Peter knew Flash hated him, he’d always known this. He should have realized it was a prank, there had been no practice after school. He’d walked back for nothing, well...nothing other than getting ice water dumped on him.
It was pretty lame for a prank, but he still had to walk home wet and miserable. The real problem being that it was growing dark and Queen’s was growing cold. Shivering, the teen knew since the spider bite, his thermoregulating abilities were nearly nonexistent.
He’d need a ride home, and May was being run rampant at work. The teen sighed, wondering if he should text Happy or Tony. Not wanting to bother, the hero accepted his fate, shivering as he started the trek home.
The teen’s eyes widened in awe before it quickly turned to worry, flakes of snow fell from the sky. Already freezing, the teen pulled out his phone teeth chattering as he dialed Happy’s number. The snow picked up, leading the boy to hide his hood and duck into a nearby alley.
“Hello?” Happy answered exasperated, causing the boy to flinch, his teeth already chattering.
“Do you think you can pick me up?” The boy asked, hugging his arms to his chest as his hoodie seemed to turned to ice. Maybe it was.
“Are you serious?” The man asked, the boy whimpering at the question only to hear a scuffle and hushed words over the line.
“Peter?” Tony’s voice cut through, his voice leading to a mixture of emotions.
“Mr. Stark?” The boy questioned, hating the soft tremor in his words as his teeth chattered and he shivered.
“What’s up kiddo?” The billionaire questioned, confused at the soft chattering coming from over the phone. The whoosh accompanying it, letting him know the wind in Queens must be having a field day.
“Do...do you think you could pick me up?”
“From school? Pete isn’t it snowing?” Tony asked flabbergasted, wondering why the hell Peter hadn’t been home already. Especially with his sensitivity. The chattering over the line made a lot more sense.
“Yeah,” the teen cowered hearing a ‘yes’ before the call ended, before looking back out of the alley and starting his way back to school. Forcing himself against the winds and snow pushing him the opposite direction, the boy made his way back to school. Sitting on a concrete bench that’d been iced over, his fingers and toes curling in an attempt to stay warm as the world around him fluttered with snow.
Curling up, the boy waited, wondering if the road would be safe for the man to drive on. The guilt he felt for calling upon his mentor only got worse as the snow piled up along the road in front of him. Constantly reminding himself to flex his fingers, the teen hid behind the stiff fabric surrounding him. Balling his fist together and hiding his face from the biting cold that sprinkled around him, the teen shut his eyes.
Unknowing as his lips continued to turn blue, and his eyelashes were white with flecks of snow. His hair slowly but surely furled a little at the temperature, knees coming up to his chest as he rested his chin upon his thin frozen jeans. His pale skin nearly matched the snow surrounding him, brown eyes and iced lashes fluttering as he drifted. The sound of wind and the soft tingle of snowflakes pulling him further into a deep sleep.
The long minutes of wondering where his mentor was disappearing, as cold dreams simmered in. The body feeling buried, trapped in ice, much like another hero, but his dreams didn’t seem to hold the same vibrancy they used to. Snow began to pelt the unmoving form, undrivable roads keeping the hero isolated as the inventor hurried through a specialized car that’d help him through the snow.
When the inventor pulled up to the school, he almost didn’t recognize the bundle on top of the concrete bench. Jumping from the car, the inventor hurried across the snow, nearly slipping since his dress shoes offered no traction.
Once he got to the boy, he pulled him close. Wiping the snow off, and frowning at the ice coating the child’s clothes making them stiff. The hood practically sent ice fractals raining down the boy’s back as he pulled it back. The inventors warm hands from hours of work, pushing them to the boy’s cheeks and lifting his head.
“Pete?” He asked frantically, temples throbbing at the sight of the boy’s lips. With a few shakes, frost covered eyelids opened tiredly and looked up at his mentor. The inventor hugged the body to his chest, helping the kid to his feet before practically dragging him to the car.
Yanking off the hoodie, Tony threw it into the backseat. It doing more harm than good, so were the kids pants but he couldn’t exactly take them off without Peter’s help. Turning the cars heat up to scolding, Peter managed to blink more and more. Seemingly more awake as he hugged to himself, shivering before burying himself against the seat that heated up to provide more comfort.
“Kid if you’re in those jeans any longer your legs are going to freeze,” the boy nodded, slipping them off and accepting Tony’s offered jacket before hiding beneath it.
