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The Bonds Made

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Steve fell under the spell of the command. He was loaded onto a gurney and taken away. Tony's heart ached. The life of his mate was in the hands of another. He wanted to be with him. Steve wanted him here, watching over their daughter. Whatever his worries were he had to save them for another time.

The room felt too large. He was alone with his daughter. Her small delicate form was huddled against his chest. Those newly opened blue eyes gazed up at him. They held such a deep fascination, unaware of turmoil he was forced to endure by being here.

Her head fit in his palm. He sired this perfect being. She stole his breath in the most amazing way. Nothing he'd ever create would compare to her perfection. Her tiny hand wrapped around his finger. Tear sprung from his eyes. He kissed her softly on the forehead.

“Mr. Stark?”

It was the youngest of the nurses. He scowled at her. She mid length curly auburn hair and gray eyes. Nothing about her was threatening. That wasn't reason enough to trust her.

"I'm sorry to disrupt,"

“You are?”

"Christina Rosenthal,"

He snarled when she stepped closer, keeping her posture small.

"I'm an apprentice midwife," she said.

She offered him a blanket for Piper. He wrapped her in it. Tony followed her to the bathroom. She readied the shower, setting it to the perfect temperature for a newborn.

“You need to shower,”

His pants were stained with blood. He stunk of Steve's distress and sweat.

“You don’t want her to know your scent like this,”

She turned away as he changed. Before he could get into the shower, she handed him Piper.

“Be gentle don’t get water in her eyes, nose, or mouth,” said Christina nudge him into the shower.

Tony bathed his daughter. He feared his callused hands may hurt her, but she leaned into them seeking thier touch. Her scent came through. She smelled of honey and lavender. The gentleness of her scent marked her as omega. His protective instinct grew. No matter how old she grew he protect her. He shut off the water and got out. Christina was unfazed by his nudity. She handed him some clothes.

“Nice and clean. Where’s her nursery?”

“Bedroom next to the master,”

"Let's put her in a diaper,"

Tony nodded. He laid Piper on the changing table. Christina handed him one.

“Give it a try,”

Tony carefully lifted Piper's legs, tucking the diaper underneath her. He quickly fastened the tabs.

“Almost perfect,” said Christina.

“Almost?”

"You put it on backward. It's a common mistake for first-time parents,"

He redid it.

“Do you have something of Steve's that he recently wore that we can swaddle her in?"

Tony froze. He clenched the changing table.

“Will he be okay?”

The man's head was bowed. His gaze focused on his pup. There was such confliction to him. Prideful and joyful at the birth of his first child, but worried and fearful of the fate of his mate.

“It’s serious, but Dr. Star is a skilled physician. She expected this may happen and made sure plenty of his blood type stocked,” said Christina.

"What is it? His blood type"

“He’s O-,”

Tony smirked.

“How fitting. Him being the universal giver while I’m the universal taker,” he said.

“It’s only blood, Mr. Stark,”

Tony nodded. The alpha wasn't fully there. Christina didn't let her nerves get to her. Edith warned her that Mr. Stark was a difficult man to work with. To her, he seemed a man lost to worry. She needed to get his attention. A single touch to his shoulder was enough to earn that.

“In the closet there should be something he wore in the hamper,”

“I’ll go get that,”

Piper reached for him, wrapping her hand tightly around his finger, with a power unusual for an infant. He shouldn't be enjoying this moment alone. Steve should be here. Christina returned with one of Steve shirts.

“We need to fill out her birth certificate,”

“Name?”

“Piper Sarah Margret Stark,”

Christina took Piper from the changing table on a scale.

“7 pounds five ounces. 18 inches,”

She placed Piper's feet in black inkpad, pressing her feet against a piece of paper. Christina washed the ink from Piper's tiny feet. They went to the master bedroom.

“Take off your shirt,”

“Why?”

"Skin to skin contact helps a pup bond with their parents,"

He took a seat in the rocking chair. Piper was placed in his arms. She was loosely wrapped in Steve's shirt. Piper pressed against him, seeking the warmth and comfort of his skin. He purred. She made a cooing sound. Piper yawned, closing her eyes. He rocked gently back and forth. Holding her, he realized how right Yinsen was. Before Steve and Piper, he had nothing. Now that he had them he would anything to protect them.

