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The Hot Chocolate Incident

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Peter couldn’t sleep. He rarely had a night uninterrupted since the whole vulture incident. Tonight was one of the times where no matter how tired he was and how much Peter wanted to sleep, his nightmares kept him awake. Of course his metabolism is always in overdrive, so as he tosses and turns he can hear his stomach growling. Figuring that he won’t fall back to sleep soon anyway, he quietly makes his way to the kitchen. Staying the night at Avengers Tower is always good because he can work in the lab with Mr. Stark until falling asleep into his work, Mr. Stark will send him to bed, there’s always F.R.I.D.A.Y to talk to and the kitchen is always stocked. 

Peter stays in the guest room ( technically, the little voice in his head says, Mr. Stark said this is your room for when you’re at the Tower ) on Mr. Stark’s personal floor along with Mrs. Potts. Peter rounds the corner only to see his mentor working on a Starkpad in the mostly dark room, lit by the kitchen island lights dimmed low. 

Mr. Stark turns to see him and whispers “can’t sleep kiddo?”

Peter shakes his head no. His mentor quietly pulls out a chair for him to sit on and goes around to fiddle with a pot on the stove while Peter takes his seat. 

“Want some Hot Chocolate? I find it helps on nights when I can’t sleep”.

“Sure,” he replies with a small smile.

They stay silent as they wait for the milk to heat up, but it’s comforting. Finally Mr. Stark pulls two mugs down from the cupboards as he stirs in the chocolate mix

“This is what my butler Jarvis used to make for me as a kid when I couldn’t sleep or if I had too much energy.” He poured the mixture into the mugs. “He made it with peppermint, said it made the taste of the chocolate ‘pop out’ or something like that. All I know is it tastes like heaven in a cup. Here,” he passed one mug to Peter and took the other to hold in his own hands. He leaned on the island to hold it close to his face and absorb its warmth. 

“Thanks.” Peter took his mug and blew on the drink to cool it down a bit. Mr. Stark watched him take a sip and sipped from his own. 

They sat in relative silence enjoying their drinks. By the time Peter had almost finished his, he felt like he had warmed up 3 degrees. His throat felt itchy, so he took a sip trying to get rid of the feeling, only for it to get worse. He coughed, trying to relieve the horrible feeling making its way down his throat.

“You ok kid?”

Peter could only shake his head, still coughing.

Mr. Stark quickly put his mug down and came around to Peter’s side of the island. He put his hand on his kid’s back to support him so as to keep him from falling and maybe give a helpful pat for the kid to cough whatever it is up. The heat he felt through the kid’s shirt only worried him more. 

“Peter! You’re burning up!”

“I don’t feel good,” he whined. 

“F.R.I.D.A.Y, call Cho and tell her to be ready in the med bay now! Ok Pete,” he helped the kid stand and put his arm around his waist, holding him up, “we’re gonna go nice and slow to the med bay, ok?”

Peter nodded, clinging to him. 

Mr. Stark guided them carefully to the elevator and led them inside

“Pete, anything else feel off?”

Peter was leaning against his mentor, his breaths wheezing in and out. “It’s harder to breathe,” he paused to catch his breath. “And my cheeks feel like, tingly?”

“Tingly like if you hold pop in your mouth too long?”

“Yah,” he said. The doors opened and Mr. Stark led them through the hallway and into one of the rooms. 

As soon as Mr. Stark had gotten Peter onto a bed Dr. Cho whipped the door open and rushed in. “Got here as fast as I could, what’s happening?”

“I think he’s having an allergic reaction.”

Peter looks up at that, his eyes widening. 

“Ok,” Dr. Cho says while gathering things from around the room. “First we deal with his reaction and symptoms, then we can figure out what it is he’s having the reaction to”. She fills up a cup with sickly sweet smelling pink liquid and hands it to Peter. “Drink all of this.”

“What’s that?” Mr. Stark asked. 

Peter took a huge swig of the liquid and made a disgusted face with how it tasted. His whole body shuddered as it went down. 

