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sergeant peter parker

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"Please Captain. Promise me you will look out for my boy." Steve knew that most parents didn't like when their 18-year-old sons went to war and that they were happy that at least they were close to Captain America's basecamp. Yet he took May Parker's plea especially to heart. He had heard about Peter Parker. The boy was a genius. He could shoot better than the best snipers of the United States. He was fast, small and smart. The 15-year-old could actually play a big role in winning WW2.

When he had seen him for the first time, Steve had almost laughed. Peter looked a lot like him before the serum, although he was a bit more muscular.

He had seen the boy hug his aunt goodbye, wiping at his face over and over again. Of course, even the best sniper could die. And in a time where traveling wasn't much of a thing, going away for a planned three months was a lot for a kid of that age.

There weren't many men in their division. It was Bucky, Steve, three of the best candidates and Peter.

All of them would take the bus from Manhattan to La Guardia airport, where one of Stark's planes would bring them to Eastern Germany, where Hitler was rumored to be based at the moment.

The captain entered the small bus as the last person.

The members of his team were all sitting one in a row. Peter to the very back, his face pressed against the window, looking outside to where his aunt was waving her goodbyes and sending him air kisses.

His army backpack sat next to him, so there was no way of anyone joining him there. The other three men had their eyes closed since it was only 6 in the morning.

Then there was Bucky, waiting for Steve in the very front row. The captain gave the driver the okay to leave and the engine of the bus started just as he sat down next to Bucky.

He looked towards the back to check on Peter. The boy was just staring out of the window, eyes bloodshot and face wet.

"Poor kid," Steve mumbled and turned around.

"He'll be fine. You've heard of his qualities." Steve nodded although he was quite sure that Peter was not crying because he was scared of the war but because he would miss home a lot.

They were at the airport within about half an hour. The advantage of traffic in the 40s.

Upon entering the plane, Steve made sure to take Peter to the side. "Parker?"

"Yes, Captain?"

He whispered the next part, even though he knew that the other 30-year-olds would likely not laugh at Peter for still being a child. "I just wanted to let you know that whenever you need anything over in Europe, you can come to me or Barnes." Peter looked confused at first, then his face became serious again.

"Thank you, sir."

The plane had exactly six seats including pilot and co-pilot, and yet again Peter was sitting in the very back.

Bucky sat down next to him, as Steve and another one of the snipers flew. Bucky's job was to distract Peter throughout the flight.

That way, he got to know the boy quite well during the few hours they spent in immediate proximity. He heard about the boy's parents' and uncle's death, how he had joined the military school way too early and how they had chosen him to be in Captain America's division.

Bucky's goal was to distract Peter throughout the entire 6-hour flight. And that's how Peter heard about pre-serum Steve, their long friendship, Bucky's family from Romania, the Stark-Expo (to which he sadly hadn't attended) and a whole lot of other stuff that probably made his intimidation of the Captain shrink a bit.

At 8 pm local time, the plane of division 107 landed in Rastenburg, Eastern Germany, unnoticed by the Gestapo. The aircraft was taken over by division 96, who had served their 3 months stay in Poland just fine, and who, after creating plans of where Hitler probably resided at that moment would finally be able to go home.

From the small airport, an old truck was going to take them as close to the base camp as possible, the rest they were going to walk. A mere 6 kilometers.

The drive, despite their extremely short flight, was tiringly long. Steve checked his watch to find out that it had been a two-hour drive to the closest possible point to let them out.

The team got out, luggage on their backs and ready to start walking. The muddy road wouldn't have been so bad for the following 6 kilometers, but the rain that started shortly after they had started walking made it worse.

They sunk deep into the ground with every step, which slowed Peter down extremely, resulting in him walking at the very back. Steve knew that the kid was fast, he just wasn't tall enough to be fast here.

Luckily, since it was summer, it was neither cold nor extremely dark. The knowledge that there were no Nazi camps in a 12-kilometer area around their bunker along with the trees surrounding them was quite reassuring.

That was at least until they came onto a lighting, and a plane flew by, returned after a few seconds and dropped a bomb just about 10 meters behind Peter, who was catapulted away to the front of their line. And thus they ran, into the woods and spread out just as they had learned it.

They heard one more bomb being dropped (luckily hitting no one) and then the engines of the plane growing more distant. They decided to stay in that forest overnight, because they were approaching its edge and in case any of the Germans were spying on them now, it was safer to stay put.

They cooked dinner together, and the fire was kept small as to not attract any attention.

The five men were talking, telling stories about their education and anecdotes about how they would kill Hitler. Peter, who was sitting between Steve and Bucky, was barely even touching his chicken breast.

They made a shift-plan for who would be guard throughout the night. It would be Bucky first, because he was not extremely tired and all the others were, then Steve because he was willing to take the dreaded second shift, then Peter because it just so happened. No one made a big fuss about it, which Steve appreciated. He had seen else.

Peter's first chicken breast was only half eaten when the others had finished their sides as well as all the meat they had.

When everyone got settled for the night, Peter was about to throw his food away into the surrounding woods, when a hand took his wrist from behind.

The boy turned around, as shocked as one could possibly be.

It had been Steve of course. "Okay so first off, you should really eat up," the man whispered so maybe only Bucky could hear him, if at all. "Second, if you are not going to finish your meal during the war, you will always find someone who will gladly take your food." Peter nodded with tears in his eyes. Maybe he was scared, or Steve had grabbed his wrist too hard. The Captain crossed that out right away, the boy had been thrown half across a lighting just an hour ago and they hadn't heard as much as a complaint about anything from him. Just in case the boy was scared, Steve tried to sound a tad nicer. "Third. There are wolves in the woods here and they're hungry. If really no one is going to eat up, we burn the rest of the food."

"Yes, Captain." Steve let go of Peter's hand, and the boy put his chicken breast back into the metal bowl resting on his legs.

"So what are you going to do now?" He was their leader, after all, Steve had to teach Peter for the real war.

"Uhm… Ask around?"

Steve nodded in response.

Yet without his help, the boy probably would've tried to ask around the entire night. He was simply too shy. The snipers shared the rest of the chicken breast with each other.

The night camp was laid out quickly. They all went to sleep quite soon; the long journey had been tiring even with the time difference.

 

Peter slept until Steve woke him up about 3 hours later. He didn't have much of a problem staying awake as he was so absorbed into the book about Stark's planes his aunt had got him before his service.

Soon enough it was time to wake up Green, one of the soldiers whom they only called by his last name. Peter shook the man's shoulder, taking a hit to his face in response. Peter mentally hit himself as well; one did not wake a sleeping soldier like that.