“I will mistakes, Piper. God, I'll make mistakes, but I promise I’ll always be there when you really need me,”

He wouldn't fail her as Howard failed him. That mistake wouldn't be repeated by another Stark alpha. It was 5:00 in the morning. (January 2, 2013) Less than an hour ago his mate was wheeled off for surgery.

“Please, let him be okay,”

Edith took a breath she’d stopped the bleeding. This proved to be the most stressing procedure she'd performed. It wasn’t only the looming threat of what Stark would do to her if she failed. Keeping Steve under was a difficult task. Every five minutes he start to come to. If he’d woken up it would be the death of them. Steve full healing capabilities returned. He was recovering and showing signs of regaining consciousness. They had to get him back to his family before he woke up completely.

“Let’s get him upstairs,”

They pushed his gurney into the elevator.

“Sir, Steve has made it out of surgery. They are bringing him up now,”

Steve was wheeled into their bedroom. The nurse expertly transferred Steve into bed. Tony carefully got up not wanting to disturb Piper.

"His surgery was a complete success,"

The weight on his shoulders lifted. His pack was safe.

"He'll be fine. As a precaution, I want him on bed rest for three days,"

"He's won't like that,"

"Normally, I would recommend a week. Don't be concerned if there's some spotting the next few days. When he wakes up he may be out of it,” said Edith.

“How long will that be?”

“A few minutes maybe an hour,” she said.

She handed him a vial of blood.

“What’s this?”

"Cord blood, Jarvis can vouch for its authenticity,"

“Thank you, Edith,”

If the moment weren't so bitter she would have smiled. To finally gain a small semblance of Stark's trust to have already betrayed it.

“I'm only doing my job, Mr. Stark. Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions,”

Tony nodded.

"Don't drop this butterfingers,"

He offered the vial to the bot. Dum-E took it carefully in its clawed hand.

"Jarvis, make sure he gets that to the lab,"

"Of course, sir,"

Tony held Piper in one arm as tucked Steve into the nest. He was exhausted and his shoulder twinged painfully. Sleep could wait until he was sure Steve was safe. He joined his mate in bed. Piper lay on his chest asleep. He rested his hand on her back. Her eyes opened.

“Morning, sweetie,”

Her tiny fingers traced over his arc reactor, fascinated by the soft blue light.

“An arc reactor,”

She raised her head, focusing in on his voice.

“Keeps daddy alive,”

She tried getting closer but was too young to move on her own. He brought her further up his chest. Her litte hand rested on his the reactor.

"Amazing huh? It's nothing compare the man that brought you into the world. He's already done so much for you,"

Steve groaned. A deep soreness penetrated him to the core. The slightest movement sprung forth pain. He heard Tony humming an off-tune song.

“Looks like Papa is waking up, sweet pea,”

He slowly opened his eyes. A small adorable bundle was curled against Tony's chest. All he could see was tuft thick dark brown hair. He hurriedly sat up to get a better look at her.

“Can I hold her?”

Tony smiled.

“Wait,”

“What’s wrong?”

“What if I hurt her?”

“You won’t,”

Tony put her in his arms. She didn't weigh anything. He unwrapped her from the fabric. Her blue eyes locked on his. She smiled. It was the purest expression he'd ever witnessed. Steve nuzzled her, taking in her scent. She smelled of lavender and honey. He counted ten perfect fingers and toes. A deep incomparable love engulged him.

“She’s perfect, Tony,”

“We made her how could she not be?”

Steve couldn’t stop a tear from leaking out.

“Steve?”

“I’m so happy,”

“Me too sweetheart,”

Steve quickly wiped them away. His chest grew damp. Piper licked her lips and whined. He took her to his chest, gasping when she latched. Steve purred.

Tony moved closer, taking in the beautiful scene playing out before him. He wrapped an arm around Steve. The omega leaned into him, nuzzling him briefly before returning his attention to Piper. She pulled away yawning. Steve put her over his shoulder burped her. He set her between them.

“I love you, Piper,” he whispered.

She cuddled against his chest. He wrapped a protective arm around her. Sleep followed swiftly.

