“I don’t think you understand, Peter. He’s not going to get a pet. I know that you did the research and you believe it would help him cope with his PTSD but he will not. He’s too weird about things.” Rhodey explained as Peter caught him coming out of his apartment one morning, “Don’t you have school, or you just don’t do that anymore?”
“I’m going there next. I just wanted to get you on the team “Get Tony Stark An Emotional Support Pet.” Peter shoved the papers of research at his uncle, “Just read them! I’m going to be late.”
Rhodey groaned, “Peter Parker! Get in the car.”
“You don’t mind?” Peter turned around.
“No. I guess not. We can even stop at Starbucks.” Rhodey headed around to the drivers side of his car even though he had been planning to go for his morning run.
“Tony doesn’t let me have Starbucks.” Peter frowned.
“Tony isn’t here.” Rhodey headed toward the coffee shop.
“Absolutely not!” Tony walked away from his best friend and mentee, “I am fine. I don’t need or want a pet. ALSO did everyone forget suddenly that I forget to take care of myself for days on end for no reason? YET you want me to take care of another living being?”
“You take care of Peter and he’s still alive.” Rhodey pointed out.
“Peter is capable of taking care of himself.” Tony rolled his eyes.
“Last week he got stuck in the bathroom and cried.” Rhodey raised an eyebrow at his friend.
“We said we weren’t going to talk about that again.” Peter hit him in the arm.
“Tony—“ Peter tried to take his turn.
“NO. NO. NO. NO.” Tony turned and headed to the lab.
Peter had found the perfect solution. It wasn’t going against what Tony wanted but still giving him the emotional support pet that Peter really believed he needed. It had been May’s idea and he was now convinced that May was also a genius.
Peter carried the Roomba upstairs. He had tweaked it a bit so that it was better as an emotional support pet and Dum-E would be so excited for a friend. He always got sad when Peter had to leave after lab days.
Peter came into the lab, “Mr. Stark! I got you the best emotional support pet ever!”
Peter paused before diving into his exciting chatter because Tony was nowhere to be found, “Friday?”
“Miss Potts insisted he attend a meeting.” Friday explained.
“Ahh. I’ll just leave this here for Mr. Stark then.” Peter put the robot down by Dum-E and addressed Dum-E, “Be nice to this robot and teach him to listen. Don’t let him outside.”
Tony walked back into the lab after a really long day and found Dum-E spinning in circles seemingly agitated about something, “Dum-E? You need to be reprogrammed again?”
It was then that Tony noticed a new robot friend that had gotten tipped onto it’s back somehow and it’s wheels were spinning endlessly, “You want me to help your friend? Where did your friend come from?”
“Mr. Parker dropped off your emotional support pet.” Friday explained.
Tony sighed as he picked up the vacuum and put it upright, “How do you even know about that?”
“I joined the team, Boss.”
“Mr. Stark! Mr. Stark!” Peter bounced into the lab one day after school, “How’s our favorite robot?”
“Shhh! Not so loud! Dum-E is going to be crushed!” Tony glared at his mentee.
“Oh. My bad. You know I love you Dum-E! How’s Tin-E?” Peter asked.
“Tin-E like Tiny? Cute. I put him in the supply closet.” Tony went back to work.
“You did what now?” Peter gasped.
“Put him away? It’s a cleaning product, Pete.”
“He’s probably terrified.” Peter huffed and went to free his friend from the closet. He found him and brought him downstairs and turned him on.
“Peter! He’s going to be under my feet all the time and I’m going to trip over him.” Tony argued.
“You left him alone in the dark! He needs to be around you if he’s going to help your PTSD!” Peter crossed his arms over his chest.
“Peter, why is this so important to you?” Tony tugged the kid closer sensing that he was actually distressed.
Peter melted into his mentor’s arms, “Because you are and I want to help.”
“Oh, Pete. You do help. You help more than anything.” Tony ruffled his hair, “But if it’s that important to you. He can stay but you need to train him to stay in certain areas of the lab. I don’t want to step on him.”
“I will! I promise, Mr. Stark! Oh this is going to be great! You’ll see!”