“Yeah man, so that death star?” Ned asked Peter as they walked through the corridor.
“Yeah, I’ve been dying to finish it. It’s just the Stark’s internship keeps me very busy and…” Peter stopped talking as the principle came round the corner.
“Ah Peter, I need to talk to you,” He said in a serious tone.
“What is it?” Peter asked.
“It’s about your Aunt,” The principle said and Peter’s blood immediately ran cold.
“What about my Aunt?”
“You should come into the office,” The principle said but Peter was frozen on the spot.
“What’s wrong with May?” Peter asked. The principle glanced at Ned and he instantly became worried.
“Maybe we should go into the office Peter,” Ned said, but it was too late. Pupils around them were beginning to notice and Peter was beginning to cry.
“Where’s May?” Peter asked, a deep pain throbbing in his chest.
“Sir I have local news that you might want to read,” Friday’s voice chirped up as Tony was working on his latest project.
“Go ahead Friday,” Tony said.
“It appears that May Parker has been killed in a traffic collision two hours ago,” At Friday’s report Tony put his tools down and gave Friday his full attention.
“Where’s Peter? Does he know?”
“Peter Parker is currently at school, and his suit is reading that he currently has an elevated heart rate,”
“Cancel my meetings Friday, I have a certain Spider to rescue. Tell Pepper that Peter will be staying here tonight and for the foreseeable future,”
“Ok Tony,” Friday said as Tony got into his suit and flew away.
“Where is she?” Peter asked again, crying. He had gone deathly pale, and he already knew the answer.
“I’m so sorry Peter,” The principle said, stepping towards Peter. Peter took a step back and dropped his books. He leant on the lockers nearby and he heard Ned step behind him.
“Come on Peter. Let’s go somewhere quieter,” Ned said gently and Peter allowed himself to be pulled away from the lockers. He was full on crying now as Ned held him in his grip.
“Come on Peter,” The principle said, leading him towards a door.
“He’s gonna faint,” MJ said softly behind them and Ned turned around as Peter swayed. Peter’s vision dimmed as he heard people whispering around him. Suddenly the school doors swung open and Tony Stark came into the corridor. Peter blacked out and Tony caught him before he hit the floor.
“Whoa kiddo,” He said, turning Peter over so that he could see his face. Tony stroked some hair out of Peter’s face. “I’m Peter’s next legal guardian after May Parker so I’m taking him home, my home. If you have a problem with that you can contact my lawyers,” Tony said as he picked Peter up.
“Mr Stark?” Ned said and Tony looked at him. “Look after Peter and tell him I’ll be over soon,”
“I will kid,” Tony said, leaving the school with Peter in his arms.
“Poor Peter,” Ned said and MJ put a hand on his shoulder.
“At least he’s going to be in good hands,” MJ reassured him.
“Penis really does know Tony Stark?” Flash said, coming over.
“Shut up Flash,”
“Peter’s Aunt just died,” MJ said and Flashed looked at her in shock.
“You mean Penis has no family left?”
“No,” Ned spat at him. “And his name is Peter,”
Tony carried Peter into the tower and Pepper came to meet him as he came through the kitchen.
“I heard the news, is Peter?” Pepper trailed off as she saw Peter unconscious in Tony's arms.
“He's ok,” Tony told her before she began to panic. “He just passed out,” Tony explained and Pepper came over and stroked Peter's hair.
“Bless him,” she said, watching Peter for a moment before turning her attention to Tony. “Bruce is in the lab, he knows but he wanted to finish his work with you before he goes home,”
“Great,” Tony replied. “I'll lie Peter down in the spare room and talk to Bruce,”
“What are we going to do with him Tony?” Pepper said. “You're his legal guardian,”
“I know. I want him to stay here for a bit. He needs some stability and friends in his life right now,”
“I'll ask Happy to collect his things from the flat and move them here,” Pepper said and Tony smiled, happy that she wanted Peter to stay.