Green stared up at him. "Parker! I am so sorry." Peter was holding his soaring right cheek with his hand.

"Don't worry, next time I'll shake your leg." The change of shift was done quickly and soon Peter was sound asleep again. He didn't wake anymore until the sun started to rise.

He touched his right cheek because it hurt a little, then yelped because touching it hurt a lot more. No one had heard him though, they were all focused on packing up. It was 6:30 in the morning and they were going to leave at 6:45 in order to arrive about an hour later.

Steve decided to have Peter walk at the front next to him. The rain had stopped anyway, and he would probably able to keep up the same pace as the rest of the division.
"Parker come join me at the front."

Peter immediately followed his Captain's order, which was only when the man saw the obvious four streak bruise on the boy's cheek. "What happened to you?"

Peter laughed. "I woke up Green last night." Even the Captain cracked a bit of a laugh at that.
"You're alright though, right?"

"Yes, sir. Nothing I haven't dealt with in the past." The glance Peter received from Steve made him explain. "One on one fight lessons at the military academy." The Captain seemed actually relieved at that.

Once they arrived at the bunker, all of them sweating like crazy, they had breakfast first. Then the first briefing.

"Okay team. We are here to spy on the German movements before the Russians and Italians arrive up here to storm Hitler's current base. He is in a bunker about 10 kilometers north from here at the moment. The mission includes figuring out shift patterns, protection measures, and his exact office location. This will soon be a war front, so take in nature as much as you can. It could be all beat up within the next two weeks.

Steve looked around. They all seemed pretty convinced, yet Peter's eyes still showed fear.

The first day at the bunker was spent exploring the area around (woods) and walking up north to the actual end of the woods, where a little village was located. They knew that once the Russians came, the village would be empty and that the other soldiers would be able to stay there, yet they started to put up new camps with the material they had in their own. Lunch was spent individually, meaning everyone ate except for Peter.

For dinner, they all sat together again. They went to sleep rather late considering the amount of work they had done for the day.

And everyone was oblivious to Peter's crying once everyone fell asleep.

Chapter Text

The following week they did pretty much quite the same as on the first day. They split up into groups of 2. Peter was always with Steve but not because he was young, it was because Peter and Steve were the best soldiers. They walked up to the first protected building they saw, always under guard of course.


The buildings were a bit away from the villages, some even in the woods and when they were able to provide the Russians with the exact coordinates, a plane was sent across the area to draw maps from above.


The protection measures for Hitler were crazy. They would have to go through seven different buildings that were built around the innermost one in circles.


They had known from the beginning that an air raid was most likely useless, and that there would have to be another way.


On another day they found a concentration camp to their east, which they knew they would free once they had at least tried the assassination. The grounds they were on were not officially war grounds, which is why they had reason to think the Germans didn’t know they were around.


The time spent together at nights when no one had a mission somewhere else did the team quite good. Even Peter seemed to loosen up a little with the other snipers, especially around Green. They all grew quite fond of the kid.


The team spent their ‘days off’ together, played games, talked, took walks, did laundry at the river…


Peter even seemed to start eating more towards the end of the week. Steve came to the conclusion that the boy had probably been so excited to the point where he actually felt sick.


They really had a nice time until the plans were set and the Russian soldiers arrived. The Russians brought a lot of food, which really was nice, but them arriving also meant Peter’s encounter to Hitler was coming closer and closer, and it made him feel sicker than the excitement had.


He couldn’t eat more than a few bites of each meal again, and the circles under his eyes became darker.


It had been going on like that for a week, since they knew the exact plan. He knew what he would have to do. He knew where to go, but carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders took its toll on him.


If he did kill Hitler, he would become a historical hero, but if he didn’t, oh boy. The war would go on and thousands of Jews would continue to die every day until someone came to actually kill the Führer.

 

 

“Are you okay?” It was the evening before the attack that was planned to be done at night. Division 107 was having dinner all together, it could be their last one with everyone still alive. Steve was really worried about his young soldier; the boy wasn’t eating at all, just staring and pushing around his food.


“I’m fine.”


“Of course he’s fine, he’s gonna kill Hitler in a few hours.” Miller laughed and high-fived Green. The others were in a pretty good mood, and Peter couldn’t blame them.


If he was being completely honest though, he would’ve liked that one of the snipers would just do his job. That would never happen though; he was the only person to fulfill the job, literally. It was physically impossible for anyone else to fit into the spot he had to.


With the help of some building plans, they had found the perfect space for Peter to wait until Hitler would come out of the innermost building. With his 5’2 and 100 pounds, the boy was definitely the only soldier to fit into an air shaft.
“Well you should eat up, it’s going to be a long night.” Steve pat Peter’s back and then went back to eating.

 

 

Once it was pitch black outside (the moon was just starting a new cycle and there were clouds all around), division 107 made their way through the forest and up to Hitler’s camp, staying hidden behind the trees until their sign would strike.


The Russian snipers had hidden up in the trees the day before to analyse the protection pattern of the Nazis.

 

 

At one point, several shots were fired, and every single Gestapo man on each of the buildings fell, as well as those protecting the entry of the outermost. That was their sign.


Cap ran ahead, division 107 right behind him. He stomped down the first gate and the snipers shot the guards of the next one.


They repeated the same thing once more, and then it was Peter’s turn to sneak into one of the buildings.
He took a right while all the others went straight ahead and entered the building through an open door. It was dead quiet around. Peter met no one on the stairs leading up to the connection bridge between building 3 and 4.


They knew that the other German soldiers were somewhere in and around the circle, but also that they wouldn’t really be able to go after Peter if he climbed into the air shafts.


Upon entering the 6th building, a soldier opened the door, expecting nothing, and Peter shot him without a second thought. The first person he had ever killed in his life was a probably 18-year-old German, with a bullet through his heart.


The young American was way too excited and focused to realize that though, and he simply stepped over the corpse and ran into the building and towards the air shaft. The round corridor made it hard for Peter to see anyone come close, yet thanks to his sensitive ears, he heard footsteps approach. That was when he reached the lid of the air shaft, yet he waited in front of it to kill the next soldier.


A bullet through the man’s brain, entering at the centre of his forehead. Peter was lucky; The soldier was quite skinny, so he could easily hide him in the opening of the air shaft.


The that was coming out of his head, dripping to the floor, was wiped away with the sleeve of Peter’s uniform.
The boy pulled at the soldier’s uniform until he was sure no one could see him from outside anymore. He climbed over the dead body to close the lid, getting blood stains on his pants as well.


After that, he was finally able to set off and crawl towards his position. The air shafts were between the walls, yet Peter could see rooms through the holes below him.


