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A Paw-fect Encounter

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“Dad! Dad! Dad!” 

Tony continued trying to do up the overly complicated toggles in front of him. Seriously, why were kids’ clothes so difficult?

“Dad! Dad! Dad!” 

He finished the last one and looked up at the face of the barely-holding-in-his-excitement kid in front of him. “Yes?”

“WE’RE GOING TO SEE A DOG!” Peter screeched right in Tony’s ear making him wince. 

“Yeah we are buddy, let’s try and use our inside voices until then huh?” He picked him up to put him on the stair and shove the sneakers on his feet. “Now, let’s go over the rules again. What do we do when we get to the dog park?”

“Ask before I pat one, so they don’t get scared,” Peter recited, nearly bouncing in his seat. “I want to see a big one and a little one, and a big one…”

Tony snorted. “I’m sure there’ll be lots of different ones. And they’ll all be fluffy and love playing with little boys. As long as..?”

“I ask to pat.”

“Exactly. Alright, grab your backpack and let’s hit the streets.”

Tony listened to the comforting babble as they walked down the street, taking Peter’s hand tightly as they approached the busy intersection, feeling the familiar panic in his chest. He still tensed at busy roads, as soon as he smelt the heavy scent of car exhaust, unable to shake the memory of when Peter had first started walking and had darted across the street when Tony had been distracted. He’d gone weak in the knees with fear at the time, and now he made sure to keep him close. 

As soon as they hit the park though he relaxed, and let Peter lead him excitedly over to the fenced-off area that acted as the dog park. Peter was nearly vibrating, squealing when they got close enough to see the dogs. “Daddy look!”

“I see them,” Tony said, unable to stop from smiling. He opened the gate for them to step through closing it tightly behind them. “Ok, now let’s--”

“DOGGY!” Tony turned to watch Peter sprint off towards a big brown and white dog with fluffy ears, and his heart leapt in his throat. 


He chased after him still too far away to stop him and watch as Peter flung his arms around the dog’s neck, so close to its mouth and for a second he had a horrible flash of what would happen if the dog wasn’t kid-friendly…

The dog looked at Peter. 

And then licked him, making him squeal. Tony slumped in relief, his heart still hammering. “Jesus Christ.”

“It’s ok,” a voice behind him said. “He loves kids.”

Tony didn’t turn around, still staring at Peter. “Yes but we talked about this, didn’t we Peter, we recited it on the way over. What is the rule?” He was trying to reign in his frustration, but it was there, at the edge of his voice.

“Oh,” Peter said, still clinging to the dog. “I had to ask.”

“Yes, you did or we’d go home remember?”

Peter’s eyes were big. “I’m sorry. Do we have to? The doggy likes me.”

Tony sighed. “No, we don’t. Not as long as you ask--” He turned around to address the dog’s owner, “Mr…?” And oh. Wow. 

“Rogers. But just Steve is fine,” the blond adonis said an easy smile on his face. “And that’s Dodger.”

Tony swallowed, his eyes caught on the way the guy’s muscles shifted beneath his too-tight shirt. He cleared his throat. “Steve. Right. Yes, as long as you ask Steve if it’s ok to pet Dodger.”

“Can I?” Peter asked, his eyes even wider now he knew he could press his advantage. Anyone who thought kids were innocent had another thing coming, Tony thought. “Please?”

“Yeah of course,” Steve said, reaching into his pocket and taking out a red ball. “You want to try to throw this for him?”

“Yes!” Peter squealed, running over to take it. He turned and threw it clumsily, Dodger darting the few metres over to it dutifully though it was hardly a challenge. Steve laughed, and Tony tried not to stare.

Had he mentioned he was hot? 

“Cute kid,” Steve said and Tony blinked, trying to pay attention. 

“Oh yeah, he’s a sweetheart. Even if he does ignore the rules.”

“How old is he?”

“Five. He’s just started elementary school.”

“I bet that’s nice. My best friend, his kids are one and three and they’re fun but the games get a little repetitive.” Steve smiled again. “So he’s Peter and you’re…?”

“Oh God, sorry, it’s Tony.” He held out his hand to shake and Steve gripped it firmly with a large hand, and Tony could feel the warmth through his gloves. 

“Nice to meet you.” Steve looked over to where Dodger had opted to hold onto the ball, a squeaking noise emitting from it every few seconds as Peter chased after him, giggles filling the air. “So I can’t help but notice you guys haven’t brought a dog to the dog park. You know that’s a kid, not a puppy right?”