“Oh boy,” Tony said, shifting Peter in his arms. “This kid's made of muscle, I'm going to put him down before my arms give up,” Tony said and Pepper smiled. Tony carried Peter into the spare room and lay him down before making his way to see Bruce.
Peter felt himself coming to. He felt sick and hot. He had been crying but he couldn't remember why. He suddenly felt overwhelmingly alone and scared. He began to cried out, his exact words he couldn't hear.
Tony came into the spare room and heared Peter crying out.
“Kid?” Tony asked softly, coming to the edge of the bed. Bruce came beside him and shone a light into Peter's eyes.
“He's still asleep Tony, but he's distressed,”
“Can you help him? I need him to get some rest,”
“I'll a strong sedative from the lab,” Bruce said, rushing off.
“We've got you kid,” Tony said, stroking the side of Peter's face. Peter calmed down at Tony's touch. Bruce returned with the sedative and quickly injected it into Peter. Within moments Peter was out once more.
“He'll be ok Tony,” Bruce said, touching Tony on the shoulder.
“He's a tough kid,” Tony said before leaving Peter.
Peter began to stir. He was lying on a soft bed and he was covered with blankets. He tried to sit up and an automated voice came on.
“Good morning Peter,” Friday said softly. “I have alerted Tony Stark that you are awake,”
“What time is it?” Peter asked.
“Where am I?”
“You are at the Avengers tower. You fainted and Tony brought you here,”
“May,” Peter whispered. At this moment the door opened and Tony came into the room.
“Hey Pete, how are you feeling?” He asked as he sat on the bed. “I had Bruce give you a sedative to make sure you had a restful night’s sleep,”
“I’m sorry Pete,” Tony said, not letting Peter finish. “I went to the hospital and confirmed it. She’s gone Peter,” Tony said and Peter began to cry. He took Peter into his arms and held him tightly. They remained there for a while. “This is your new room Peter,” Tony said gently. “Happy is bringing your belongings from the flat and Pepper has made you pancakes,”
“I’m all alone,” Peter whispered.
“No,” Tony said, looking Peter in the eyes. “You’ve still got a family kid. I might not be Tony Parker but my family is formed of a Stark, a Hogan and a Potts. I think a Parker will fit in nicely,” Tony said and Peter smiled gently.
“Thank you Mr Stark,”
“Ah, Peter. It’s Tony to you, otherwise I’ll start calling you Mr Parker and then I’ll sound like one of your teachers from school,” Tony said.
“I. I don’t have to go back to school do I Mr Stark?” Peter asked.
“You will eventually kiddo. But no, you’re off school for now,” Tony said, ruffling Peter’s hair and Peter leaned back into Tony’s gentle grip. Tony had been on the phone to Peter’s principle last night and, after he and Bruce had finished putting Peter to bed, Tony had called the school and arranged for Peter to be on authorised absence for a fortnight. “It’s going to be ok kiddo. Come on let’s get you some pancakes, I don’t need you fainting on me again.” Tony said and Peter nodded. Tony helped him up and together they went downstairs.
“Good morning Peter,” Pepper said as Peter appeared in Tony’s grip. “I have honey, butter, chocolate spread, maple syrup. What would you like?” Peter hummed in Tony’s grip.
“Just some butter please Pepper,”
“Sure thing Peter,” Pepper said preparing the pancakes. Tony sat Peter down by the table and went and kissed Pepper. Peter watched at Tony poured two milks and brought them over.
“Get this in you kid,” Tony said, handing Peter the milk. Peter drank it slowly as Pepper put the pancakes down in-front of him before sitting next to Tony.
“Ho are you feeling Peter?” Pepper asked.
“Sick,” Came the reply as Peter ate the pancakes. Pepper reached over and touched his arm.
“Take your time to adjust Peter. At night, Tony’s in the room next to you when he’s working late in the lab, and otherwise he’s upstairs with me. If you need us just come and find us ok? At any time of day,” Pepper told him and Peter smiled.
