played video games.

But today was Thursday. The most boring part of the entire week, in Bucky’s opinion at least. Thursday meant that Peter had a long day at school and that there was no training, which didn’t leave him with many options.

And that’s how he found himself walking around the front lawn of the facility. It was a nice day, or it was what everyone called a nice day. The sun was shining and it was hot. Too hot for Bucky but everyone else seemed to be enjoying it.

Bucky couldn’t help but laugh at Steve and how he, the one person who always told him to spend more time outside, was always so worried when he actually did so. Of course he understood him, since Bucky had gotten lost in the simplest of places in the past because of his stupid memory. He did doubt though that he’d manage to get lost in their own yard.

Knowing his best friend, Steve was standing near the front door, waiting for him to come back.

There wasn’t much to do at the front yard, since the terrace, swimming pool and all the outdoor games were in the backyard. But none of those things were fun alone and that was what Bucky wanted to do; be alone. He didn’t know why but ever since the morning he’d been in an odd mood and it was one of those feelings that he absolutely hated. It felt like something was wrong, he just didn’t know what.

It didn’t take him long to figure out at least one part of the reason why he was feeling the way he was feeling. There were people on the other side of the fence, they had cameras with them but they weren’t using them. They were just staring.

He took slow steps towards the facility, keeping his eyes locked at the strangers in the distance.

’Something’s wrong, something’s wrong, something’s wrong...’

Bucky ran up the stairs fast and opened the door, also slamming it shut behind him when he was inside the facility.

’You’re fine.’ He thought to himself, calming down his breathing, ’Everything was just fine.’

When he opened his eyes, he hadn’t even notice he’d closed them in the first place, he saw Steve. He was leaning against a wall, waiting for him, just like he thought he would be.

He gave him his familiar, soft and comforting smile and even though Bucky wanted to smile back, he couldn’t. The smile on Steve’s face disappeared quickly as well, when he noticed that something was going on and Bucky felt a bang of guilt in his heart for making that happen. He liked seeing Steve smile.

’’What is it?’’ His friend asked, getting closer to him.

’’I don’t know.’’ Bucky whispered, trying to get his thoughts together.

’’Well I can tell something’s wrong,’’ Steve replied, giving him a worried look, ’’So I need you to tell me.’’

’’The people taking pictures,’’ Bucky began, ’’They’re weird.’’

Steve let out a careful laugh, ’’I mean, yes… taking pictures of other people without their permission is weird.’’

’’That’s not what I mean,’’ Bucky felt frustrated and walked towards the living room, ’’There’s something wrong, Steve, I just know. Something about them isn’t right.’’

Now Steve looked even more worried, ’’Okay…? Why?’’

’’I don’t know!’’ Stop thinking, stop thinking, stop thinking.

’’Okay, okay,’’ He said softly, pushing Bucky towards Tony’s office, ’’Let’s go talk to Tony and take care of this right now. This is not something you should be stressing out about, alright?’’

Bucky only nodded, letting Steve lead him towards the room Tony worked in. He decided to test his memory as they walked along the hallways.

’Living room, to the right, open door, turn right and find the door that has Tony Stark’s name on it. Tony Stark, Tony Stark, Tony Stark… there it was.’

Steve was the one to knock. They both knew Tony was busy, he usually was. And he had definitely been ever since he and Peter had come home from the vacation. They felt almost bad for interrupting him but they also knew that most of the time the man didn’t mind getting interrupted. He didn’t take breaks himself so things like this were a possibility for him to do so without feeling guilty for taking time to do something else during his work hours. Once in a while Steve interrupted him on purpose, so he wouldn’t work himself to death.

It took a while which usually meant that Tony was on the phone but soon enough they got an answer from the other side of the door, ’’Come on in!’’

Steve opened the door for them.

Tony turned around in his chair, twirling a pen in his hands and had a big smile on his face. Bucky knew the man liked working despite always getting so stressed out about it but he had never understood how he actually found it fun. But maybe it was understandable, since Bucky himself hadn’t worked a normal job in… well, forever.

Bucky knew that Tony had noticed the worried looks on their faces, when his smile disappeared and turned into a frown as he let the pen drop down on his desk. He turned to look at Steve.

’’I don’t want you to freak out, ’’ Steve began, ’’But Bucky told me that he feels there might be something going on with the paparazzi, something other than just them taking pictures. And we know that it might be nothing but… We’d just like to be sure.’’

Tony seemed to think about it for a little while before nodding and picking his pen up once again, ’’Sit down. Both of you. Let’s take care of whatever this is.’’

 

Peter had gotten several odd looks when he’d stepped into the school building, both from students and teachers. Sadly it was something he’d already gotten used to. Ever since the kidnapping, the media had been interested in him. It probably hadn’t been his father’s best idea to show his picture in the news for the whole world to see. Both Peter and his father knew that despite their best attempts to keep their secret safe, the media was going to find out sooner or later.

Going to school wasn’t as simple as it use to be. Everyone knew that Peter worked with Tony Stark at Stark Industries and that he even spent time with him even when they weren’t working. Flash remembered to remind/tease him about it every day.

Peter was still Peter Parker when it came to his life outside of the Avengers Facility. He didn’t even want to know what the reaction would be if everyone at his school found out that he now had two last names and one of them was Stark. He’d probably have to change schools if that ever happened.

Other than the stares and the usual whispering, the day went well. His last lesson of the day was chemistry and to his disappointment they didn’t even do any experiments like they usually did. They just had to listen to the teacher talk about… well, Peter wasn’t exactly sure what she was talking about as he was busy sketching random characters in the corner of his notebook. He felt tired and just wanted to go home. Peter knew that if he just texted Tony, the man would come and get him but it would take 25 minutes and Peter wanted to go home now.

’’Dude, help,’’ Somewhere in the middle of the lesson Ned asked him about a certain equation which Peter then helped him solve even though he hadn’t even written it down himself, ’’Thanks.’’

Then he got back to sketching. He’d already drawn Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Bucky and Black Widow. He couldn’t draw that well, despite the fact that Steve had tried teaching, but it was keeping him occupied at the moment and that was all that mattered.

Peter didn’t like to think about it but he knew that the reason for his ’tiredness,’ was the fact that he missed spending time with his father. It had been a problem for a couple of days now. Going from being together 24/7 when they were on vacation to only seeing him during dinner, was difficult. He liked chatting with Tony, even if it was about things that didn’t even really matter. They always managed to have fun.

The bell finally rang and Peter was expecting everything to go the way it usually did. There would be a black car waiting for him in front of the school. Happy would get out of the said car to greet Peter, before they both got in and drove back home. But this time around, it was slightly different.

There was an expensive looking red car in front of the school building and Peter didn’t have to guess twice who it belonged to. It didn’t take long for people to start noticing the car, some of them had already began to get their phones out to get a picture. Peter ran towards the car as fast as he could, so that they could just leave.

He walked around the car and sat on the passenger seat. His father took off his sunglasses.

’’What are you doing?’’ Peter hissed quietly, as if anyone outside the car could hear him, ’’People are staring and-’’

’’This was the least conspicuous car I own,’’ Tony replied before Peter could even finish, ’’ And I ain’t driving Happy’s car.’’

Peter put his seat belt on and let out a sigh, ’’Can we just go?’’

His father didn’t reply but began to drive anyway. For a moment Peter thought that he’d somehow managed to hurt his father’s feelings but when he turned to look at him, he knew that that wasn’t it. Something else was going on.

’’Dad?’’

’’Yeah, Peter?’’

Peter gulped, ’’Is everything okay?’’

He could see the expression on the older man’s face turn even more stern as he gripped the steering wheel tighter, ’’We’ll talk about it at home.’’

Peter didn’t know what to say to that and tried to come up with all the things he could have done wrong in the past few days but he couldn’t think of anything. He just really hoped he wasn’t grounded; Ned was supposed to be coming over on Saturday.

They didn’t speak the rest of the way home, which was very unlikely of them. Usually there wasn’t a quiet moment in the car when his father came to pick him up, unless Peter was so tired after school that he fell asleep. They liked talking about anything and everything, it didn’t even have to be about anything interesting. After everything they had gone through, they didn’t take being bored for granted and enjoyed the fact that they could just ramble on about things that didn’t even really matter.
Peter grabbed his backpack and swung it over his shoulder as he got out of the car. His father followed right behind him, still not saying a word. F.R.I.D.A.Y let them both in when it recognized their voices.

Everything in the facility seemed normal, other than the fact that it was quiet. Since it was Thursday, Peter knew that the Avengers weren’t training which usually meant that they were out in the yard swimming or just generally relaxing.

When Peter was about to go and take his backpack to his bedroom, Tony stopped him and told him to just leave in on the floor. Now Peter was definitely sure that he had done something wrong.

With a gentle hand on his shoulder, Tony guided him towards the kitchen. Usually when Peter was in trouble, his father took him to his own room where they could be sure that no one was going to interrupt them. Kitchen definitely seemed like an odd choice for a serious conversation but Peter went along with him anyway.

They weren’t the only ones in the kitchen, to Peter’s surprise. Everyone were there and they were unnaturally quiet. Even Thor, who was usually always talking or doing something, was now just standing in the corner with a worried look on his face.

Peter didn’t like it, ’’Could someone tell me what’s going on? You’re freaking me out.’’

Steve sighed deeply and eyed the people around him, before straightening up, ’’There is something we have to talk about, Peter.’’

’’Yeah, I figured that much.’’ He replied, leaning against the counter.

Tony eventually took his hand off of his shoulder and took a deep breath, before turning to look at Peter properly for the first times in several days, ’’Kid, do you remember when we saved you from that house Hydra was keeping you in? And how we… took care of them?’’

’’Yeah…’’ How could he forget?

’’And remember how we thought that that was the last of them?’’

Peter had a feeling he knew where this was going, ’’Yeah.’’

’’The paparazzi that we’ve been dealing with for a while...’’ Peter could hear Tony’s voice shaking slightly and the man quickly cleared his throat before continuing, ’’We have a reason to suspect that they might not be normal paparazzi but people working for Hydra.’’

’What?’ Peter kept staring at his father, not exactly understanding what he had just been told. He could not have heard correctly. The people had been taking pictures, of course they were paparazzi. They couldn’t be anything else.

’’-id? Kid?’’ His father’s voice broke through all the thoughts flooding through his brain.

’’What…? What?’’ Peter whispered, mostly to himself and allowing his gaze to drop down to his feet. His brain was trying to work around what was going on but everything just seemed so unreal.

’’We tracked those people down.’’ Tony explained. Peter could feel his eyes on him, ’’They’re always the same people taking pictures, which by itself is not worrying but we also found that after a certain amount of time everyday, they go back to the same building and the same apartment. F.R.I.D.A.Y did a quick scan of the place and there was technology there that’s exactly the same as the ones we found in the house you were kept in.’’

’’T-That doesn’t mean-’’ Peter wasn’t exactly sure what he was even trying to say.

’’It doesn’t… exactly.’’ Tony tried to comfort, ’’But it’s something we have to be careful about. We will just add even more security to this place and keep an eye on these guys. F.R.I.D.A.Y’s on them 24/7.’’

’’W-We can move,’’ Peter’s eyes widened and he let out an uncomfortable laugh, ’’We can go back to the Stark Tower and we’d be fine, right? I mean-’’

’’Peter,’’ Tony stopped his rambling immediately and placed a hand on the back of his neck, ’’We can’t go back.’’

Peter looked around nervously at everyone standing in the room, ’’W-Why not? We-’’

’’Listen.’’ His father’s voice was now stern but still soft, ’’We can’t go back because the apartment these guys hang out in is right next to the Stark Tower.’’

He flinched away from his father when sudden memories of a certain night few months back flooded into his mind.

’’F.R.I.D.A.Y, is there something happening outside?’’ he asked quietly, voice wavering.

’’Nothing out of normal, Mr. Parker,’’ The Al answered, ’’Would you like me to scan the area again?’’

’’Yes, please.’’

’’Scanning again.’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y informed, ’’There is some action in the building next to us but it seems like it is some sort of a gathering.’’

’’You mean a party?’’

’’There seems to be loud music and about five to seven people are moving around intoxicated, I believe they are dancing.’’

’’Alright, thank you F.R.I.D.A.Y,’’ Peter said. The feeling still didn’t go away.

’’You’re welcome, Mr. Parker.’’

When he snapped out of his thoughts, everyone in the room were staring at him with either a confused or a worried look. F.R.I.D.A.Y must have already told Tony about the incident.

Despite knowing that the facility was safe, Peter couldn’t help the anxious feeling growing in his chest, making it slightly more difficult to breathe. He felt tears burning in his eyes but he angrily wiped them away before they could even fall down his cheeks.

He felt slightly shy since everyone were looking but he still made his way towards his father with small, slow steps before getting close enough to hide his face into his chest. The familiar and comforting scent there, that was the detergent his father always used on his clothes, made Peter feel like he could breathe normally again.

Tony’s arms wrapped around him and the weight of them made his raising heart calm down enough that his own arms didn’t feel all limb and weird anymore and he could wrap his arms around his father as well.

’’It’s all going to be okay, I promise you,’’ He felt Tony kiss the top of his head, ’’I’ll keep you safe, no matter what.’’

Chapter Text

Tony was working in his office when Steve walked in without even knocking. He was carrying a big cup of coffee in his hand. Tony had been up all night, trying to figure out the best way to keep everyone as far away from the facility as possible. Recoding F.R.I.D.A.Y was one of the first things he’d done when he’d found out about the possibility of Hydra being after them once again. Now there were security men standing on every door and window. It had taken a while to do but he was happy he’d gotten it done. He couldn’t handle seeing Peter so scared and he just had to hope that all the things he’d done were going to be enough to make his kid feel at least slightly more safe.

Steve placed the cup in front of him on the table before sitting down, ’’Doing alright?’’

’’Kind of.’’ Tony replied and sipped the hot coffee.

Steve looked down for a moment, thinking about what to say next, ’’You know… I’ve been thinking.’’

’’Oh no, that’s never good.’’

He let out a soft laugh before slowly turning serious again, ’’Don’t you think we should move? I’m sure we could find a house that no one knows about and just hang out there for a while. I don’t like keeping Bucky or Peter or anyone else in a house that is unsafe.’’

Tony sighed and gave his friend a tired smile, ’’Steve, we can’t run away from them. Even if we move to Wakanda, Hydra will follow. You know that.’’

Steve only nodded, looking disappointed.

’’They are after Peter, no one else. So if you want to leave, you can.’’ Tony continued, ’’Maybe it’d be a good idea for everyone to just separate for a while, live all around the country. But I’m staying here.’’

’’Tony-’’

’’Steve, if you feel like you have to leave to keep yourself and Bucky safe, I understand.’’ He explained to him, ’’I won’t start another civil war because of it.’’

Steve couldn’t help but huff out a laugh, ’’That’s good to know, Tony. But we’re not leaving. We’re in this together.’’

Tony sighed once more, ’’I appreciate that. I’ve now done my all to make this place safe. We should be alright for now.’’

’’You don’t look satisfied though.’’ Steve said to him, noticing the odd look on the other one’s face.

’’The tower was safe too,’’ Tony replied, ’’And they still managed to get in.’’

’’They’re not stupid, that much is true,’’ Steve told him, ’’But if anything happens, now we know what to expect. We won’t be take off guard like we were last time.’’

’’Right.’’

’’It’s already 7 AM, shouldn’t we wake Peter up?’’ Steve asked, changing the subject as he glanced at the clock.

Tony stood up, ’’Oh, he’s not going to school.’’

’’Have you asked him if he wants to go?’’ Steve asked, getting up as well.

’’He’s been asleep for only five hours, he’s not going,’’ Tony replied, ’’Now, let’s go.’’

’’Where?’’

’’Work.’'

 

Peter woke up around 10 AM to the sound of Thor speaking loudly in the living room. Despite sleeping for eight hours, he felt like he hadn’t slept at all. It felt like his brain had been working through a million math equations while he was asleep. He didn’t bother brushing his teeth or changing out of his pyjamas. He walked out of his room and made his way toward the familiar noises.

Thor and Clint were chatting on the couch whilst his dad and Steve were working on something in the kitchen. The entire kitchen table was cluttered with different kinds of papers. The papers were filled with so much text that Peter didn’t even bother to try and see what was written on them.

Neither of them seemed to notice him, so he didn’t say anything. He just got himself a glass of orange juice from the fridge and sat down. Peter moved one of the papers so that he could place his glass on the table for a little while. Only then Tony looked up at him.

’’Kid.’’ He said. His voice didn’t sound as stern as it had the day before, ’’Did you sleep okay?’’

Peter nodded, sipping his drink. His throat felt dry.

’’Oh, sh- dang,’’ Steve cursed, ready to get up from his seat, ’’I haven’t even made breakfast, I’ll make it right now. What would you like to eat, Pete?’’

’’It’s okay,’’ Peter replied with a soft voice, ’’I’m not hungry.’’

’’You have to eat something-’’

Peter sighed, ’’I don’t feel like it.’’

Even though Peter was looking down, he saw how Steve turned away from him, gently nudged Tony and nodded towards Peter. Tony tore his eyes off of the papers in front of him and took a quick look at Peter, before giving Steve a slight nod.

Peter looked up when he noticed Tony was about to say something but then Bucky walked in. He looked like he’d just woken up as well. Bucky looked out of the window first, before turning around and scanning the entire room. He looked like a deer in the headlights.

Steve’s expression immediately turned sour, ’’Okay, let’s take a break.’’

When Steve got up from his seat, his father scooted closer to Peter, so that he could sit next to him and offered him a slight smile, ’’Are you really okay?’’

Peter nodded once again. He didn’t really feel like talking about how he was feeling, so he decided to keep his answer simple, ’’Yeah.’’

Tony looked at him for a little while with a soft look on his face, before placing his hand on Peter’s neck and stroked there gently, making him immediately relax.

’’Is he okay?’’ Peter leaned against his father slightly and looked over the counter at Bucky, who Steve had gotten to sit down on the couch. He still seemed nervous and uncomfortable.

’’I’m sure he will be,’’ Tony sounded unsure but tried his best to make Peter feel better, ’’This situation is difficult for everyone.’’

Peter hummed in agreement as he felt his father’s hand in his hair, stroking through the strands carefully, ’’I don’t want to go through this again.’’

