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the talk

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“Can you believe you’re moving the kid into his dorm in just three months?” Rhodey asked as he too another sip from his beer.

Tonight was supposed to be a Boys Night with Peter, Rhodey, and Tony relaxing, drinking beers (that was only for Rhodey and Tony; Peter had plenty of apple juice), and watching movies. He didn’t want to be reminded of Peter leaving for MIT. “I don’t want to.”

Rhodey glanced at him from the corner of his eye and said, “Feels like just yesterday you were changing his diaper, huh? You think he’s ready to go out into the world on his own?”

“C’mon, be serious, Rhodey. He’s almost 18.”

“Let’s hope he’s better than you. Sent off to college at 15-years-old without getting the talk.” He huffed taking another swig of beer, almost angrily. “‘Nother reason why I could never stand Howard. You were too young. ‘Member I was the one that had to give you the talk? You barely knew what consent was. That was terrifying.”

“Well, thankfully, Peter isn’t stuck with a piece of shit dad--.” Tony stopped short because finally, his alcohol riddled brain caught up to exactly what he was saying. “Wait, he doesn’t have any male father figures since Ben died…”

“Says the man currently letting him use his lap as a pillow,” Rhodey replied with raised eyebrows.

Tony looked down and saw where Peter had his head on his thigh, snoring as Tony ran his hands through his hair absentmindedly. “Do you think he ever got the talk?”

Rhodey scrunched up his face as he repeated, “The talk?”

“Yeah. The Talk.”

“Uh...I’m not--.”

“You’re right. I better make sure.” And then his brain told him it was a good idea to start shaking the kid awake.

“Wait, man, what’re you doin’?” Rhodey asked, leaning forward.

“Giving the kid his talk before he goes off to college.” Duh.

Rhodey blinked. “At 3am when you’re probably too drunk to even spell your name, months before he actually has to leave?”

“Yeah.”

Rhodey blinked again. “Okay.”

Tony turned back to waking Peter up. He shook his shoulder relentlessly until he finally peaked an eye open. He didn’t look happy as he pinched his face in annoyance. He stared up at Tony for a moment, glaring. Tony waited a moment before whispering, “Pssst.”

Peter grunted in response, still glaring up at him.

“He’s like a cat,” Rhodey whispered, taking another drink of his beer even though his words were starting to slur. But oh well, they only got together and drank like this once a month. They deserved to relax.

“Yeah. He doesn’t like being woken up.”

“Wonder why,” Peter grumbled, his eyes going from Rhodey to Tony. “What’s so important? I was sleepin’.”

“You need to sit up,” Tony said.

Peter blinked his eyes, moving as fast as he could to get off of Tony’s lap. He was still half asleep and had some trouble. “Sorry, am I hurting you?”

“What? No. We need to have a serious talk.”

Peter frowned, leaning against the back of the couch. “Why? What’s wrong?”

“You’re going to college.”

Peter rubbed at his eyes as he yawned. “Yeah. But not till the end of August. Summer hasn’t even started yet.”

“Need to do it now. Probably won’t sober,” Tony explained. Then he grabbed the beer off the table. “Wait. Think I need another sip. Not drunk enough yet.”

Peter was starting to look worried and Tony felt bad; he didn’t want to make him anxious. He just wanted to make sure he was safe. “Okay…”

Tony took in a deep breath and said before he could stop himself, “You’re getting older and...this time of your life can be very confusing. You know...body changing, hair growing, voice cracking--.”

“Wait,” Peter said, looking mortified. “Please tell me you did not wake me up just to give me the talk.” He looked to Rhodey. “Is this real-- am I being pranked? What the hell is going on?”

“Important things to learn. Don’t wanna be like that guy,” Rhodey teased, leaning forward to shove Tony’s shoulder. He fell forward a bit and Tony caught him without even turning around to look.

“Exactly. And I know you don’t wanna do this, but...it’s gotta happen.”

“Mr. Stark, you don’t need--.”

“I think you’ve gotten your way through body changes. Hair growing like it should?” He asked, hoping he could get through this as quick as he could.

“Mr. Stark, please--.” Peter’s face was a deep shade of red.

