Iron man and Spider-man were fighting together against what really should've been an easy take-down. The Supervillain of the day was randomly destroying buildings and cars in order to gain attention, but they didn't seem dangerous, nor did it seem like a trap.
And it wasn't.
Until she pulled out two identical blasters and fired at them.
The last thing Tony saw as he blacked out in his Iron man suit was Peter getting shot midair and falling.
The last thing Peter remembered was getting hit by the supervillain and then turning his head to watch his dad's suit freeze as he was hit by the same blast.
Blinking suddenly blurry eyes, Peter stumbled out of the crater caused by his impact on landing and began to cautiously look around.
He just wanted his dad. Where was his daddy?
Sucking in a breath, he could feel his eyes welling up beneath his mask and removed it to wipe at his eyes.
He felt like sitting down and sobbing, but he had to go find his dad.
His dad would make everything better, he always did.
Whenever Peter had a problem, his dad would solve it, because his dad was a genius mechanic and mechanics fix things.
His dad had even fixed the supervillain problem by creating the Iron man suit.
Which was falling out of the air towards the ground at a too-fast speed.
Peter was only five, but even he could tell that his dad was going too fast to stop, even if the repulsors kicked in.
"Daddy!" Peter called frantically, rushing towards the falling metal suit.
It hit the ground and broke open to reveal a fortunately alive and nearly unharmed Tony Stark, who groaned and rubbed his head, all too aware he was live on at least 4 live news channels and that his every movement was being blown up in real time on several low-resolution billboards.
To test the delay, he moved his head and the image moved with it.
He smiled, and then realised that was probably the concussion acting.
Damnit, that was an embarrassing fall. Taken down by a wannabe supervillain? Honestly, he was supposed to be a professional, he shouldn't have any trouble with the newbies, not like...
Come to think of it, where was Peter?
Peter had fallen out of the sky as well, and he wasn't in a protective metal suit to protect him from a tough landing.
Running towards him was a small figure in an oversized Spider-man suit with the mask clutched in an equally pint-sized fist.
His heart clenched.
Was that Peter?
Why was he so small?
What was going on?
As he pondered, his fingers came up to tap the Arc Reactor, as was his nervous habit.
To his shock, it was missing, and he wasn't feeling the telltale press of the shrapnel moving further into his heart.
Tearing frantically at the top of his flight suit revealed a young and unblemished chest, not yet marred by shrapnel scars.
Studying his hands carefully also revealed differences.
Scars and callouses from years of working with his hands had disappeared as though they were never there.
He ran his hands through his hair and absently noticed it was thicker and healthier than it had been since he was a child. Alcohol and drugs had long since taken away his youth from him, but now it seemed to be returned with full strength.
Distantly, Tony realised his breath was getting shorter and focused instead on the small body slamming into him.
It was Peter.
Tony relaxed and placed a kiss on Peter's curls out of habit, tightening his arms around him.
The world blurred around them, and it seemed to Tony that him and Peter were the only two beings in the universe.
Peter was crying into his chest and Tony elected to ignore their predicament in favour of comforting his son, all the while running over the possibilities in another part of his mind.
The only thing that came to him was that the blast from the supervillain must've de-aged him and Peter.
Come to think of it, where was the supervillain now?
Had she really just blasted them and disappeared?
What was the point?
Breaking out of his Peter-bubble, he was startled to realise they were completely surrounded by a sea of reporters.
Wide-eyed and vulnerable in a way he had never before been in front of the media, he tucked Peter's head into his chest and tugged the too-big Spider-man mask back over his head.
Lowering his voice so that the many microphones and dictaphones surrounding them wouldn't pick his words up, Tony whispered to Peter,
"Hey kiddo, Dad's going to get us out of here, you just have to hang on for a little while longer, okay?"
Mumbling into his chest elicited a genuine soft smile from Tony before he remembered where he was, and who with.
Briefly checking that the Spidey-powers were definitely working, Tony looked up, media-ready mask fully on his face.
Smiling viciously, with a little extra bite than normal, made the reporters part before him like the red sea. And of course, when one rabid reporter didn't get the message, he was quite happy to deck them.
No-one was allowed near his son.