’’I know,’’ His father whispered, ’’Are you sure you’re not hungry? We all should eat.’’

’’M-Maybe a little something wouldn’t be so bad.’’

Tony gave him an encouraging smile, ’’Okay. I think we should order something. Sandwiches?’’

’’Yes!’’ Thor jumped up from the couch, excited.

Peter laughed slightly at the tall man’s enthusiasm, ’’I’m good with that.’’

’’Good,’’ Tony said, ’’This way Steve doesn’t have to make us anything. Clint, why don’t you call?’’

’’Got it.’’ Clint replied, already getting up from his seat on the couch.

Steve walked back to the kitchen with a smile on his face. Peter was sure that he didn’t really feel like making breakfast in a situation like this, even though he did usually bake or clean when he was stressed.

’’He good?’’ Tony asked, putting the bottle of orange juice that Peter had forgotten on the counter, back in the fridge.

’’Yeah. Just nervous.’’ Steve replied, softly, ’’I’ll clean the table. We’ll continue later.’’

’’But we just got them in order.’’ Tony whined, making Peter laugh.

’’Fine,’’ Steve rolled his eyes, ’’We’ll eat in the living room.’’

Peter zoned out when his father and Steve began to talk about something work related. He saw Bucky sitting in the corner of one of the couches, staring down at the floor. He knew exactly how the man felt. The uncertainty of the situation was the worst.

With a sudden idea of how to make Bucky feel better, he got up from the table and put his glass in the sink before grabbing a bunch of fun looking magnets from the fridge door. He might have forced his father to buy them.

He walked into the living room and sat down, giving the nervous looking man a smile. Bucky didn’t smile back but looked relaxed yet confused. Peter placed the magnets down on the couch in between them. The first one he grabbed was a simple red heart.

Before Bucky even realized what he was doing, Peter placed the magnet against the man’s metal arm and it stuck there. He let out a small laugh.

Bucky looked down at the magnet and back up to Peter before smiling slightly and grabbing a cat magnet from the couch and stuck it to his own arm. This time he smiled even brighter.

 

When the breakfast had been delivered, they were all sitting in the living room. Tony tried to stifle his laughter when he noticed Bucky’s metal arm covered in all different kinds of magnets. He tapped Steve on the shoulder and made him look as well. Steve actually let out a small laugh.

Thor looked confused, at first not knowing what the blond man was laughing about but then noticed Bucky’s arm, ’’Oh, what a wonderful arm!’’

Tony almost spit out the water in his mouth at the man’s sudden exclaim. Peter was giggling and Bucky looked like he was almost blushing.

Maybe today wasn’t going to be such a horrible day.

 

Even though they hadn’t been allowed to go outside, they’d managed to have a lot of fun. They’d played different kinds of games all day long. Steve, Bruce and his dad taken a few break to take care of the work stuff. Peter knew that by ’work stuff’ they meant ’Hydra.’
Peter pulled his blanket all the way up to his chin and yawned. His father had forced him and Bucky to take the magnets off of his arm before going to sleep. Both of them had been slightly disappointed. Colorful magnets definitely made the metal arm look less scary.

’’F.R.I.D.A.Y, turn down the lights, please.’’ He whispered, unable to keep his eyes open any longer.

’’Alright, Peter.’’ The A.I answered, ’’Good night.’’

’’Good night, Fri.’’

 

It was around 3 AM when Peter felt the hairs in the back of his neck stand up. His eyes flew open and he immediately sat up. What was going on?

He felt the exact same way he did the last time his spidey senses went crazy. He didn’t like it at all. He had to get to Tony.

Peter stood up from his bed, despite everything in him was telling him not to move. He opened the door carefully and peeked into the hallway. At least there was no fire this time around.

He was just about to knock on his father’s door, where he heard a noise coming from the kitchen or living room area.

’It was going to be okay. Last time he had heard something in the kitchen, it had just been Thor.’ He reminded himself and walked towards the sound. Peter regretted his decision immediately when he saw someone standing in the middle of the kitchen.

Peter felt the urge to just run or scream, but he only ended up whispering, ’’Fri?’’

’’There seems to be a problem, get Mr.Stark.’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y’s voice didn’t sound normal. It sounded almost panicked and static. And of course, it made the unknown person turn around.

The person began to walk towards him with something that looked dangerously like a gun in his hand. F.R.I.D.A.Y was chanting the same sentence in the background, telling him to get his father. The A.I’s voice only got more and more quiet, before completely disappearing.

He wondered if anyone else had heard it. Someone must have heard it.

Peter had no other chance than to fight. He quickly climbed up to the ceiling and dropped on the person who was trying to catch him. The first thing he had to do was get the gun.

He hit the person in the back of their neck like Natasha had taught him to do but it wasn’t doing anything to stop the person. Soon he found himself being thrown on the floor and a loud snap came from his wrist, pain spreading throughout his entire arm.

He stood up anyway, only to get punched in the face. The person was extremely strong, too strong to be a normal human being. Peter managed to kick him hard enough to make them fall on the floor as well. The gun flew out of the person’s hand.

The gun was lying in front of him and before the stranger could get anywhere near it, Peter grapped it and threw it somewhere in the hallway near his living room. He took hold of the person once again, trying to slow them down, before he could get any help. How come was no one waking up?

The next time he was slammed on the floor, his field of vision became slightly blurry. He could hear the footsteps of the stranger coming closer. He closed his eyes, not knowing what was to come. And then they stopped.

’’What. The. Hell?!’’ Peter heard a voice yell and he felt a tiny bit of relief. The voice belonged to Bucky.

As he heard the two people fighting, his vision cleared slightly. Peter managed to roll over to his side to see what was going on.

Bucky didn’t seem to have any trouble blocking the other person’s hits and kicks, they were both just as fast. Both of them landed a few punches before Bucky was able to get away from the stranger who was now standing in front of the huge glass doors.

Peter stared straight into Bucky’s eyes, when the man turned to look at him for a second. Then Bucky walked a couple of steps backwards and turned to look at the stranger in front of him, before running towards them.

With a loud shatter, Bucky kicked the person through the glass.

Peter allowed his eyes to close.

Chapter Text

’’What the hell happened?!’’ Tony’s shout echoed through the entire medbay, making everyone else there flinch. Someone hushed him, most likely Bruce, but he was too distracted and frustrated to care. His brain couldn’t wrap around the situation, especially since no one had explained what exactly had happened. All Tony knew was that there was an unconscious man lying on the ground in his backyard, the house was filled with police officers and that they now had one less glass door.

Bruce had pushed Tony away from Peter when they had arrived in the medbay only fifteen minutes ago. Steve and Bucky were standing on the other side of the room, shooting worried looks at the young one, who was sitting on the edge of the bed.

Tony couldn’t tear his eyes off of the kid either.

Peter was sitting very still and didn’t say anything unless Bruce asked him something. His wrist looked a horrible color, even Tony knew that it was broken.

’’I’ll put a cast on him,’’ Bruce said, going to get supplies from nearby, ’’The wrist has already began to heal, it’ll probably only take a couple of days.’’

’’Does he have a concussion?’’ Steve asked from the other side of the room.

Bruce shook his head, ’’No, but he has got a couple nasty bumps and bruises.’’

Tony watched as the doctor began to wrap some sort of a soft looking liner around his kid’s painful looking wrist and soon after started to wet the cast material with water. Slowly and as carefully as he could, he began to wrap that around the wrist as well. That was when Peter started sniffling and Tony couldn’t stop himself from going to him.

Bruce did give him a glare but Tony didn’t pay any attention to him; not when his kid was in pain and crying. He held onto his kid’s healthy hand and carefully stroked his thumb across the darkest bruise on his forehead.

’’It’s okay now.’’ He whispered softly, trying not to let his anger be heard in his voice.

’’That’ll take fifteen minutes to dry.’’ Bruce said quickly before stepping aside, ’’After that, you can take him to his room. I already gave him a painkiller, it should start working in a while.’’

Peter hid his face into his father’s neck and cried softly. Tony wasn’t sure if it was because of pain or fear. Either way, he didn’t like it at all.

Whilst holding onto his kid and trying to get him to calm down with comforting whispers, Tony noticed Bruce talking with Steve and Bucky. He was trying to take a look at the bruises on the dark haired man’s face but he kept flinching away. Tony really had to find out what had gone down in the living room only a little while ago. Nothing made sense.

’’Now that we’re still here, would anyone bother telling me what the hell happened? Since F.RI.D.A.Y isn’t here to tell me.’’

Steve glanced at Bucky, before walking up to him and Peter. He looked like he had answers.

’’Well?’’

’’Someone broke in.’’ He said bluntly, ’’It seems like he came in through the window in the lab that’s not in use right now.’’

Tony sighed, ’’And F.R.I.D.A.Y? Hacked?’’

Steve only nodded and tried to give him a comforting smile before turning around to get back to his friend. Tony couldn’t believe he’d allowed this to happen once again.

’’D-Dad?’’ His child’s quiet voice asked, getting his attention, ’’Can we g-go?’’

’’Yeah, let’s go.’’ Tony said, ’’You two coming?’’

’’We’ll be right behind you.’’ Steve replied.

Before helping his kid up from the bed, Tony gave Steve a nod. He wrapped his arm around Peter’s shoulders and guided him out of the medbay. He had to push all the disappointment, anger and frustration out of his brain, he had to focus on his kid now.

He was about to do what Bruce had told him to and take the kid to rest in his bedroom, but despite not speaking, Peter made it quite clear to him that wasn’t what he wanted to do. Tony decided to just allow the kid to take him wherever he wanted to go.

Thor, Natasha, Clint and basically everyone had woken up and were now watching something on the TV. Well, now they were all more or less looking at them, trying to get answers. At least the police officers had left and where there had been a glass door was now only some sort of fabric covering the area. He was going to have to order a new one.

Peter pushed them towards the couch and they both sat down. No words were said, even though everyone wanted answers.

’’You sleep, spider baby,’’ He whispered softly when Peter laid his head on his shoulder and snuggled as close to him as he could, ’’Dad’s here, nobody’s going to hurt you now.’’

 

’’You mind telling me everything that happened?’’ Steve tried to keep his voice stable and soft.

’’I already told you.’’

He took a deep breath, ’’You told me someone broke in and that F.R.I.D.A.Y was hacked. Was the man part of Hydra? Who kicked him through the glass?’’

Bucky looked up at him from where he was sitting on one of the beds, ’’I just heard odd sounds coming from the living room. At first I thought it was just someone trying to make their way back to their room in the dark and possibly knocking over stuff on their way but then the noises kept getting louder so I decided to go get it checked out.’’

’’And?’’

’’The guy was walking towards Peter. He was on the floor, I don’t know if he was concious.’’ Bucky replied with a stoic look. Steve knew that that meant he was thinking about something.

’’You kicked the guy through that glass door?’’

Bucky only nodded, putting his shirt back on when Bruce finished checking up on his ribs.

’’Nothing’s broken. You’re lucky.’’ He said, ’’Took a few strong punches and/or kicks, the guy you were fighting must have been strong.’’

’’Was he like us?’’ Steve asked him.

’’Possibly,’’ Bucky said quietly, ’’He really was strong… and fast.’’

Steve nodded, ’’So it was Hydra.’’

’’Who else?’’ Bruce sounded annoyed, ’’At this point, there’s no one else to blame. I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do, it seems like those bastards just won’t give up. They’ll just keep on going and going until they get Peter again and make him into a heartless machine who can’t even think for himself.’’

’’Shut up, would you?’’ Steve didn’t mean to sound so harsh, he knew that Bruce didn’t mean it in the way he had taken it.

The man apologized quietly, looking straight into Bucky’s eyes. Bucky didn’t seem to care, in fact Steve wasn’t even sure if he’d even heard what had just been said.

’’He’s right.’’ Bucky whispered after a moment.

’’Buck...’’

’’He’s just telling the truth.’’ He continued, ’’They’re after Peter. There’s nothing we can do about that.’’

 

The next morning felt normal but Tony knew it wasn’t. When he woke up, for a second he didn’t remember everything that had happened but the memories flooded back quickly. He’d just hoped it had been a nightmare. A horrible, extremely realistic, nightmare.

Tony hadn’t woken up in his own bed but on the floor next to the couch his kid was sleeping on.

With a groan, he pushed himself up from the hard floor and looked around. Bucky was asleep in the armchair nearby. He saw no one else around, it seemed like everyone else had gone to their bedrooms. All of them had definitely slept in as it was already 11 AM.

After making sure that Peter was asleep, he made his way into the kitchen, only to notice Steve sleeping on one of the chairs, leaning against the kitchen table. If Tony had had more energy, he would’ve laughed.

’That can’t be comfortable.’ Tony thought before he went to pat the sleeping man on the shoulder. He really didn’t feel like being the only one awake.

The blond man jumped awake, almost falling over in his chair.

’’What the he-? Tony?’’ Steve looked confused, ’’What time is it?’’

’’11.10 AM.’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y’s familiar voice replied before Tony could.

Steve looked up, ’’You fixed it already?’’

Tony nodded and placed his cup on the counter while he was waiting for his coffee, ’’Yeah, last night. Wasn’t much to fix… It seems like it was quite easy to hack. I don’t know what to do.’’

’’Can you make it any safer?’’

’’I’m going to have to. I’ll make it so that no one will ever touch it again.’’ He began, ’’I’m just going to have to figure out how.’’

’’You’re a genius, aren’t you?’’ Steve asked, getting up from his seat.

’’I thought I was.’’

Steve sighed deeply, ’’It’s all going to be okay. We’ll stop them this time.’’

’’And how in the hell are we going to do that?’’

’’I don’t know.’’ He answered honestly, pacing around the kitchen,’’But if it was completely up to me, none of them would leave that hiding place of theirs alive.’’

’’If it was up to you...’’ Tony whispered, deep in thought.

’’They’ve done enough,’’ Steve’s voice had a certain strictness in it that Tony had never heard before, ’’And I don’t mean just Bucky. Peter too and us, you and I, Tony. All the pain we’ve had to go through, I think we deserve some… closure.’’

’’You mean revenge?’’ Tony stared at the other man with a neutral look, ’’You don’t think that’s selfish?’’

Steve looked tense, ’’When it comes to this, I think I deserve to be selfish.’’

’’N-No, please, I don’t want to-’’ Desperate whines came from the couch, making Tony run straight into the living room, Steve following right after him.

Peter’s eyes were still closed but he was turning around on the couch. Tony tried to stop him from hitting the broken hand against anything that would only injure it worse. It had been a long time, several months actually, since Peter had had a nightmare.

Tony tried to calm the child down by stroking his hair and trying to whisper him comforting words but it wasn’t helping, the whines turned into shouts, waking even Bucky up. Steve was the one who ended up shaking the kid awake.

Eyes wide open and gasping for air, Peter sat up. Tony hated seeing the tear tracks falling down his kid’s face.

’’Come on, Peter, come on,’’ Tony began with the softest voice, ’’It’s okay.’’

’’Dad-’’ He sobbed so loudly that he had to lean forward to only try and breathe normally, ’’I-I can’t...’’

Tony put his hand on his kid’s chest and pushed him down gently, ’’Okay, lay down, lay down.’’

’’You have got to breathe, son.’’ Steve chimed in.

If Tony didn’t know better, he would’ve thought that the kid was having a heart attack. It was horrible to look at, ’’Okay, kid, breathe. Just like we practiced, remember?’’

He could see the kid trying to match his breathing to his in the best of his abilities and slowly it began to work. The tears that had been falling down had too began to slow down but the grasp the kid had on his shirt didn’t weaken. Tony helped him lay back against the couch, this time around on his side, so that he could keep his eyes on him at all times. Steve had already taken Bucky out of the room and to the kitchen, so that they wouldn’t be in the way.

Tony sat down in the same spot he’d been sleeping in the night before and laid his head on the edge of the couch. He began to stroke the kid’s hair in the way that he knew calmed him down, ’’There you go, little spider.’’

’’D-Dad, I-I don’t-’’ Peter began quietly, ’’I don’t i-if I can do t-this anymore.’’

’’Don’t say that.’’ He replied, looking straight into his brown eyes, ’’You can. We can, we have before. Everything’s going to be okay again.’’

’’I don’t know if-’’

Tony hushed him, ’’We’ll talk about it later… I want you to try and sleep a little bit more.’’

’’C-Can we-?’’

’’What?’’ Tony asked, ready to listen, ’’Hm? Anything you need.’’

’’Can we just speak about something else?’’ His eyes teared up once again, ’’I don’t want to think about- about-’’

Tony scooted closer, ’’Okay, okay. Of course… What do you want to talk about?’’

’’Ned… Saturday.’’

’’We can still make that happen, I promise you.’’ He gave him a encouraging smile, ’’I’ll even order pizza. And get more ice cream, any kind you want. Thor ate all of it again.’’

He could see the smallest smile on the kid’s face.

’’He’s an ice cream monster.’’ Tony laughed, ’’I’m going to have to find a way to hide all the ice cream we have. Steve’s already given up on him, which is fair enough since he has had many talks with Thor about it.’’

Peter laughed as well, ’’You want to know a secret?’’

’’A secret? Me? Obviously.’’ Tony smirked and leaned in close enough that he could hear the younger one’s whisper.

’’Steve has a secret fridge in his bedroom filled with ice cream.’’

Tony gasped a bit too dramatically. He was surprised to hear such a thing, ’’Is that so?’’

Peter nodded, the expression on his face almost mischievous. He was always extremely expressive, so much so that Tony immediately knew what was going on when he took a quick look at his face. The mischievous look was one of Tony’s favourites.

The way Tony stroked Peter’s hair made the kid sleepy quite quickly, which didn’t surprise anyone.

’’Dad-’’

’’Shh.’’ He hushed quietly, ’’We’ll talk later. Just sleep, baby spider.’’

 

’’Where’s Bucky?’’

’’Went to the plant room, he’s taking care of Peter’s plants as well.’’ Steve replied, sitting down next to Tony. They had all decided that today was going to be all about relaxing and just calming down after everything that happened.

The day seemed to be quite nice for their plan to just be. The sun was shining and some of them even went to the pool to enjoy it. Steve and Tony settled on sitting at the terrace enjoying nice, cold (non-alcoholic) drinks.

