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Not So Super Side Effects

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“Just—you have to sit still, Pete.” Tony says, a hint of frustration in his voice as he tries to adjust the pillows behind Peter’s back on the chaise section of the couch as the teen squirms in his seat.


“But I’m so sick of sitting around all the time. I have things I need to do!” Peter whines as he throws his arms out to his sides.


“Not with a broken leg you don’t,” Tony says, gesturing to Peter’s right leg that’s encased in a navy blue cast, propped up on a thick throw pillow. “If there’s anything you need, you let me know and I’ll get it for you. No putting weight on that leg—doctor’s orders and I know you don’t want to make Bruce angry.” He adds with a hint of sarcasm.


Peter just sighs, rolling his eyes as he folds his arms over his chest. “I know, but it’s still not fair.”


“I know.” Tony says in an understanding voice.


“And it’s not fair that I stupidly tripped on my own foot and fell down the stairs with the stupid elevator being down in Happy’s apartment building.”


“I know.” Tony repeats, nodding.


“It’s not fair that I can’t even walk to the bathroom by myself.” Peter says, folding his arms over his chest.


Tony lets out a light sigh as he gives Peter a pointed look. The kid is just turned nineteen, yet he still reminds him of the fifteen year old he met all those years ago, especially now with how childish he’s being over a broken leg. He knows Peter well enough now to know that the last thing he wants to do is inconvenience anyone. He wants to be independent and take care of other people’s needs before his own.


But can Tony blame him? He’d probably be whining about it too if he were in the poor kid’s shoes.


“Pete,” he says. “I hate to tell you this but life isn’t fair, kiddo. We just have to accept it and deal with it.”


Peter lets out a sigh, his shoulders slumping. “Yeah…” he agrees. “Sorry for whining about it. It’s just-”


“Not fair?” Tony finishes with a teasing grin, only to earn a weak glare from Peter in return, causing Tony to chuckle. “I know what you mean. I’ve been down for the count quite a few times in my life and I know what it’s like. But you’re going to be back on your feet in no time, okay? Bruce is going to swing by in a little bit to bring you your new pain meds that will help. So in the meantime, how about I make us some lunch and we can watch a movie?”


Peter nods, giving in with a small, grateful smile. “Sure.”



After fixing them some sandwiches for lunch, Tony settles down on the couch next to Peter and watch an episode of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi show. They’re almost twenty minutes into the second episode when he notices Peter shifting in his seat and clenching his fists.


Tony’s frowns in concern. “You okay, kiddo?”


Peter doesn’t answer him for a few moments as his face pinches slightly. “Yeah…” he answers in an unsure voice as he reaches forward and rubs his injured leg near his knee.


“Is your leg bothering you?” Tony asks.


Peter’s brows pull together as he breathes out a sigh, sitting back into the couch cushions. “A little.”


Tony nods as he pulls out his phone from his pocket, already starting to text his friend. “I’ll text him and ask his ETA with those pain meds.”


“Thanks.” Peter says in a grateful tone.


It takes only a few minutes for Bruce to text back.


“He says he’s already on his way—about twenty minutes or so.” Tony says, looking up from his phone.


“That’s good.” Peter says. “Maybe we can ask him to take a look at my new web formula while he’s here?”


Tony gives him a pointed look. “You’re just wanting to get off the couch and down in the lab.”


“What? I am not.” Peter weakly defends himself, a smile creeping onto his face.


Tony breathes out a laugh as he shakes his head. “Yeah, sure you’re not.”


Peter’s smile grows as he gives a small one-shouldered shrug as he looks back to the tv, watching Obi-Wan walk across the sandy dunes of Tatooine with the twin suns glaring harshly above him.



“Dr. Banner has arrived.” Friday’s announces, her soft voice coming from the speakers above.


And sure enough, Tony can hear tires rolling to a stop against the gravel driveway outside.


“Great. Thanks, Fri.” Tony says as he looks over at Peter, who is still sound asleep.


He had fallen asleep not even twenty minutes ago, shortly after they started the third episode of the show. The poor kid was clearly exhausted and in pain, judging by the way his brows are pulled together in discomfort, even in his sleep.  His brown leg hasn’t allowed him to get any proper sleep these past few days with the dull, throbbing pain. That’s why Tony called in a favor to Bruce to up Peter’s dosage on his pain meds but Bruce ultimately decided to whip up a new and improved batch since the ones they already have for Peter were more of a prototype medication. They took the edge off of the pain and made him a little loopy, but clearly not enough to completely numb the pain. Hopefully these new pain meds will do the trick for Peter so he can get the rest he needs.


Tony quietly stands up and heads over to the front door, grabbing his thin coat on the coat rack before stepping outside, feeling a crisp, fall breeze rush past him.