Tony huffed. “Yeah, I guessed that after the first couple of years or so. It was touch and go for a while since he insisted on eating out of a bowl on the floor for a few weeks after we watched The Secret Life of Pets, but the lack of fur was telling.”

Steve chuckled. “Usually a good sign.”

Tony gestured to how happy Peter was. “Kid loves dogs. I figured he was old enough that we could get one, but I wanted him to get used to one first and learn the do’s and don’ts before we bring one into the house.”

“Huh,” Steve looked impressed. “That’s a really good idea. Better than finding out he likes them more in theory than in practice when it’s too late.”

“That’s what I thought.” Tony looked around for more to say. “Uh, so what do you do for wor--”

“Dad! He won’t let me take the ball!” An indignant voice cut through and Tony looked to see an equally indignant face looking at them.

“I can take this,” Steve said and walked over to show Peter how to tell Dodger to drop the ball and what hand gesture to make with the command. When it worked, Peter’s eyes were round.

“Wow. What other tricks can he do?”

Then Tony got to watch a super hot guy impress his kid by getting Dodger to sit, roll over, shake hands and do a spin. This was not what he’d expected when he’d planned this outing. 

At one point another dog had wandered over to meet Dodger. Steve had gotten Peter to ask the owner and then shown him the best way to approach the pug and pet him carefully. Which, alright it was a tad annoying that Peter remembered his rules when it wasn’t his dad telling him, but still, it got the job done so Tony wasn’t complaining. 

The sun was low in the sky by the time Tony could see Peter starting to flag so he approached them. “Getting tired kiddo?”

Peter nodded but looked longingly at Dodger. Tony felt a little bad, but-- “Come on, we’ve taken enough of Steve’s time.” He had a sudden thought. “Oh god, I hope you didn’t have anything to do! I’m sure you weren’t expecting to spend half an hour with a random kid.”

“It’s fine, he’s a cute kid.” Steve rubbed the back of his neck looking a little awkward. “Uhh, if you’re still wanting to get him used to dogs, Dodger and I come here the same time most days, I’d be happy to let them hang out again no problem.”

“Really? That would be great.” Dodger’s sweet nature had put Tony at ease, and he was reluctant to let Peter spend time with just any dog. The thought made him feel a little anxious. “He’s a good boy.” Dodger clearly knew the magic words because he loped over pushing his head into Tony’s hand. Tony laughed. Stroking over his head and back. “He knows when he’s being talked about huh?”

“Yeah, he’s a real attention hog.”

Tony leaned down and picked Peter up, resting the kid on his hip, smiling when Peter buried his face into Tony’s shoulder. “Yeah someone’s tired. We better get home.”

Steve put Dodger on his leash and walked them out. They were going opposite directions, so they said goodbye there, Steve reiterating again his offer and Tony agreeing to take him up on it. 

When Tony slipped into bed that evening, he thought about Steve and how good he’d been with Peter. Tony hadn’t really dated since he’d become a parent, too caught up in learning the tricks of the trade, and not wanting to make the mistakes his own Dad had made. They were ok now, but it had taken a lot of time and talking to get their relationship to a good place, and he never wanted that with Peter. So yeah, maybe his libido was having a bit of a reaction to a man who was exactly his type and who handled his baby with ease. 

Not that Steve would be interested. Taking on a child as well as a partner was a lot to ask, and Tony understood that, but that was fine. Besides, he was too busy for romance, working for R&D for Stark Industries and being a single parent, so a harmless crush was just nice to fantasize about.

He rolled over burying his face in the pillow and fell asleep to the thought of Steve’s pretty eyes.



They started meeting Steve at the park regularly. 

Peter would play with Dodger until they were both tired, and Steve and Tony would sit and chat for a while. Eventually Tony started to bring coffee for both of them to keep away the winter chill, and the heavy smell of coffee mixed with Steve’s rich cologne was starting to become his favourite scent.   

If Tony was honest, he was falling for Steve a bit. Steve, who he had learned was an artist, worked for an animal charity, unashamedly liked Korean Dramas and whose mother was a retired nurse. He also liked working out which Tony could tell without being told.

He was just so sweet and so funny, and Peter adored him and he had a cute dog and-- honestly, there was just so much there and Tony really had no idea what to do with it. 