“Thanks for picking me up,“ Blue lips praised, content with burying his face in the jackets collar.
“I’m just sorry I took so long,” Tony sighed, looking back over at the kid only to find that he’d fallen asleep again, “Fri?”
“You can let him rest,” she assured, Tony’s mind whirring with how he’d have to explain to Happy that he wanted Peter to be picked up everyday, maybe he’d just have to hire someone new. Peter shouldn’t have to wait out in the cold ever again.
The teen panted against the concrete he’d been thrown against. Arms trembling as he pulled himself up and the door shut, leaving him alone in a blank room with nothing more than a small barred window.
The moonlight drifted in, barely illuminating his cell. Blood trickled from his temples as he dragged himself to the nearest corner, legs tucked up as tears slowly fell from his eyes. The realization dawning on him all at once. He’d been kidnapped to get information on Tony. This wasn’t Spider-Man dealing with another Stark hater, this was Peter Parker, whose head currently ached and ribs burned from the painful kicks they’d received.
Shaking, the teen tried desperately to hold back the terrified tears that gathered in his eyes. Inhaling hurt, it rattled his chest, and made the urge to call out for his mentor to help him. Surely Tony would come to get him, unless Tony didn’t respond to worker threats. But he wasn’t really a worker, well, not entirely, but being Spider-Man, a fellow superhero, that was something to be considered. At least he thought so. Not that he was anymore important than anyone else, Peter knew that wasn’t the case.
The thought that Tony might not actually come for him was startling, but never one with actual self-worth, he could believe it. Gentle tears dripped down his cheeks, head sat on his knees careful not to aggravate his aching head.
The sobs shook his bruised ribs, ears ringing while the world around him dragged along. He had to have a concussion, considering his dripping temples and one finely placed kick to the back of the head, he wasn’t surprised but figured it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. But the only rational part of his brain not muddled in distress and dejection figured he needed to stay awake.
More time to wallow, more time to wait. If Tony was even coming. As the night progressed the light of the moon grew further and further away from him. His eyes lazily watching with an empty feeling in his chest, his bruised bones rattled as his stomach rumbled. His metabolism seemingly began to claw its way to attention. When the teen squeezed his eyes shut in irritation, his mistake was clear because his head pounded at the action.
Breath shuttering, the teen watched hollowly as the sun's rays began to peak through the barred window and splayed itself in front of his feet. The sun was rising, and he’d officially been gone for 24 hours, with bags under his eyes, bruises and blood sticking to his skin, and dried tear tracks on his face.
Maybe Tony didn’t even know he was missing, or maybe he was just finding out. Or at least about to find out, considering May would probably be getting up soon and realize he never came home, Tony would certainly get an earful. The door that blended rather well with the wall burst open then, it was one of the same men who’d grabbed him from the train on the way to school.
“Ready to talk?” the man questioned, voice mawkish. Almost as if he could dissumimulate from the man that’d possibly broken his ribs and bashed his head, and make himself out to be friendly.
The teen knew it wasn’t the smartest decision to stay quiet, it may lead the man to believe he truly did have something to hide, but in all honestly the hopelessness consuming the boy’s chest. He couldn’t bring himself to speak up.
“No? Did you finally lose hope? Jesus it’s only been a day, but you are a kid. I can see why you think Stark would have come and found you by now, but he doesn’t care about you or his employees. More the reason to tell me what I want to know. Then, I’ll drop you off in front of a hospital, and we’ll part ways Mr. Parker, it’s that easy,”
“I don’t know anything,” Peter said quietly, knowing it was futile, but they wanted the truth and that was it. Nothing they’d asked him about came to mind, it probably didn’t even come to Tony’s mind because Peter was more than sure the inventor had been holed up in the lab all week while Pepper handled things.
“You can’t expect me to believe that kid,” the man chuckled, still playing on the light side of things as he came forward with a stance that displayed something of a stock soldier, meant to intimidate him. The man cracked his head to both sides, cracking it, before reaching out quickly, gripping the boy’s wrist and yanking him to his feet. The yelp the spider let out was entirely involuntary, his grip tight enough the teen almost swore his bones were kissing.
The other man’s hand reached out to the teens throat, slamming him against the wall, strangling him as the man’s height left Peter’s toes unable to touch the floor. The rough movement only made the teen’s vision white out, the small bump on his head from the well placed kick didn’t take seem to the concrete knocking it again. The bigger problem being the impact caused him to inhale, and the man’s hand around his throat didn’t allow for any air to get back in.