“It’s Benadryl Tony. I don’t know how his mutation will react to his allergic reaction or to any medicine,” she said, taking the cup from Peter and handing him a glass of water. “We have to wait and see how it will react.”

Mr. Stark still had the look of a worried parent looking after his kid but nodded and rubbed his kid’s arm to bring him some comfort. After about 5 minutes of sitting and the two adults carefully watching Peter for anymore reactions, Mr. Stark broke the silence

“How are you doing kiddo? Feeling any change, good or bad?”

Peter looked less tense sitting than when he first arrived, and his face was less flushed. “Better I think,” and you could hear the relief in his voice as he said that. “My cheeks aren’t as tingly, and it’s a bit easier to breathe.” At that, Mr. Stark made a huge sigh of relief. “Also I don’t feel like throwing up my whole stomach, so that’s kind of nice too.”

“Peter, I’m just going to run a few tests, make sure your body isn’t going to burn through the medicine and have a bigger reaction once you leave and then you should be good to go” She turned to Mr. Stark while gathering some vials and a needle, as well as a thermometer and blood pressure cuff. “I should have the results of what triggered the reaction by morning.”

“Ok, thanks Doc.”

He sat and waited with Peter as Dr. Cho ran through a number of tests and cleared him for the night. 

“Ok Peter, You should be good to go for tonight. Can you do me a favour and drink this water to make sure whatever it is gets flushed out of your system?” she asked, holding out another glass of water. 

Peter gladly accepted the glass and began taking small sips from it. 

“Tony, can I talk to you outside for a minute?”

“Sure,” he said getting up from his chair at the bedside with a few pops and cracks. He followed her to the door and turned to Peter, “I’ll be right back kid.” Peter nodded into his glass and Mr. Stark followed the doctor out of the soundproofed room. 

“He should be fine, maybe a little drowsy, but the medicine is working so he’ll probably just sleep this off. You might want to have F.R.I.D.A.Y keep an eye on him overnight, just in case.”

“Yeah I will, thanks,” he said with a sincere smile to the doctor. She nodded and turned in the direction of her medical lab to run some tests. Mr. Stark went back in and helped his kid up, and they made their way together to the elevator. Once back up to the penthouse, he steered them towards the living room. 

“How about we take a few minutes to just relax before going to bed? Does that sound good Pete? We can put on a movie and just chill for a few minutes.”

“Yah that sounds good.”

They gingerly sat down on the couch, Peter leaning on Mr. Stark for balance and comfort. Mr. Stark quickly put on one of the Star Wars movies for the kid, knowing they were his favourite. They had been watching for a few minutes when the man noticed the kid’s eyes starting to droop closed. He gently started to rub his hand through the boy’s hair, knowing it would allow him to relax and finally fall asleep. He continued for about ten minutes, waiting to make sure Peter was sleeping and he wouldn’t wake him before grabbing a blanket off the back of the couch and draping it over him. Mr. Stark shifted to get comfy himself and settled in for a morning with a tense back.

“Hey F.R.I.D.A.Y, wake me up if anything changes with Peter.” he whispered, pulling on a blanket for himself.

“Yes Boss,” it quietly replied. 

No sooner had the AI replied that his eyes started to close, sleep catching up to him. 

Sleeping snuggled together with blankets on would be how Mrs. Potts finds the boys in the morning. She snaps a cute photo of the two before getting her breakfast from the kitchen. They wake to the smell of bacon and join her to eat. 

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Dr. Cho had the results waiting for him. Turns out the reaction was to the peppermint, something most insects react to and avoid. After Peter left, Mr. Stark went through his tower systematically removing anything containing peppermint for his spiderchild. Peppermint patties? Gone. Peppermint tea? Out. He went through all the common rooms and his penthouse double checking to make sure. He even added a protocol to F.R.I.D.A.Y to make sure nothing containing peppermint could enter the building. He never wanted to see his kid suffering or in pain if he could prevent it. If he had to endure listening to the other Avengers complain about how their chocolates went missing, or how they couldn’t bring any more into the building, then so be it.