When they’d showed up today, playtime had been cut short by someone’s untrained poodle causing a ruckus. He wasn’t sure if Steve had picked up on it, but the dog being so snappy with the others had made Tony’s anxiety ramp up as they’d gotten closer and closer to Peter and Dodger.In the end, Steve had suggested they head off, and let Peter wear out his energy on the kids’ playground instead. 

This had been great at first, Peter running around all the brightly coloured plastic and climbing the shiny structures, but when he’d climbed onto the monkey bars, Tony felt a beat of panic and stood up from the bench. 

“Peter off there!”

“Why?” There was that pout that always made Tony feel guilty but he couldn't help it. 

“You might fall, come on, stay on the platform please.”

“I don’t want to.”


“I’m sure he’d be fine Tony, the ground’s got safety padding,” Steve offered, looking concerned, but fear made Tony snap. 

“Oh, it does? Doesn’t seem to stop 200,000 kids a year being sent to the emergency room for playground-related injuries every year does it?”

“Well no but--”

“And if he breaks his arm what then? Or falls and punctures a lung?”

“I think that’s a bit of an overreaction…”

“And then it’s just me in the emergency room having to wait while he--” Tony cut himself off, trying to stop the memory filling his head as it had so often and knowing at the same time that he was being unfair, and Steve didn’t deserve it. “Sorry.”

“It’s ok.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“Really, it is. I don’t know the whole story and he’s your kid, sorry I overstepped.”

“Sorry for yelling.”

Peter had climbed down while he’d been speaking and had gone to play on the swings, which made Tony’s shoulders relax. 

“If you don’t mind me saying,” Steve started and he looked a little awkward. “You seem to be a little anxious about him. Is it-- Is it just you and him?”

“Yeah. He was an accidental pregnancy, and his biological mother was a fellow scientist I’d met at a conference. She didn’t want to be a parent, and she didn’t want to give up her career. But, I don’t know, I think I’d always wanted kids, though I didn’t know it until he was a real option, so we agreed. She’d have him, and I’d take over once the hard work was done. She and I still stay in touch and she likes getting updates about him. It works for us.” He sighed. “And we were fine until last year, but it was just me and him when we realised he was severely allergic to a certain breed of spider and it sent him into anaphylaxis. Took years of my life, I can tell you.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. That must've been scary.”

“Yeah, it was. And after that, I’ve just been worried. A lot. About everything that can hurt him. But I’m trying. That’s partly what the dog thing was about, I wanted to let him have fun and prove to myself I could let him run around without being on edge the whole time.” He gave Steve a self-deprecating smile. “I haven’t quite managed it, but you’ve helped a lot.”

“I’m glad I could be useful.” He reached out and gave Tony’s hand a squeeze. Tony tried to keep the heat from his cheeks. “You’re trying and that’s what matters, don’t be too hard on yourself.”

“It’s irrational though. I know that. And the spider thing - turns out it’s only this one rare spider that’s bad, and it’s not even American. It hopped a ride in my bag on one of my overseas business trips. So all and all, just bad luck. But I can’t help but see things and worry, you know? What if he gets abducted, or falls down a loose grating or gets sucked up by a street sweeper?!” He looked at Steve who was very kindly trying not to look at him like he was ridiculous. “And it doesn’t help that he’s so adventurous, running this way and that before I can even check it’s safe. It’s...well, I’m glad my drama isn’t making him more nervous but also it would help me a lot if he’d stay in one place just one time.”

Steve snorted. “Yeah, he’s a brave little guy. You’re doing a great job, Tony.”

“Thank you. Really, when I say you’ve helped I mean it. It feels safe when Peter’s with you. I feel like I can relax outside my own house for once.” 

“I’m glad. Besides I like spending time with you guys, it’s really nice.”

He shouldn’t ask, asking was a bad idea, but he couldn’t help himself. “Is it just you and Dodger?”

Steve nodded. “Yeah, the best roommate I could ask for. It used to me and my best friend Bucky, but he got himself hitched and had a couple of kids, so now it’s just me.” He shrugged. “It’s not where I thought I’d be at thirty, but what can you do?”

“You expected something different? Wife and two kids, picket fence?”

Steve nodded, a wry smile on his lips. “Something like that. For now, I’d just like to be out of my shitty apartment. The heating breaks on the regular, so it’s cold nights and cold showers.”