Tony kissed both of them on the forehead before fading into sleep as well. Whining woke him only a few hours later. The smell instantly told him what was wrong with the infant. He groaned he'd been dreading this moment. When he to take her from Steve, the omega's eyes snapped open. He snarled at him, tucking the pup closely to him. Several seconds went by before Steve realized it was him.

“Tony, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to-

“It’s fine. I need to change her,”

Steve smiled.

"You're going to change her?"

“Yes,”

“I want to see this,"

Tony laid Piper on her back. He took a deep breath before undoing the tabs. Steve laughed when he made a gagging sound. He wasn't going throw up! He powered through it and quickly disposed of it.

“How can something so little make such a stink?”

She just smiled up at him.

"I'm impressed,"

"Dum-E will have something new to learn,"

“No,”

“Why not?”

“You should get used to it. You won't always have a robot with you,"

“You know full well I could make that happen,”

“You won’t,”

“And how do you know that?”

“Because I told you to,”

Steve batted his eyes lashes. The alpha became lost for a moment. Steve smirked it was good to know that trick still worked.

“Please, don’t teach her that puppy dog look to her. I barely resist it from you let alone her,”

Tony returned her to the center of the nest.

“Tony,”

“Hmm,”

"Thank you,"

"For what?"

"For giving me this life,"

"I didn't give you it, Steve. We made it together,"

Tony smirked at how sappy he sounded but it was true. He kissed Steve slowly, fully savoring his mate. Steve twitched uncomfortably.

"What is it?"

"I have to go to the bathroom. I don't think I can get up,"

Tony got up, bringing a wheelchair over to Steve. The omega glared at it.

“I can’t support you, sweetheart, my shoulder is killing me,”

Tony was wearing a brace. Steve got into the wheelchair. He was only wearing boxers. It felt as if he was wearing a diaper with all the padding.

"What about Piper?"

"Jarvis can keep on eye on her,"

“Yes, sir it would be my pleasure to watch over the little miss,”

“Now might to be the best time to mention this but you’re on bed rest for three days,”

“Why?”

“I could have lost you today,”

He took the alpha’s hand.

“I’m with you to end line,”

It was once reserved for Bucky, but Tony more than deserved. He would go through hell and back for him.

“You are too good for me,” said Steve.

Tony smirked but didn't say anything.

"Let's get you to the bathroom"

Tony helped him to the toilet.

“I’ll be fine from here,”

The alpha gave him a doubtful look. Tony left leaving the door halfway open. He relieved himself. Steve felt filthy. He reeked of sweat and stress. Splotches of dried blood stilled marked his legs.

“Tony,”

The alpha came in.

“I need a bath,”

“Jarvis get the tub ready,”

The tub filled. Tony helped him into the bath.

“What about Piper?”

“She’s asleep. Jarvis is watching her. He’s the best baby monitor around,”

"She's breathing clearly. Her diaper is clean and her temperature is 97.5 degrees the average for newborns," said Jarvis.

Steve relaxed, letting Tony wash him. Once clean and dressed he was more than willing to return to bed. He cuddled up with Piper. She cooed happily, pressing against him.

“We’ll have to announce her birth,”

“I don’t want her to be hounded by the press,”

“She won’t be,”

He would have to tighten up security. Maybe buy a house somewhere out of the way to give his family some well-deserved privacy. It would be good for her to have a yard to run around in. Rebuilding in Malibu wasn't an option. Neither of them would feel safe there after what happened. He would have Jarvis look around.

"I want to keep her to ourselves for a while at least for the first week. We can tell our friends. I know you want to brag to Rhodes,"

The first week of a newborn's life was spent solely with its direct family so the pup would grow accustomed with the pack's scent.

“She’s worth bragging about,”

Steve nodded.

"Natasha won't forgive us if we don't send her a picture," said Steve.

Tony quickly snapped a photo of Piper on his phone.

“You want something to eat,” asked Tony.

“A bagel and coffee,”

Tony left to make him breakfast. Steve sighed happily. He had an amazing mate. His pup rested peacefully on his chest. She was lucky to be born into this era. Piper has so many opportunities open to her, ones he that could only dream of. Being Tony Stark's daughter would open the more stubborn doors.

“Who will you be, Piper?”