’’You do know what you have to do, right?’’ Steve asked, glancing at the other man.

’’About Peter? Yeah...’’ Tony sipped his drink, ’’About everything else? Not exactly.’’

’’Come on, we agreed we’re not going to talk about that today.’’ Steve replied, catching a beach ball that Clint threw at him and swirled in between his fingers before throwing it back, ’’Tomorrow is a whole other thing.’’

’’I guess we did.’’

’’This is going to take a lot of time out of lives for the next few days or possibly weeks.’’ Steve continued with a small smile.

’’I know.’’ Tony said, finishing his drink, ’’Which is why I have to make time. I’ll be back soon.’’

’’Okay…?’’ Steve sounded a bit confused but fortunately for Tony, he didn’t ask any further.

Tony made his way to the other side of the building where Pepper’s new office was. He knew he was going to get an earful very soon but still decided to knock on the door. It took a moment, which usually meant that Pepper was on the phone.

The door opened about two minutes later.

’’Yes?’’ Pepper asked as Tony pushed himself into the office, ’’Oh, no, no, no, I don’t like that look on your face.’’

’’Close the door.’’ Tony said and Pepper did. She looked worried.

’’What is it?’’ She asked.

’’Wait, why aren’t you with us at the pool? Are you really planning on spending all your time inside working. You sho-’’

’’Oh, cut the bullshit, Stark.’’ Pepper said, rubbing her temples.

Tony sighed and looked down at his feet, ’’I need to take time off of work.’’

’’Tony-’’

’’No, hear me out.’’ Tony continued, now completely serious, ’’I have to be with Peter and it’s going to take a lot of time to work on our plan for Hydra. We’ve decided not to involve the police or anything along the lines of that.’’

Pepper’s eyes almost popped out, ’’Not involve the p- Tony, are you absolutely insane?! You’re just going to go after Hydra all by yourself? What is wrong with you?’’

’’Not by myself, with the Avengers.’’

’’Avengers… Right.’’

’’Yes, Avengers.’’ Tony said sternly, ’’We’ll be fine. My little ’vacation’ starts today and will last at least a week.’’

’’I hope you know what you’re doing.’’

’’I don’t.’’ He said, ’’But I will.’’’

Chapter Text

The people who were there to replace the completely shattered glass door had arrived early in the morning, waking Peter up. Tony had really felt like yelling at them about it because he didn’t like anyone waking up his kid, especially when he needed a lot of extra rest. He had no clue what Pepper had been thinking when she had booked them so damn early in a Saturday morning.

They were the only ones awake, which Tony couldn’t say he minded. It was nice and peaceful. They had already eaten breakfast and were now watching random early morning cartoons on the TV. Tony wasn’t sure how Peter was doing and he really didn’t feel like asking. He had a feeling that Peter wasn’t ready to talk about everything that happened in detail. For now, he just allowed both of them to relax, since Peter didn’t have school and he had no work. In about two days they were going to start their plan to bring down the people who worked for Hydra and were after Peter.

But right now Tony just decided to enjoy the time they had together before the real hassle was going to begin. Peter was snuggled up against his side, his head leaning against his shoulder and he let out a few little giggles once in a while when something funny happened in the cartoon. Sometimes Tony wished that everyday could be like this.

Tony liked to sleep in, so he was proud of himself that he was up at 6 AM. He knew Steve was going to waking up soon and then he would be going on a jog before making breakfast for the rest of them. Tony knew he wasn’t a very good cook, which was why he usually ordered in or just allowed to Steve make whatever he wanted to make but this morning he had had to make breakfast for Peter and it had felt good to do so. Sure, it was just a simple omelette but it was still something. He wouldn’t mind doing it more often.

’’Dad? Can I change the channel or are you still watching?’’ Peter’s voice broke him out of his thoughts. The cartoons must have ended.

’’Sure, buddy.’’ He replied and watched as Peter stretched himself to get the remote from the living room table without having to get up. Soon he felt the warmth of Peter against his side once again and the kid began to flip through channels before stopping at some nature documentary about different types of spiders.

’’You and your spiders.’’ Tony teased slightly with a smile on his face. Peter smiled back at him, before focusing on the screen in front of them.

He couldn’t help but let out a small laugh when Peter mumbled something along the lines of, ’’Shut up, spiders are cool.’’

Steve did indeed arrive to the living room about fifteen minutes later, his shirt all sweaty. His eyes had become as big as plates when he’d seen that someone else was up before him. He told them that he’d hit the showers and then join them. Peter had immediately agreed but Tony would’ve been lying if he had said he wasn’t disappointed that their time alone was over. He’d get over it quickly. Probably.

’’You know, kid, I was thinking that maybe Ned should come over,’’ Tony began. Peter looked up at him curiously, ’’Since your arm is almost completely better now.’’

’’Really?’’ Tony swore to god the kid’s eyes were sparkling with excitement.

’’Sure, you should text him.’’ He replied, ruffling his soft hair, ’’Maybe around 2 PM?’’

’’I’ll text him when this show ends.’’ Peter said, turning back to look at the TV.

Tony had a feeling the kid was going to need some distraction and what better way to distract him than with his own best friend. A lot had happened and Tony didn’t want Peter thinking about it all in his little head 24/7. He seemed to be doing alright for now.

’’On Thursday at school Ned told me he was going to buy a new lego set,’’ Peter said suddenly, ’’He didn’t tell me which one though but I’m going to ask him to bring it here.’’

’’Sounds cool, kid.’’ Tony replied with a soft smile. He knew nothing about legos but he was good at pretending.

Steve sat down next to them and gave Tony a smirk as he looked at Peter snuggling up to him. Tony refused to feel embarrassed about cuddling with his nervous son, he knew that Peter didn’t feel the same way; the kid got embarrassed by everything.

’’Shut up.’’ Tony whispered to the man, who was now softly laughing.

’’I didn’t say anything,’’ Steve replied, ’’It’s cute really.’’

Peter hid his face deeper into his father’s shoulder, ’’Stop it, please.’’

’’I’m just teasing you, kid.’’ Steve told him and turned to look at the documentary on TV. Tony doubted he was that interested in spiders either.

 

Peter was basically pouncing off the walls when Happy had left to get Ned. Tony had suggested Peter that he should go with him but then changed his mind when Steve announced that food was ready and Tony did not allow Peter skip any meals. Surprisingly, Peter hadn’t been that disappointed. In fact, ever since the morning he’d been sticking to Tony’s side no matter where he went. He didn’t know what to do about it, so he just allowed it. Obviously it had something to do with happened the day before.

’’Is it any good?’’ Steve asked. He was the last one to sit down.

’’Yep, so good.’’ Wanda replied.

Peter nodded as well, ’’It is.’’

Steve seemed satisfied with the couple positive answers he got and he knew that everyone else liked it as well as they were basically shoving the food into their mouths.

’’This is my favorite.’’ Thor mumbled with a mouth full of food and gave Steve a big thumbs up.

’’Thank you, Thor.’’

 

Tony had thought that Peter meeting up with his best friend was a good thing but the face his kid was pulling now was telling him something else. Sure, he had smiled when Ned had walked in but something didn’t still quite seem right. He had been so excited just a moment before.

Steve was the one that told them to try out the new video game he had bought and to also show him how it’s done. Tony knew the blond man had it all under control but decided to stick around just in case his kid needed him. Peter glanced back at him a couple of times before focusing on the video game entirely. They had chosen to build the new lego set after they'd finished with the game.

After a half an hour he had slightly relaxed. That didn’t stop Tony from worrying though. He was going to have to talk about it with the kid, maybe he was still just sensitive from what had happened. He didn’t blame him.

It was only when Pepper that things took a major turn.

’’Before you say something,’’ The woman hushed him, ’’This meeting was scheduled before you announced this little vacation of yours and I can’t postpone it, so you better go. You’re already late.’’

She handed him a few papers as he stood up.

’’You’re going?’’ A small voice asked, making him turn back around. Peter had paused the game and was now sitting on the couch, facing him. Tony had to pretend he didn’t see the little shine in his kid’s eyes. Please don’t cry, kid.

’’I’ll be back as soon as I can.’’ Tony replied, ’’It’ll be an hour at most, okay?’’

’’B-But I...’’ Peter began and looked around at Steve and Ned before turning back to his father, ’’I- I don’t...’’

’’Come on kid, it’s okay.’’ Steve decided to try and help. He laid a hand on the kid’s shoulder and gave Tony a small smile.

’’But- dad?’’

’’Tony, please.’’ Pepper said. She didn’t sound so annoyed anymore, understanding the situation.

Steve sighed, ’’Just go, Tony. I’ll take care of this.’’

Tony nodded and gave Peter one last smile before walking out of the room (well, more like dragged out by Pepper.) He didn’t feel like leaving but Pepper was right, just like most of the time, the meeting was important. It was something that Tony himself had scheduled.

He pretended not to hear the quiet sobbing.

Chapter Text

It had to be somewhere. Peter wasn’t even sure if he had it anymore but he refused to give up. When all his belongings had been moved from the tower to the facility, he hadn’t even bothered to unbox the stuff he didn’t need everyday. And one of the things he didn’t need were old books from his early childhood. May had saved most of them.

He’d already gone through all the drawers in his room, just in case he had unboxed the books, but he hadn’t. He didn’t want to accept the fact he was going to have to start going through the boxes in the corner of his room. For one damn book.

But he had promised Bucky that he would find it and they would read it together. Whilst watering the plants they had been talking about the book and all the things that happened in it and despite not saying anything, Peter knew the other man was curious about it. He’d learned to read the man’s expressions even though to an outsider his all his facial expressions looked the same. They had to him, only a few months ago.

The book he’d been looking for was in the second last box, which was just such Peter’s luck. Aunt May and Uncle Ben had bought it for him when he had been six years old and it had become his favorite book the moment he saw it for the first time. They read it every single night before he went to sleep, sometimes even twice. Thinking back, May must have been so annoyed or at least bored with the story but never refused to read it.

Peter looked through a couple of pages. The pages had turned slightly yellow through the years and some of them had even ripped. The splatters of dried tea on the edges of some of the pages were his favorite. Since it took a while to read the entire book, May liked to drink tea while doing it. Her voice got raspy every time because the book was so long.

Along the sides of many other things, Peter missed his aunt’s voice. It had had the same effect on him as his father’s did now, it calmed him down and made him feel safe. Once in a while when he felt like he couldn’t remember her voice as well as he used to, he listened to voicemails she had left him before the accident. They helped a little.

Peter was just about to walk to the living room, where he knew Bucky was waiting for him, when Thor stopped him. He looked tired and even slightly annoyed, which was very unlike him.

’’What’s wrong?’’

’’Everyone just...’’ The man let out a long, deep sigh, ’’Everyone are being so loud. I’m trying to take a nap.’’

Peter felt a bit confused since he didn’t know how he could exactly help him, ’’I… I guess you can try sleeping in my room. I don’t know if you’ll be able to fit in the bed though.’’

Thor slapped his hand on Peter’s shoulder and offered him a big smile, ’’Thank you, Man of Spiders.’’

’Well that was weird.’ He thought as he walked into the living room. Bucky was sitting on the floor, in the same spot he had been in when Peter had left.

’’Sorry I took so long.’’

’’No problem.’’ Bucky replied, shifting himself into a better position. Peter didn’t know why the man liked sitting on the floor so much, even though they had the most comfortable couches and armchairs probably in the entire country. He didn’t question it though and just went along with it. He joined his friend on the floor.

He opened up the book, ’’Okay, let’s start… Charlotte’s web, chapter 1. Before breakfast. "Where's Papa going with the ax?" said Fern to her mother -’’

 

Bruce had promised to keep an eye on Peter for Tony. Peter had been doing surprisingly well since Ned left and hadn’t freaked out when his father had had to leave to work on the plan for Hydra with the rest of the Avengers. He had noticed though, that Peter was constantly doing something as if he was trying not to focus on the fact his father wasn’t there. Bruce wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not.

Now Peter was reading a book to Bucky, which he thought was very sweet. Although Bucky was two, even three, times the size of the younger man, at this moment he seemed like a child compared to Peter. His eyes were wide and he looked so focused on the story of the book and once in a while Bruce could see a small hint of a smile on his face.

Steve had joined him at one point with a stack of papers in his hands. Despite Tony giving them a free day before ’the real work’ begins, Steve didn’t seem to know how to not do anything. He was planning the upcoming Christmas celebration. He was babbling on and on about it and after ten minutes, Bruce had completely zoned out of the one way conversation, not really even hearing a word that was being said. That didn’t seem to bother Steve though or maybe he just didn’t notice.

The next time he snapped out of his thoughts, Steve was talking about the menu. But that wasn’t what had made him snap out if. It was Tony, the man who was still supposed to be working on the Hydra case, walking towards the living room, where Peter and Bucky still were.

Quietly, but in a hurry, Bruce got up from his seat and dragged the man into the kitchen, warning him with his finger to stay quiet as well. Peter had been doing so well without him, he didn’t need Tony ruining it now.

’’You should be working,’’ Bruce hissed at him in the corner furthest away from the living room. Steve gave them an odd look before turning back to reading his papers.

’’I was working,’’ Tony whispered back with a slightly frustrated look on his face, ’’And now I’m here and I’d like to talk to my kid.’’

Bruce sighed, ’’I figure out that much but you can’t. He’s handling this so well right now, please don’t step in and confuse him even more. He’s still sensitive and-’’

’’You think I don’t know that?’’ Now he looked angry, ’’But he’s my kid and I just want to talk to him.’’

’’You don’t get it, do you?’’ Bruce asked, stopping the man who once again tried to get out of the kitchen and gently pushed him against the counter, ’’You go talk to him now and then you have to leave again. In like, what? Fifteen minutes? What’s that going to do to him?’’

’’If he has a panic attack, we’ll deal with it.’’ The other man replied, ’’I know my kid, so just... Let. Me. Go.’’

’’Fine, do whatever you want, Stark. I don’t care.’’ Bruce huffed out, ’’I’m going to my lab, I have some work to do as well. Steve?’’

The blond man looked up immediately when his name was called and looked at him confused as if he hadn’t heard the entire conversation, ’’Yes, Bruce?’’

’’Whatever it is that you’re planning, I bet it’s great. It’s going to be an awesome Christmas party no matter what you do.’’ The man smiled and nodded at him and Bruce turned back to Tony, ’’And you… once you’re finished with Peter, come to my lab. I wanna talk.’’

Tony didn’t say anything back but at that moment Bruce really didn’t care. He’d just tried to help but of course that stubborn son of a bitch wasn’t going to listen to him when it came to Peter. Tony trusted him with everything, whether it be personal things, passwords or even every single detail of the most secret document in the world, that no one outside of it should know about but just not Peter.

And when he thought about it a little longer, it did make sense. In the world of Tony Stark, nothing mattered as much as the safety and happiness of Peter Benjamin Parker-Stark.

 

Tony missed Peter. Which was the reason why he had been such an asshole all day long. Bruce had told him that he should not be in the same room as Peter all day long because then the kid would never get rid of the sudden clinginess. Tony just wasn’t sure if completely refusing contact with Peter was the way to go. He couldn’t just pretend he didn’t have a kid for an entire day.

Bruce had told him that he could see him later but both of them seemed to have had a different idea of ’later.’ He didn’t know what it was for Bruce but for Tony it was an hour and a half.

Tony leaned against the counter and ran his hands through his hair. He knew that an hour and a half was a pathetic amount of time. Obviously F.R.I.D.A.Y was constantly telling him what was going on with his kid but Tony didn’t seem to be able to relax and he just couldn’t focus, even though he knew that the best way for him to help Peter was to work on the Hydra case, he just couldn’t. Natasha had basically kicked him out of the room and stayed by herself to finish their first idea of a plan for ’finishing’ Hydra.

’’You okay?’’ Steve asked carefully after a while.

Tony shrugged and looked down at his feet, deep in thought. He wasn’t sure what to do.

’’If it’s bothering you that much, just do it.’’ Steve got up from his seat and held out about half of his paper stack, ’’And if you’re not going to do it, I would like you to tell me what you think about my ideas for Christmas.’’

If Tony didn’t know better, he would’ve thought that the papers were mocking him. The way Steve had made the papers look with all the pictures and big chunks of text made it look very professional and important, in the exact same way as the papers he had just been working on with Natasha. He was supposed to be helping her and he wasn’t.

’Stupid, stupid, stupid.’ Tony grabbed the papers, possibly a bit too harshly, ’’I’ll take a look at them later.’’

He got slightly closer to the living room, so that he could hear what his son was saying to Bucky and just looked at him for a small while.

’’He closed his eyes. The straw seemed scratchy- not as comfortable as the cow manure, which was always delightfully soft to lie in. So he pushed-’’ Peter’s voice sounded soft and he was adorably focused on reading the book in his lap. Tony didn’t want to interrupt him.

’’Hey Steve,’’ Tony said, getting the blond man’s attention, ’’Keep an eye on him, I have to go talk to Bruce.’’

Steve smiled, obviously happy about his choice, ’’Alright.’’

Tony glanced at his kid once more before walking away from the kitchen and the living room. As he was making his way along the hallway to get to Bruce’s lab, he heard Peter’s voice reading the book, slightly louder than he had before.

’’So Charlotte sang a lullaby, while crickets chirped in the grass and the barn grew dark. This was the song she sang; Sleep, sleep, my love, my only. Deep, deep, in the dung and the dark; be not afraid and be not lonely.’’

Bruce wasn’t working when he arrived, just sitting on his seat and staring at the door, waiting for Tony to arrive.

’’I have a feeling I know what we’re going to talk about.’’ Tony said, closing the door behind him, ’’But I’ll ask anyway. What are we going to talk about?’’

’’We’re not going to be talking about Peter. Not exactly anyway.’’ Bruce explained, patting the chair in front of him, telling Tony to sit down, ’’We’re going to talk about you.’’

’’Me?’’ Now he was confused and without even noticing, he followed the other man’s orders and sat down, ’’Peter’s the one we should be talking about, he had some sort of a fucking breakdown yesterday.’’