“I’ve delivered the last of the boxes Tony,” Happy said, coming into the kitchen. Tony quickly shot him a look that told him to shut up. Peter turned and saw Happy.
“Hey Peter,” Happy said awkwardly.
“We’re having a family moment Happy, can you finish up and join us?” Tony said and Peter turned to him.
A family moment, Had Mr Stark, Tony just said that?
“Yes, sure thing boss,” Happy said, leaving the room. Peter blinked and got scared. He couldn’t join Tony’s family, what would May think, oh. May. Peter was silent for a moment before he felt a small sense of confidence.
“I want to see May,” Peter said.
“Peter,” Pepper began.
“Let him finish honey,” Tony told her and he looked Peter in the eyes. “Yes bud?”
“I need to see her,” Peter said, the small window of confidence faded and tears threatened to fall down Peter’s face. Pepper came over and knelt in-front of Peter. “I have to know this is real.”
“Do you want to go now or later?” Pepper asked him, rubbing his knees.
“I… I’m not sure,” Peter said as Tony rested a hand on Peter’s shoulder.
“Ok kid, I’ll get Happy to drive us over now,” Tony said and Peter nodded. He felt very vulnerable.
Peter was sat in the car, staring out of the window. They were on the way to the hospital for Peter to see May one last time. Peter needed to see May, it made him sick just thinking about it but he had to know that she was truly gone. Tony was sat beside him while Happy was driving. Peter was so happy that he hasn’t alone. The car pulled up, Peter solemnly got out and stared up at the plain hospital building. Tony wrapped his arm around Peter as they went inside. The walk to the morgue was a long one and the hospital around Peter merged into a string of lights, people and voices. He couldn't even hear what the nurse in-front of him was saying. He felt Tony’s secure arm around his shoulders, keeping him in the real world. All too soon they reached the morgue and Peter turned deathly white. The doors were large and made of steel. The dead lay beyond. It was cold down here and Peter felt it chill him right down to his bones. Thoughts of Ben flashed through his memory and Peter felt sick.
“When you’re ready,” The nurse said.
“Ok Peter,” Tony said and he caught Peter’s gaze. He realised that Peter had gone deathly cold in his grip. “Are you ok Pete?” Tony asked.
“No,” Peter replied honestly.
“It’s ok,” The nurse reassured him. “It’s hard for everyone. I’ll be with you and you are free to leave at any time if you become overwhelmed,” She told him.
“I feel sick,”
“I know Peter,” Tony said, rubbing Peter’s back. “I’ll be right out here Peter. If you need me just come out,” Tony said and he watched as Peter’s gaze soften. Tony was almost waiting for the words, Thanks dad, to come out of Peter’s mouth.
“I’m ready,” Peter said. The nurse opened the door and Peter stepped through.
The door opened and Peter walked through it. He was pale and shaking slightly. Tony immediately embraced Peter.
“He did well,” She whispered. Peter hugged Tony and he let himself fall into his mentor’s grip.
Tony felt Peter falling and he lowered Peter onto the ground so that they were both kneeling. Tony held Peter close as Peter lay his head onto Tony’s shoulder. The nurse had her hand on Peter’s back just in-case he passed out.
“I’ve got you Peter,” Tony said, holding Peter tightly. He felt Peter snuggle as close as he could into Tony. No words needed to be spoken. The nurse was taking Peter’s pulse and Tony watched her. “Is he ok?” Tony whispered and the nurse nodded.
“His pulse is strong and he’s warmer than he was,” She replied as she placed her hand back onto Peter’s back.
“What’s the plan?” Tony asked as Happy came over, knelt down and ruffled Peter’s hair from behind Tony. He looked so peaceful.
“The hospital will ring you with arrangements,” The nurse told him and Tony nodded.
“Do you have my number?”
“Yes, we’ve got you down as Peter’s primary contact,” At the nurse’s words Peter snuggled further into Tony.
“Ok, easy kid, I need to breathe,” Tony said softly and the nurse smiled. Bad as the circumstances were, Tony loved having Peter so close to him.