Tony leans on the porch railing and folds his arms as he watches Bruce get out of the car. “Hey, green bean. How was the drive?”


Bruce laughs at the nickname, smiling as he grabs his medical bag from the passenger seat before shutting the door. “Not too bad. The foliage was beautiful coming down here. The trees at the compound haven’t changed yet. In due time, I guess.”


Tony nods as he looks up at the big elm trees across the yard. It’s leaves have now turned almost completely red, yellow and orange.


“How’s Peter doing today?” Bruce asks as he walks towards the porch.


“He’s sleeping now, the poor kid. His leg was acting up today like last night,” Tony says. “I think he’s getting a bit stir crazy though. One thing he hates doing is sitting still for too long.”


Bruce nods with a small smile. “I know the feeling,” he says, coming up the porch steps. “As you know, the break in his leg was deep so it’s taking his body a little longer to heal it, even with his enhanced healing abilities. That could also be a contributor to the pain he’s in. I used Steve’s as a baseline for the chemical compounds and such with his enhanced metabolism. Let’s hope they do the trick to take the edge off Peter’s pain.”


“Let’s hope.” Tony says in agreement as he pushes off the railing and heads back to the door.


When they both step inside the house, Tony looks across the room over to Peter, who is still sound asleep on the couch.


“Do you want a sandwich or anything?” Tony offers.


“Uh, yeah sure, please. I’m going to take everything out so we can give him his first dose now. I think I’ll hang around for a little bit just to make sure it works before I head back.”


“You can stay as long as you want, Brucie. No need to ask.” Tony says with a grin as he heads towards the kitchen, glancing over at Peter as he goes to make Bruce his sandwich.


It only takes Tony a few minutes to make the sandwich—turkey, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and pickles to be exact— he walks back out into the living room as Bruce is going though his medical bag, taking out an orange prescription bottle.


“Thanks,” Bruce says with a grateful smile as he puts the bottle down on the end table next to the couch, taking the plate from Tony’s outstretched hand.


Tony walks around him and leans down next to Peter, gently shaking the teen’s shoulder. “Hey, Pete… rise and shine.” He softly says.


Peter’s brows pull together as he rolls his head to the side of the pillow with a small groan.


“C’mon, kiddo, wakey, wakey.”


Peter’s eyes slowly flutter open, blinking the sleep out of his eyes as he looks up at Tony, brows pulling together more in confusion.


“Bruce is here with the good stuff.” Tony tells him.


“Good stuff?” Peter questions, slurring a bit as he rubs at his eyes.


“Your pain meds,” Tony clarifies with a chuckle. “You can go back to sleep after your first dose.”


Tony stands back and lets Bruce take over as he asks Peter questions about his pain and how he’s feeling. He steps away for a moment to grab a bottle of water from the refrigerator before giving it to Peter after Bruce hands him two small blue pills. Peter pops the pills in his mouth and washes them down with a few sips of the water.


“So I want you to take two every four to six hours, depending on your pain. When you’re starting to feel better then we can lower it to one.” Bruce says.


“Okay,” Peter nods. “But these aren’t going to make me feel fuzzy like the other ones are they?”


“They shouldn’t but a little grogginess is to be expected with pain meds like these.”


“That’s good.” Peter says, sighing in relief. “I hate how loopy they make me.”


“I know. They’re a work in progress, so I’m hoping these will be a lot better for you.”


“I think they will be,” Tony adds with a smile. “After all I did help with formulating them and we worked tirelessly on them so Spider-Man can continue going out there, saving the citizens of New York while he makes me go greyer and greyer every day.” He sarcastically adds.


Peter ducks his head and rubs at his neck, offering an apologetic smile. “Sorry.”


Tony sighs dramatically. “It’s for a good cause, I guess,” He jokes as he sits back down in his spot next to Peter on the couch. He looks over at Bruce. “Do you think you could whip me up something to help with the grays, Doc?”


Bruce chuckles. “I don’t think I can help with that but I can recommend you lay off the coffee, eat more vegetables and get more sleep,” he says. “I’m a doctor, not a miracle worker.”


Peter lets out a laugh at that, nearly choking on his water. “Ooo burn.” He says, looking over at Tony.


“I would have to disagree on you with that one, Bruce. You are indeed a miracle worker. My kid here is proof of that.” Tony says as he reaches over and ruffles Peter’s bedhead hair.


“Well, thank you for that.” Bruce says.


“While we wait for those meds to kick in, want to sit down and watch some Obi-Wan, Bruce?” Tony offers.


“Sure, why not. I’ve been meaning to catch up on the new additions to the Star Wars franchise.” He says as he picks up the plate with his sandwich and takes a seat across from them on the loveseat.