He reached the other end of the air shaft before Hitler had been escorted from the innermost building, as he realised in relief when the gate opened. He had clear view on the whole path from building 7 to 6.


First came a row of three soldiers, then another one and there he was. In the middle of two other soldiers. He was accompanied by a total of 14 soldiers, and Peter knew he only had one chance. Once he would shoot, the 14 men would jump on their Führer and there would be no way of killing him anymore.


As he was adjusting the position of his rifle, Peter felt through the thousand times he had practiced shooting again.


Once the escort reached the middle of the path between the two gates, Peter aimed the rifle at Hitler’s temple and shot, missing the target. The bullet grazed the back of the man’s head though, and he fell. One of the soldiers ran back into building 7, while all the others went to jump on their leader in order to protect him.


A loud alarm started to ring, and Peter felt the aluminium bottom of the air shaft vibrate. The absence of knowledge whether or not he had killed Hitler nearly made the youngster despair. But that had been his chance, and he had to get out of there right then. The soldiers were surely looking for him.


He heard gun shots being fired all around, and prepared himself to fight more than before. He jumped into the last room before the other end of the airshaft (he had carefully counted the rooms that air shaft served).


Continuing to walk in the same direction he’d been crawling in, Peter reached the corridor from before, only that now it was basically a war zone. He used his rifle to hit the few Gestapo men that attacked him on his way back to the connection bridge.


They had told him to run after the assassination; He was too valuable to die in a one on one fight.


And so he ran, hitting more soldiers on his way out of the base. Once he was back on track in the forest surrounding the bunker, he ran. He ran for dear life, even though it wasn’t threatened at that exact moment, but all he wanted to do was sleep, for this to be over.


He ran the whole 10 km back to the bunker, not stopping once because there was so much adrenaline in his body that he had to use up. He reached the destination just when the sun started to rise.


Bucky and Steve were the only ones from the division who were back already. “Peter?” The two leaders of the division got up from the table they’d been sitting at. “How’d it go? We didn’t see a thing. Couldn’t get through gate 3.”


Peter wished he could nod, tell them that he’d met exactly Hitler’s temple and that the war would be over in a few hours.


Instead, his eyes filled with tears and Steve came closer as Bucky shot him a concerned look from behind him. “I didn’t meet the target.” The dirty tile floor became more interesting than Steve’s face. “It did merely hit his head, a grazing shot. Grazed the back of his head. I couldn’t see what happened after."


Peter was extremely tired from staying up all night. He was exhausted from running the 10 km back to their bunker. The weight of the three people he knew he had killed (one more at the end in the corridor), made the situation much worse.


He would’ve really liked not to, but as the first tear fell Peter started crying despite all his struggles. Steve stepped even closer, then wrapped his arms around the boy’s trembling frame.


Peter buried his face in Steve’s uniform, who was more than a foot taller than him, and he allowed himself to cry this time. He felt almost as safe in Steve's arms as he used to in his Uncle's back home, almost. Of course, who would feel completely safe in Germany during WWII, 6000km away from home?

Chapter Text

They stood hugging like that for what seemed like forever. Peter’s tears subsided quickly, he didn’t want to seem like too much of a little kid, even though he knew that that was his fate around here.

“Come on. A hit to the head is bad for him no matter where.” Steve knew how to calm soldiers down, a thing quite important for a captain. He stated other facts, reminded him that the Germans were way outnumbered, that the war was basically already won.

Peter knew that of course. Yet he hated the fact that he was the one responsible for thousands of people continuing to die until someone (hopefully better than him) would actually kill Hitler, oblivious to the fact that without him, the chances of that ending soon would be a lot lower.

“Why don’t you go to sleep? You must be exhausted.” Steve was whispering, which Peter thought was nice but he wouldn’t have really minded Bucky hearing that. His face was buried deep into Steve’s chest, which was the weakest Peter could look anyway.

Him being exhausted was a fact, not even a mere assumption. Being 15 years old in the 40s didn’t mean many parties, thus he never stayed awake for a whole night.

Steve let go of the boy, who then proceeded to wipe at his eyes thoroughly. He found Steve’s shirt soaked in front of him. Peter was angry for letting his guard down in front of the two leaders. It could’ve been worse though; He was sure if the other snipers had been there, Steve wouldn’t have shown that much affection, and it would’ve been even more awkward for him to cry.

Peter told both Bucky and Steve goodnight and then went into the room adjacent to their common room, taking the rifle with him.

They were quite lucky; The bunker had enough space for 14 soldiers, and there was enough space even if it was filled, so by not even meeting the middle of capacity, they couldn’t ask for a better place to stay during the second world war.

Peter had the bed at the wall, two beds next to him Steve, then Bucky, and then the rest. They used the spare beds to lay out their clothing and guns, but as they really didn’t spend much time in there, they didn’t really use the space as much.

Peter got undressed down to his boxers and threw the blood-stained uniform over to the bed where they had thrown their laundry over the past two weeks.

The blankets were quite warm, and as it was summer as well, he slept in only boxers. Steve and Bucky were still talking in the other room, but it was mostly quiet and their discussion topics didn’t include the on-going war at all.

The young soldier fell asleep to Bucky’s and Steve’s stories about home. But even though his body was resting, his mind didn’t seem to catch a break. Nightmares haunted the sleep he’d been so desperate for; Horrible creatures killing people, Hitler fighting him personally and Peter just couldn’t win.

He woke up around noon, sweating heavily and still completely exhausted. The other members of his team were all sound asleep. Peter tried to sleep as well, but all he could think about were the blood stains on his uniform. So he decided to go and do the only thing that would make him feel better; He went to the nearby river to do the laundry.

It was about a one minute walk to get there. The river was deep, yet narrow and the current was strong; Perfect to do wash the guilt off his clothes.

The soap helped a lot with the stains on his pants, but they seemed to be worse on his jacket.

“You shouldn’t go out all alone.”

Peter turned around so fast he almost fell off the stone he’d been crouching on.
“Careful,” Steve laughed as he saw the relief on Peter’s face.

“I’m sorry, I just couldn’t stand those stains.” Peter was close to crying again, trying his hardest to suppress the urge yet looking horribly broken whilst at it.

And Steve noticed that, so he tried to soften up the mood a little. “Don’t worry, we’ve all felt like that.” Steve took Peter’s jacket into his hands and showed him a strategy to completely remove all the stains.

“What’s the plan for today Captain?”

“Staying in, mostly. We are expecting a bomb attack in a few hours, which is why we should spread too far away from the bunker.”

Peter failed at trying to hide his new gained fear in front of his team leader. “Don’t worry kid, our bunker was built by Howard Stark himself, we probably won’t even hear the bombs.”