“Let’s get him home Tony,” Happy said as he watched Peter snuggle deeper and deeper into Tony’s neck. Tony stood up, standing Peter up as well. Peter refused to walk, so instead he wrapped his legs around Tony’s waist and coiled his arms around Tony’s neck.
“Whoa, alright kid,” Tony said, adjusting to Peter’s new position and he put an arm under Peter’s legs and one around his back. He looked at the nurse, who was smiling broadly at him.
“What are you laughing at?” Tony asked her as Happy took a photo.
“Pepper will love this,” Happy said and Tony smiled.
“Ok, alright, alright, alright. We’ll get you home Pete, ok?” Tony said, stroking Peter’s hair.
“Muhuh,” Came the response and Tony couldn’t help but smile.
Happy opened the door and Tony walked in with a half-asleep Peter wrapped around his front.
“How did it go? Is Peter ok?” Pepper said, appearing. She stopped and covered her hand with her mouth upon seeing Peter attached to Tony. “Oh Tony. I always knew you’d made a good dad,” She said.
“Hush Pepper, you’ll wake him up,” Tony said, smiling slightly. He went into Peter’s room and lay Peter down gently onto the bed. Peter curled in on himself and Tony wrapped the covers over him. “You don’t have to call me Tony kid. You can call me dad if you like,” Tony told the sleeping Peter. He stroked Peter’s hair before he kissed him on the forehead. Peter murmured happily in his sleep. “Friday,” Tony said, standing up.
“Wake Peter up gently in an hour’s time,”
“Sure thing boss,” Friday responded and Tony silently left the room.
Peter blinked as the room he was lying in warmed up and the lights came on.
“Hello Peter,” Friday spoke. “You’ve been asleep for one hour. Tony and Pepper are in the living room. They are expecting you,”
“Thanks Friday,” Peter said as he pulled back the covers and sat on the edge of the bed. May’s pale, cold and unmoving face flashing before him and he shook the image away. He picked up his phone from the side and looked at it.
I hope you’re doing ok Peter, Read a text from MJ.
You passed out in the hallway dude, I hope Tony Stark’s taking care of you! Ned had texted. Ned carried on to say. I just saw Iron Man’s car on the road. Are you ok? Did he have to take you to hospital or anything?
Sorry to hear about your Aunt Penis, Flash had texted. Flash never texted Peter.
I’m ok Ned. Peter texted back. I’ve been asleep and Tony’s been really nice to me. He’s really comfy to lean on.
That’s so cute Peter, Ned texted back immediately. Can I come and see you or do you want some space?
Thanks Ned, but I need time to adjust. Peter replied. I’ll see you soon ok?
Ok man. You’ll be ok Peter. Peter read Ned’s text and he put his phone down. In the corner of his eye he saw a photo of him, May and Ben all together. He picked it up and stared at it. They all looked so happy together. It took him a moment to realise that Tony was standing in his doorway and that he had been crying. He put the photo on the bed and rubbed his eyes.
“Oh Mr Stark. No, sorry, Tony. I was, I just, I forgot that you were expecting me. I’m sorry, I’m…” Peter quickly apologised but Tony came into the room and picked up the photo of Peter and his Aunt and Uncle.
“They raised you well Pete,” Tony said and Peter looked at him. His eyes glistening with tears. “May would be so proud of you right now,”
“Oh yeah. When my father died I drank myself into a coma and spent 14 nights in the hospital,”
“I’m too young to drink,”
“I know kiddo,” Tony stopped and stared at the wall. “It’s a lot to take in Peter.”
“Yeah it is. It’s just as hard as when Uncle Ben died,”
“Would you want it to be any easier?”
“No. May didn’t deserve to die like this, I should have been with her,”
“Shush,” Tony said, wrapping an arm around Peter. “Shall we get you some fresh air? I find it always helps in times like these,”
“Ok,” Peter agreed.
“Come on then,” Tony took Peter outside and they walked the Avengers garden in silence.