“Now Mr. Parker, do I need to make that hospital trip worse for you?” The spider gripped the man’s wrist, fighting the urge to use his strength as something brilliant came to mind. Tapping at the man’s wrist and trying to gurgle a response, the man’s hand released him, sending the teen to the floor in a shuddering heap. Pale hands moving to his throat as he coughed, trying to get some air supply back on track.
“If you think I’m so important, and worthless to Mr. Stark. How could I have the information you are looking for?” Peter gasped, throat rough making his voice bristly. The man stopped for a second, seeming to take this into account. Realizing the validity of his statement, but Peter kept going, “If I knew something Stark didn’t want anyone else to know, he’d have been here by now,”
“Shut up!” Was roared loudly in his face, the man leaning over and sending a hard kick to his collar bones, knocking the small body onto it’s back before the man crushed the same spot under his boot until a sickening crack and scream met the air. The fuming individual scurried out, shutting the door with a boom. The teenangers weeping mewls cut off as he was left alone. Tears running down his face before he managed to turn over and furl together in a ball. The position searing every part of him.
The movement had reopened a cut on his temple, sending trickles of blood down his face. The pain lasted god knows how long, leaving the boy to mull over his previous statements. A fleeting hope sparking, telling him that Tony would come. He was a hero and that’s what he did. And just because he’s here waiting, he shouldn’t lose faith in the man that saved him in more ways than he could ever repay. But if there was something he could do to make it up to him, was sit here in pain and wait. He would.
He’d wait forever if he had too. Because something in him couldn’t shake a timid thought that Tony would wait for him too. It may be a childish wish, but it made him happy; who was anyone to take that away? Especially a man who only wanted the inventor’s work, when Tony’s money and company was nothing compared to who he was without it.
That little spark deep within the boy’s heart seemed to be a message in itself, that it had and will always be all right. The exploding door and crashing noises shaking his muddled head only affirmed it. But none more than the suit of armor standing in front of him, before dropping to its knees and dripping off the inventors skin as he helped him uncurl.
The teen fell into his chest easily, a relieved smile on his face as his closed eyes pushed out the remaining tears. But the cautious and gentle hand running through his hair, careful of the wound, made it all better.
“I’m here kid,”
The teen paced his room, phone in hand as his brain worked over what it had just done. It was possibly a breakthrough, at least concerning the mechanics of the Iron Man suit. Tony had been having trouble with the nanotech, but-well but he figured it out!
At least he thought he did. He wouldn’t know until the older man texted him. But it’s been five minutes and nothing, not even the notification that’d it’d been read. Sighing and shaking his hands as if to relieve them from numbness, the teen chucked the phone onto the bed. Exiting the room to the kitchen, trying to busy himself by making food the teen plucked out the sandwich ingredients. The boy then got to work, his nervous energy causing a few mishaps, but he doubted that didn’t make them any less edible.
Who cared if one day he bit into a cheese sandwich or one that was simply stuffed with mustard and lettuce? There was far more important things to dread on. Such as his mentor either having seen the text and is ignoring him for possibly being a moron, or so entranced in trying to test the idea out that he’d forgot to call.
The boy continued on with making god knows what for long enough, the toaster was burning and he didn’t quite remember trying to toast any bread before quickly moving to fix the problem. Waving the lightly smokey air away, and pulling the toast out before slamming the pieces onto the counter.
“It was probably dumb,” the teen then doubted himself, rushing back to the room to his notepad where he’d written everything down. The more and more his eyes bore into the words and equations, he picked them apart.
A mantra of ‘Stupid, stupid, stupid’ buzzing his brain. But something in him knew it worked, possibly only theoretically, but it worked. The phone on his bed remained notification free, leading the kid to bounce on his feet and reexamine the work once again.
“Peter, why is there sandwiches everywhere?” May called, causing him to jump and rush into the room. May raised a brow, recognizing the restless energy coming off her nephew. She smiled, “I guess we’re having sandwiches then, unless you want Thai?”
Laughing nervously, the boy sputtered, “Thai sounds good, I’ll take those for lunch,” She nodded then, looking to the so called sandwiches and deconstructing them so she could make them all properly.