“We’ll find out,”

Tony set breakfast on the bedside table. Steve handed her off. She cooed too young to purr. Tony settled into the nest with him. Piper rested comfortably on the alpha's chest.

Those bright blue eyes stared up at him. They held an unconditional love he'd never experienced. It was heart melting. He would do his best to be worthy of it. Nothing could be in the way of protecting her. The clump of shrapnel in his chest would always pose a risk. Why not remove a risk he controlled.

“What’s on your mind?”

"I want to remove the shrapnel from my chest,"

Steve dropped his bagel, stunned at the bomb put in his lap.

"That's major surgery, Tony. A shoulder is one thing this is your heart,"

“I’m not a super soldier I don’t heal instantly, but someone can simply unplug me and I’m gone. I've endured it before. I don't want that worry looming over us. You have a voice in this if you say no I won’t go forward with it,”

“I don’t know, Tony,”

He saw the advantages of getting it removed. There was also blaring fear of potentially losing his mate.

“I thought it couldn’t be removed,”

"There's a doctor in China, Wu that can do it,"

Steve bit his lip.

“I need time, Tony. This is big,”

"Alright, Steve,"

It was asking a lot, but it needed to be done. He couldn't make the decision without Steve's permission. Steve pressed close to him, lost in his thoughts. Piper stirred on chest whining.

“Steve,”

“Hmm?”

“I think she’s hungry,”

Steve brought her to his chest, humming to her as she nursed. He entered a state of relaxation.

“I’m sorry for dropping that on you,”

“It’s fine,”

Steve and Piper settled down. Tony left the nest. He kissed his pup and mate before leaving.

“Jarvis, call Banner,”

After several rings Banner finally picked.

“Stark?”

"How soon can you be in New York?"

"Wha?"

"Where are you?"

“Vanuatu, why the rush?”

“The baby came,”

“I’ll be there in a week,”

Tony wanted to get back to his mate. He sent a text and photo to Rhodes.

Your goddaughter

Not even ten seconds later Rhodes called.

“Hey, Rhodes,”

"Congratulations, Tony. What's her name?"

“Piper Sarah Margret Stark,”

“When did this happen?”

"Seven hours ago,"

“I can’t wait to meet her,”

“I have to go,”

“I won't keep you,”

“And don’t show anyone the picture,”

“I won’t,”

“Bye Rhodes,”

Tony joined his family. He watched as they slept. There was no urge to leave in favor of his lab. He could stay like this for hours. The week passed smoothly, well as smoothly as it could with a newborn. (January 9, 2013)

Steve got up before Tony. Piper’s sleeping pattern was more difficult for the alpha. He tucked her in Tony's arms. It wouldn't be much longer until she would need to nurse. She hadn't displayed any signs of the strength that broke his ribs on a weekly basis. Maybe that power was dormant at the moment.

He went to the bathroom and showered. Steve stopped in front of the mirror. He stared his reflection, glaring at the muffin top he’d formed. It was a first for him. He needed to hit the gym. Part of him was tempted to shave, but he doubted he had the time. He took Piper from Tony’s arm before she could start crying.

“Shh, sugar lump. Let’s not wake, daddy up,”

Tony was a godsend. He’d make breakfast for him, changed Piper, and made sure he was comfortable. Tony earned some rest.

Steve put her in a fresh diaper and onesie. He went into the kitchen and put her down in a playpen. His stomach growled. He cracked several eggs into the bowl. Piper wailed, instantly quieting when he picked her up. He sighed Tony could take over breakfast when he woke up. Steve grabbed a protein bar from cabinet before settling down on the couch.

“Jarvis put Downton Abbey,”

While on bed rest he’d binged the first season of the show. He set her down on the pillow. The pup swiftly latched. He purrs grew louder when his alpha nuzzled against his neck.

“I wanted you to sleep,”

"Been getting more of that now than before,”

Tony worked on breakfast.

“How is she?”

“Hungry,”

Tony placed a plate in front of him.

“When will Banner get here?” asked Steve.

“Sometime today,”

Halfway through the episode, Piper pulled away.

“I’ll burp her you eat,”

Tony put her over his shoulder and burped her.

“You dressed her fittingly,”

She wore a white onesie with a yellow dinosaur on. The text underneath it read boobivore.