’’We will work with him on that but he’s obviously already doing much better. We’ll be able to take his cast off tomorrow by the way.’’ Bruce replied, ’’Honestly, I’m more worried about you. You’ve been working like hell to make sure that Stark Industries does well, whilst obviously working with the Avengers. And now there’s the whole Hydra thing going on and you have to take care of a teenager.’’

Tony scoffed, ’’Feels like I haven’t been really taking care of him lately.’’

’’You’ve been busy, I’m sure he understands.’’ Bruce comforted, ’’I’m just worried that you’re working towards a burn-out.’’

’’I won’t lie and say that I haven’t been busy. But there’s nothing to worry about.’’

This time it was Bruce’s turn to scoff, ’’Tony, you’re barely sleeping. And I know you’re doing all this to make sure Peter will be safe but have you thought about the fact that if you’re not doing well, you can’t take care of Peter. You’ve always been a busy man and Peter is a kid who comes witha lot of problems-’’

’’None of this is Peter’s fault!’’ Tony was up from his seat in a heartbeat. How could Bruce even say anything like that? He was close to punching the man in the face.

’’Tony, you know how I am with words, I didn’t mea-’’

’’Peter is the best thing in my life! I don’t care if my head explodes from all the shit I have to do and even if I never have any free time in my life ever again, I don’t care! As long as I have him, I’m fine.’’

Bruce had gotten from his seat as well, sometime during his rant and placed a hand on Tony’s shoulder, ’’I know, I’m so-’’

Tony shook the hand off of him immediately and stared the other man in the eyes with an intense look, ’’Peter is my everything! Before he came into my life, I was nothing. So don’t you dare to even try to imply that he’s something I have to deal with, because he’s not!’’

’’I know, I know!’’ Bruce tugged at his hair in frustration, ’’I didn’t mean what I said, it just came out wrong! Tony, I know that Peter is your everything and you’re the best dad to him, we all know that! And we agree, you’ve been doing so well...’’

’’Bruce, I can’t lose him…’’ Tony slumped back down on his chair.

’’And you won’t, tomorrow we’ll start working on everything and then it’ll all be over.’’

With a sigh, Tony looked up at the other man. He could feel his eyes burning, ’’Will it though?’’

’’Of course,’’ Bruce replied, voice steady and sure. He carefully walked towards him, ’’Of course, Tony, we’ll take care of it.’’

The first tear fell down his cheek, ’’It’s Hydra. The people in that apartment can’t be the last of them, Bruce. There’s just going to be more and more until-’’

’’Stop it, man.’’ He placed a hand on Tony’s shoulder, ’’They will not keep going forever, Peter’s not that valuable… to them! They will stop after this, I’m sure of it. I’m sure they have better things to do.’’

’’What if they won’t give up? What if this is some big mission?’’ Tony wiped away his tears angrily, only making room for new ones.

’’They will.’’ Bruce said, ’’Don’t you remember? When we saved Peter from Hydra back then, we saw the records of this little project of theirs. Only a few people actually agreed to do this and most of them are already dead.’’

Tony nodded, trying to get himself to understand that everything was going to be okay. They were going to make everything okay. He heard a small, familiar giggle from the living room, immediately knowing who the laugh belonged to. For some reason, it only made him cry harder.

Soon enough he felt arms around him and he was leaning against the other man in the room. Tony Stark wasn’t a person who usually got hugged or even liked to be hugged, but he couldn’t get himself to pull away.

’’I’m so tired.’’ The words slipped out of his mouth and made Bruce hug him slightly tighter.

’’It’s going to be okay, you’re taking a break today. I’m sorry I tried to basically force you to work.’’

Tony shook his head.

’’No, I am truly sorry.’’ Bruce whispered, ’’It’s going to be okay, you’re going to go out there and hang out with Peter and we’re going to eat pizza and not think about tomorrow.’’

’’I- I can be with Peter?’’ The tears were finally slowing down.

To Tony’s relief, Bruce nodded, ’’Yeah… I was being too harsh earlier. Maybe we all need a break. I’m sure Peter’s missed you too, even though he has had fun with Bucky.’’

Bruce let go of him after a few more seconds and Tony began to wipe the last of his tears away, his voice still slightly shaky, ’’What are they reading anyway?’’

’’Charlotte’s Web.’’ Bruce replied with a small smile and handed him a tissue, ’’I don’t what it’s exactly about but Peter said something about May reading it to him.’’

’’I see...’’ Tony tried to smile back, ’’Are my eyes red?’’

Bruce laughed a little, ’’Not more than usual. Let’s go.’’

’’Fair enough.’’ Tony still looked into the mirror before walking out of the lab. Surprisingly, he didn’t look like he’d been crying. He just looked like he had been reading boring text off of a screen all day long.

 

Peter had made James Buchanan Barnes cry. Well, the book had made him cry. But still, Peter had made him cry. He’d mumbled several apologies to the man and even got him a box of tissues but nothing seemed to help. The first time May had read the book to Peter, he’d bawled his eyes out. Thankfully Bucky wasn’t doing that, there were only a few silent tears rolling down his cheeks. Peter still didn’t like it at all.

When Steve had noticed Peter panicking, he’d finally stopped working on all the Christmas plans and walked to the living room. He sat down on the couch and placed his hand on top of his friend’s head. He stroked his hair gently and it reminded Peter of the way Tony stroked his hair when he was upset. Steve offered both of them a kind smile, which made Peter feel slightly more calm.

’’Good book, huh?’’ Steve teased them. Peter could see Bucky leaning against his friend’s leg, trying to wipe away his tears.

’’It is...’’ Peter replied, letting out a slight laugh, ’’I just didn’t expect him to… react like this.’’

Steve laughed as well, patting Bucky on the back a couple of times, ’’I don’t want to even hear what happens in the book, I’d probably start crying too.’’

’’He’s the one who usually cries.’’ Bucky mumbled against Steve’s leg, making both of them laugh even more.

’’What kind of cry fest is going on in here?’’ Tony’s voice echoed through the room, making all of them turn around. Peter watched his father jump over the back of the couch and slumped down next to Steve, ’’What did I miss?’’

’’Nothing.’’ Bucky was the first to reply, wiping away the last tear that fell down his face, ’’Just the stupid book about the spider and the pig and the rat and-’’

’’I think they got the point.’’ Steve looked down at Bucky and smiled once more.

Peter got up from his seat on the floor and sat down next to his father, glad to see him for the first time a long while. He was glad that the anxiety that had been roaming around in his chest all day yesterday had began to decrease.

’’Okay, you guys read a sad book about animals,’’ Tony smirked, rubbing his hand up and down Peter’s back, ’’What should we do now?’’

’’I know how we can make everyone feel better.’’ Peter noticed an odd look on his father’s face. Despite feeling slightly worried, he decided not to say anything about it.’’Follow me.’’

The others looked a bit confused as Peter pounced off the couch with a wild smile on his face and began to walk towards his room. He turned to look back, only to find all the other people in the living room staring at him.

’’Well come on.’’ Peter encouraged them. Steve was the first one to get up and follow him. Everyone else came after him, ’’F.R.I.D.A.Y, Thor is still in my room, right?’’

’’Right, Peter.’’ The AI replied, ’’He seems to be sleeping.’’

’’What is he doing in your room?’’ Tony asked but Peter only hushed him. He opened the door to his room and peeked in, immediately laughing out loud, ’’Look.’’

Steve pushed the door open the rest of the way, so that all of them could see what was so funny in Peter’s opinion. None of them could hold in their laughter.

There was Thor, lying on Peter’s bed all curled up so that he’d fit in it. He had laid his head on the pillow and his arms were wrapped around Peter’s other pillow.

Tony took out his phone and snapped several pictures of the sleeping man, ’’I realize this is a bit creepy but I can’t help myself.’’

’’It is a bit weird.’’ Peter replied. Tony ruffled his hair and smiled at him.

’’Oh, kid,’’ Steve laughed and placed a hand on his shoulder, ’’You should see all the pictures of you he has on his phone.’’

’’All the what?!’’

Chapter Text

Peter had certainly not enjoyed getting the cast removed but at least his hand was finally free. He was doing better otherwise as well, now that the shock had finally began to melt away. He still would’ve preferred to stay close to his dad but had realized that being together too much was most likely not healthy (and Bruce had talked about it with him for an hour and a half.)

Now that he was finally feeling better, Tony had told him to go outside and get some fresh air (Not as Spider-Man!) but when Peter had told him he was going to go Christmas shopping, the reaction of the older man wasn’t what he had expected.

’’I’m not freaking out.’’ His father had told him… whilst freaking out.

He quickly figured out he wasn’t allowed to go outside alone and asked Tony to go with him, even though it would be difficult to buy a present to the person you were shopping with. His father’s expression had immediately turned sad. He had work to do, even though he was on a vacation from all the Stark Industries’ business. Hydra seemed to be keeping him busy.

Peter had told him it was fine but knew that the man was still disappointed. After a moment Tony gave him a small smile, ’’I guess we’ll have time to go shopping in the future, after all of this is over. Go find someone else to go with.’’

And so Peter skipped along the hallways of the facility, trying to find someone fun enough to go shopping with. Natasha would’ve been a lot of fun but she was still asleep.

He went past the medbay where he had been just a moment ago, ’Bruce? Nah.’

The facility was surprisingly empty and Peter had no clue where everyone were. There weren’t many plans for today, so everyone just got to do whatever they wanted. He felt like heading towards the kitchen, he wouldn’t be surprised if he found Steve there and usually where Steve was, so was Bucky.

The two men hadn’t been in the kitchen but in the living room watching some sort of a nature documentary. They seemed to have decided it was a lazy day.

Bucky was munching on something, ’’Did you guys make croissants?’’

Steve jumped slightly at Peter’s sudden explain, making the young man laugh, ’’Yes, we did.’’

’’Did you eat all of them already?’’ He asked. He hadn’t seen any in the kitchen.

’’Well...’’ Steve began slowly, ’’We made ten of them but only one of them came out edible. That’s the one Buck’s eating right now.’’

Now Peter was certainly curious. He sat down, ’’What happened? You never mess anything up.’’

’’I do mess things up, you’re just almost never here to see it.’’ Steve laughed, ’’I told Bucky to preheat the oven and he certainly did.’’

’’I said I was sorry.’’ Bucky mumbled with his mouth full of the pastry.

Steve smiled and patted his friend on the knee, ’’I know. So, Peter, I see you finally got that cast of… Feels good?’’

’’The best.’’ It felt like the skin on his hand could finally breathe, not being stuck in that stiff and itchy cast. It was heavenly, ’’So… I have suggestion.’’

’’Oh, okay.’’

’’I want to go Christmas shopping but dad said I can’t go alone so could you go with me?’’

Steve’s eyes seemed to brighten up, ’’Christmas shopping? Yeah, fine by me. What do you say, Buck?’’

The man only shrugged but gave both of them a small smile.

’’Christmas shopping it is.’’

 

Obviously it had been exactly a year since Peter had been Christmas shopping. But back then it had been easier. The only people who he had had to buy presents for had been Aunt May and Ned. Now he had all the Avengers to get gifts for and he had no idea what he was going to do. He knew them but he didn’t know them enough. What would Thor want for Christmas? Did he even celebrate Christmas?

Steve had decided to do some shopping himself. He was somewhere else with Bucky, Peter wasn’t sure where since it was a big store. Somehow he’d ended up where all the junk where, from tiny fake presents to Christmas lights.

There was a box with a 30% off sticker on it and it was the one Peter’s eyes focused on. A diy snow globe kit. He grabbed it before anyone else could. In the kit there was a small princess doll to put inside of it but Peter had a better idea. He was going to find a small Iron Man toy and put it inside the globe instead. It was something small and simple and definitely something his father didn’t have yet.

Before he could get out of the ’Christmas junk’ section to go to the toy section of the store, he heard Steve yell out his name. Peter immediately began to make his way towards him with the diy kit in his hands. Steve and Bucky’s cart was already full.

’’How…? We’ve been here like fifteen minutes.’’ Peter asked, eyeing the said cart.

’’I’ve got a lot of stuff to buy.’’ Steve replied, ’’And we’ve been here a half an hour. Look, I even bought a red Christmas flower.’’

’’It is pretty.’’ Peter smiled.

’’Oh, and Buck had a really good idea,’’ Steve continued as he began to dig through the cart, ’’Gingerbread house cutters. It’s going to be so much fun!’’

Peter nodded, agreeing. He knew it was going to be fun but knowing their big, odd family it was also going to be a disaster. He lifted up his own find, ’’I bought this for dad. It’s his Christmas present.’’

Steve looked at it for a while, ’’Kid… I don’t know if your dad is a big fan of Disney princesses. Unless you know something about him that I don’t, in which case, spit it out.’’

Peter couldn’t help but roll his eyes, ’’Obviously I’m not putting the princess inside the globe. I’m going to find an Iron Man toy and use it instead.’’

He saw Steve’s eyes widen, ’’Oh, that’s a great idea. You know Tony’s going to put that on his desk and not allow anyone to touch it, right?’’

Peter hoped he wasn’t blushing, ’’I- I still have to find the toy and hopefully some other presents for everyone else. Obviously I can’t buy anything to you to since you’re here with me but you know.’’

’’You know, Natasha did wish for a lava lamp.’’ Bucky chimed in.

’’Why won’t she just buy it herself?’’ Peter asked, confused. Bucky only shrugged.

Steve laughed, ’’Well, there’s something you can buy for Nat.’’

’’I guess so.’’

 

The trunk of the car was full which meant that their shopping trip had been successful. Peter had found presents for everyone else except Bucky and Steve. He'd also managed to find a small lava lamp for Natasha. Most of the other presents were chocolate (because he just couldn’t figure out what to buy) but it was still something. He’d even gotten Steve’s permission to store them in the man’s secret fridge.

Peter had almost fallen asleep on the ride home as they didn’t talk in the care. He’d forgotten how exhausting shopping could be.

’’You look tired, son. Why don’t you go to your room and rest a little bit?’’ Steve told him, ’’We’ll unload the car. I’ll even take the chocolate to my room. Just take your father’s present with you.’’

Peter didn’t feel like refusing, he really wanted to help but honestly he was so sleepy. It was only 6 pm and he was ready to go to bed. As he made his way towards his bedroom, he couldn’t help but hear his father’s voice coming from his office. The door was open.

’’Yes, Sam.’’ His father was talking on the phone, ’’The people are at the apartment from 3.30pm to 5pm every day. We’ll be going there at 4pm sharp, just to make sure they are all there.’’

’He must be talking about Hydra and their hiding place near the Stark Tower.’ Peter thought as he decided to lean against the wall to listen a bit longer. He couldn’t help but be curious.

’’We’re going to have to figure out how to get in, all I know is that we can’t go in through the living room windows.’’ Tony said, ’’All the equipment is there, which means it’s most likely that they’re in there as well.’’

Peter felt bad for listening, so he just slowly walked to his own room. He placed the diy snow globe kit and the Iron Man toy into his drawer. He put some random papers on top of them to hide them, even though he knew Tony would never go through his stuff.

Just when he had closed his eyes and began to drift into the dream world, feeling like he was floating, he heard a knock from the door. He groaned at the annoying sound and rolled over to his other side.

’’Peter, are you good?’’ Came his father’s voice from the other side of the door, ’’I heard you guys got back but I didn’t even get to say hi to you. Can I come in?’’

Peter groaned slightly louder, meaning ’yes.’ He just hoped Tony would understand his answer.

The door opened and he could hear the older man chuckle, ’’Sleepy huh?’’

He sat down on the bed next to Peter who was still trying to fight away the sleep. His father definitely knew how to choose a bad time to talk.

Peter felt a hand stroking his hair which was not helping his exhaustion at all. Maybe Tony was trying to get him to go back to sleep.

’’You were on the phone when we got back,’’ Peter mumbled, turning around lazily to look his father in the eyes, ’’Didn’t want to interrupt, it seemed important.’’

A soft smile, ’’It was… but I have the rest of the day free. I thought we could do something but you seem tired. You sure you’re feeling okay?’’

Tony’s hand made its way to Peter’s forehead, ’’I’m not sick. I guess the shopping trip just took a lot out of me. I’d like to do something with you though.’’

’’Hmm...’’ The older man thought about it for a moment, ’’I’m sure we can figure something out. We should eat first though, you must be starving.’’

’’I did eat a sandwich.’’ Peter replied, ’’There was a cafeteria near the store we went to.’’

’’You know that’s not enough. You’ll get dizzy if you don’t eat.’’ Tony said, looking worried, ’’Maybe this lack of energy is because you haven’t been eating well. Am I going to have to start spoon feeding you? Because I will.’’

’’I know you would.’’ Peter giggled, making his father smile, ’’But I’m fine. The last few days just have been… interesting.’’

’’For the lack of a better word.’’ Tony agreed, ’’Well we’re going to be ordering pizza. It’ll be here soon so why don’t you just freshen up a little and then come downstairs.’’

’’Steve isn’t cooking?’’

’’No, I think he’s had enough of his kitchen duty for today.’’

Peter smiled, ’’He told you about the croissants?’’

’’F.R.I.D.A.Y told me about the croissants.’’ Tony replied as he got from the bed and opened the door, ’’And I’ve reminded Steve about it all day long.’’

’’You’re mean.’’ Peter laughed.

His father only smirked, ’’You know me.’’

Tony stepped out of the room and closed the door behind him. Peter took a deep breath before slumping down on the bed once more.

The entire situation was so… uncertain. His father was going to go fight off Hydra and at the same time put himself in danger, along the lines of the other Avengers that had become Peter's friends. He didn’t want that. He couldn’t lose his friends, let alone another parent. Hadn’t he lost enough?

Despite feeling slightly nervous by his sudden idea, he took his phone from the bedside table. He dialed the familiar number and placed the phone between his shoulder and cheek.

’’Hi, Ned.’’ He smiled slightly, ’’Yeah… Dude, I need your help.’’

Chapter Text

Peter ran from his own room towards the front door when he noticed Happy’s car in front of the facility. It had taken a little bit of whining and puppy eyes to get his father to agree with the sleepover because of everything that had resently happened but he’d managed to convince him.

Tony had appeared from somewhere as well and waited by the door with Peter until his friend had walked in with a bag over his shoulder and a big smile on his face. Tony did ask Happy to get in as well and have a cup of coffee with them but the man explained something about having to go somewhere important. He left after Steve brought him a cupcake he could eat whenever he had time.