“May, you don’t have to-”
“Just send in our order,” she winked, stuffing the things into ziploc bags before sliding them into the fridge. When Peter reached his phone again to place the call, again no notifications came up so Peter placed the order. This time shoving the device in his pocket.
“I’ll pick it up in fifteen minutes,” Peter assured his aunt, who ran a hand through his hair.
“What’s got you so worked up?” She questioned, giving the boy a soft hug.
“I had a really good idea, I’m just stuck waiting for Mr. Stark to get back to me,” she hummed nodding, remembering a conversation with the man’s wife she had the other day. They talked from time to time, having become oddly good friends with their similar personalities. But their last conversation was about schedules. If Tony wasn’t going to let May know about Peter being over, or if it’d slipped his mind. Pepper was there to save the day.
“Oh yeah honey he had a meeting, Pepper said he’d totally forgotten about it. I’m sure he’ll get back to you soon,”
The boy perked up at that, anxiety bleeding out of him. Only then did his phone buzz, the text reading:
“How soon can you come over?”
The arachnid was sure his heart stopped at the words, trembling, unbreathing as the world around him began to short out into an endless piercing whining roar.
Tony had been kidnapped.
“What?” the boy stuttered, looking up at Rhodey, trying desperately to keep his breaths under control. The older man put a hand on his shoulder, trying to assure the now trembling teen whose eyes were suddenly watering in utter horror.
“He’s going to be okay Peter,” the colonel urged, pulling the child against his chest as the boy sobbed.
“Who-who, who did it?” The boy asked, gripping the man’s arms and looking up at him frantically. The older man frowned, turning his head before looking back down at the kid.
“I’ll worry about that underoos,”
“No, I can help. I promise Mr. Rhodey, I can-”
“Peter, it’s too dangerous. You don’t want to be involved in this. I’ll bring him back,” Rhodey pressed with a firm tone as the boy shook his head, eyes squeezing shut before his head flopped against the older man’s chest.
“But...he’s,” the boy hiccuped, not at all calming at the soothing hand running up and down his back, “He’s...done so...much,” the boy stopped his voice an octave louder, “for me,”
“I know Pete, he’s done a lot for me too. And me bringing him home and keeping you safe is the best thing I can do for him now. If he hasn’t already broken out, you know him,” the colonel stated sincerely until his tone lightened to give the kid some hope about his dear friends situation.
“Please, Mr. Rhodey sir, I can help,” the arachnid pleaded. The man didn’t answer.
Happy, requested by Pepper watched over Peter. Checking in after school, bringing him back to the compound if May wasn’t home. Initially they’d allowed him to go on patrol, but apparently that meant Peter trying to sneak off for clues, or getting hurt in his worry.
The knife to the side had been enough to send them onto lockdown, yet no one truly reprimanded him. No words were said, not from Pepper, Happy or Rhodey. Not even May. Pepper and him did have a small chat, making him realize she was grieving herself.
But she’d been through this before, offered some kind words, with a slight plea, “Don’t get yourself hurt, you probably don’t know this but he worries about you, a lot. And I know you’re scared, but the best we can do for now is keep ourselves in the best shape we can so he doesn’t worry about us when he gets back,”
All he could do is nod. The wound in his side flared making him feel even worse. Maybe they won’t tell Tony what happened, and by the time he gets home he’ll be okay.
The teen had tried, tried so hard to not fall into himself. But his mentor had been gone for a month and he didn’t know what to do. Shivering, the spider didn't even know if he was breathing. He went to school only to remember walking out at the last bell, he didn’t even know how he did the homework. If he even did it. He navigated the world listlessly, quiet, vacant, void of himself.
The longing for his mentor’s safe return left his chest aching in a pain that almost didn’t feel real as he drifted. Voices weren’t registering in his brain, food didn’t taste like anything, that’s only if he ate. But even then he was never sure if he was actually hungry.
He knew this feeling of nothingness, they’d long since been acquainted, in fact they’ve met with every loss he’d experienced. He’d wanted to hold out hope for his hero, but the morbid and defeated mind set that ravaged his every thought told him in a tone that pushed away every possible feeling known to man. Tony Stark was dead.
The boy sat in the infirmary, a tube in his arm, not that he cared. His head felt heavy as his eyes bore into the floor. Not truly seeing the tiles below, not hearing the idle tweeks of machines around him. Not until polished shoes stopped right in front of him, but he couldn't bring himself to look up. The muscles in his neck refused to move, there was no point.