“I’ll take that as a yes. Which is good. That’s good.” He nodded his head, trying to figure out what else he was missing. “I need a list…” he mumbled.

“No-- you don’t need a list,” Peter said. “You were the one that taught me how to shave!”

Tony blinked. Oh. That’s right. “Okay. Check that off our list, honey bear.”

“We don’t have a list.”

“Oh, that’s right.” He frowned. “Shoulda planned better for this, huh?”

Peter covered his face with his hands, groaning. “Please end this. I’m tired. You woke me up from my peaceful sleep for this.”

“Of course I did. It’s important. We’ll skip to college stuff. Important.”

Peter shook his head, letting out a whine. “It’s not.” He went to lay back down, but Tony held him up by the shoulder. “No napping yet, Spider-Baby.”

Peter groaned, letting his eyes shut. “I wanna sleep.”

“After this.”

Peter cracked open his eyes. “So after you finish making a fool out of both of us we can sleep?”

Tony nodded his head. “Right back to bed after.” He patted his lap. “I got one thigh for you and one for Rhodey.”

“Don’t sleep on your lap,” Rhodey argued. “‘m a grown ass man.”

“Okay, platypus.” Tony rolled his eyes, giving Peter a look because they both knew Rhodey could fall asleep anywhere with Tony if he was drunk. Well, maybe the kid didn’t know that-- but Tony sure did.

“Please can we just get this over with? The college talk.”

Tony nodded his head. “Yes. Yes, of course. Now, when you get to this age. You start...noticing things about other people. That’s okay. Don’t feel bad about any dirty thoughts you may be having. It’s all normal.”

Peter covered his face in his hands. “Okay, nevermind. I can’t sit through this.”

“Shush.”

“I’m going to my room.”

“No!” Tony shouted. He needed to know. If he didn’t then he’d go to college without a clue. Tony couldn’t let that happen. He didn’t want Peter to ever be in the situations he found himself in during college with people taking advantage of him. “This is important. Please.”

Peter must have heard the panic in his voice, so he sighed and said, “Fine...just...keep going.”

Tony nodded. “Thank you. Now where was I…?”

“Dirty thoughts.”

“Oh yes, thank you, Rhodey.”

“I can’t believe this is happening. I came for Boys Night-- not Sex Ed.”

Tony ignored him. “These thoughts may make you want to...try things. Lots of different stuff with different people. Girls, boys, both, neither...it’s okay. Whatever makes you happy makes me happy.”

Peter’s face softened. “Thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me for bein’ a good person. Anyways, what doesn’t make Tony happy is you doing things with people that you don’t want to do,” Tony said. He had to stress this part. “No one is allowed to do anything with you-- and I mean anything: sex, making out, touching you in anyway-- without your consent.”

“I know, Mr. Stark. I won’t do anything like that stuff without consent from both of us.”

“I know you would never,” Tony said. “But there are people that don’t care if you want to say no. People will try to convince you or say it won’t be bad or you’ll like--.”

“I won’t let them pressure me, Mr. Stark,” Peter promised.

“Good. And I know it can be hard. But remember, if you need me, just call. I’m only a few hours away by car and minutes by suit.”

“Me too,” Rhodey said. “Call me too. I’ll drop everything for you, buddy. If you can’t reach Tony or whatever other reason, I’ll always pick up the phone for you.”

“Thank you, Mr. Rhodey. I know I can count on you two. And if needed, I will either or both of you. Don’t worry.” Peter gave them a smile.

“Good,” Tony said. “Now, if you want to start...doing...stuff in college, I can’t stop you. But please be safe. Don’t go home with a stranger. Don’t sleep with someone without knowing them...I don’t want you hurt. And think before you do. Don’t just do it to get it over with or because you think that’s what everyone is doing and you need to too.”

“I won’t.”

Tony continued on even though that Peter said he understand what he was saying. “Think it through before making that decision. And when you do, and both parties are 100% on board, please be careful still. Condoms. Wear a condom-- or if necessary, have him wear a condom.”

Peter’s cheeks got even more red as he stared down at his lap. “Yeah. I know. Condoms.”