“I should have of never let you pick out some of her clothes,”

"I could have done worse,"

Around three Jarvis alerted them to Dr. Banner’s arrival. Steve put on a shirt.

“He’s waiting on the medical floor,”

“We’ll be right down,”

The elevator brought took them to medical.

“Dr. Banner is in examination room three,” said Jarvis.

They opened the door to the small room. Banner stood leaning against the counter his head down in thought. He was dressed in several old jackets. Around his neck was a thick knitted gray scarf that was fraying at the ends. Bruce had grown out his hair, revealing more of its natural curl. A salt and pepper beard covered his jaw.

“Bruce,”

"Sorry, caught in a thought. You two are in better shape than I thought you'd be,”

He took off his winter clothes, hanging them on the chair on behind him.

“This must be, Piper,"

The pup turned its head in recognition of her name.

“Yes,”

“May I see her?”

Steve handed her over. The lack of hesitation caught Bruce off guard. Omegas were extremely protective over their pups, even more so in the first few weeks of life. So Steve giving over Piper, knowing full well what he was it came as a shocker. She stared up him. There was something to those eyes. They were insightful like she was studying him. She smiled and tried reaching out for him.

“She likes you,” said Steve.

“One of the few,” said Bruce.

He took her out of her onesie and laid her on her back.

"Has she shown any superhuman abilities?"

"Not yet," said Steve.

"Her strength may make an appearance when her motor functions are more developed. Has she had any difficulty nursing?"

“No,”

“How often does she nurse?”

“Every two to three hours for twenty to forty minutes sometimes longer,”

"Good, there are no signs of malnutrition. Dr. Star and I were concerned that she may not get proper nutrients from your milk, but your body has adapted to support a growing super soldier pup. You need to increase your calorie take in to support that,”

“By how much?”

"For the average omega 500, but you it's 2,000,"

Bruce suddenly clapped. Piper’s limbs splayed out from her body.

“What did you do that?” asked Tony.

“Testing her startle reflex. In the first month of life pups instinctively spread their arm and legs away from their body at loud noises,” said Bruce.

He took a pen from the counter and placed it in the palm of her hand. She grabbed it. When he tried taking it away he was met by unexpected resistance. She grew fussy and threw the pen across the room. It lodged in the in the wall behind him.

“There’s the strength,” said Bruce.

Tony pulled the pen from the wall.

“Her first tantrum will be a disaster,” he said.

"Hopefully, by then she has better control," said Steve.

“She has you to teach her. I’m sure she’ll be a fast learner,” said Bruce.

Bruce dangled his stethoscope above her. She swatted it. He stood Piper up on the examination table. She pushed down on the surface with her feet. He took a wooden giraffe with wheels from his pocket and moved above the pup. Those blue eyes followed after it.

“Extraordinary,”

“What?” asked Tony.

“It doesn’t seem like much but at one week she's reached all the miles stones of a two to three-month-old. It’s all an early indicator of a high IQ. She recognizes her name, which normally occurs between five to seven months of age,"

Tony smiled proudly. The line of Stark geniuses continues.

“And to why she hasn’t used her abilities to her full extent I believe she doesn’t want to hurt the two of you,” said Bruce.

He redressed the pup, before picking her up. She nuzzled against his chest. Bruce handed her the toy. She made a happy noise.

"She's quite a social baby. I suggest you keep her mind engaged when you can,”

“How?”

“Interactive toys and speaking to her in different languages. Just try and keep her engaged,”

Bruce handed her over to Steve. She whined wanting to be returned.

“Do you like your Uncle Bruce more than me?” he said.

“She’s only curious about a new face. She's only ever seen you and Tony,” said Bruce.

The scientist pinched the bridge of his nose. That single motion caused Steve to worry.

“What’s on your mind, doc?" asked Tony.

“Extremis,”

Tony flinched.

“I want to take a DNA sample from her,” said Bruce.

“She was already examined for it. It was negative,” said Tony.

“I took the treatment for it,” said Steve.

“It’s only a precaution,” said Bruce.

"If that what's best for her, okay," said Steve.

“Did you keep her cord blood?” asked Bruce.

“Yes,” said Steve.