Tony winced, thinking of their warm, cozy townhouse, with its large walk-in shower in the ensuite. “That sounds rough. Are you looking for other apartments?”

“Can’t afford it. Besides, not all places will take dogs, you know?”

“Yeah, that must suck.”

“So, uh, what kind of dog were you thinking of getting Peter?”

They talked for a bit longer, Steve giving him recommendations of local shelters that Tony could take Peter to and the best ways to choose the right dog for them both. 

When it was time to go, Steve walked them home, citing Dodgers leftover energy from the dog park cut short, and Tony agreed, happy to spend a little more time in Steve’s company. When Peter got tired, Steve even offered to carry him, putting him up on his shoulders in a way and making the little guy laugh as he gently bounced him. Tony expected the familiar panic but was surprised when none came. That was...something. Somehow, Peter being two meters off the ground and flailing wildly with joy didn’t seem so scary when it was Steve doing it.

That was a very dangerous train of thought and Tony tried to shake it off. But he couldn’t help but steal glances all the way home, noticing Steve making sure to hold Peter securely for his sake, which did nothing to expel the warmth in Tony’s chest. Steve was so nice, and he was good with Peter and Tony liked him. 

For a minute he wondered if he should ask Steve out, maybe try for something more than just Dog Park Buddy. But being friendly with them wasn’t the same as being into Tony. Steve himself said he worked for a charity, he might be just one of those people that likes to be nice. 

Tony sighed internally, trying to lock onto what Steve was saying and respond appropriately. God, but the guy was so hot though.

As they reached the steps of the townhouse, Steve swung Peter down and let him hug Dodger goodbye. Steve looked at Tony. “So I guess I’ll see you guys at the park?”

Tony hesitated. It would be easy to say yes and let him go, but he wasn’t ready to part ways yet. Instead, he found himself saying, “Want to come in for dinner?”

Steve’s eyebrows rose. “Sorry?”

Tony tried not to flush. “Dinner. It’ll just be Peter and me on our own again, we’d be happy to have the company and it sounds like our place is warmer than yours at least.”

“Oh. I mean - yeah sure I’d love to. I can go drop Dodge off home first and then come back.”

“No need,” Tony waved a hand. “We have to get used to a dog in the house, why not start now?”

So Tony got to watch Steve and Peter play legos while he cooked, laughing when Dodger would walk through their structure and knock it over, clearly enjoying the game. And when they sat down to dinner, it felt warm and intimate. 

“Steve, did you know that there are four hundred types of dogs. That’s so many. That’s as many as can fit in my room,” Peter said, shovelling food into his mouth like Tony never fed him.

Steve laughed. “Wow, that’s a lot of dogs. Which one is your favourite?”

Peter thought for a second. “It used to be a husky, ‘cause they’re so fluffy and they can pull you around like in Balto, but now Dodger is my favourite.”

“Ah. Dodger’s a mixed breed, so he’s two types of dogs. The shelter thought he was half boxer and half something else. Makes for twice the fun.”

“Wow.” Peter looked awed. “How do two dogs mix together?”

“Uhhhh,” Steve said, suddenly looking like he was facing a firing squad. Tony hid a smile behind his hand. “They uhhh…”

“I think that’s a talk for another time,” Tony interjected smoothly, and Steve looked relieved. “How about you worry more about how much food you’re dropping on the floor?”

Sure enough, there was a slowly growing pile of food on the floor. “Oops.”

Steve chuckled. “It’s fine, I know someone who can take care of that.” He gave a short whistle and Dodger perked up. Steve pointed and the dog loped over, snarfing up the food on the floor much to Peter’s delight. 

Tony snorted. “So that’s why people get dogs.’

Steve grinned. “It’s certainly a perk.”

When the dishes were done, Tony moved to put Peter to bed but was met with some resistance.

“I want a story,” Peter said, as Tony lifted him onto his hip. 

“We’ll do that. Let’s just see Steve home and--”

“No! I want a story from Steve,” Peter complained, wiggling excitedly. “He can read Clifford! It’s about dogs.”

Tony opened his mouth to make Steve’s excuses and let the man leave, but to his surprise, Steve was eager in his agreement.

“Happy to if that’s ok,” Steve said, checking with Tony. “Bucky’s kid says I’m the best with voices.”