“Hold on wait--.” Tony said, getting up to go to the side table by the couch. He pulled open the top drawer and stuck his hand inside, reaching all the way to the back. He found what he was looking for and smiled. “Here we go.” He came back over and plopped onto the couch.

Peter stared down at his hand where Tony was now holding the small packet. He looked back up at Tony with horror written on his face. “Why do you have a condom in the living room side table?”

“Knew Rhodey was coming over and he never remembers them,” Tony joked.

“No, seriously--.”

Tony rolled his eyes. “Pepper and I aren’t exactly ready for another kid yet. You and Morgan are enough.”

Peter made a face. “You two have a bedroom. I sleep with my face on these cushions!”

Tony rolled his eyes. “Sometimes we don’t have time to make it to our room. That’s on a completely other floor.”

“This is disgusting. Why are you like this-- please stop.”

“You’re the one that asked!” Tony said, over Rhodey’s laughter.

“Please can we just get this over with?”

“If you would shush and watch, we can.” He held up the condom packet in his hand and showed it to Peter. “You gotta be careful. Don’t use your teeth or scissors to open it. Could rip the condom.”

“I can’t believe you’re doing this.”

“Shush. Watch.” He tried opening the packet, but was having trouble with his hands. “Hold on-- these aren’t as easy to open when I’m a little tipsy.”

Peter laughed. “A little tipsy? You’re giving me the puberty and sex talk. You are well past tipsy.”

“Need help?” Rhodey asked, reaching out his hand.

“No wait. I can open it,” Tony said with a grunt. He tried again and it still wasn’t opening. “Must be a safety feature so drunk people don’t have sex.”

“Oh, yeah, I’m sure,” Peter said.

“It could be!” Tony said, looking up at him. “You cannot give consent when even a little drunk. Remember that.”

“I know, I know.”

Tony nodded, satisfied that Peter knew how consent worked and went back to opening the packet. “This used to be easy.”

“I’m glad you’re not used to it anymore,” Peter said softly.

“Yeah...Pepper opens them now when we’re having fun while we’re drunk.”

“Please-- stop being disgusting. I don’t need these images.”

Rhodey leaned forward, trying to grab the condom from his hand. “Let me try.”

“No, c’mon, I almost got it.” Tony moved out of the way to keep trying.

Peter was laughing at him. “I can’t believe this is actually happening right now.”

“You’re embarrassing yourself, man,” Rhodey said.

“I know-- just hold on--.”

“This is embarrassing? Really? Like the rest of this isn’t?” Peter asked.

“Oh shush-- got it!” He pulled out the rubber and showed it to Rhodey proudly. “Look at this, honeybear, I still got it.”

“What’s next?” Peter asked. “Are you gonna put it on a banana?”

“Put it on a banana?” Tony asked, trying to study Peter’s face to see if he was serious or not.

“Yeah. No Sex Ed talk is complete without the demonstration.”

Tony turned to looked at Rhodey and he nodded his head. “Kid’s right.”

“Okay. Then I guess I better get a banana,” Tony said. He handed the condom to Rhodey. “Hold this. I’ll be right back.” Then he pushed himself up to his feet and started walking towards the kitchen.

“Wait-- are you seriously getting a banana?” Peter asked, between his laughter.

Tony grunted in confirmation as he stumbled his way across the floor. “Gotta make sure you’re prepared.” He made it into the kitchen and went to the counter where there was a bowl of fruit. Thank you, Pepper for being a health nut. He grabbed a banana and then started his way back.

“Careful,” Peter called out to him.

“I’m being careful,” Tony said...just before he walked into the doorway, his shoulder smacking against his shoulder painfully. “Ouch.”

“I told you to be careful,” Peter said.

“How many times am I going to have to tell you to shush?” He walked back into the living room, falling to the couch between Peter and Rhodey.

“Are you seriously going to do this?” Peter said, his voice now sounding amused.

“You gotta know. It’s important.”

Peter shook his head. “You are so drunk.”

Tony shrugged his shoulders. Maybe he was. But he didn’t care; he was safe here with Rhodey and Peter. He could get drunk once every few months just to have fun and relax. He turned to Rhodey and said, “Here switch. Hold the banana.”

“I have to hold it?” Rhodey asked.