“You’ll love this one.” Peter says with a grin.


“Is this the series with the little Yoda baby?” Bruce asks around a mouthful of his sandwich.


Tony and Peter’s heads snap in his direction, a mixture of shocked expressions on their faces.


“Bruce…” Tony slowly says, closing his eyes for a moment as he dramatically places a hand to his chest. “His name is Grogu and he’s from the Mandalorian. He is the light of Mando’s life, his adopted foundling son.”


Bruce raises an eyebrow, looking between the two of them. “Sorry? I guess I really do have a lot of catching up to do.”


“I say we have a Mandalorian marathon one of these days.” Peter says with a smile.


“That could be fun.” Bruce says with a smile.


“Yeah,” Tony agrees. “We could even have Star Wars-themed food and stuff to go with it. A little Star Wars watch party. I bet we could whip up a batch of spotchka too.”


Peter turns to him with wide eyes. “Really? That would be so cool! I’m sure we could use Gatorade or something for the blue-“


“The Glacier Frost one could work.” Bruce chips in.


“Yeah! But we’ll have to figure out how to make it glow.”


“I’m sure it’s doable.” Tony says, making a mental note to look up some spotchka recipes that are out there on the internet.


“And maybe we could do a cosplay contest!” Peter suggests.


“Now there’s an idea!” Tony says with a chuckle. “We’ll look into a having cosplay-wearing watch party later. But for now… Friday, roll it back to episode one, please.”


“Certainly.” She responds, pausing as the first episode flashes on the tv screen.


As the opening credits and score begin, Tony settles in his seat further, sparing a glance over at Bruce as his friend takes an insanely large bite of his sandwich, his eyes fluttering shut for a moment as he chews, clearly enjoying it. Tony barely manages holds back a chuckle at the sight. The poor guy is cooped up in the lab all day and forgets to eat a lot of the time. Tony knows a thing or two about that.


He turns back to the tv as a smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. It’s peaceful, being with Peter and Bruce, just hanging out together and watching tv for a change instead of fighting aliens or evil robots, or suiting up to go save his spider-child’s ass a few times a week, despite the fact that Tony’s semi-retired as Iron Man. But it’s all worth it.


Tony looks at the tv, allowing himself to be immersed in the show.



Peter ended up falling back asleep around the middle of the first episode, tucked into Tony’s side with his head resting on his shoulder. They’re in the middle of the second episode, when the teen makes a soft, groaning sound in his sleep at Tony’s side.


Tony looks down at him as the teen’s eyes slowly blink open, only for him to squeeze them shut again with another groan.  The poor kid is probably exhausted.


“You conked out on us a little while ago. Did you have a good nap?” Tony asks with a warm smile.


Peter lays there for a few long moments without answering him, his face still pulled together in what looks to be discomfort. A wave of nervousness washes over Tony.


“Pete?” He asks but the teen still doesn’t answer him. “Peter?” He repeats.


Peter slowly opens his eyes again, his brows pulled together in a frown. “I…” he starts, licking his lips.  “I don’ feel so good…”


Bruce’s head snaps up at the comment. He quickly stands up from the loveseat and gets into doctor mode, sitting on the edge of the coffee table, exchanging a knowing look with Tony. “What do you mean you don’t feel good Peter? What’re you feeling?” He asks as he takes out his phone.


Peter sits there for a few seconds, seemingly processing Bruce’s question. “I… I dunno… weird n’ fuzzy…” he says, his words slurring.


“A little weird and fuzzy?” Bruce repeats. “The same way you feel when you take your other pain medication or is this new?” He asks.


Peter hums in thought. “Sort of…”


“Sort of. Okay,” Bruce says, nodding his head as he types on his phone. “Are you feeling nauseous or dizzy?”


Peter closes his eyes and slowly nods his head.


“You are? Okay…” Bruce says, typing into his phone as he stands up. “All you need to do is just sit here and try to relax. We’ll get you something to drink to settle your stomach, alright?”

Peter leans his head back against the pillows behind his head and hums at the back of his throat.


“I’ll grab him a some ginger ale and see if that helps.” Tony says as he stands up.


Peter’s eyes suddenly fly open, causing both men to hesitate where they stand. “m’ gonna throw up.” He announces.


The alarming rate the kid’s skin is going from his usual rosy to pale, even green has Tony running into the kitchen and grabbing the nearest thing for the kid to upchuck into.


Pepper’s favorite crystal punch bowl, the one her mother gave them on his and Pepper’s wedding day.


He rushed back to the living room and shoves it under Peter, just in time as vomit spews out from his mouth and into the bowl.