His father probably had thought that Peter didn’t hear what he whispered to Ned before they went back to Peter’s room but he could hear every single word clearly.

’’Make sure the kid has fun, he was a bit tense yesterday.’’

Of course Peter had pretended not to hear.

They didn’t end up spending a lot of time in his room, even though his friend had brought several amazing things with him that they could do but before that Peter had to get the important stuff out of the way.

F.R.I.D.A.Y could hear them everywhere in the facility and even at the terrace and pool, so they had to find a way to get away from the AI. The only place Peter knew about was the garden on the other side of the facility but they would still have to be careful.

Ned had looked confused at first but then his eyes widened in excitement when he realized that something really secretive was going on. The guy definitely liked adventure.

’’What’s going on, dude?’’ Ned asked when they finally got as far away from the facility as they could go without making anyone question anything, ’’Does this have something to do with Spider-Man?’’

’’Something like that...’’ Peter mumbled, trying to think about what to say next. He really had no idea how to ask Ned about his idea.

’’Is everything okay? I know that you’ve… gone through stuff.’’ His friend’s expression changed from excited to worried in a second, ’’You know I’d do anything for you. I’m your guy in the chair.’’

Peter couldn’t stop himself from laughing, ’’You are. And I’m… better now.’’

’’Then what is this about?’’

’’I don’t know if you want to be my guy in the chair after I ask you… well, what I’m going to ask you.’’ His heart began to beat slightly harder.

’’Tell me, dude.’’

’’Okay, but this is… this is something else.’’

 

’’I’ve already told Sam about what’s going to go down but we’ll go over it in detail right now.’’ Tony began, walking around the meeting room with a cup of coffee in his hand. The only people in the room were him, Steve, Sam, Bucky and Natasha. They were the ones who were going to go and take care of the members of Hydra that had been watching them for a long time now and even broken into their home. Nobody else had any reason to be in the room. Tony had even made sure that F.R.I.D.A.Y wasn’t listening to their conversation.

’’So we’re going in from the kitchen window, it’s big enough.’’ He continued, finally sitting down, ’’Natasha, you are going to go in first and you’ll also be the one to break the window.’’

’’I am the best at it.’’ The woman smirked, making Sam snort in laughter.

Tony rolled his eyes, ’’Anyway… Barnes and noble over there will go in next. Sam and I will be on the roof, just in case anything goes wrong. If any people from the apartment get out, we’ll be able to go after them the fastest and if everything goes right, we’ll come in last and hopefully still have some motherfuckers left to kill.’’

’’Language.’’ Steve whispered but Tony pretended not to hear him.

’’So… that’s the plan.’’ Natasha said after a moment, ’’Sounds simple enough.’’

’’Hopefully it will be.’’ Tony said, ’’We’ll go over the plan again the day before we’re going, just so that everyone knows what to do, but like you said, it should be simple. Get in, kill them and then take all the equipment they have.’’

’’So that’s it? I came all the way here for this?’’ Sam asked, looking tired.

Tony laughed, ’’I’ve told you many times that you could live with us. We’ve got plenty of room here and I know that Peter would be very happy to have you here, the kid’s got an odd obsession with you. Once in a while he even calls you uncle Sam accidentally.’’

’’I don’t know if I could handle you guys 24/7.’’ Sam smiled, ’’But I do like Peter, he’s a smart kid. I could teach hi-’’

’’Oh, I don’t trust you enough to teach him anything else other than video games.’’ Tony told him, making Steve and Natasha laugh, ’’So you ain’t teaching him anything at all. He’s like a mini-Steve already, always looking for trouble.’’

’’He’s nowhere near Steve.’’ Bucky joined the conversation suddenly, ’’He was way worse than Peter.’’

Now it was Tony’s turn to laugh, ’’For some reason, I believe you.’’

’’I wasn’t that bad.’’

’’Yes, you were.’’ Bucky replied, ’’You still are.’’

Steve sighed, ’’Yeah, I am.’’

Natasha giggled, ’’From the stories I’ve heard, Peter is nowhere near as bad as Steve. Peter is a sweet kid, wouldn’t hurt a fly unless he had to.’’

’’He is a good kid.’’ Tony sighed, a soft smile on his face, ’’I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I have been this past year and a half. He’s my everything. That’s why we’re doing this, for Peter, so that all of us can move on and just be. That’s what he needs, that’s what we all need.’’

’’God, you’re such a dad.’’ Natasha smiled, ’’But I agree.’’

 

’’Dude, you are absolutely insane!’’ Ned was walking around in circles all around the garden, trying to get his brain wrapped around what Peter had just asked him to do, ’’Both of us could get in trouble and if… no when your father finds out, you’re going to be grounded for the rest of your life. He’s going to tell my parents and then I will be grounded for life and-’’

’’Okay, okay, okay...’’ Peter had to stop his friend from rambling any further, ’’I know you think this is a bad idea-’’

’’Anyone with half a brain would think this is a bad idea!’’ He exclaimed, ’’An it’s also an impossible idea, there’s no way we could pull it off.’’

’’I couldn’t.’’ Peter replied quietly, ’’Hydra has. I know you could.’’

’’Hydra probably has better equipment than I do.’’ He seemed annoyed, ’’And like you said, your father has been updating F.R.I.D.A.Y a lot, there’s no way I could hack it from my shitty laptop.’’

’’What if you used the computer in my room?’’ Peter wasn’t going to give up, ’’It’s Stark technology which means F.R.I.D.A.Y is part of it. I bet it’s powerful enough to do it.’’

’’Parker, you are absolutely insane.’’ Ned finally sat down next to Peter, ’’You know I’d do anything for you but this… Your father is going to find out. And this is dangerous. Breaking into the training facility storage is a big deal!’’

’’My suit is there right now and I need something from there as well, so that I can-’’ He looked around before continuing as quietly as he could, ’’You know I love my dad, right?’’

’’You don’t stop talking about him, obviously I know, but-’’

’’No, just listen to me.’’ Peter hushed him, ’’I would rather die than lose him. The man that broke into this facility was powerful and I would’ve been killed if it wasn’t for Bucky. They are strong and even though I know my dad is strong, I don’t know if he can fight against Hydra and win.’’

’’But he’s not going alone, Peter.’’ Ned sighed, ’’He has Bucky, he has Steve. Come on, dude.’’

’’Still… what if something happens? What if they kill him? He’s not a superhuman with a healing factor, he’s just a human.’’ Peter tried to explain, ’’If I get Hydra before he does, I won’t lose him.’’

’’But he could lose you. Do you have any idea how messed up he would be after that?’’ Ned seemed extremely frustrated now.

’’I know.’’ Peter sighed, ’’But I don’t know what else to do. I am begging you.’’

Ned stared at him for a while before looking down and shaking his head, ’’Shit… I’ll do it. Tell me everything you’ve got planned.’’

’’Thank you so mu-’’

’’Know that I still don’t agree with this.’’

 

Once they had gotten everything done, they had finally been able to get back inside. Peter just had to hope F.R.I.D.A.Y hadn’t picked up on anything they had been talking about. After having something to eat, they had gone back to Peter’s bedroom. Ned had began to build some lego set that they had built and taken apart many times in the past. Peter had decided to start building the snow globe he had bought the day before.

It wasn’t as difficult as he had thought it was going to be. Putting the liquid inside the globe was the most difficult part but somehow he’d managed to do it without spilling it everywhere. He’d never been the most crafty person but it was surprisingly fun. Once he’d gotten the Iron Man toy inside the liquid and sealed the globe, he showed it to Ned with a big smile. His friend gave him a smile back and a thumbs up.

Peter took out a piece of Christmas themed paper, that he might have stolen from Steve, so that he could make a simple Christmas card for his dad. He allowed the glue to dry before he wrapped the globe in wrapping paper. He wasn’t exactly sure what to write in the card, so he decided to just go with a simple ’Merry Christmas, Dad!’

With all that done, he placed the present in his drawer and placed the card on top of it.

He glanced at the clock and realized it was really getting late.

He yawned, ’’I think I’ll go say good night to dad. I’m so tired.’’

Ned nodded, finishing the lego building, ’’Okay. I’ll chance into my pyjamas whilst you’re away.’’

Peter nodded before walking out of the room. He really didn’t feel like looking for Tony all around the facility, so he ended up asking F.R.I.D.A.Y.

’’Mr. Stark is in his bedroom, brushing his teeth.’’ The AI answered quietly as everyone else seemed to already be asleep.

’’Gotcha.’’ Peter replied with a soft smile. For some reason he felt nervous. He didn’t feel good about not telling his dad what he was planning but he tried to remember that he was doing it for his own good. He couldn’t help but feel slightly sad. Tomorrow was going to be an important day.

’’Come in!’’ A yell came from the bedroom before Peter even had the chance to knock. F.R.I.D.A.Y must have told him he was looking for him.

He opened the door and walked in, making sure it closed behind him. His father came out of the bathroom, shirtless and his hair was wet. So he had taken a shower as well. He seemed to be in a good mood.

’’Hi.’’ Peter said awkwardly, ’’Your meeting went well?’’

Tony laughed and took a white t-shirt from his drawer, ’’Well hi, Spiderling. It did.’’

Peter allowed him to sit on the bed, ’’You got the plan figured out?’’

’’Yes.’’ Tony replied simply, pulling his shirt on before sitting down next to him, ’’But don’t you worry about that, soon things will be back to normal. You’ll be able to go back to school and we’ll actually be able to go outside whenever we want to. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?’’

’’It really does.’’ Peter couldn’t help but slightly lean against his father’s shoulder, wanting comfort, ’’Dad...’’

He didn’t even have to look up at his father to know that he looked worried, ’’What is it, itsy bitsy? Everything alright?’’

’’Yeah...’’ He replied with a soft smile, trying to keep his emotions in check, ’’I just… I love you.’’

A moment of silence, ’’… I love you too, Petey. You sure you’re alright?’’

’’I’m good, just… wanted to tell you.’’ He couldn’t help but let out a small giggle when Tony nuzzled the side of his face before placing a gentle kiss on his temple.

’’I like hearing it.’’ Tony replied, ’’You know… after this Hydra fiasco is over...’’

’’Yeah?’’ Peter looked up at him.

Tony offered him a small smile, ’’Maybe we should tell the world I’ve adopted you and I know that I was against it at first, but I think it’s better for them to know.’’

’’Really? You don’t think it’d cause problems?’’ Peter asked.

’’It’s possible, but they’ll end up finding out at some point anyway.’’ Tony said to him, ’’Might as well tell them. Less drama, I hope.’’

’’We should, after the Hydra thing.’’ Peter agreed with a smile, ’’Then I can call myself a Stark. Well, Parker-Stark but still Stark.’’

’’That sounds amazing.’’ Tony rubbed his back up and down, ’’You must be tired, I think it’s time to go to bed.’’

’’I wish I could sleep here.’’ Peter whispered, feeling nervous.

’’You know I would let you.’’ Tony stroked his hair with a slightly worried look on his face, ’’But Ned’s probably waiting for you. It’s not much of a sleepover if you don’t sleep in the same room with your guest.’’

’’It’s not.’’ Peter agreed once again and gave his father one last smile. Before getting up from the bed, he wrapped his arms around his father’s neck and hugged him tightly.

’’Good night.’’ He said, walking to the door.

’’Good night.’’ His father replied with his smooth voice. His lazy smile was the last thing Peter saw before closing the door.

’Just breathe.’ He thought to himself as he began to walk towards his bedroom.

Chapter Text

Peter was not a morning person, yet he was still up at 4 am. It had taken a bit longer to get Ned to get up as well but after basically jumping on top of him, he’d managed to wake his friend up. They were both nervous and couldn’t get themselves to say a word to each other. Even the air in the room felt heavy and uncomfortable, that was how nervous they were.

The light coming from the screen of the computer was illuminating the entire room and Peter just had to hope nobody was going to wake up and notice.

Ned was the one sitting in front of the computer, trying to figure out how to stop the AI that controlled the entire building for at least a few minutes. Peter was standing next to him, even though he didn’t really know anything about hacking but he did know how F.R.I.D.A.Y worked.

’’Peter, it is in the middle of the night.’’ The AI said all of a sudden, ’’You should be sleeping. What exactly are you doing? Do you need help? Shall I wake up your father?’’

’’It’s all fine, Fri.’’ Peter replied quietly, ’’We’ll go to sleep soon, Ned just wanted to show me a game he likes playing.’’

Five seconds of silence, ’’… Alright, Peter.’’

Peter nodded at his friend who kept on trying to figure out the system.

’’I don’t if I can… find the game.’’ There was terror in Ned’s eyes as he looked up at Peter.

’’Just keep trying. This is important.’’

Ned sighed and kept on going, even though he didn’t feel too hopeful. Peter was starting to lose hope just as fast but still needed his friend to keep going. His plan couldn’t end before it had even began.

’’Okay, okay… This is good.’’ Ned whispered, leaning in towards the screen as he tried to focus. Peter could feel his heart trying to beat its way out of his chest. This had to work.

’’Oh, come on,’’ Ned whimpered as a box asking for a code popped up on the screen, ’’I… I don’t know how to override this. This… I don’t know what to do, Peter.’’

’’Try to figure it out!’’ Peter replied, a bit too loudly.

F.R.I.D.A.Y began to speak once again, ’’Peter, this is not a game. I will wake up Mr. St-’’

Silence.

’’I… I did it.’’ His friend whispered, lifting his hands off of the keyboard, not believing it, ’’I don’t know how, it was kind of an accident but I did it.’’

Peter’s eyes were open wide and he was definitely awake now, ’’What? Y-You...’’

’’I don’t know if it’s going to last.’’ Ned explained quickly, ’’So you need to go now, if you still want to. You know what I think about this.’’

’’I know.’’ Peter said, grabbing his empty backpack, ’’But I need to do this. Thank you, Ned.’’

His friend only nodded and then turned back to the screen, ’’I’ll keep on working on this and give you more time. But Peter, I need you to promise something.’’

’’What?’’ He opened the door, ’’Ned, what?’’

’’Promise me I’ll see you again.’’

Peter knew he couldn’t promise that, ’’… I promise.’’

 

It was still dark outside when he managed to get out of the facility and broke into the training center right next to their home. He’d never really been there before and he wished he had more time to actually take a look around, but he didn’t.

He opened the door to the storage room where his suit was ’trapped’ in. Peter basically ripped off his pyjamas in a hurry and got into the suit he hadn’t worn in a long while. Karen didn’t welcome him when he put his mask on, so he figured out that she worked in connection with F.R.I.D.A.Y. That was certainly going to make things a tiny bit more difficult but he was going to manage. Now that he had successfully gotten out of the facility, he was not going to be turning back.

The storage was filled with all different types of weapons, nothing too dangerous though, and Peter would have wanted to try all of them out but sadly the situation was serious and he had no time. There was even a spare Captain America shield in the corner of the storage and he would’ve definitely liked to take it with him but knew he wasn’t able to carry it and swing around all the way to the building where the Hydra members were hiding.

A couple of different kinds of knives were all that he was able to carry, so he settled on only taking them with him. He just had to hope they were going to be enough along the side of his web shooters.

Before stepping back into the surprisingly cold air outside, he decided to take a couple seconds to just breathe. He was glad that when he was going to go against Hydra, that he was able to wear his mask; they weren’t going to see exactly how terrified he was.

’’Karen.’’ He whispered, even though he knew that the AI was not listening, ’’If there’s any way for you to bring back the audio when F.R.I.D.A.Y’s fixed once again, please… Please, tell my dad that I’m sorry.’’

And with that he left. He knew it wouldn’t take long for the Avengers to figure out what he had done. Thankfully he also knew it wouldn’t take long for him to get to Manhattan either.

 

The building his enemies were hiding in was right across from the Stark Tower and Peter couldn’t help but sit and stare at his old home for a while. He’d enjoyed his time there; It was the place he’d gotten to know the other Avengers at and it was the first place he had called home after his aunt had passed away.

It was no longer under construction, they must have already fixed everything that had been destroyed in the fire. He wondered if his room still looked the same, even though it was empty. Thankfully they had managed to save most of his furniture.

Peter let out a sigh. He wondered if they would ever move back to the Stark Tower. He enjoyed living at the facility, mostly because it was peaceful. But when they lived in the tower they were closer to all the shops and other fun stuff. Maybe he still preferred the facility.

With one last sigh, he began to climb down the building to get to the apartment where the Hydra members were hopefully sleeping. His father had told Sam that they weren’t going to go in through the living room windows, so neither did Peter. He climbed a little more to get to the small kitchen window. It wasn’t too small though, he could easily get through it.

He shut his eyes, knowing what he was going to do next was probably going to hurt at least a little bit and kicked the window, immediately breaking it into a million pieces on the floor. He climbed in as fast as he could and stayed up in the ceiling. He could hear voices coming from the living room.

He was really missing Karen.

Peter let go of the roof with one hand when he noticed a man walking towards the kitchen. He grabbed the biggest knife he’d managed to take with him and waited. The man who walked in was huge; both tall and muscular.

He wasn’t one to usually use weapons other than his webs but he had a feeling it was not going to be enough today.

The man finally looked up, ’’What the he-?!’’

Peter jumped on the man shoulders and webbed his eyes, before slamming his head against the wall a few times. They both landed on the floor and Peter immediately noticed the other people in the living room, all of them looking at him and reaching out to grab whatever weapon was the nearest to them.

There were four of them. One woman, three men. Not that it mattered. His brain felt like it was scrambled; as if all of this was just a bad dream.

Without even noticing he had webbed down another man and somehow managed to stab him in the stomach. He kept moving towards the others, trying to push every other unimportant though out of his head. Nothing mattered now.

The woman and one of the men attacked him at the same time and the fifth person seemed to be trying to find a way out of the apartment. Coward.

He was able to push the man against the wall and stabbed him with the smaller knife into the shoulder, only for the woman to punch him down on the floor. She grabbed the knife from the man’s shoulder. Before Peter could even try to get up and fight back, he felt two hot flashes of pain on his left shoulder. Everything seemed a bit more hazy.