"I would like to take a small sample of it to study with your consent," said Bruce.

“You can,” said Steve.

Bruce took a cotton swab from the jar on the counter. He gently swabbed her mouth.

“I’ll take a look at this. Bye Piper,”

Bruce shuffled out the door.

“What if he finds something?” asked Steve.

"We'll figure it out," said Tony.

Steve looked at the pup nestled in his arms. She seemed perfectly healthy to him. How could something be wrong? Tony squeezed his hand.

“It will be fine,”

Tony hated seeing the worry in Steve's expression. Maybe he could offer some distraction.

"Let's take Piper to meet Peggy tomorrow. Banner won't be done for days. We promised the old bird a visit,"

Steve relaxed slightly.

“That sounds nice,”

The next day they got Piper ready for her first car trip. (January 10, 2013) Steve double-checked the diaper bag.

“We have everything?”

“Yeah,”

Steve checked Piper's diaper before buckling her into the car seat. In her hand was the platypus lovey Peggy made for her. Steve got into the backseat with her. Piper’s eyes widen when the car started. Tony had the Beatles playing on a low volume. Twenty minutes into the drive Piper was out.

Steve watched the scenery change as they drove out of the city. The entire drive Tony barely went over the limit. The pulled into Peggy's driveway. Piper slept the entire drive there. Steve unbuckled Piper from her seat. He carefully tucked into his jacket, protecting her from the cold. Peggy hurried to open the door for them, rushing them inside. Tony helped him out of his jacket.

She took Steve's hand and led him into the living room. They sat on the couch. Piper was still asleep, but was starting to wake up. Steve took her out of the penguin jacket. She blinked a few times before squirming. Steve knew that look. She was seconds away was from crying.

"She's hungry, can I-

“The study across the hall,”

“Thank you,”

Steve grabbed the diaper bag from Tony.

“Thanks, honey,”

Steve left for the study. Tony took a seat in the green armchair across from Peggy.

“Sorry about that,”

“It’s fine, Anthony. Newborns do everything on their own time,” she said.

Peggy laughed.

“What?”

“Only remembering when Howard and Maria first brought you here. He was tired but so proud. The man hardly let you out of his arms the entire visit,”

Peggy frowned. The alpha’s expression darkened for a moment.

"Too bad it didn't last,"

She sighed.

“I won’t deny Howard made mistakes in raising you, but he did love you,”

Tony rubbed his temples. He wasn’t expecting to talk about this. The visit was supposed to be all about the baby.

“I won’t be like him. I want to be part of my pup’s life,”

"You'll be surprised how difficult that can be. Even I struggled with it at times,"

"Seemed perfect to me when I was a kid, but the grass always looks greener on the other side,"

“I missed some important milestones. My son’s first steps, Emma’s first heartbreak among other things. I tried making it up to them spending as much time as I could with them,"

The conversation changed to less serious topics. Steve sat in a cushy leather chair in the study. The room was painted green and the walls were lined with shelves. Little tokens of Peggy and Henry’s life littered the shelves.

His gaze stopped on a framed photo of his first day of training camp. Why did Peggy have this? Back then he never thought he'd have this. Happily married, a parent, and independent it had been such a far off dream. He came close with, Peggy, but reached nearly seventy years later with Tony. So many random chances lead him to this point in his life. Piper pulled away stretching out lazily.

“Done honey bunny?”

He burped her. Her brow furrowed slightly before a look of relief spread through her, followed by a stink. He laid her on the towel and changed her.

"Ready to meet, Aunt Peggy?"

The pup smiled up at him. He threw away the diaper and went into the living room.

“There she is,” said Peggy.

Steve joined her on the couch. He placed the infant pup in her arms. Piper had Steve’s gentle eyes, but she had her father's inquisitive gaze.

"She's precious. She's going to be a brilliant young woman one day,”

“Like her namesakes,” said Tony.

“You didn’t,” she said.

“Her full name Piper Sarah Margret Stark,”

Peggy’s eyes watered but she quickly dabbed them away.

“You didn’t have to do that,”

“We both agreed on it,” said Steve.

The four enjoyed the day together. Around six Piper started getting fussy.

“We should get her home,” said Steve.