Tony snorted. “Oh well if you’re the best, I can hardly say no.” Steve grinned and followed them down the hall to look through Peter’s books while Tony got the kid’s teeth brushed and face washed before wrestling him into his jammies. 

Then he had the torturous experience of watching a huge, handsome buff man read to his kid and wow, Tony thought he was too old for the butterflies-in-his-stomach kind of crush, but apparently not. 

When Peter had finally fallen asleep - after two stories because he was too good at sad eyes and after an argument, he lost about letting Dodger stay over on his bed -  he and Steve walked back into the lounge. 

“Coffee? Or do you need to head off?” Tony asked, feeling hopeful. 

“Coffee would be great.”

They sat down on Tony’s couch, sinking into the soft cushions and cradling the hot mugs in their hands. It was cozy, sitting together, Peter asleep and Dodger curled up by the heater. 

The dog caught him looking, and his tail thumped lazily on the floor making Steve laugh. 

“He probably thinks he’s in heaven. This is way warmer than my place, and he’s like a cat when it comes to warm spots.”

You could stay, Tony thought, and then mentally shook himself. That was a ridiculous thing to say, and totally creepy. They were friends, just friends, and they’d only know each other for a short while. Instead, he managed the much toned down. “Well, you’re welcome anytime. We'd be happy to have you.”

“Thanks,” Steve said, and his cheeks looked a little warm as he sipped from the steaming mug.

And that wasn’t fair Tony thought. Because that made him think things. He searched for something to say, but Steve jumped in.

“So um, there’s an art fair tomorrow, and I’m showing some of my pieces. I was wondering if maybe you and Peter wanted to come? I meant to ask earlier but I didn’t know if you’d want--”

“YES! I mean,” Tony cleared his throat. “Yes, I'm sure that would be lovely.”

“It’s outdoors, so it won’t be too quiet and stuffy for kids. It’s in the park on Third.”

That made Tony a little uneasy for a second. It’s not that he didn’t take Peter new places, he did, but the idea of it sometimes still gave him a bit of a spike. The curse of having a kid who was too adventurous and saw pedestrian crossings as suggestions, cars as friends he hadn’t met yet, and happy to touch any and everything he found on the ground. Also, it didn’t help that Tony’s genius brain ran through scenarios even without thought, even when it wasn’t unsafe. But, he wanted to go, and Steve wanted them there, and Peter needed to go to new places. There wasn’t another option, and frankly, he didn’t want to do anything else. 

“Great,” Steve said, looking a little shy. “I really want you guys there.”

If Tony melted anymore he’d be a puddle. The man was so cute. He had the urge to maybe cuddle up, see if those arms looked as warm and safe as they seemed. But instead, he just gave Steve a smile and asked about the fair.

They talked until late, Steve reluctantly leaving after he admitted he had to be up early to help with the fair. He messaged the details to Tony and with a wave - and a very reluctant to leave the warmth Dodger dragging on his leash - Steve headed home. 

As Tony put the mugs in the sink he let himself imagine what it would be like to have Steve there all the time. Someone to help with Peter, keep him safe, long dog walks in the park, cozy nights on the couch together with Tony tinkering and Steve sketching, family breakfasts on Sundays, and a warm body in Tony’s bed and a chest to rest his head on. 

It was a nice dream.



The next day they set out for the fair. A cold wind had blown through them as they’d opened the front door, so they’d both wrapped up in their parkas, scarves, and a cute frog beanie that had been a gift from Rhodey for Peter. 

The park was fairly quiet, far from the bustle of the summer months. As they walked through a wooded area, Peter pointed out rocks and plants and Tony did his best to answer questions, but really biology wasn’t his specialty. 

He was so relaxed in fact, that he didn’t even see the danger that was lurking at the end of the path as it opened out onto the wide green space. 

“Hey Dad, what’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“That there.”

“That’s a--oh fuck!” Tony staggered back, grabbing Peter and pulling him back. Because there on the ground was a long, coiled snake. It gave a warning rattle, it’s dark eyes fixed on them.

“A snake!” Peter squealed excitedly and pushed forward as Tony’s heart caught in his chest. Because average at biology or not, he recognised a venomous back pattern up this close. 

And it was all Tony’s fears at once. His kid and a dangerous thing in close proximity, his knees almost went weak with the panic that shot through him. But instead of freezing like he had with the cars, this time he shot forward tugging Peter behind him and getting between the kid and the grumpy reptile.