Despite the pain he somehow managed to kick the woman further away from him and he finally stood up, even though his legs felt like they would give out any moment. The knife was still sticking out of his shoulder. He could see the blood pouring out of the first wound as he grabbed the knife and pulled it out of the other wound. He winced in pain and stabbed the knife right on the center of the woman’s chest. Her eyes widened as her hands reached out towards the knife but before she could get a hold of it, she fell down on the wooden floor.

The man that had tried to run away had stopped trying and took a gun out of a drawer near the big living room windows. He pointed it at him. Peter could see his hand shaking.

The man was definitely the strongest of them and even though all the other Hydra members had seemed quite easy to fight against, he had a feeling this one wasn’t going to be as easy. Peter held his arm closely against his body as he jumped on the wall. Climbing was hard without one arm but somehow he managed to get across the room. The man had tried shooting him and one of the bullets had scraped his thigh but other than that the bullets had hit the walls.

Hanging from the ceiling with only his feet, Peter webbed the gun and pulled it towards him. The man looked up as he once again climbed across the room to get away from him. The man webbed down high up on the wall seemed to be waking up, so Peter elbowed him in the face before dropping back down on the floor. He could feel the place becoming darker as the blood kept rushing out of his wounds. Even the small scratch on his thigh was bleeding way more than he thought it would, probably not making the situation any better.

The man managed to punch him once before Peter webbed his eyes so that he couldn’t see anything but it didn’t seem to be doing much to stop the man. He seemed to have great hearing as he was still able to tell where Peter was even without sight. When the man had punched him enough times to get him laying almost unconscious on the floor, Peter pointed the gun at him. He’d never shot anyone before, he’d never even held a gun before but before the man could punch him one last time, he pulled the trigger, trying not to think about it too much.

The man’s heavy body fell on top of them and for a while Peter didn’t have any strength to do anything about it. He allowed his arms to hit against the floor, the gun flying out of his hand to the darkest corner of the room. It was hard to breathe and he wasn’t sure if it was because of the weight on top of him or his injuries.

With the last bit of strength he had left, he lifted his arms up again and pushed the man off of him. He took a deep breath but it hurt, so he tried not to do it again. Peter looked down and could see that the Spider-Man suit that used to be red and blue looked almost black with all the blood it was soaked in.

’Is the blood mine or theirs? Or both of ours?’ He thought before closing his eyes and floating away.

Chapter Text

Tony could only see red when he saw his kid’s best friend and just wanted to strangle him right then and there. He didn’t care that Ned too was just a kid, he couldn’t feel anything other than anger towards the young man that was now sitting on the edge of Peter’s bed, looking down at the floor in shame, and most likely fear.

Steve had woken up to Tony’s screaming as had everyone else. Steve was the only one that was brave enough to actually try and calm Tony down. He was standing between him and the kid on the bed, trying to protect the younger one from Tony’s rage.

’’I tried to stop him but he wouldn’t listen, I’m so sorry Mr.Stark, I didn’t-’’

’’Shut up!’’ Tony wanted to rip his hair out. This couldn’t be happening, this couldn’t be happening...

’’Buck, come here!’’ Steve ordered loudly, knowing that his friend was most likely waiting outside of the door, ’’Tony, listen to me. Natasha’s already getting the Quinjet ready. We’re going to go get Peter, we’ll figure everything else out later. I know you’re angry and you have every right to be but your son is in danger and you have to think about him, no one else!’’

Tony was now taking deep breaths, still keeping his eyes on the scared young man. He opened his mouth to say something, just when Bucky ran into the room, carefully eyeing everyone in the room.

’’Bucky, take the kid to Happy and tell him to take him home. He knows his address.’’ Steve told his friend, his voice soft once again, ’’And wake Sam up, if he isn’t already. We’re going to leave in five.’’
Bucky nodded with a confused look and grabbed Ned by his arm, before dragging him out of the room. Tony gave the kid one last glare.

’’I am so sorry, sir. I did not know what they were planning.’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y said from the ceiling when everyone had quieted down.

’’Not now.’’ Tony replied, his voice almost robotic.

’’Tony, get ready.’’ Steve told him, thankfully taking over the situation. Tony couldn’t think clearly.

He nodded but didn’t say anything.

People were running around the facility, trying to get ready or just trying to figure out what was going on. Even though everyone were in a hurry, the only thing you could hear were their steps. Rarely anyone was speaking.

It had taken Tony a moment to manage to get out of his kid’s room. Steve had already left and he hadn’t even noticed. With a heavy sigh, he opened the door and stepped out, only to run into Clint, who was out of breath and holding a piece of paper in his hand.

’’Tony!’’ He exclaimed, looking down at the list he had written, ’’There are a few knives missing from the storage room: A couple of needle points and one big drop point.’’

’’Oh, fuck me.’’ He muttered to himself as he rushed towards his room to get changed into something else other than his pyjamas.

’’The jet’s ready.’’ Natasha appeared in front of him out of nowhere, ’’Do we stick with the original plan or…?’’

’’Fuck the plan.’’ He replied.

 

Steve knew they were in a hurry, he’d said so himself. He’d told everyone to be ready in five or so minutes but allowed himself to take a minute to try and find his friend before leaving. Thankfully he wasn’t difficult to find; he was standing in the lobby, watching as Happy drove away from their yard with Peter’s friend.

He turned around. The look on his face was neutral, like it often was, but Steve could see the fear behind it.

’’S-Steve, why are you here? Shouldn’t you-?’’

’’I will be leaving in a second.’’ He replied as the man walked closer to him, ’’But Bucky… I don’t want you to come with us.’’

’’But Steve-’’

’’I know, I know...’’ Steve sighed and tried to rub away the sleepiness from his eyes, ’’We don’t know exactly what is going to be waiting for us out there... I would take you with us if the people we were going against were anyone else other than H-’’

’’Hydra… yeah, yeah.’’ His friend replied, sounding disappointed, ’’Steve, I don’t know.’’

’’Peter’s already in danger, I want you to stay safe.’’ He didn’t have much time left, ’’Please, for me.’’

He knew Bucky wasn’t happy about the situation, ’’Fine...’’

’’Thank you Buck.’’ Steve felt like he could breathe a little better, ’’We’ll be back sooner than you think. We’ll talk then, okay?’’

’’Okay,’’ Steve already turned around to leave, ’’Steve?’’

’’Yeah, Buck?’’

’’Be careful.’’

’’I always am.’’

 

The plan had definitely changed. Only Steve and Natasha ended up taking the Quinjet and Tony and Sam ended up flying there with their suits. Tony had said something about possibly getting there faster and even though they all knew they would most likely arrive in Manhattan around the same time, no one said anything.

The flight didn’t take long but felt like forever. There wasn’t much to talk about and even if there was, neither of them felt like talking. Natasha was doing something on her Stark Phone and Steve kept an eye on the screen in the ceiling where he could see where they were flying at the moment.

Stepping out of the Quinjet felt odd, since the Stark Tower was right there. They hadn’t seen in up close ever since the fire. Natasha was already rushing into the apartment building and Steve followed her soon after. Now was definitely not the time to think about the past.

Steve could see Tony and Sam arrive at the apartment building and Sam was the first one to fly in, shattering a window. He’d flown in through the living room window. The original plan was definitely off. It didn’t matter anymore.

Thankfully the elevator in the building was fast, not that it would’ve taken long for them to run up the stairs but it definitely saved their energy. Steve was the one to rush out of the elevator first and kicked the door of the apartment in.

Tony was still in his Iron Man suit, standing still in the middle of the living room whilst Sam walked around. None of them said anything.

Steve hadn’t known what to expect when he stepped into the apartment, but it was definitely not this. He could only imagine the look of horror on Tony’s face. Even Natasha’s expression was everything but neutral, which definitely confirmed that what was in front of them was shocking.

’’What the hell…?’’ Steve whispered, his voice bouncing around the quiet room. Nobody replied. They were all at loss.

Chapter Text

Stepping out of the Iron Man suit was like stepping into a horrible nightmare. The apartment's walls that had once been completely white were now splattered with blood. Tony wasn’t exactly sure where to look. Steve was checking up on the people webbed to the wall to see if they were still alive and Natasha was doing the same to those who were laying on the floor.

And in the middle of it all was his Peter. Tony wasn’t sure if he was moving or even breathing. Finally when he managed to get his brain to work once again, he rushed to his child. He kneeled down by his head, not caring about the fact that his clothes were going to be soaked in blood. His kid’s chest was moving up and down, which made his poor heart calm down the slightest bit.

As gently as he could, he grabbed Peter by his armpits and pulled him into his lap, holding him so that his face was leaning against his chest. Tony took off the blood soaked mask that Peter was wearing and threw it somewhere in the room. There were no wounds on his son’s face but there were deep purple bruises. He stroked his hair and pressed his other hand against the two deep wounds on his shoulder. Tony couldn’t help but whisper comforting words into the younger one’s ear, even though he was unconscious and was most likely not hearing anything he said.

’’Tony.’’ A quiet voice whispered but he ignored it and only pulled the child closer to him, afraid that someone was going to take him away once again.

’’Tony, listen.’’ The voice kept repeating his name until he looked up. Sam was standing right next to him.

’’He’s bleeding a lot.’’ No shit, ’’Try to wake him up.’’

Tony propped Peter up, so that he could take a better look at his son’s face before trying to shake him awake. He began gently, but it didn’t seem to be working. He didn’t want to hurt Peter but knew that he had to be a bit more rough to get him to wake up. Tony grabbed one of his son’s limp hands and pressed his finger nail against the unconscious one’s nail bed, immediately making the poor thing flinch.

’’Give him a moment.’’ Sam’s voice sounded far away.

Slowly Peter’s eyes began to flutter open but they weren’t focused on anything. He closed his eyes a couple of times but Tony kept gently shaking him awake each time. His kid looked so tired as he tried to keep his eyes open. To Tony he looked like exactly the same as to when he didn’t want to wake up in the morning to go to school. The thought was comforting.

’’Pete, can you hear me? Please, kid.’’ Tony whispered.

The kid was mumbling something but he couldn’t figure out what it was.

’’Can you say that again?’’

’’The snow...’’ His kid began quietly, ’’...The snow is falling.’’

Tony couldn’t help but look up at Sam with a worried expression, as if asking for help. Peter wasn’t making any sense.

’’He’s just confused.’’ The man’s voice was surprisingly calm and stable despite the situation, ’’Must be the bloodloss.’’

’’Peter, hey...’’ Tony whispered again. The lights in the room were making his kid’s skin look almost yellow, making him look even sicker than he was, ’’Help’s coming but you have to hang on for a while.’’

The bleeding didn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Tony could feel it drying in his hand but only for a short moment, before new blood gushed out. Sam was now on the phone with somebody, probably telling the paramedics to hurry the hell up. Steve and Natasha were only standing there, whispering something to each other once in a while. Somebody had cut the men off of the webs and placed them on the floor.

’’Dad?’’

The weak voice made Tony snap out of his thoughts and turn to look down at his kid once again. His eyes seemed to have finally focused on something and they seemed slightly brighter. The hand that had just been limp was now holding onto Tony’s elbow.

’’Yeah, kid, I’m right here.’’ He told him, ’’Everything’s going to be fine.’’

’’People...’’ His voice was still slurred, ’’A-Are they dead, did I…? Did I kill them?’’

Both Tony and Peter looked up at Steve, who now had an odd look on his face. Natasha looked away, obviously uncomfortable with whatever the answer was going to be. Steve sighed deeply, letting his eyes travel around the room before settling to look at the blood soaked carpet he was standing on. He nodded carefully. Yes.

Peter’s eyes widened slightly as he kept staring at the blond man in front of him. Tony wasn’t sure what to say in that moment. From the way that the bodies looked , he could’ve sworn that Peter had wanted to kill them. To be fair, they had all wanted to kill them. And still, Peter looked guilty as if he hadn’t wanted those people to die, as if he hadn’t meant for them to die.

Tony knew him well enough to know that he wouldn’t have wanted to kill anyone. Not even Hydra.

’’Peter, it’s oka-’’

’’It’s not!’’ The young one yelled, a sob ripping through his throat as the tears began to fall down, ’’I didn’t want, I didn’t mean to-!’’

’’Shh, shh...’’ He tried to calm him down as he pressed the kid closer to him, ’’I know, I know. Everything’s going to be okay, I promise you. Please… don’t cry.’’

The kid wasn’t listening and Tony didn’t blame him. He still felt the anger from earlier but it was now hidden somewhere deep inside him and all he could feel was pity. His kid had thought he was going to do the right thing by taking down the bastards by himself and now he was soaked in his own and his enemies’ blood, bleeding to death on the floor of a dirty apartment.

Natasha’s expression had finally changed from the annoying neutral into focused. She went to where the computers were and began to look for anything she could find. They were going to be taking everything with them but she probably felt like she just needed to do something. They were all feeling helpless.

Peter’s sobs began to quiet down only when he began to lose consciousness once again and Tony wasn’t sure if he even wanted to keep him awake, if all he could feel was pain. Sam didn’t say anything either and they allowed him to go back to his deep sleep. For a moment, a horrible thought flashed through Tony’s brain but he dismissed it immediately.

’ No, it would not be better if he just bit the dust. He’s gone through pain before, he can do it again. They will be fine.’

When Sam dragged him away from his kid, he surprisingly didn’t fight back. The paramedics from the facility’s medbay were all over Peter, cutting of the soaked Spider-Man suit and talking to each other fast, trying to figure everything out.

He ordered himself to stop staring at his child and turned to look at the man standing next to him, ’’Steve… You and umm… You and Nat stay here, get rid of the bodies and then take all this equipment with you. Sam, you can come with me, I doubt you want to be part of that.’’

They all agreed without saying a word.

 

The entire facility seemed to be in chaos. Doctors and nurses were running around the medbay and Tony couldn’t do anything else but watch. He wasn’t even exactly sure where Peter was and even if he did, he wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near him.

Someone had called Rhodey and he was there waiting when they had arrived to the facility. He’d immediately wrapped Tony in a quick hug before asking him what the hell had happened and why was he not part of it.

’’I’ll explain later.’’ Tony had said, too busy worrying over his poor son.

First came the disbelief, then the anger. He wanted to throw everything that could break on the floor, he wanted to punch his fist through the walls and just scream because this wasn’t fair. Rhodey had dragged him further away from the medbay into the waiting area.

And then came the sadness. The first tears that fell down his face were out of pure anger but the ones after that were of fear and grief.

Rhodey kept talking to him and even though Tony wasn’t even listening, it was comforting to hear the other man’s voice. During his little breakdown Bucky had showed up and asked about both Peter and Steve but Tony hadn’t managed to answer. Thankfully Rhodey had information of everything that had happened and explained it all to the worried looking man. Bucky didn’t seem happy but he did relax slightly, when he found out that Steve was alright. He sat down on a chair a bit further away from them.

Happy arrived at some point as well and he seemed to know what had happened as he only gave Tony a small comforting smile and a nod before sitting down next to the man with the metal arm. If Tony had had the strength, he would’ve asked Bucky how he didn’t know about Peter’s plan. They had become best friends the moment they moved into the facility and began their gardening hobby together. Peter told Bucky everything. He’d told Ned about the plan, why not Bucky?

But he couldn’t blame anyone except himself. He was the kid’s father and he was supposed to know better. He’d allowed a child to hack F.R.I.D.A.Y when he had sworn it could never be hacked again and he’d talked about Hydra and their plans for them in front of Peter, which had certainly been a mistake. He should have never told Peter where the Hydra members were hiding. If he hadn’t, none of this would’ve happened.

And Peter didn’t deserve it. He’d been hurt enough in his life. It wasn’t fair.

He’d noticed something was up with Peter and he hadn’t said anything. It wasn’t fair.

Peter came to say good bye to him the night before he acted on his stupid plan and Tony hadn’t thought much of it.

It. Wasn’t. Fair.

’’Tony, please...’’ Rhodey’s voice said softly, ’’I need you to calm down. Breathe.’’

Only then he noticed he was gripping the fabric of his pants tightly and his eyes were closed. He could still imagine Peter in front of him; first with a big smile on his face as he’s talking about something he’s passionate about and then on the floor of the Hydra apartment, laying on the floor covered in blood with bodies scattered all around the place.

Peter wasn’t one to kill. He was always the one who did his everything to stop the bad person without killing them. But Tony didn’t blame him for killing them, even if the kid blamed himself. Hydra had never done anything good, they deserved to die. He would’ve prefered for the Avengers to do the job but nothing had gone the way they had planned.

’’Do you think he’ll make it?’’ Tony asked suddenly, finally opening his eyes, ’’He was talking to me, he understood what was going on.’’

’’Being stabbed in the left shoulder twice is… is a big deal, Tony.’’ The man next to him said, ’’But Peter is strong and you have amazing doctors here. They’ll do everything they can to make sure he’s going to be alright.’’

’’The left shoulder...’’ Tony whispered, feeling the tears burning in his eyes once again, ’’There was so much blood I could… I could only barely see where it was coming from. Th-They stabbed him so close to his heart! His heart, Rhodey!’’

His friend wrapped an arm around his shoulders and pulled him a little bit closer. He couldn’t help his sobbing and didn’t even care who saw him. He was allowed to cry. He wasn’t one to usually do so but now he gave himself the permission. Peter was his everything, had been the moment he had met him. He was mostly different from the way Tony had been when he was younger. Thank god. If he had been anything like Tony had been, an accident like this would have occured already several times.

He managed to calm down slightly when Bruce stepped into the waiting area, only so that he could hear what the man had to say. He had a serious look on his face and Tony didn’t like it one bit.

Without even noticing, he’d gotten up from his chair and so had Rhodey, Happy and Bucky.

’’I-Is he? He’s…?’’ He couldn’t get the words to come out of his mouth.

’’He’s alive, Tony.’’ Bruce said quickly and Tony couldn’t help but take a deep breath in relief, ’’But we’re going to have to do surgery on his shoulder, they’re getting him ready to go.’’

’’How bad is it?’’ Rhodey asked. Tony wasn’t sure if he wanted to hear the answer.

Bruce sighed, ’’It’s not great but I think it’s something we can fix. He’ll make through it but I can’t promise that his arm will be the exact same ever again. We’re just going to have to hope that his healing factor kicks in soon and repairs it even more than we can.’’

’’Can I see him before he goes to surgery?’’

’’You have a couple minutes.’’