“Yeah. Kid has to watch.” They switched and Tony moved so Peter could see. “You can see, kid?”

“Oh, yeah, perfect view.”

Tony nodded. “Good. Okay, so the banana in Rhodey’s hand is obviously the…”

“The penis,” Rhodey said.

“Yeah. That.”

Peter covered his face, but he was still laughing. “Oh my, God. Please-- stop.”

“We’re helping you here,” Tony said, bringing the condom to the banana. “Now, either you will be doing this or he will, if that’s what you like, but just watch so you know. You gotta just-- roll it on.” Tony did so but not very gracefully. “Never done this on a fruit before.”

“Yeah. This is new,” Rhodey agreed. “This is what happens when I’m your friend for so long.”

“I’m telling Pepper about this.”

“Go ahead. She knows about our secret love. Told her in our vows that Rhodey was the only other person I’ve got my eyes on besides her.”

“If you always talk like that, people will actually think you’re cheating on your wife with me. I’m no homewrecker.”

“It’s okay. I’m sure she’d just let you join us. That way we’re all happy.”

“Hello, minor in the room that really doesn’t want to hear this.”

Oh right. “Hi, Petey.”

“Let this be a nightmare. Please.”

“It’s not,” Rhodey said as Tony finally finished and pulled his hands away. “Oh, good job, Tones. Looks good.”

“Thanks, teddy bear. I’ve got another skill. Putting a condom on a banana. Gotta add it to my resume.”

“Please pass the beer and let me drink until this all blacks out from my memory.”

Tony turned to face him. “No. Stop that. Bad boy. No drinking until you blackout. But if you want, I’ll talk to May. And maybe after you graduate and when I’m sober and you’re safe with me, I’ll let you have your first beer. And maybe drink to figure out your tolerance. Just to be safe.”

“I don’t really want to go and get hammered, but maybe I’ll take you up on that offer for a first beer,” Peter said.
“Sounds good to me, kiddo.”

Peter smiled at him and then stared at the banana pointedly. “So...are we finally done?”

“i think that’s the last thing I had on my list. Could go into more details if you want.”

“No! No,” Peter said quickly. “I’m fine.”

“Wanna try to put the condom on the banana?”

“Thank you, but I’m good. Learned everything I needed.”

“Are you sure? If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. I don’t want you going without knowing all this stuff.”

Peter laughed softly. “I’m fine. Don’t worry, Mr. Stark. I’ll be okay.”

Tony nodded his head. “Yeah...sorry. I just worry, y’know?”

Peter’s face softened. “Yeah. I know.” Tony looked down nodding his head and then suddenly, there were a pair of arms around him. “Thank you for caring, Mr. Stark.”

“Don’t hafta thank me, kiddo,” Tony mumbled, wrapping his arms around him.

“I want to,” Peter replied, holding onto him for a few moments. “You know,” Peter said, “This would be a much softer moment if you weren’t holding a banana wearing a condom in your hand right now.”

“Shush. I’m proud of that. Gonna show Pep tomorrow.”

“I’ll make sure you do.” Peter laughed.



The next morning, Tony didn’t show her the banana.

She found it thrown on the floor next to the couch by the discarded wrapper.

She frowned in confusion as she looked at the couch where her boys were passed out. Rhodey was on the bottom of what could be called nothing other than a cuddle pile and then Tony was curled on him and Peter was squeezed between Tony and the back cushion of the couch.

She rolled her eyes, fixing the blanket that was thrown over them so it wasn’t covering Peter’s face.

His eyes fluttered open when she did so. She hushed him softly. “Shhh, baby, go back to sleep. You three look like you need to sleep in.”

“Was woken up last night for the same talk I got in my high school health class.”

Pepper blinked, not even surprised. “Is that why there’s a condom on a banana on my living room floor?”

Peter nodded his head. “Mhmm. Mr. Stark was pretty proud of it.”

“I’m sure he was,” Pepper said, her lips quirking up in a smile. She tucked the blanket closer around his shoulders. “Go back to sleep. You’re okay.”

Peter smiled, letting his eyes fall closed. “Gladly.”

He was back to sleep almost instantly and Pepper smiled down at them, wondering, not for the first time, just how the hell she got so lucky.