“Hey kid,” a familiar voice spoke, penetrating the boy’s brain with it’s soft and tired tone yet he could hear a smile pulling at those words. The spider didn’t even feel it as he looked up and his hoarse and unused vocal cords spoke.
“Tony?” The teen could almost believe his eyes were tricking him, but his mind at the moment didn’t seem capable of that. The inventor looked a little disheveled, with some bruises and scrapes adoring his face but the billionaire couldn’t care less, the fact that Peter called him by his name was far more important.
“It’s okay Pete,” the older man assured, crouching to the level of the bed and placing a hand on his shoulder. Peter continued to stare, eyes glassy and watery, lip quivering before he let out a sob.
A rush of emotions consuming him, as Tony pulled him forward. Letting the teen sob into his throat, even as the position hurt with the scars and bruises littering his body were pushed with the boy’s weight. But Peter had waited for his comfort long enough, and Tony truly did miss the kid.
The teen swiveled in Tony’s desk chair as the man was in a meeting. Considering it didn’t make a sound, and felt heavenly. Peter almost felt bad sitting in it, figuring his jeans were probably disgracing a chair that was worth more than his rent.
Eyes locking onto a pencil cup, the boy couldn't resist picking through the pens and trying each one on the yellow pad of paper that resided in one of the desk drawers. He hoped Tony didn’t mind, but he had said the office was at his disposal.
‘Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can. Spins a web any size, catches thieves, just like flies!’
The teen wrote out, humming to himself. Below his little song, was the Bill Nye theme song, and then small doodles of the Iron Man suit and small spider’s littered the page. He’d almost drawn Captain America’s shield, but ended up turning the star into a small night sky.
‘I AM IRON MAN’ Peter highlighted brightly in pink, before taking a break to spin in the chair once again, amazed at how he didn’t feel the least bit dizzy until he spun a few more times in the silence of the room, leading to a headache.
Dropping his head onto the desk with a thud, the boy groaned wondering how long it’d been since Tony had stepped out for his meeting. Turning his head toward the clock, the boy groaned once again when he realized it’d only been ten minutes.
Shutting his eyes, the teen buried his head in his crossed arms. Not knowing what else to do in the office, the teen eyed the couch in the room. Perking up at the air conditioner suddenly turning on, the nap he’d suddenly wanted seemed far fetched with the cool air running amok.
But on the back of the chair, Tony’s suit jacket lay. Quirking in thought, the boy hesitantly grabbed the jacket before making his way back to the couch. Laying down and shifting the pillow, before tucking the jacket around himself.
Sleep came easy then.
The boy’s eyes fluttered as he heard the door open, but ignored it and snuggled further into the material around him.
The billionaire raised a brow at the sight of his protege wrapped in his jacket. Tony knew the meeting had seemed long to him, but now that he checked his watch he realized it been three hours since he’d told the kid to make himself at home, it had to be long for Peter too.
He didn’t quite mean use his jacket, but he couldn’t really be mad. In fact it made him smile, stepping over to his chair, the man picked up the left out notepad. Sighing in amusement at the doodles, before tearing it off and pocketing the paper before placing the notepad back in the drawer.
Tucking the chair in, Tony meandered back to the couch before shaking the younger hero’s shoulder. The teen woke up wearily, eyes squinting up at his mentor before tucking himself back into the fabric before bolting up and startling the older hero.
“Your jacket!” the boy blurted, pushing the fabric into the older man’s arms only for him to laugh. The eldest avenger took the material and folded it over his arm.
“C’mon Pete, I think you’re aunt’s going to be mad if I don’t get you back to her before dinner. I know it’s your designated night out,” The teen got to his feet, following his mentor as he locked the office up and they headed down the hall.
“Do meeting’s always take that long?” The boy couldn’t help but ask, looking up at his mentor.
“Only if you’re not paying attention,” the man of iron joked.
The ship continued on, it’s slow descent leaving the inventor to his thoughts. The ash in his hands that was once his child burning his skin. The air around him, fleeting, but likely making his inner turmoil worse. His fingers curled, the phantom feeling of the boy’s hair bristling against his callouses. The memory of the weight of the boy’s head in his hand, apologizing as his body was gone and what was left quickly disappearing.