The Captain had been horribly wrong. Only about an hour later, after some nice prep talks by Steve, division 107 was in their bunkers, hearing explosion after explosion outside and it was turning Peter crazy.

He decided to go and take a shower while the others were playing cards. They were lucky to have warm water, yet as he’d got used to cold water during his time in the military academy, Peter preferred to cool down, helping his mind to even drown out some explosions heard from outside. He wanted to go home, badly.

Peter was washing his hair when a particularly loud boom struck, making the floor beneath his feet shake. The shaking transferred to his body, his thighs, then his stomach and eventually his fingers were shaking as well. Peter’s ears were ringing, and the cold water didn’t manage to distract him anymore from the fact that highly explosive TNT was being dropped on him.

The shaking never ceased, and he could never fully return to consciousness, the only image in his mind of those minutes (or seconds or hours, he couldn’t tell) being Bucky entering the shower with a towel and wrapping it around the boy, getting himself as well as the towel wet.

Then he carried Peter to his bed, passing the other soldiers and a worried looking Steve. Bucky sat down on the bed next to Peter’s. The boy felt himself starting to cry or more like felt tears falling down his face but he could’ve cared less.

Bucky was still sitting there when Peter regained his consciousness. He sat up straight, immediately regretting it as his vision went blurry and he was hit with a massive headache.

“What happened?” He asked, realizing that he was only wrapped in a towel. He heard the others still playing cards, so he couldn’t have been out for long.

Bucky was silent for a long time before saying: “You had a panic attack.”

Peter shook his head immediately. “No, I don’t have panic attacks.” He rubbed the side of his head.

“Peter. You were not trained for bomb attacks. This is all completely normal. No one is judging you.”

The boy didn’t answer to that, staring holes into the air instead. He couldn’t really believe that he had just had a panic attack, having no recollection of the past few minutes. And he was still too confused to realize that bombs were still falling outside, yet they sounded further away and the time span between explosions grew bigger.

“Also, we think you should eat more. You seem skinny, skinnier than when we arrived, which is not normal for the food conditions we have here.”

Another confused glare from Peter. He was just scared out of his mind, not trying to lose weight.

“And you don’t seem to be sleeping well.” Bucky felt bad for being the one to down this all on the boy because that was stuff they had noticed over the past few days and it must’ve been a lot for him. Of course, the reason for that was the war but still, Peter must’ve thought he could cope.

“Peter, if there’s anything we can do to help you, please just tell us. If you’re feeling better we’ll be out of here in no time, I promise.”

Peter fell asleep again, for the first time getting the relaxation he needed because every time he woke up out of a horrible dream again, Bucky was there to ensure him it was fine.

Chapter Text

It took Peter the entire day and following night to fully be able to relax and say he could get up to live a normal day again.

Bucky had stayed next to him almost the entire night, Cap took his place in the early morning hours.


When Peter woke up from a mere hour long slumber, he felt refreshed for the first time. “Ready to get up?” He was startled fully awake, not having realized the person sitting on the bed next to him.


“I think so,” Peter said, finally having regained a steady voice.


“Alright. Get dressed and we’ll eat breakfast.” That was when Peter realized that the explosions outside had died out and that it was awfully quiet.


“Where are the others?”


“They only left a few minutes ago, to go to the town and help whoever survived the bombing.”


The case was clear for Peter; He definitely had to help as well. It was his fault that the bombings had turned out so bad since he’d been the one to miss Hitler.


With that newly gained motivation and a lightning of energy through his body, he sprung out of bed and over to the one where he kept his clothes.


The uniform was on within a matter of seconds, and Steve stared at him, smiling lightly. “What’s gotten into you, Parker?”


“I’m ready to go and help.” Steve shaking his head made Peter’s level of enthusiasm drop slightly though.


“We’ll eat breakfast first; you should regain some energy.” Peter clutched his hand to his stomach. He had got used to feeling sick over the past few days, and the last thing he thought about was food, especially when waking up.


“I’m feeling sick though.”


“I’m the leader of the division, and in all the missions I’ve led, I have never let a soldier go out of the bunker on an empty stomach.”


Peter didn’t oppose; Steve’s announcement had been clear, and a minute or two later they were sitting at a table. All they could choose from was some hard bread, a poor amount of butter and cheese that smelled like it shouldn’t be eaten anymore, yet looked normal.


He ate the least amount that Steve had let him, surprised about not feeling the need to vomit right after.


They took their time walking back to town, as Steve wanted to talk about all that had happened.


“Listen Peter. What happened yesterday is completely normal. I just want you to know that. I have seen worse reactions in young soldiers. Canon fever is normal, especially in times like these.”


Peter kept silent. Of course he didn’t believe Steve completely. He was in a division with a bunch of snipers in their mid-20s, none of whom had not been in a war before, so how was he supposed to experience Canon fever in anyone else? Or that even German soldiers got it from time to time?


“Do you believe me?” Steve knew the boy didn’t.


And Peter was honest, shaking his head in sincerity.


“Of course you don’t. You’re in Division 107. I just want you to know that none of us will judge you. We’ve all been there, and we don’t want to make it any worse for you.”


“Thank you.” Their talk opened up a whole different liking to Steve in Peter than before. Since Uncle Ben had died the year before Steve hadn’t talked to men except for maybe his teachers at the military academy, and those were by far not as nice as the Captain.


Oh how much he would’ve liked to lean into Steve right now, so the leader would put a hand around his shoulder like his dad used to when they walked around the city. But he was a soldier. Soldiers didn’t love, and they weren’t loved by anyone but their own family. And Aunt May was the only family Peter had, but that was okay.


They arrived at the town about an hour later and soon saw it was pointless to try and meet the other people of their division, so they tried and find as many people and as much food as possible in the ruins that once used to be alive.


In the area where there was no one, and which hadn’t been searched according to one of the Russian soldiers, they started to look through a house that even had a remaining staircase, yet the upper story had fallen to the ground and there were only about three steady walls remaining.
Steve went to the ‘kitchen’, which he only recognized because of the stove. Peter tried to lift a few things, but all he saw was typical décor, a Menora and a wall clock.


He soon realized looking here was pointless, and Steve did at the same time. When Peter wanted to exit, he walked past the staircase, at which a broken piece of wall was leaning. And just for a mere second, he heard a faraway cry, seemingly from a baby. 


“Captain, could you come and help me take away this wall?” The captain did it himself though, revealing a door.


He kicked it open after realizing that it was locked and that was when the cries became more audible. Peter didn’t think twice. He took a flashlight and dashed down the stairs into a secret cellar where he found a baby, crying as the corpse of its mother was crushing its little leg.