“Peter don’t!” He bit out as he pulled him clear, but the step had clearly been too close and the snake’s head snapped out, it’s mouth gaping as it bit him, catching a flash of bare skin between jeans and sock.

Tony yelped, falling backwards, the pain sharp as the snake retreated. Ow, that hurt!

“Dad!” Peter cried, and he sounded panicked. Then he scowled.

He picked up a stick and lifted it up. “You mean old snake! You bit my Dad!” Then he moved towards it, clearly planning to scare it away. 

“Peter, you--”

But before Peter could get near it, a flash of gold fur jumped in front of him, growling and barking. 

“Dodger!” Peter cheered. The dog growled at the snake, keeping himself between it and Peter. He made a few warning nips at it, barking the whole time.

“Tony!” God, there was so much yelling, Tony thought, and then there was Steve picking Peter up and swinging him out of the way. Once he was clear, Tony felt a tug under each arm as he was dragged out of range. 

He sat up as Steve moved forward, grabbing Dodger's collar and pulling him back. “Good boy, let it go, come on.”

There was another rattle, quieter this time, and then it faded away. Steve came over to them, still holding Dodger tight. “You guys ok?”

“It bit Dad!” Peter said, and now the excitement was over, he sounded properly upset. 

Tony couldn’t really focus, but he was pretty sure it was the adrenalin crashing as he realised they were safe. Because they were. As soon as Tony had realised Steve was close, he’d felt instantly like things were going to be ok. It was heady that feeling, and it made Tony want it all the time.

“Let me see.” Steve’s big warm hands were on his leg, poking at a spot that made Tony hiss. 

“Yeah, it got you alright. But Timber rattlesnakes often give you a warning bite before the venom, and they’re not too dangerous for adults. Your Dad should be ok.” He looked up at Tony. “You alright?”

“I think so.” He tried to push himself up, but his leg felt tender. “Ow.”

“Don’t worry, I got you.” And then Tony was airborne, cradled in Steve’s arms as the man carried him towards the fair. Tony could feel the heat rising in his cheeks. Oh my

He could see Peter, tugging Dodger along by his lead beside them, and he looked up at Steve. “Where are we going?”

“We better take you to a doctor to be sure. And I had better call pest control. Those guys aren’t often in city parks and he should really be asleep with this temperature. Poor guy’s probably a little overwhelmed.”

“Poor guy?” Tony huffed. “He bit me!”

Steve snorted, but he still had a worried edge to his expression. It made Tony feel kind of warm inside. Or maybe that was the venom. Hard to say. “And I’m sure he’s very sorry.” He cleared his throat. “You were really brave by the way.”

Toy shook his head. “It wasn’t anything special.”

“That was your worst fear, something happening to Peter. And you kept him safe. That’s brave.” He cleared his throat. “And now I feel kind of dumb for thinking you were worrying a bit too much.”

Tony laughed. “You know, weirdly I feel better? It’s like having my anxiety confirmed and facing it made me feel like maybe I could deal with other things too. And seeing Peter, so ready to charge in, that kid can take down anything. I’m sure it’s the adrenalin hangover talking, but I feel kind of relaxed.”

Steve looked fond. “Yeah, that’s definitely the adrenalin.”

“Since we can definitely blame the life or death experience I just had if this goes wrong, I’m just going to say it.” He looked up at Steve, his face so close from where Tony was cradled against his chest. “Do you want to go get dinner with me? Like romantically?”

Steve flushed and for a moment Tony thought he’d made a mistake, but then he smiled. “I’d love to.”

“Perfect,” Tony breathed, his grin wide. “And I mean, since I’m already ahead, why quit now?” And he leaned up and pressed his lips to Steve’s. 

For a minute it was absolutely perfect. 

And then--

“Ew Dad, you’re kissing!”

Sigh, that’s right. There was a reason children were never around in romance novels. 

Steve chuckled as they pulled apart and Tony looked at Peter with a raised eyebrow. “Honestly after all I do for you, I can’t get a little me-time?”

“It’s gross.”

Steve leaned down to whisper in his ear. “Don’t worry, we can take a raincheck on that.”

“Maybe at dinner?”

“Sounds good to me. Hell, you beat me to the punch, I had a whole plan where I was going to show you the sketches I’d done of you at the fair.”

“Oh,” Tony said, feeling a little giddy. “Well, maybe we can do that too after my leg gets checked.”

“I’d love to.”