A sob bubbled out of him then, the start of the day echoing in his brain. He’d dreamt that he’d had a kid. At the end of the day, he’d lost one. His brain-no his heart didn’t know what to do with that.
The ceiling he recognized, he knew his infirmary well. Knew the body against his was his fiance’s, and knew something in his heart was missing. The rescue blurred in his mind, images of a raccoon only made him feel as if his sanity was mocking him.
But those thoughts didn’t matter as much as the pleas whispering into his ears, “I don’t want to go,” the pain in his chest spurred as the words forced him to sit up. As if he could run from those desperate cries. In a way he did want to run from those words, but the need to hold onto those memories were strong. The need to smother them into the depths of his heart because those were all he had left, those are what he needed to fuel him to stop that monster.
It’d be those words that force him to pursue the purple titan once again. Not today, but he could certainly get started.
“Tony?” Pepper’s voice burned his cheek before he was pulled into a kiss. One he tried to reciprocate to just as passionately, but couldn’t. She seemed to understand as she framed his face, and wiped away tears he didn’t know were falling.
“He took my kid,” he whispered, the words final as images of the teen assaulted him. Pepper bit her lip with watery eyes, running her hand up and down his back in assurance. He expected her normally diplomatic words to rein free and console him, but no words were said.
When Tony woke from any possible sleep, there was a second where he felt at peace only for it to crash and burn with the memories of a spider themed kid who looked at him as he hung the moon. Who trusted him to make things right as he disappeared.
That second of peace only made the guilt stronger, he didn’t deserve that. He deserved the fate that’d befallen the younger hero. He deserved to suffer for not winning, for not saving the child he’d promised to protect.
The man walked the halls, passing the blonde woman dressed in red and blue. He was glad to have her around, and they’d talked, leaving out the others as they understood the endgame.
Tony Stark did not care if he died wielding the infinity stones if the new Captain couldn’t. He’d bring his son home, and fix the world around them. The Captain only promised if he didn’t survive, and she couldn’t do it. She’d make sure the boy was put under her care, and also Nick’s.
He only hoped if he didn’t survive, he’d be able to give the boy a proper goodbye. No mind numbing fear, no falling into dust, and no apologies except his own.
She gave a soft smile, feeling a guilt similar to his own. He hadn’t won and people had died, she hadn’t been there to help, and they’d lost it all. They were the two Thanos had feared, considering her past with Ronan who had apparently been the titans right hand man and his work during the battle of New York, they had every right to be considered a threat.
“I can’t wait to meet him Tony,” she told him suddenly, and he could only nod; throat feeling a little dry before he managed to choke out.
“I can’t wait for you to meet him,”
The stones were all in his palm, nearly blinding him as he closed his red fist around them. The suit around him seemingly becoming enchanted from the stones and lifting him above mortality.
His mind was oddly clear as the person who’d never truly left his thoughts seemingly called to him, considering the soul stone, maybe the boy was. Maybe the white noise around him were the voices of all those lost.
Taking a breath, Tony knew not to focus only on the boy, no matter how hard it was. He was doing this for Peter, for everyone. And he couldn’t imagine Peter being okay with coming back without everyone else who’d disappeared.
Shutting his eyes, nearly startling at the torn remnants of Strange’s cape crawling onto his shoulders as he wished with all his heart. A blinding force consumed him, overwhelmed him, rushed through him as pain pulled him down, submerged him in a power that coursed through his veins. Scorching not only his skin but his armor, crushing the air from him and seemingly depleting any possible thought.
His screams didn’t befall deaf ears, well, excluding Clint. But the team watched in horror, until Captain Marvel flew in close, her hands intertwining with his as the colors of the stones also ran among her skin. Making her normal fiery glow that much more intense.
Almost painting her like the mystical fire you’d see in any kids cartoon that had a witch and cauldron. The explosion of their wish blew them back, destroying the stones completely, their left over energy slamming into the inventor and infusing with his essence and knocking him out cold.
The man woke to sobs, recognizable sobs that led him to wrap around the smaller body.
“Mr. Stark,” the teen’s voice was heart wrenching, but was able to pry his eyes open. Sitting up, the billionaire for once in the five years the child was gone could finally breathe. Could finally feel that piece in his heart return.
“I’m here kid,” the older man laughed, a sound that hadn’t escaped in actual decades. Tears fell from both their eyes as they held to one another, the universe, Tony’s universe finally restored.