He lifted the dead woman’s body, whose head was awfully stained with blood and the first thoughts he had that she had probably fought her way down to hear in order to save the baby, hoping that someone would find it after her death.


He cradled the baby in his arms just when Steve arrived. In order to calm it down, he took the leg that was likely hurting into his hand and kissed it up and down until a laugh escaped the baby’s mouth. He used his thumb to wipe away the baby’s tears. Steel blue eyes were beaming at him and Peter wanted to scream. He felt like he could run to Hitler’s bunker right now and kill him with bare hands. How dare anyone to ruin that child’s life?


“Good job.” Steve had come there as well, taking Peter’s flashlight as to light their way back up.


The quieting down didn’t last long as the light startled the baby in Peter’s arms so much that it started crying again. The baby was wearing a dress, to which the mother must’ve stitched the yellow star signifying it was, in fact, a Jewish child.


Despite the baby obviously growing very fond of Peter, as after stopping to cry she smiled at him the entire time, they gave her to the Russian soldiers that had arrived with a truck and would take the orphans thousands of miles away to safety.


While they were walking off, Cap patted Peter’s shoulder. “Good job.”


As sad as he was about the fact that this was not the only child with such a destiny, Peter’s motivation to help more people grew steadily.


The morning and the afternoon passed by without them finding any other survivors though. By the end of the day, they still hadn’t found any other soldiers of their division, so Peter and the Captain took on walking home by themselves.


The walk was spent in silence, as Peter was quite exhausted and, he was sure, traumatized about the hundreds of corpses he had seen that day, and Cap just didn’t know what to say.

Chapter Text

Cap and Peter arrived at the bunker after a mere one and a half hour walk, though it’d felt like a lot longer for the young soldier.

The only thing he wanted to do was change out of the filthy clothes he was wearing, and take a scolding hot shower in order to wash off all of the bad stuff he’d touched that day, including corpses and lots of blood.

“I’m starving,” Steve said after opening the door, walking into a smell cloud of potatoes and some sort of meat. The other men had returned, and brought what they’d been given by some of the Russian soldiers.

Peter went straight to the bedroom, gently saluting to Bucky while passing them playing cards in the common room, where a stove had been set up to cook.

The young soldier collected pants, a shirt and fresh underwear to wear after the shower as it in fact wasn’t extremely cold. “Are you up for some warm dinner?”

Peter winced at Steve entering the room unannounced. “Don’t worry, it’s just me,” the man said without a single laugh.

“Can I take a shower first? I’d like to wash off the blood…” Peter trailed off, staring at the floor instead of his leader’s face.

 

That shower turned out to be really important to Peter. He decided there and then, while hot water was running over the blood stains on his arms and chest, that he would be fine. He would act like every normal soldier, without panicking or crying or whatever it’d been that had made him seem like a desperate little boy in the previous days.

“There he is!” Green exclaimed when Peter walked into the common room. “Come on and join us Parker,” the sniper said and pointed to the chair next to him. They were all sitting at the table while eating pork and potatoes.

The older sniper patted Peter’s back when he’d sat down next to him. “Heard you saved a baby today.”

Peter blushed in response, then smiled and took a bite from the potatoes they’d got.

“Tomorrow’s a rest day,” the Captain announced once the dinner was over. “I hope you’ll use it to clean and do some laundry.” Despite it being his responsibility, Steve never asked his snipers to clean up.

Everyone took a moment to look around the bunker, finding out that the captain was completely right. Peter was quite sure that everyone’s experience at the military academy had been entirely different to the treatment they got in Germany. They’d practically been tortured if not everything had been in perfect order.

 

The next day, Peter woke up late. He hadn’t really been able to fall asleep fast the night before, and that’s how he’d slept through everyone starting to clean up. The only other person whose bed still wasn’t in order was Bucky. As if the man had heard his thoughts, Sergeant Barnes walked through the door right then, only a towel wrapped around his toned torso.

“Hey look, our sleepyhead’s awake,” Sergeant Barnes said, walked over to his bed and dropped the towel, then got dressed in his long underwear. Peter saw by the laundry lines above the beds that the day was used as an opportunity to finally wear clean clothes again soon.
“I’m going down to the river to do my laundry, care to join? The others are on a walk, they’ve already finished cleaning up.”
Peter nodded in response to the Sergeant and then jumped out of bed. He followed Bucky’s idea of only putting on the most necessary and grabbed everything he’d brought and every single bit of his uniform to go and clean it.

Leaving the bunker on an empty stomach, Peter followed Bucky down to the river, where they used bars of soap and washboards to wash all of the blood and sweat off their belongings.

“How are you doing?” Peter had expected that question.

“Better,” he said because he knew that if he’d just say good like always, then Bucky would ask him out about it.

“That’s nice to hear.” Bucky was rubbing a big fat stain of blood on his pants. “We heard about plans when Hitler’s scheduled to leave again. Stark hacked into their system.” Peter’s eyes widened at that piece of information. “This could be our chance,” the man said and smiled at Peter since he knew just how ambitious the boy was to finally end the Führer’s life.

“I hope I won’t miss this time.” It was the summer of 1943, and Hitler had survived almost 30 attempts of assassination since the Machtergreifung (takeover of power by the NSDAP) in 1928.

“I’m quite certain you won’t miss, and besides that, you did meet the target the last time.”

Peter shrugged his shoulders in response. “Parker, you’re one of the best snipers the world has ever seen. You’re a genius.”

The boy nodded. “I guess you’re right. I’ll kill him once and for all this time.”

 

The time until the planned attack on Hitler’s car passed by in flight; Peter was once again too excited to eat anything and revised all he’d learned at the academy over and over again. The three-month service in Germany was coming to an end, and as soon as Hitler would be killed, division 107 would be flying home. As some sort of a distraction, he studied the rocket and plane theory book May had given him until he at some point knew them perfectly.

“Ready?” Steve asked when Peter sat down next to him at 6 in the morning. The plan was as follows; Bucky would attach a bomb to the car Hitler was to leave the basecamp in. The bomb would explode close to Peter’s nest, where they would escort the Führer to the next car. That would be Peter’s chance and time to end the war once and for all. Bombs were not a safe enough plan, as Hitler seemed to survive every single bomb attack planned on him.

107 had to get in position by 8 in the morning; at 9, the Germans would start preparing for their leader’s departure, which was to take place at 11pm. This meant a 15-hour wait for Peter in his position, during which he would try to figure out how Bucky had planned to place the bomb.

