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"He Knows..."

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Peter looks away while Pepper cleans Tony up. His entire body is trembling, shaking with weakness, and he seems to be in a constant state of confusion. The doctors tell them that his heart is swelling as fluid builds up and that it’s hard to tell if his lungs or his heart will go out first.

The oxygen masks wrapped around his face has stopped providing a comfortable oxidation rate. They’d put in a tube, the doctors had said that was an option, but Pepper didn’t want that and Tony no longer has a say.

“Sit with him a moment?”

Pepper stays right by his side, her chair pulled right up the bed. In his rational moments, he inches down the bed until his head is where she is and she’ll sit for hours running her hand through his hair and talking.

Other times, they just watch as he tosses and turns on his back, gasping for air, and mumbling to himself.

“Sure,” the serum is burning a hole in Peter’s pocket. He’s can’t be sure if he’s right. A solution mixed up of what could be the perfect amount of his, Bucky’s, and Steve’s blood.

He’d tested in it in the lab. It’s crazy how easy it is to get a vial of blood the hard part was mixing in his own blood. Each time he’d mix too much and the super soldier or his blood would burn Tony’s out. Sometimes it coagulated and Peter had to figure out which of their blood was compatible, he’d completely forgotten that their blood types had to match.

Now, he’s stripped Bucky’s super soldier cells of their DNA coating, leaving just the… ‘super’. Using his blood and the serum from Bucky he got a solution that worked.

190 times out of 230.

The odds aren’t bad but they’re not one hundred percent. It’s just that Peter isn’t sure he’s got time to get to 100 percent success.

“Dad?” Peter takes Pepper’s spot, shooting a look at the door, before inching close enough to take Tony’s hand. “Dad, you taught me… everything. You kept me going, feed me, fixed me, and you-you loved me.” Peter sits, his mouth open as he tries to think of something to say, in the end, he just pulls the syringe out.

“P-Pete?” Half-open eyes squint at him, moving to look behind and above Peter before settling on him.

“It’s me.”

Tony gives a small nod and moves his hand, an ungraceful shaky motion to tug off the oxygen mask. In the end, Peter gently moves Tony’s hand and pulls the mask down. “Y-You’re,” Tony gasps for a shaky breath,” a good kid, Pete. I’m proud of who y-you’ve become. Better than your old man.”

Peter leans in,” you’re not going anywhere, Dad. Save your goodbye speeches for later.”

Tony smiles sadly and tries to pull the mask on, needing Peter’s help to put it back on all the way.

It’s then, watching Tony struggle that Peter decides he has to do it now.

“Forgive me,” Peter mumbles underneath his breath, feeling only a little bit more disheveled when Tony doesn't hear him. He stands, knees shaking, and sticks the syringe into the port and pushes the plunger down, watching as it enters Tony’s hand.

“Peter, w-”

He drops the syringe but it’s too late, all the serum has been administered and both Pepper and Peter watch as the last of it tunnels into Tony’s hand. As the last of it goes in, Tony’s eyes open and he gasps.

The monitors take a moment to pick up with what’s happening but when they do Tony’s rhythm hits a healthy 60. The problem is, it keeps rising until the monotors let out a noise that Peter knows isn't good.

“Everybody out!”

He’s just standing there, dumbfounded by what he’s seeing and afraid that he’s really done it this time. All of those times he’s been knocked down, his insistence to ump off of high places, it’s finally taken its toll and it’s his fault. He killed Iron Man, Tony Stark… his father.

“Oh fuck,” Peter’s hands are trembling, he can feel the sweat beating down his brow, and he knows all too well what’s happening. He’d only ever seen a panic attack and now-

“Breath,” Happy comes from nowhere, pressing a hand against Peter's chest and rubbing before Peter can even process the words he’s saying. He focuses on the pattern that Happy’s hand rubs on his chest, tricking his lungs into forcing air into his body, and for several irrational moments, Peter thinks that if Happy takes his hand away that he’ll die.

“Easy, easy.” Happy doesn't let him jerk away which is good because Peter has no business standing. Peter just keeps thinking about Tony and he wants to run away but Happy is a large man. He’s not going anywhere.

“What the hell did you do!”

Peter can hear his own wheezy breathing and Happy tries to calm down Pepper. “Pep, nows really not-”

“No!” She furious and he hates himself. “You idiot! I leave you alone for a-a second and you kill him! What did you give him? What did you-”

Peter passes out. He doesn’t even feel it coming. One minute he’s breathing too fast, his eyes shift to Happy, and he’s out. Gone.

Pepper was no longer sure what to do after that.

 

Red. Peter can only see red for a long terrifying moment but then the red moves and his brain picks up what he’s looking at: a balloon.

“He’s going to love that,” the voice, half amused and bored, belongs to Happy and Peter’s chest warms with familiarity.

“He’s always loved balloons,” May, the voice is too warm to be anyone else.

The hand touching his moves and it’s replaced by another. The first was soft and thin. The hand touching his now, the one resting on his wrist and affectionately running a thumb over his skin is rough. He knows this hand.

“He’s awake,” a voice announces and Peter wills himself to open his eyes because it can’t be-

“Dad.”

Tony smiles and pulls his wheelchair closer,” hey kiddie.”

Peter lets out a breath of air and stares at the ceiling to calm his racing heart. “I thought I killed you.”

Tony laughs softly and Peter doesn't miss the oxygen canal snaking under his nose and the wheelchair he’s sitting in but he also sees the color in Tony’s cheeks. How alive the man seems. “Oh, you did.” Tony pats his arm and shakes his head,” I don’t know what you did, hell, no one does, yet. It worked though.”

Peter closes his eyes, trying to fight by stinging tears,” you’re not dying?”

Tony shakes his head,” nope, not for now at least.”

Peter lets out a soft chuckle, smiling as a tear slides down his cheek. He didn’t kill his father. Tony’s alive, breathing, and healthy enough right beside him. Breathing. Living.

“Speaking of, you know that you're going to have to show me what you did, right?”

Peter sniffles and nods,” you’re not gonna like it.”

Tony shrugs,” it was dangerous, risky, and stupid, what you did. Of course not.” Tony leans forward, smiling, and pokes Peter’s chest,” but it was brave and it was smart. Plus, you know, it saved my life so I don’t hate it.” The smile softens to a prouder, sentimental smirk,” thanks for that, Petey.”

“Anytime, dad.”