’’Thank you.’’

Chapter Text

’’The surgery will be quite simple. Doesn’t mean it won’t be risky.’’ Bruce’s voice sounded muffled, even though he was standing right next to Tony, who was sitting down on an uncomfortable seat in the small room as he watched nurses come and go, ’’But every surgery has its risks, you know that. Tony… I still have a good feeling about this.’’

 

The kid was completely knocked out because of the painmeds Bruce had given him and whilst Tony was glad Peter wasn’t in any pain, he couldn’t help but want to hear the kid’s voice and look into his eyes. If he could’ve just talked with him for a little while before the surgery.

 

The kid was so pale. Tony had never seen the kid so sick and definitely not so still.

 

’’I can tell you how many hours the surgery will take but we’ll keep you updated, okay?’’ Bruce was still talking, ’’And Peter will be sleeping for a few hours after it.’’

 

Tony nodded and lifted up his son’s hand to hold it between his own hands. He tried to think of words to say to him but he couldn’t come up with anything. He brought the small hand to his lips and placed a small kiss there. He wanted to just lift him up and hold his so tight that he wouldn’t be able to breathe and tell him how everything was going to be okay. How no one was ever going to hurt him ever again. Tony had managed to say some comforting words to his kid back at the Hydra members’ apartment but he wasn’t sure if Peter had heard him. The poor thing had been so out of it.

 

’’Doctor Banner, we’re ready.’’ A quiet voice of some nurse said and Tony glanced up at the clock. It was still morning. The beginning of the day had gone so slowly, almost as if time had stopped.

 

 

’’Alright.’’ Bruce placed his hand on Tony’s shoulder, ’’It’s time. I promise someone will inform you once we are done or if anything special happens.’’

 

’’So if something goes wrong...’’ Tony replied with a bitter voice as he looked up at the other man.

 

Bruce didn’t reply but offered him a small smile.

 

’’I’m so sorry, Peter.’’ He whispered, turning back to look at the sleeping child, ’’I’m going to have to leave you for a little while but I’m going to be nearby. I’ll be here once they are done with the surgery and I’ll definitely be here when you wake up.’’

 

The nurses began to get everything ready for them to take Peter away.

 

’’I love you more than anything.’’ He whispered before finally getting up and letting go of his hand. He placed it carefully on the bed.

 

Bruce gave him a small nod and Tony turned away, walking out of the room as fast as he could. He didn’t want to see them take the kid away or otherwise he might not be able to let him go.

 

Rhodey had gone home after Tony had told him to do so and Happy had taken Bucky to the kitchen to have something to eat and Tony found himself all alone with no one to talk to. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to talk to anyone but to be fair, he didn’t know what to do either. All he could do was wait.

 

He soon figured out that staring at the clock on the wall was the worst idea in the world. Because of the exhausting ticking of the said clock, he’d even managed to fall asleep for a couple of minutes before jerking awake when he almost fell down from his chair.

 

When the clock hit 9 am, Steve and Natasha arrived.

 

’’It’s done now.’’ Steve looked as exhausted as Tony felt. The blond man sat down next to him, his eyes trying to stay open. He seemed like he could fall asleep right then and there.

 

’’Everything’s done?’’

 

’’Everything.’’ Natasha was the one to respond, ’’All the equipment they had in the apartment are in the room over there. I’ve already gone through some of the information and I’d like to talk about it with you.’’

 

’’If you feel up to it, of course.’’ Steve joined in, giving the woman a look.

 

’’Sure, sure.’’ Tony replied, ’’I have to time to kill anyway so...’’

 

Steve nodded tiredly and yawned.

 

’’You should go rest, I’ll be fine.’’ Tony told him, knowing that the man was worried about how he was doing, ’’And Bucky was asking about you, I think he might be in his own room or in the kitchen. I’m not sure if Sam’s with him but… yeah.’’

 

’’For once I might just listen to you.’’ Steve gave him a small smile and got up again.

 

Whatever it was that Natasha had to tell him, it seemed like something important, maybe even serious. Tony wasn’t sure if he wanted to even hear what she had to say, he’d had enough bad news for the day.

 

’’I know there’s no one here but do you want to go somewhere more private?’’ The woman asked, looking around the facility with the neutral expression that Tony couldn’t help but hate.

 

’’I- I don’t...’’ He turned to look back where Peter had been just a moment ago, ’’If something… if something happens, I have to be here.’’

 

’’Okay, we’ll talk here then.’’ She sat down, her expression not changing.

 

’’Okay, what’s this about? Did something go wrong?’’

 

’’I know where the rest of Hydra are.’’

 

What? Tony had to stare at her for a little while before understanding the words she had just said. How could she say something like that so bluntly ?

 

’’There was a map that I found on their computer.’’ She continued, despite the shocked and confused look on Tony’s face, ’’We don’t have much time, I think this is our best chance to destroy them once and for all. So, I guess what I’m asking you is that if you’ll allow me to do it?’’

 

’’You know what...’’ Tony began carefully. Of course he would’ve prefered to be part of getting rid of Hydra himself and he might have even enjoyed it a little bit, ’’You can’t do it alone and I’m in no place to go with you right now.’’

 

’’I have people that can help me.’’ She replied, ’’Believe or not, there are plenty of people who owe me.’’

 

’’Oh, I believe that.’’ Tony almost felt like laughing. Almost, ’’Fine. You can go after them but you have to promise me two things before that.’’

 

’’Anything, Tony.’’

 

’’Kill them in the most painful way you can.’’ He said, trying to stop his mind from flashing back to the bloodied apartment, ’’And… don’t involve Steve or Bucky into it. I’m sure Steve would be there with you in a heartbeat but in my opinion they both have done their part in taking down Hydra.’’

 

’’Alright.’’ She nodded with a small smile, ’’I promise.’’

 

 

’’Steve, you really should go to sleep.’’ Bucky told him as he watered all the plants in the room.

 

Steve was standing by the door, waiting for the other man to finish what he was doing. He did feel tired, especially since he’d w o ken up extremely early and suddenly because of F.R.I.D.A.Y’s hacking. He liked calm mornings and this morning had definitely not been one.

 

’’The Spider lily’s not doing too well.’’ Bucky said sadly as he finished watering the last plant.

 

’’I can see that.’’ The flower did not look good, almost as if no one had been taking care of it, even though that wasn’t the case.

 

’’Maybe we should move it into the living room so it’ll get more natural sunlight?’’

 

’’Don’t ask me, I don’t know anything about flowers.’’ Steve let out a laugh, ’’But sure… I’ll carry it.’’

 

Despite the pot being big, it wasn’t too heavy. Heavier than Steve had expected but that might have been just because he felt exhausted. He was surprised he could still keep his eyes open.

 

The morning had begun cloudy but thankfully the sun was starting to come out. Bucky pointed at a spot on the floor in front of the big window and Steve placed the plant there. Now they just had to hope that the flower would get better before Peter woke up. He loved that plant.

 

’’And now… Go to sleep.’’ Bucky pushed him towards the couch, ’’I know you’re not going to your own room just in case something happens, so just sleep here. I’ve taken several naps here, the couch is surprisingly comfortable.’’

 

’’Alright, mom.’’ Steve laughed, settling on the couch. He pulled the softest pillow beneath his head, ’’What are you going to do while I’m sleeping?’’

 

’’I’ll figure something out.’’ Bucky replied, taking a blanket and throwing it over the already half-asleep man, ’’Good… night, I guess.’’

 

’’G’Night.’’

 

Bucky waited by him to make sure he was really asleep and wouldn’t just go and try and do something around the house like he usually did when he was stressed out. Bucky didn’t exactly know what he was going to do without his friend, even though he had told him that he’d figure something out. He was glad Steve and the others were safe but Peter… He was worried about Peter and didn’t even feel that comfortable asking Tony about him. He didn’t know anything else other than the fact the young man had been stabbed and was now in surgery.

 

Despite feeling awkward, he made his way to the waiting area of the medbay where Tony was sitting with Natasha. They were talking about something so quietly that even Bucky couldn’t hear them. He took a few steps closer before speaking up.

 

’’I-I’m sorry to interrupt.’’ They both turned to look at him. Natasha offered him a small smile.

 

’’What is it?’’ Natasha asked before letting out a careful laugh, ’’Oh, stupid question… Of course you’re here because of Peter.’’

 

’’Yeah...’’ Bucky replied shyly, ’’...Is everything okay? Other than… well, you know.’’

 

’’Everything’s fine.’’ Natasha said quickly before Tony could even open his mouth, ’’Tony was just telling me how Peter’s going to be in surgery for a while.’’

 

’’Oh, okay.’’

 

Tony nodded in agreement, ’’Yeah, it’ll take a couple of hours.’’

 

’’But… he’s going to be okay, right?’’

 

Natasha stood up, ’’Of course! Now, I’ve got to go. I’ll see you guys later.’’

 

’’See you.’’ Tony replied, trying to give her some sort of smile but it still ended up looking more like a grimace.

 

Bucky sat down next to the man when Natasha walked out. He could feel Tony looking at him as he tried to think of something to say. Even though Bucky was Peter’s good friend, it didn’t mean that he talked with Tony. Tony had had some sort of a problem with him in the past but they were way past that but there wasn’t much for them to talk about.

 

’’So...’’ Tony was the one to break the awkward silence, ’’… Steve’s sleeping.’’

 

’’Yeah, he passed out on the couch.’’ Bucky replied, avoiding eye contact, ’’M-Maybe you should try to sleep too.’’

 

’’I’ve had a couple small naps here and there. Can’t sleep that well.’’

 

Bucky nodded, ’’I… I’m worried too. I still can’t believe he left without telling anyone… other than that Ned guy.’’

 

’’Me neither. Going to have to talk about that with him at some point.’’ Tony gulped, ’’But now’s not the time. He’s going to have to get better first.’’

 

’’What are you going to say to him?’’

 

Tony shrugged and leaned against the back of the chair, ’’I don’t even know. Most people have to deal with their kids skipping school, not doing their homework, hell, maybe even getting drunk but definitely not… going after a group of people who want to kill them.’’

 

’’Yeah, I don’t know anything about that.’’

 

’’Neither did I before Peter came along.’’ Tony replied, ’’God… What would I do without him? I’d be such a mess. I mean I still am but I like to think that I’m better than before.’’

 

’’I’m sure you are, Peter tends to bring out the good in people.’’ Bucky tried to comfort him in the best of his abilities.

 

Tony couldn’t help but smile, ’’I guess he does.’’

 

 

Tony was shaken awake at 1 1:47 am. Bruce was standing in front of him with a soft smile on his face. H e looked tired, just like most people in the building. The early morning ’fiasco’ had affected everyone.

 

He jumped up immediately as Bruce placed a hand on his shoulder, the same way he had before the surgery. Tony wasn’t sure what to make of it.

 

’’It’s done. We put him in his own room.’’

 

’’And all went well?’’ Tony asked.

 

’’Everything went great.’’ He replied, ’’He’s still asleep and will be for a couple of hours and even when he wakes up, his probably going to be a bit out of it. You can go and be with him, the room has an empty bed that you can use if you feel like sleeping. In fact, after I take you to Peter, I’m going to eat something and go take a nap myself. Do you have anything in the fridge?’’

 

’’There must be something in there. I haven’t seen Thor around, so… you know, at least it won’t be empty.’’ Tony said as he followed the man into the medbay.

 

T ony wasn’t sure what he was expecting to see when he walked into the room. Nothing could have prepared him for how fragile his son looked laying on the bed, the heart monitor beeping comfortingly steady in the background and his skin and hair still covered in dried up blood.

 

He stepped a bit closer, ’’Why does he… why is there still blood?’’

 

’’Oh, we had to take him to surgery quite fast, as you know.’’ Bruce explained, ’’I could call a nurse to do that if you’d like.’’

 

Tony thought about it a little bit, ’’Could I do it?’’

 

’’Sure, I’ll get the nurse to bring you everything you need and then I’ll go take that nap. I suggest you take one at some point as well.’’

 

’’Thank you, Bruce.’’ Tony gave him a small smile as he sat down on the comfortable chair next to the bed.

 

Bruce then walked out of the room and Tony immediately grabbed his hand the same way he had before the kid had gone to the surgery, ’’Peter, you have no idea how mad I am at you… and how worried I am right now. And I’d like to say that this isn’t your fault but… God, what am I saying? Please don’t listen to your old man, none of this matters right now.’’

 

Peter let out a sigh. It was the first sign of actual life, other than breathing, he had gotten from the kid ever since they had been at the Hydra hiding place.

 

It didn’t take long for the nurse to arrive, carrying a plastic basin and towels. She set them down on the nearby table and offered Tony a smile, ’’I also brought some alcohol wipes in case the water isn’t enough to get the blood out. Are you sure you don’t need any help, Mister Stark?’’

 

’’I think I’ll be able to figure it out.’’ Tony eyed the supplies, ’’Thank you.’’

 

The nurse nodded and smiled again before walking out of the room.

 

’’You told me that you didn’t like getting your hair washed when you were little but I hope you don’t mind this.’’ He allowed himself to laugh slightly as he imagined small Peter Parker pulling a face as someone tried to get him to wash his hair. It must have been a cute sight.

 

He tested the water and it felt warm. He then dipped one of the small towels into it and began to gently wipe away the blood from his kid’s face. It didn’t come out too well, so he moved to wash his hair instead. Thankfully his hair wasn’t completely soaked but the amount of blood there still made Tony cringe. He ended up lifting the entire basin on the bed.

 

He lifted Peter’s head up with his hand and placed it above the basin, letting the hair soak there for a while. He rubbed the hair with the towel until all the blood was gone and placed the basin back on the table along the side of the towel. The water wasn’t so clean anymore.

 

’’Oh, Peter.’’ Tony sighed and stroked the damp hair, ’’We’ll just clean your face now and then we’ll be done. You’ll stay sleeping and maybe even I will get a slightly longer nap than before. I really got to get more comfortable chairs for the waiting area.’’

 

The alcohol wipes had a quite a strong scent and Tony was surprised that Peter didn’t wake up to it. Peter immediately looked much better after all the blood was gone. He stared at him for a while and kept stroking his hair the same way he did whenever Peter couldn’t sleep because of his nightmares.

 

’’I’ll be right here when you wake up.’’ He whispered to his kid and told F.R.I.D.A.Y to dim the lights before climbing into his own bed, that was surprisingly comfortable, ’’Let’s both sleep well, kid.’’

 

He finally allowed himself to close his eyes.

 

Chapter Text

’’Nat, are you sure about this?’’ Steve asked for the millionth time, leaning against a wall in the hallway as he watched his friend place some last items in the big backpack on the floor. It was only 8 am and other than the silence, everything at the facility seemed normal. After the chaos of yesterday, things had definitely calmed down a lot.

The woman threw the heavy looking bag over her shoulder and smiled, despite looking a bit tired, ’’I’m sure, Steve. I have people to help me.’’

’’If you’re sure-’’

’’I am.’’ Natasha interrupted and rested her hand on his shoulder for a moment, ’’I’ll be gone for a while but I’ll try to get back for Christmas. Can’t miss all the treats you bake and all the presents people have bought me, can I? I’ve tried to be nice this year.’’

Steve nodded, letting out a small laugh, ’’Alright. Should I tell everyone you said bye?’’

’’Please do.’’ She replied and opened the door. It was surprisingly cold outside, ’’Steve, if I don’t get back for Christmas, there are presents hidden in the closet of my room for everyone.’’

’’I’ll take care of it… Be careful, Nat.’’

’’I always am.’’ She finally stepped out, ’’My ride’s here. I’ll see you soon.’’

’’Bye.’’ Steve said and watched the woman walk down the stairs and get into a small black car with tinted windows. He waved one last time before the car disappeared from the yard and closed the door with a deep sigh.

Everyone in the facility seemed to be asleep and even though Steve knew that wasn’t true, it surely felt like it. It was so quiet. He sat down on one of the couches in the living room and stared out of the big window. There were dark clouds in the sky and no sunlight to be seen. Maybe it was going to start raining soon.

’’Good morning!’’ A deep voice made him jump in surprise. So much about peace and quiet.

’’Thor. You’re back.’’ Steve offered the tall man a small smile, ’’Did you get here last night?’’

’’I did, Captain’’ He sat down next to him, ’’I tried to be quiet.’’

Steve nodded, ’’…Do you know what happened yesterday?’’

The man’s expression immediately turned gloomy, ’’I do. Poor Man Of Spiders.’’

’’Who told you? Natasha?’’

Thor shook his head, ’’No. Your friend with the metal arm. Umm… Bucky.’’

’’Oh yeah, Bucky.’’ Steve looked around. The last time he’d seen his friend was in the kitchen eating breakfast, ’’Where is he anyway?’’

’’I believe he said something about flowers.’’

’’Okay, that makes sense.’’ Steve replied with a soft laugh, ’’Now that Peter isn’t… doing so well, he’s the only one taking care of them.’’

’’I noticed that Natasha left somewhere...’’

’’Yeah, there’s something she has to do.’’ Steve replied simply, not really feeling like explaining the whole situation, ’’I’d tell you but I think that the less people know, the better.’’

’’Alright.’’ Thor patted Steve’s thigh before getting up once more, ’’You look a bit sad, Captain, let us have a drink!’’

’’I can’t get drunk.’’

’’I didn’t mean alcohol.’’ The tall man replied as Steve followed him to the kitchen, ’’I’m talking about hot chocolate! Peter made it for me once.’’

’’Well you are one lucky guy,’’ Steve began, taking a couple of mugs out of the cabinet, ’’You’re going to get the best hot chocolate you’ve ever drank, so sit down.’’

 

’’Good morning, Tony!’’

’’Oh, Bruce.’’ Tony was sitting on the edge of Peter’s bed, wearing the same clothes he had the day before. Peter was still asleep, ’’Morning.’’

The man gave him an angry, yet worried look, ’’Did you even sleep?’’

’’Yeah,’’ He stood up and smiled, ’’A few hours actually.’’

’’Well I’m glad to hear that.’’ Bruce offered him a smile of his own as he looked at all the monitors in front of him. He wrote something down.

Tony stroked his hand through his child’s clean and soft hair before walking slightly further away from the bed, ’’You said he’d wake up after a couple of hours. He stayed asleep all night long.’’