 

“In position,” Peter said when he sat safe on the tree in perfect distance to the road below. And that’s how an eternity of waiting began.

After figuring out how Bucky had placed the bomb, Peter wrote a letter for his aunt, read and drew. He would get up every now and then, walk on a branch, switch position or simply make sure that the others were still around. They were as important to the mission as he was, their orders were to shoot the bodyguards.

“Placed,” Bucky announced over the headset. It was already 10pm, and Peter was starting to fight against his eyelids dropping.

He waited until the escort of three cars came into the light of the lantern next to his tree.

The bomb went off, flipping the car on its side, and immediately the first and third car stopped, and out came soldiers of the SA (Sturmabteilung = storm division), who were all immediately shot. Right after, while Peter’s adrenaline levels were rising like crazy, a door of the flipped over car opened, and out came the first soldier, wearing a helmet. The captain told the team over the headphones not too shoot, that they had probably already requested help.

Peter would’ve listened, really, but he was also the only one of the division who had seen Hitler in real life before, and he knew that body shape, and the all too well known moustache visible right below the rim of the helmet. So he took his chance and shot.

Chapter Text

The bullet went right through the man’s throat. Blood was spurting out of the hole and the soldier took off his helmet, revealing the Führer’s face. Then, he fell to the ground.

“Was that…” Green started over the headset. Peter smiled to himself. Cheers were heard from every nest around him. Yet they had to stay put until prime dangers were over.

 

“Hooray,” division 107 exclaimed when they came back to the bunker. They were leaving early in the morning the next day. It was already one in the morning, so sleep was not something they’d get a lot of before their departure back home.

Steve sat down in the kitchen and turned on the Volksempfänger, which is some sort of a radio that only received the state’s channel, and if anyone was caught listening to other channels, they were quite simply killed.

“Der Führer ist tot,” came the voice out of the speaker. That was enough information. As soon as the people of Germany would know, they’d rebel and with the German army that weak, the war would soon be won, since Germany was practically forced to surrender. It was finally their time to go home.

Peter was plainly exhausted, but he still packed everything up before he fell asleep in thoughts about what May would look like now, hoping that his army payment was helping her not to starve to death.

 

Thinking about May and starving hadn’t been too good of an idea before falling asleep. He woke up again to soaked bedsheets and pajamas; luckily not from pee as the position of the moisture told him; he’d been sweating like crazy, even his hair and face were wet. The terrifying images of a starved-to-death aunt may still clang to his mind. He decided to go to the bathroom to wash his face and maybe calm is rapid breathing.

“Captain Rogers?” An unknown voice was in the kitchen, and Peter woke his senses to be alert.

“This is Peter Parker?” he said in response.

“Parker? Howard Stark speaking. Can you bring Captain Rogers to the phone?”

Peter sniffed a little, then told the billionaire from the other side of the planet yes and went to wake the leader of his division. Steve woke up just about as ready to attack as Green had been on the first day, yet Peter was ready to block him as well.

“Parker? I’m sorry.” The Captain sat up, rubbed his eyes and then gave the boy a glare. “Are you alright? Have you been crying?” Peter looked taken aback for a second, then wiped the tears off his face which he hadn’t realized had fallen. Who was he kidding, being treated like an actual soldier could be forgotten. If Green had woken the Captain with tear streaks on his face, Steve would’ve probably kicked him, told him to go back to sleep and turned around to sleep himself.

“I’m okay, Mr. Stark is on the phone, sir.” Steve shot right out of bed at that and moved for Peter to come along as he walked out of the dorm.

They sat down at the table and Peter wiped the remainder of tears off his face as the Captain talked to his friend about a Doctor Schmidt, who worked for a secret organization called Hydra. Quite promptly, him, Steve and Bucky had another mission while the rest of the division could go home. That made him want to cry once more; he wanted to take care of his aunt, not kill some mad man who was obsessed with a glowing cube.

 

“So,” Steve said when he’d hung up the phone. “What’s wrong?”

Peter shook his head. “Nothing. I’m fine.”

The Captain gave him a glare. “Talk to me, we need you at your best state.”

“Fine… uhm… I’m worried my aunt may starve if I don’t come back soon.” Voice shaky, eyes filled with tears, Peter looked up at his Captain. May was all he had left since his uncle’s accident.

“I could have Stark send someone there to check up on her?” Peter sniffed once more, then nodded.

“That would be awesome.”

 

The next day, division 107 was picked up by a helicopter on a lighting close to the bunker. They would be flown to an airport in Berlin, from which everyone except for Bucky, Peter and Steve would take their plane home. By train, the journey of the three would continue down to the South Tyrol, close to where Peggy Carter, Steve’s mistress, was located for the moment.

Peter fell asleep sometime throughout the 12-hour train ride and woke up again with a blanket on him, head on Bucky’s shoulder.

He looked outside, saw the destroyed country of Germany and finally sat up looking into the eyes of the two smiling men.

“It’s a good thing you caught on some sleep, tomorrow’s a big day.”

“What’s the mission?” They were sitting in a closed compartment, so talking didn’t seem all too risky. And besides that, the entire country was being rioted due to Hitler’s death, and people talking about an overthrow wasn’t special for the moment. Steve told the two of them about their mission the next day, in which they’d get on a train and fight some agents of Hydra, trying to find out where the ‘glowing cube’ was located. Then they talked until the arrival at the Austrian train station at which Peggy Carter picked them up to get the three back to the camp. The woman ran up to Steve upon her arrival and kissed his cheek, then went on to Bucky, shook his hand and when she saw Peter, wrapped the boy in a tight hug. “Thank you.”

Peter was confused for a few seconds before realizing he had actually KILLED Hitler just a day before.

 

At the camp, Peter was celebrated like a hero. Every other soldier hugged him, gave him a high five or anything else to show the boy how appreciated his work was. Peter was proud of himself; he had made it possible for those men to go home alive, and barely even hurt.

He made good use of the infrastructure provided at the camp in northern Italy: the captain had granted him a few minutes to talk to his aunt.

“May Parker?”

“Aunt May?”

“Peter? Where are you? How are you?”

“I’m in Italy, it’ll be another few weeks. How are you?” Peter sat opposite to the Captain, who had to stay there so that the boy wouldn’t break the phone. That was the reason why he didn’t tell his aunt how he was.

“I’m good, the food coupons Mr. Jarvis brought by are very helpful.”

Peter’s throat was starting to close up. “I’m glad to hear that.” He felt Steve put a hand on his knee.

“You’re in every newspaper.” Peter swallowed hard. All he wanted to do was go home and hug May, even if it would be just for one last time. “Peter, you’re a hero,” she told him and the 15-year-old knew it would soon be too much for him.