"Okay, come in visit again soon,"

"We will,"

Peggy walked them to the door and kissed all three of them goodbye. The drive home was quiet. Steve watched Piper sleep. There was something so calming to watching her. The morning came. (January 11, 2013) Steve yawned stretching out. Piper was asleep for the moment. He tucked her in Tony arms.

“Jarvis put the coffee on,”

Steve scratched at the scruffy beard he’d grown. He checked the bedroom. They were both asleep. He quickly shaved only cutting himself once. Steve returned to the bedroom and went through Piper's morning routine. She stared up turning her head slightly.

“Did you like the beard?”

He lifted her up. She placed her small hands on his cheeks and smiled. He placed a gentle kiss on her head. She cooed softly. He took her into the kitchen and placed her in the playpen. The aroma of coffee lured him to counter. He poured himself a large bowl of Mini-Wheats with blueberries and bananas.

Steve put the bowl in the dishwasher. He was still hungry. From the playpen, he heard Piper playing with one of her toys. She was working on the most recent puzzle toy Tony got her. It would keep her busy for a while. He scrambled some eggs and cooked up some bacon. When everything plated he check on Piper. She didn't even notice him she was so absorbed with her toy. He hoped for an uneventful day.

“Jarvis, if Bruce is awake tell him breakfast is ready,”

“I will,”

A little while later Bruce came up. The beta instantly went to the coffee pot.

“Morning,”

“Good morning, where’s Tony?”

“Asleep,”

“And Piper,”

“Working on her most recent toy,”

Bruce took a look in the playpen. It was a wooden box with different shaped holes to fit colorful wooden blocks. Something that would normally be given to a toddler. She smiled when she successfully put in the star-shaped block in.

“How long does it take her figure these out?” he asked.

“The last one was too easy so Tony got her this one,” said Steve.

He put down his coffee.

“Have you made any progress?”

“I’ll have something to report you tomorrow maybe the day after that at the latest,”

Bruce toasted a bagel before returning the lab. Tony got up a little while later. The alpha kissed him on the cheek before starting breakfast. Tony seemed more relaxed since Piper was born. He hadn’t gone the lab once so far preferring to work in the penthouse with them.

"Sir, Ms. Romanoff is calling,"

“I’ll let you answer that,” said Tony retreating the couch.

"Hey, Nat,"

“I learn you had your pup nine days after she’s born,”

“I’ve been a little busy,”

Nat sighed.

“What did you name the cutie?”

“Piper Sarah Margret Stark,”

“Pretty, I’m coming over. I’ll be there in an hour,” she before hanging up.

“Looks we’ll have company,”

"Ms. Potts also wants to come over this afternoon to discuss the announcement. Should I confirm?" asked Jarvis.

“Yes,” said Tony.

Steve sighed.

“What’s wrong?”

“I want to keep her to our selves for a little while longer,”

“Me too we’ll keep her out of the limelight as much as possible,”

Steve went to take Piper from the playpen. She started whining when separated from her toy. He put her down. There were only four blocks left. She already had her father’s intense focus.

Natasha came exactly on time. She gave a quick nod to Tony before joining Steve on the on the couch. Her eyes locked on the precious little being in Steve’s arms.

“Want to hold her?” he asked.

She nodded gently taking Piper from Steve’s arm. Those intense blue eyes studied her, figuring out how to react. The pup smiled and reached up for her. Natasha smiled and let the pup play with her fingers.

“You are so adorable,” she said nuzzling Piper’s nose.

The pup happily squealed at the new attention. Steve and Tony stared dumbfounded at the two. Neither of them thought Nat had such a maternal side. Tony wandered his workshop, sensing he wouldn’t be needed for a few hours.

“I’m not much of baby person, but I’ll make an exception for yours,” she said.

“You could have fooled me,” said Steve.

Natasha tickled Piper’s stomach causing her to giggle.

"You'll have your hands full with her. She'll be beautiful. You'll have to swat the alphas off of her with a stick. Of course, I'll teach her some tricks to dealing with those silly alphas,"

“There’s still a long time before that happens,”

"It will be here sooner than you know and it's never too early to start teaching self-defense,"

“She’ll learn how to defend herself once she gets older. I'll make sure of that,”

Around three Natasha had to leave.