’’And how would you know if you were asleep?’’ He gave him another look.

’’I made F.R.I.D.A.Y tell me if Peter woke up, thank you very much.’’ Tony replied as he tried to take a peek at whatever it was that Bruce had written on the paper in his hand, ’’...Come on, I just want to know how he’s doing.’’

Bruce sighed before shoving the papers against Tony’s chest, ’’He’s doing fine. Everything seems to be normal.’’

’’You’re sure?’’

’’I’m sure, Tony.’’ He looked the man up and down, ’’You should really take a shower… before Peter wakes up.’’

Tony huffed, ’’It’s not that bad.’’

’’Belie-’’

They both immediately quieted down when they heard small whines coming from the bed. Bruce took another look at the monitors before moving to the other side of the bed and laid a hand on the kid’s arm. Tony sat down on the same spot he’d been in the moment Bruce had walked in and took Peter’s hand into his own.

’’Peter?’’ Bruce asked as Tony shot him a hopeful look, ’’Peter, can you hear me?’’

Another whine. He winced at something and began to mumble words that neither of them understood.

’’Peter, it’s okay.’’ Tony whispered before looking up at Bruce one more time, ’’What’s going on with him?’’

’’I think he’s just starting to wake up. Give him time.’’

And Tony gave him time. It took another ten minutes for the mumbling to stop and Peter’s eyes began to flutter open. His gaze had been unfocused for a while, the same way it had been at the Hydra hiding place.

’Don’t think about it, don’t think about it.’ Tony told himself, trying to focus on his son.

’’Dad.’’ His eyes focused on Tony. His voice was quiet and rough to the point that it sounded almost painful. Tony immediately hushed him and carefully stroked the purple bruise on his left cheek.

’’Yeah Peter, I’m right here.’’ He whispered back with a smile, glad to see the familiar brown eyes looking back at him, ’’Good morning.’’

’’W-Wa… Wat-’’

’’Water, yeah, of course.’’ Tony was about to stand up but sat back down when Bruce was already on his way to get his kid a cup of water. Peter flinched once again, ’’Are you in pain, kid?’’

Bruce handed Tony a plastic cup with a little bit of water at the bottom of it. Tony mumbled a quick ’thanks’ before turning back to Peter.

’’Here.’’ Tony helped Peter drink out of the cup and held his other hand close to his chin in case he spilled some of it. After a couple of small gulps, Tony placed the almost empty cup on the side table, ’’Now, are you in pain?’’

’’It’s not that bad.’’ His kid replied, looking around the room sleepily, ’’Where am I?’’

’’The Medbay.’’ Tony replied simply.

Peter’s voice was still slurred, ’’What happened?’’

’’We’ll talk about it later,’’ He was not excited for that conversation, ’’How bad is the pain? I’m sure Bruce can give you some more painmeds.’’

’’It’s not bad.’’ Peter repeated but winching once again.

’’Yeah, I’m not having that.’’ Tony said, his voice slightly stern, ’’I think I’ve had enough of you being in pain. And you should be as well, itsy bitsy.’’

’’I don’t wanna sleep.’’ Peter whined, trying to get into a better position, grimacing at the sting he felt in his shoulder, ’’Dad, I don’t-’’

’’Alright, alright.’’ Bruce interrupted him, ’’I won’t give you a lot, just some to take most of the pain away. Just… stay calm.’’

Tony knew that Bruce wasn’t telling the truth but Peter seemed to believe him. Usually he would have not been alright with the fact that someone was lying to his son but this time around he was fine with it. They needed to keep Peter calm.

It didn’t take long for the medication to start working and Tony was slightly disappointed to see the brown eyes close once again but sighed in relief. The kid seemed to be doing alright but knew that that was mostly because he wasn’t exactly in his right mind. He didn’t seem to remember much either. He really was not excited for when all the memories came back to him. The kid was going to be a mess.

’’Now that he’s asleep,’’ Bruce began and Tony already knew what he was going to say, ’’You should go take that shower, get some coffee and have a break. He’ll be asleep for at least two hours.’’

’’Augh… I guess I could do that.’’ Tony said as Bruce was already pushing him out of the room, ’’F.R.I.D.A.Y, you tell me when he wakes up.’’

’’I will, Sir.’’

 

The shower was surprisingly relaxing. Usually Tony’s showers lasted only five minutes but this time around he allowed himself to stand under the warm water and just take a breather instead of just washing his hair and body in a rush. His muscles didn’t feel so tight anymore.

He put on comfortable clothes instead of a suit and walked out of the bathroom, rubbing his hair with a soft towel. He threw it on the floor next to the couch before sitting down.

’’You know that makes me go crazy.’’ He heard a voice telling him. Steve was standing next to the couch and holding the wet towel in his hand.

’’Sorry.’’ Tony laughed, ’’Just… put it somewhere.’’

Steve placed it on the side of the couch after folding it and sat down next to the other man, ’’Everything good?’’

’’Yeah...’’ He thought about his answer a while before actually turning to look at Steve, ’’Yeah. Peter was awake just now.’’

Steve’s eyes widened and he smiled brightly, ’’That’s wondeful news, Tony. Is he still awake? Can I go see him? Oh, Bucky would be so happy to see him-’’

Tony rolled his eyes and leaned against the soft back of the couch, ’’He’s asleep again. He was in pain.’’

Steve nodded, ’’Maybe later.’’

’’Maybe.’’

’’Oh yeah, Tony,’’ Steve began suddenly, ’’I know this isn’t that important but the Spider lily Peter bought isn’t doing so well. I think we should buy a new one before Peter gets better. You don’t have to do anything, I’ll just order a new one… Tony?’’

Tony had stood up from his seat and was walking towards to the flower that Steve and Bucky had brought out the day before. Steve followed him immediately, worried.

He placed a hand on the shorter man’s shoulder, ’’What is it?’’

Tony looked down for a little while longer and bit his lip. He looked around the place before turning back to look at Steve, ’’Do you know what a red Spider lily symbolizes?’’

Steve furrowed his eyebrows in confusion, ’’No… What?’’

’’Loss, longing, abandonment and lost memories.’’ He seemed almost pissed off, ’’And it’s also called the flower of death, often used in funerals.’’

’’Come on, Tony-’’

’’Death, Steve!’’

Steve sighed, ’’Since when have you believed stuff like that? You are just tired and emotional. It’s just a flower.’’

’’I-’’

’’Sir, it seems like Peter might be waking up.’’ F.R.I.D.A.Y interrupted them.

’’He hasn’t even been asleep for that long, Bruce told me it was going to be at least two hours,’’ Tony looked confused, the feeling of anger he had felt just a moment ago quickly disappearing.

’’Can I come with?’’ Steve asked, a hopeful look on his face.

’’Yeah, sure.’’ Tony mumbled, already making his way back to the medbay. Steve followed him once again.

To their disappointment, Peter was not awake when they walked in. He was making noises but they were not like the ones he’d been making the last time Tony had been in the room, these noises were breaking Tony’s heart; they were desperate and uncomfortable.

’’F.R.I.D.A.Y?’’

’’False alarm, Sir.’’ The A.I explained, ’’He was close to waking up but didn’t end up doing so. He’s still asleep.’’

Steve sat down on the edge of the bed, the same way Tony had before and stroked the kid’s hair so carefully as if he could break. Tony couldn’t help but smile, the negativity completely gone from his mind. He walked to the other side of the bed.

’’He’ll be fine, Tony.’’ Steve said to him after a while.

’’I know.’’ He replied, leaning in and kissing Peter on his forehead. He couldn’t help but frown.

’’What is it?’’ Steve asked immediately, obviously worried.

’’Go get Bruce,’’ Tony placed his hand on Peter’s forehead, ’’I think he’s got a fever.’’

Chapter Text

From the odd, worried look on the doctor’s face, Tony could tell something was definitely wrong. Steve was standing a bit further away whilst Tony stayed as close to his kid as Bruce allowed. The doctor was checking up on everything for the millionth time when the nurse walked in. She took a blood sample from Peter (and Tony was certainly glad that the kid was not awake) and left the room as quickly as she had arrived.

Tony wanted to scream and ask Bruce what the hell was going on. But he had to stay calm, especially since Peter was showing more and more signs of waking up. Tony wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not.

’’Well?’’ Tony asked when the silence became too much. He walked a bit closer, gently getting the doctor move out of the way and stroked the sick looking teenager’s hair. He hated seeing the poor thing so… vulnerable and exhausted. Just as Tony sat on the edge of the bed, Peter decided to flutter his eyes open.

’’The wound is infected.’’ Bruce explained, lifting up the bandages for Tony to see, ’’We’ll know for sure what’s going on when we get the test results back. I told them to hurry, so it shouldn’t take too long.’’

’’Hey.’’ Tony whispered to the sleepy kid. He wasn’t ignoring what the doctor was saying but he wanted to make sure his kid was doing alright before replying to him, ’’Hey, you alright?’’

’’What’s going on?’’ The weak voice asked. Peter tried to reach towards him but his arm ended up flopping back against the bed. His body didn’t seem to be co-operating.

’’You have a fever and we’re trying to figure out why.’’ He explained, ’’Are you thirsty? Or hungry?’’

Peter only shook his head before trying to reach for his father once again. This time around Tony decided to help a little and gently grabbed his hand between his own.

’’You’re fine.’’ Tony wasn’t sure if he was telling that to his son or himself. Maybe both.

’’Steve’s here...’’ Peter mumbled, closing his eyes in exhaustion.

Tony couldn’t help but smile, ’’Yeah, he is. He came to see you.’’

’’Hi...’’ Peter whispered, already half-asleep. It was odd for Tony to see him like that; he was always so energetic.

’’Hi, kid.’’ Steve’s voice answered from the door. Tony didn’t have to turn around to know that the blond man was smiling.

And just like that the kid was back in the dream world.

’’So, the infection...’’ Bruce began carefully and Tony turned to look at him to finally give him all of his attention,’’Of course we won’t know before the test results come back but I’m worried that we might be dealing with blood poisoning.’’

’’Blood poisoning?’’ Steve asked before Tony could even open his mouth, ’’How’s that possible?’’

’’The wounds were exposed to God knows what for a quite a while.’’ Bruce explained, ’’It could’ve been anything.’’

’’But he’s going to be alright, right?’’ Tony asked, ’’I know a lot of people who have had blood poisoning and they’re fine now.’’

’’The best case scenario is that we give him antibiotics and fluids, and he will be fine.’’

’’And the worst case scenario?’’

’’Tony, I don’t think we should go there right now, we don’t even know if-’’ Bruce began but Tony stood up, giving him a glare he’d only seen a few times during their friendship.

’’This is my kid we’re talking about,’’ Tony growled, ’’And I want to know, so worst case scenario! Now!’’

Steve was the one to grab him and take him out of the room this time around. Tony didn’t even try to fight back because he knew what he was doing and saying wasn’t right. He wasn’t supposed to get mad at anyone but he just couldn’t help it. How else was he supposed to deal with all that was happening?

He sat down on the couch in the living room and Steve knelt down in front of him with a soft look in his eyes, ’’Tony.’’

He looked down at him.

’’The worst case scenario is sepsis.’’ Steve said to him. Tony knew what sepsis was and at the moment he kind of wished he didn’t, ’’But we don’t know if he even has blood poisoning and even if he does, we caught it early. They won’t probably have the time to figure out what kind of a virus they are exactly dealing with but that just means they’ll give him ’broad-spectrum’ antibiotics. He might need to get fluids and other medications to maintain his blood pressure and stop blood clots from forming but he is going to be fine.’’

Tony rubbed his forehead; that was a lot of information, ’’How do you know all this?’’

’’Well,’’ The blond man began, ’’When I was younger, I used to get sick a lot.’’

’Oh yeah.’ Tony thought to himself before getting up once again. His emotions were a mess, ’’I’m so lost, Cap.’’

’’I know...’’

’’No, you don’t.’’ Tony said, walking to where Bucky was watering the dead looking Spider lily, ’’Nobody knows how I fucking feel because no one else is me, except me! And this isn’t fair, none of this is fucking fair because Peter doesn’t deserve this!’’

’’Of course he doesn’t, Tony!’’ Steve raised his voice slightly, ’’But this is what we are dealing with right now, there’s no way to go back in time. You’re allowed to be sad and angry but don’t take it out on us. Go take a walk or work on an Iron Man suit, I don’t know, just do something!’’

Tony kicked the pot the Spider lily was in, breaking the pot. Pieces of it were everywhere and the petals of the flowers looked like dark blood on the floor. Bucky was staring at him with wide eyes.

’’Tony!’’ Steve yelled, walking to him in a hurry, ’’Have you lost your mind?! Just go to Peter’s room and just… calm the hell down. Maybe sleep a little because this isn’t normal anymore.’’

Tony was shocked at what he had done. He couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten well or gotten coffee or even slept in a way that made him feel completely rested. He didn’t remember the last time his head didn’t hurt.

’’Go.’’ Steve continued with a softer voice. He didn’t seem too mad.

’’I’m sorry.’’ Tony whispered carefully before taking a few steps back. Bucky, who had now placed the watering can on the floor, looked terrified. His eyes were still just as wide as they had been before and Tony could see his hands shaking, ’’I’m sorry.’’

’’Tony, it’s fine.’’ Steve replied to him, pushing him towards the kitchen, ’’Go get yourself a coffee and take a breather. Everything is going to be fine, I promise you.’’

He nodded.

’’And Bucky, it’s okay.’’ Tony heard the man’s voice become even softer, ’’He was just angry, not at you or anyone else. A lot is going on and it’s messing with all of our heads.’’

Steve was wrong. Tony was angry at someone…

At himself.

 

Whilst they were waiting for the test results, Tony had ordered everyone out of Peter’s room. He laid down next to him, thankful that the bed was big enough for both of them and began to stroke his son’s hair, the way he often did. This time around it wasn’t doing much to help Peter, since he was still asleep but it did manage to make Tony feel better. It was nice, feeling his kid by his side. His chest was going up and down. Still alive.

Tony had found himself thinking about what he was going to say to the kid after they pulled through this. The kid had obviously done a huge, irresponsible mistake and he was going to do something about it, he was just not sure what that something was. He didn’t want to yell at him, even though what he had done was horrible. But Tony wasn’t like his father. He refused to be. He was going to deal with the situation calmly when it was time to have the conversation with his kid.

He had certainly not been calm before when he had found out about the possibility of blood poisoning. He’d made Steve raise his voice and even scare Bucky, who had nothing to do with the situation. Tony was going to have to apologize later. Once again.

’’Oh, Peter, we’re both such a mess, aren’t we?’’ He whispered, wishing that the kid was awake to answer him, ’’What are we going to do?’’

Silence.

He placed a gentle kiss on the kid’s forehead and moved slightly closer to him. Peter was warm, too warm.

Then there was a knock on the door. Tony wanted to yell at whoever it was and tell them to leave them alone. He wanted to stay in the bubble he had created for him and Peter. In the bubble it was just the two of them and everything was okay. Everything was the way it had been before.

Another knock, ’’Tony, can I come in?’’

’’Sure, come on in.’’ He finally replied, after sitting up and straightening his clothes.

Bruce walked in with a neutral look on his face, ’’It’s blood poisoning. We’re going to start the antibiotics very soon.’’

Tony took a deep breath, ’’Alright. Let’s do that.’’

’’You feeling better?’’ Bruce asked him.

’’Yeah… I guess.’’ He shrugged, looking back at Peter, ’’I will be after this is all over.’’

’’I know you will,’’ The doctor replied with a smile, ’’I know that Steve already talked with you and he was right, we caught this early. Sepsis is something we have to keep in mind but I’m not too worried about it right now.’’

’’That’s good… That’s good.’’ Tony whispered, mostly to himself.

To their dismay, Peter ended up waking up the moment the nurses walked in, as if he had realized that they were going to be poking him with needles once again. Peter was quite out of it though, most likely because of his high fever but that didn’t mean he didn’t know what was going on or that he couldn’t feel pain. In fact, it seemed to make the situation worse.

’’It’s okay,’’ Tony tried to calm him down as the nurse did her job. He’d turned Peter’s head away, so that he wouldn’t see what was happening.

’’Dad, I- I don’t...’’ The kid sounded so confused. Tears were falling out of his eyes and Tony tried to wipe them away as much as possible.

’’Shh...’’ He whispered softly, ’’Just keep looking at me, everything’s fine.’’

’’I don’t know… I don’t know what’s happening,’’

He stroked his hair once again, ’’You’re going to get some medicine, okay? You have blood poisoning but it’s all going to be fine, I promise you, little one.’’

’’It’s done, it’s done.’’ The nurse told them and Tony finally let go of Peter enough for him to move normally again.

’’You hear that?’’ Tony tried putting on a smile, ’’It’s all done. No more.’’

’’What did they- What did they do?’’ The kid was staring down at his arm with red eyes.

Tony sighed, ’’I told you just now, itsy bitsy. They gave you some medicine.’’

The answer didn’t quite seem to register with the kid, so Tony decided to stop trying. This time around it was the kid who moved closer to his father. Every time Peter felt insecure or scared, he liked to stay close to Tony and he certainly didn’t mind. Whatever made the kid feel even slightly better.

Bruce checked a few more things before giving Tony one last smile and leaving the room for them to be in peace once again.

Peter let out a whine.

’’Shh, shh...’’ Tony hushed. He wasn’t sure what was wrong but knew that the kid was probably feeling very uncomfortable.

The kid groaned and tried to move, trying to get into a better position. When he didn’t manage to do so, he let out a frustrated sob, tears falling down once again.

’’I know, I know,’’ Tony soothed, laying down next to him in the same position that they had been in before. He whispered random thoughts into the kid’s ear, trying to make the feeling in the room as calm as possible.

’’Dad...’’

’’Yeah, what is it?’’

’’I’m… I don’t know why… I don’t...’’ The poor thing wasn’t making any sense. His eyes were closing once again and Tony couldn’t help but sigh in relief. The kid needed to sleep, even though it felt like he didn’t do anything other than that but he needed it to get better.

’’Shh...’’ He kept stroking his hair until the kid relaxed enough to close his eyes completely. Tony decided that he needed to sleep too and carefully wrapped himself around him.

Everything was going to be fine.