“Yeah,” he answered, voice thin. “I’ll be home soon.”

“I know,” May said. “I think we’re gonna have to hang up now, or I won’t be able to pay my rent this week. I love you, Peter.”

“Love you too.” And just like that, the line went dead.

 

The boy looked up at Steve, whose heart broke at the look of pain on the face in front of him. “Come on, let’s have some dinner and then get enough sleep before tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

At the basecamp in the south of Tyrol, the most important leaders of each division had double rooms. And so Peter ended up sleeping in a room with Bucky while Steve spent his night in Peggy's room.

 

"Sergeant Barnes?" Just like every night Peter found himself terribly overthinking the next few days before going to sleep.

"Yes Peter?" They had just switched off the light, but Peter couldn't even seem to close his eyes.

"How much longer do you think we're going to stay here?" The boy wouldn't be able to deny it any longer, he was definitely homesick.

"Not much longer, the mission can be done in a day and Mr. Stark didn't mention anything else to do."

"Okay, thank you." Peter was actually not that tired at the moment, as he'd slept through almost the entire train ride. Besides that, falling asleep had become a struggle ever since he'd killed those soldiers in the base by hand, except if there was talking in the room. Sergeant Barnes' snores could be heard within the first page Peter read of the book he'd got from Peggy: The Hobbit.

While the 15-year-old soldier dove into a world of magicians and mythical creatures, Bucky fell into a PTSD fed slumber. Peter couldn't seem to stop reading, at least until he heard whimper like sounds coming from his company in the room. He looked over, saw the Sergeant still sound asleep and decided he'd probably misheard something.

The whimpering didn't cease though, and when Peter finally made his way across the room to check up on Bucky, the Sergeant was drenched in sweat, shaking heavily and the rapid eye movement was visible even through his closed lids.

"Sergeant Barnes?" The boy shook Bucky's shoulder and regretted that immediately when said man awoke and punched him in the face in shock. Peter apparently hadn't learned from his mishap with Green in the first night overseas.

"Shit Parker are you okay?"

Peter nodded his head in response, hand at his soaring cheek. "The question is, are you?"

"Me? Yeah. Why?"

"Well," the boy took his hand away from his cheek. "First of all, you're drenched in sweat. And you were shaking like crazy."

"Oh," Bucky said in response. "I don't remember a thing."

 

That more or less awkward event made Peter realize that he probably had to go to sleep as well.

They were woken at five in the morning by Steve, who immediately felt his father instincts rise when he saw Peter's bruised face.

"What happened to you?"

"Don't worry. It was just…" Bucky gave Peter a look from behind Steve, shaking his head. "I, uh, tried to wake Barnes."

In cars, the three soldiers were brought up to the mountains, Steve briefing Peter and Bucky on the way.

-

"How is he holding up?" Steve turned around on his chair to see Peggy Carter walking into the bar.

He wiped his eyes and nose. "He's okay. Finally accepted it was not his fault that Bucky fell." Actually, it was Steve who was taking Bucky's fall from the train worse than Peter.

The Captain finally got a bit of a handle on his emotions by crying and letting himself be comforted by Peggy, because he didn't allow himself to let his guard down in front of Peter.

He wouldn't know for a while how important

Chapter Text

Peter woke up with the sun shining onto his face. He looked towards the window, where the skyline of New York was nicely lit by the rising sun. Then, Peter looked to his left, where he found Steve sitting in an armchair and reading a book.

“Hey,” the boy said weakly, his voice was groggy.

“Peter, you’re finally awake!” Steve jumped up from the armchair and sat down at Peter’s bed.

“What do you mean ‘finally’?”

The Captain sighed in response. He himself had woken up a mere four weeks before Peter, but they’d put the boy in an artificial coma in order to do a couple more tests before they could wake him up again; he was not a super human after all, and they hadn’t known exactly what the ice had done to his brain. “What’s the last thing you remember, Peter?”

“The… uhm… We were flying?”

“Exactly. We were heading towards New York, but couldn’t have landed. So I crashed us into the Arctic.”

Peter nodded and Steve put a hand on his thigh. “That was 70 years ago.”

Peter laughed. “Good one. So did we capture that red guy?”

“Kid, we were frozen. That’s how we survived for 70 years. I’m being serious. And yes, Red Skull is long dead but Hydra still exists and they’ve become huge.” The Captain had already been informed about the Avengers initiative, and Tony had offered to all of them to stay in the Stark Tower, so he’d got a floor for him and Peter.

“Wait… You’re serious?” Peter looked to his right again. “Wouldn’t the skyline have developed a little?”

“This is fake. They designed it so they wouldn’t shock us to death when we woke up. You can tell me whenever you’re ready and I’ll take you to see the outside.”

“Is there anything else to know?”

“There are way more people. And cars. Be careful when you cross the streets because you might as well be hit. There are screens everywhere. It smells good at every corner, and bad at every other. We live in Howard’s son’s tower in Manhattan.”

“Wait… What about May?”

Steve sucked in a breath. “She’s alive.”

“And Peggy?”

“She is too. They live in Shady Acres. That’s a retirement home for SHIELD agents. Peter, your aunt became an agent after we died.”

Steve was happy not to have to tell Peter worse. Especially because he only had May as family.

Peter had to stay in the hospital for a few more hours to get blood drawn, his vitals checked and talk to the doctor. Then, Steve was allowed to take him home.

“I hope it’s okay for you to live with me and the others for a while?”

“That depends on who ‘the others’ are,” Peter said smiling, while they were walking out of the facility.

“They’re cool people. We’re sort of a special team now, I guess.”

The rest of the walk down to the streets was spent in silence. “Okay, as I said. It’s going to be loud and busy and crowded. Just stay close to me and you’ll be fine.”

And so they went outside. The sidewalk was definitely majorly crowded. Peter couldn’t stop from looking around. All of the screens were scaring him like crazy. He smelled food from 20 different countries and only saw men in suits or women in high heels. Instinctively, the boy grabbed Steve’s hand, who pulled away and then put his arm around the boy’s shoulder. “Alright?”

Peter nodded, unable to close his mouth at the awe that rushed through his body. The 20-minute walk was majorly eventful for him. He got to see pet dogs pooping around little trees on the sidewalk, was asked for money twice and stumbled three times. Finally, Steve took a right and entered a building. They used an elevator to get up to the common room, as an invisible voice said once they reached the level.

 

“We’re home!” Steve walked into the common living room, where Clint and Tony were watching TV on the couch. Peter followed shyly behind.

“Hey sunshine,” Tony said and smirked at Steve, leaving Peter confused.