"I'll be to visit soon, little one," she said before leaving.

Tony came up from his lab awhile later. Steve was almost asleep with Piper in his arms. She was boredly playing with his fingers. Piper smiled when she saw him coming. Tony carefully took her from Steve's arms. The omega's eyes slowly opened.

"I've got her. Get some sleep,"

“She just ate. She’ll want nurse again in a few hours,”

“And I’ll wake you up when that happens,”

Steve kissed him before going to the bedroom. Tony went to the couch and pulled his most recent hologram blueprint and started fine-tuning it. Piper kept trying to reach them. She was so fascinated by.

"Do you want to know about daddy's most recent project? Of course, you do,"

She started explaining it her in Italian. The change in langue kept her interest.

Pepper walked into the penthouse to the sight of Tony changing a diaper with his ironman helmet on. She laughed. Never did she think she would see Tony Stark changing a diaper. She swiftly wiped a tear away.

“Steve, has you on diaper duty?”

“I don’t have much of choice in it,”

“I'm surprised you haven't built something to do it for you,”

“Steve won’t let me,”

Pepper came closer, smiling a cute little pup. Tony handed her the baby.

"Pepper this is Piper,"

“I’ll be right back,”

“Where are you going?”

“I have to throw this away. Unless you want to switch,”

“No, I’m good,”

Tony wandered off. As soon as he left Piper started pouting.

“No, no, please don’t cry,”

She bounced Piper gently on her gently on her hip. Instead of crying, Piper spat up all over her shirt. Tony was smirking, having just entered the kitchen.

“Don’t say anything,” warned Pepper.

Piper started crying, which made the moment all the more, laughable. He rescued Piper from the omega’s arms.

“She normally doesn’t do that,”

“Spit up, she isn’t the first Stark to throw up on me,”

“Not that she'a liked everyone she's met until now,”

Pepper rolled her eyes. She wiped off the spit up the best she could from her shirt.

“How will this work?”

"I'll take a few pictures and come up with little story and a thoughtfully worded request for privacy to raise a family,"

“That’s all?”

“Pretty much. This is unrelated but when is Steve maternity leave over,”

“Six months,”

Piper seemed to tire out after that. He carefully put her in Steve's arms. They instantly wrapped protectively around her. He joined them at a later that night. The next morning Bruce had news for them. (January 12, 2013)

Steve sat nervously in the examination room with Tony next to him. Piper was tucked safely in his arms. He was scared.

“Don’t leave us in suspense, Banner,” said Tony.

“I found Extremis in her DNA,”

Steve bit his lip.

“What does that mean? Will she be okay?!”

"How is that possible they received the cure?"

"First off Piper will be perfectly fine,"

“Thank god,” said Steve.

He kissed Piper on the forehead, so relieved she would be okay.

“But how?” said Tony.

"Steve and Piper had a relatively long exposure. While in utero she had the ability to taken in and adapt substance that would strengthen her. That's why it was accepted into her DNA. Not only
was it accepted but perfected and has coupled with the super soldier serum,"

“What does that mean?” asked Steve.

"Nothing at this point it's dormant,"

“And what will it need to be activated?” asked Tony.

“I assume extreme duress,”

“And if by some chance that happens what will be the effect?” asked Steve.

"I can't say for certain but I assume it will further empower and strengthen the time it takes for her to regenerate. Extremis soldiers recovered from fatal in hours sometimes minutes and could regenerate limbs. If activated she’ll be able to do the same. I doubt it will happen at such a young age,” said Bruce.

"Do you think Killian knew this would happen?" asked Steve.

“I wish I could answer that,” said Bruce.

“He didn’t know. Killian did for the sole purpose of torturing me. He made me watch as you suffered,"

The alpha hands were clenched. Tony was locked in a state of tension.

“Is there anything else?” asked Steve.

"I want to see her every month to document her progress,"

“Alright,”

Bruce left them. Steve cradled Piper in one arm. He touched his forehead to Tony’s, taking the alpha’s hand in his. Slowly Tony unwound.

"I love both of you. I don't know how I survived before the two of you,"

Steve kissed him. He gently touched the alpha's face. Steve didn't ask why Tony hadn't told before. He understood how difficult speaking of these things were.

“I love you,”