“N-Nooo,” Peter moans as he opens his eyes. “N-Not the crystal bowl-“ he says, only to duck his head back in, throwing up again.


Tony winces in sympathy. “It’s alright, kiddo. Just let it all out. I can wash it after.”


“I’ll try to remember not to drink the punch during the Halloween party.” Bruce mumbles with a slight grimace.


Peter must hear him because he moans out into the puke-filled crystal bowl again. Tony shoots Bruce a glare with no real heat behind it.


“These meds are supposed to help him feel better not worse.” Tony says guiltily.


He doesn’t blame Bruce for this. There has to be something that he missed seeing himself. Tony is a science wiz—he’s supposed to be good at this stuff.


“This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Bruce says, baffled as Peter continues to throw up in front of them. “I checked the ingredients twice— three times,  even. I adjusted the chemical formula to suit his metabolism… I just don’t understand it. There’s nothing that should be causing this sort of reaction for him.”


“Do you think it’s his metabolism? Maybe it’s too much of a dose for him to handle?” Tony questions.


“That’s a possibility but… I didn’t think that it had a tap out point with how incredibly fast it is. I hope we haven’t been wrong this whole time, like how much we can and can’t give him for medication—just like right now, how many calories he needs to intake every day, and even how much alcohol he can consume before he gets drunk—“


“My kid is upchucking right now and you’re wondering how drunk he can get?” Tony asks with a raised brow.


“You’re right. Sorry,” Bruce says, shaking his head to himself. “But this does factor in a whole new set of equations that we’ll have to figure out so we’re prepared in an emergency situation. But for now, all we can do is let it make its way though his system. It’s not a heavy duty drug like an opioid, so naloxone doesn’t need to be administered.”


Tony lets out a relieved breath at that. “Thank God it’s not.” He says, closing his eyes for a moment. “What can we do for him now?”


“‘I can grab him some water or ginger ale to help with the nausea while you sit with him. All we can really do is try to keep him comfortable and ride this out.”


“Right,” Tony says, “the ginger ale is in the pantry next to the fridge. I think we have some saltine crackers in there too.”


“Got it.” Bruce nods as he turns and heads into the kitchen, leaving Tony standing there, holding the puke bowl as Peter finally seems to have emptied his stomach out.


The poor kid lets out a low groan, his face twisted slightly in pain.


“Oh, Pete…” Tony says in sympathy as he puts the bowl down on the coffee table and goes back to Peter, gently placing a hand on the teen’s head. “I’m so sorry this is happening.”


“S’kay… not y’r fault.” Peter murmurs.


“Do you want me to get you anything?” Tony offers.


Peter just silently shakes his head, letting his head fall back against the pillows behind him. Bruce comes around the corner with a tumblr filled with ice and ginger ale, along with a sleeve of saltines in his other hand. He places them down on the end table next to Peter.


“Are you feeling any better after getting all that out?” Bruce asks hopefully.


“A little…”


“That’s good. When you’re feeling up to it, we can help you up to your room so you’re more comfortable and in bed if you want?” Bruce offers.


"M-Maybe in a little bit.” Peter says with a wince.


“Whenever you want to, just let us know.” Tony tells him.


Tony and Bruce both take a step back, a little unsure what to do now. Tony reaches for the crystal bowl on the coffee table, only for Bruce to pick it up instead.


Tony opens his mouth to protest but Bruce beats him to it.


“I’ve cleaned up plenty of puke in my life. You just sit with him and make sure he’s alright, okay?” Bruce tells him.


Tony lets out a sigh, giving in with a nod. Bruce walks past him, crystal bowl of puke in hand as Tony sits on the edge of the coffee table in front of Peter, who has his eyes closed, his head leant back against the pillows behind him again.


Guilt flows through him at the sight of the poor kid, already injured and in pain and now sick, thanks to him. He had to have missed something in the pain meds that triggered something in Peter. He should have been more thorough.


“Do you want me to get you anything?” Tony offers.


“No… think m’ just gonna sleep.” Peter mumbles, clearly exhausted.


“Okay. Bruce and I are right here if you need anything, kiddo.” Tony tells him, earning a small silent nod from the teen.


He stands up, only for Peter to crack open his eyes and look up at him.


“Can you stay?” Peter asks in a hopeful voice.


A smile tugs at the corner of Tony’s mouth as he nods. “Sure.” He says as he takes a seat  the couch beside Peter, who immediately turns his head towards Tony, leaning his head against his chest.


A warmth flows through Tony’s chest as he carefully wraps an arm around Peter, holding him close. The kid always gets clingy whenever he’s sick. But Tony doesn’t mind.


“All comfy?”


“Mhmm…” Peter sleepily hums. “T’nks.”


“Anytime, kiddo.”