The boy introduced himself to the men and was then showed to his room by Steve, told he would be going to high school close by and more general information on how everything would be working out.

Peter and Steve went downstairs to eat something because Peter was starving. They ordered a pizza and talked. Steve told him about what he’d experienced in his first month in 2012, all the while Tony rolled his eyes at their amazement.

Just after they’d finished the pizza, Steve’s and Clint’s beeper went off; they had to go on a mission.

The two of them left so fast that Peter didn’t even manage to think about what he’d be doing without Steve.

Luckily, Tony took that choice from him. “Hey kid, get over here.” Peter walked to the couch and sat down next to the billionaire, who was entertaining himself on an iPad, on which the kid saw pictures of himself, but decided to look away in confusion.

“So I read a bit about you. You killed Hitler, huh?”

The boy nodded in response. “Yeah, on the second try.” The feeling that he could’ve saved a lot more people than he actually had still nagged at Peter from time to time.

“You still saved a lot of Jews from the extermination camps.” Peter didn’t have a clue what Tony meant; the solution to the ‘Jewish question’ hadn’t come public until after his considered death.

Tony noticed that the thoughts of the war troubled Peter to some extent, so he quickly changed the topic. “So do you like science?” Tony honestly had no idea what else to talk about to the kid.

“Yeah but what I know is probably not worth a lot now. I used to read all about your father’s experiments.”

“Maybe I should show you the new and better technology?” Tony smiled at the kid, who didn’t answer properly. “Should we go to my lab?”

 

Tony took the time of two days, during which Steve and Clint were gone, to explain to Peter all of his new inventions, including especially the suit and the arc reactor, at which Peter almost cried, so amazed was he.

He showed the kid the music he thought the boy had to know and taught him all he w knew about the history he’d missed. Then, he explained to him how to use the internet, gave him a phone and even an own computer.

 

Steve, Natasha and Clint returned just in time before Peter had to start school the next morning, giving him a short briefing on what was expecting him despite not knowing himself. Luckily, Peter would be going to a private school chosen by SHIELD, because that way, he would wear a uniform. Up until then, Peter had only been wearing sweats provided by SHIELD. He had the uniform he’d been wearing when being frozen, but that he kept locked away in his closet.

Tony agreed to drive the kid to school, as Steve couldn’t even drive and Peter had no idea where to go.

 

“Good morning class, I would like to introduce you all to our new student, Peter Parker.” Luckily, nothing had been made public about Peter’s and Steve’s discovery yet, so no one knew exactly who Peter was. Yes, in talking about history he was the soldier who had killed Hitler, but both Peter and Parker weren’t uncommon names, and he wasn’t overly famous because he hadn’t exactly been able to write a book or song texts like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “Why don’t you tell us something about yourself, Peter?”

“Uhm… My name’s Peter. I’m 15 years old and I just moved here from… uh… Austria.” That was partly correct, and although Steve wouldn’t be proud of him for lying, he’d accept that.

Peter sat down next to a girl with wild curls on her head, and caramel coloured skin. Shortly, she was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen, topping even Natasha, whom the boy found very attractive. She was in fact so beautiful, Peter didn’t even look at who else was sitting around him.

“Austria, huh?”

The boy nodded. “Uh huh.”

“Where exactly?”

“South Tyrol.”

“Isn’t that where Captain America freed a whole lot of soldiers?”

Peter nodded. “I guess so.” His mouth was awfully dry. Maybe the girl was just a history geek, who knew? But that wouldn’t mean it had to be him who killed Hitler, right?

“Cool. I’m Michelle, but you can call me MJ.”

 

“How was your day kid?”

Peter had just entered Tony’s car. “Alright.” MJ had asked him weird question the entire day, not related to the war but also somehow. They shared most classes. He had even eaten with her, and a boy named Ned, who funnily knew all about Tony Stark.

Peter’s first week at the new school was spent pretty much like his first day. He got to know MJ and Ned better and, aside from frequent nightmares of the war and flashbacks to bombings he felt like a normal kid.

On Friday during lunch, Steve texted him:

- Hey kid, on our way to Stuttgart. Bad guys. Left some money. Order takeout. Be back by Sunday. Pepper will be home tomorrow.

Peter was fine with that. He would watch a couple of movies and do some school work until they’d return. Yet, exactly on that afternoon, Peter’s history teacher announced a partner project on the first world war.

Upon returning around, Peter saw MJ smiling at him. “Uhm… Do you want to be my partner?”

“Sure.”

“So… should we meet?”

“I have time tonight. Are your parents home?”

Peter shook his head. “But I don’t think-“

“I can’t bring boys home.”

Peter wasn’t really good at convincing anyone otherwise, and so he found himself forced to take MJ home with him, to the empty tower right after school.

Chapter Text

Peter and MJ took the subway to Times Square after school. She was eyeing him like crazy on the short ride, and he tried to prepare her for what she was expecting once they were walking to the tower.

"So my parents work for Tony Stark and uhh that's why we live…" They had approached the tower. "In here."

Peter knew his try at keeping this secret was pathetic, and that MJ probably already knew. "Cool."

The two teenagers took the elevator up to the living room.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Parker. Mr. Stark told me to tell you that the 10 dollars on the table are from Mr. Rogers, the 100 dollar bill is from him. You should have some fun."

MJ looked at Peter astonished, but he just shrugged and said: "Let's go to my room."

They went to Peter's room, which was right between Steve's and Tony's. He had a lot of space in there, and the two of them spread their textbooks and notes out on the bed.

"Make a presentation about the most important organizations that arose in the Interwar period, especially between 1928 and 1935. Make sure to include both German and American movements and find appropriate imagery to present to the class." Peter couldn't help but smile as MJ read out the task they had to do. It was so surreal; he'd actually been born in 1928 and there he was, writing a history report about it. It was not upsetting, just undeniably overwhelming.

MJ opened the program to write the presentation on Peter's laptop and they both used their history books and the internet (well, MJ did), to gather information on the topic.

 


"Ohh cool look at this, a chapter about war heroes," she said at some point and opened the history book at the right page. She eyed Peter when his eyes grew big.

"Show me," he demanded, and surely enough the first image he saw was him, Steve and Bucky at the base in South Tyrol. The picture had been taken a day before Bucky had fallen off the train, and it had also been the day that Peter had last laughed properly. Seeing that picture cut a fresh stinging cut into his healing heart.

MJ looked at Peter as his eyes brimmed with tears. "I didn't-"

"It's okay. You caught me. I'm Sergeant Peter Parker."

Now MJ had really expected that, but to have it confirmed like this was a new way of astonishing. "How?"

"I uh… I was frozen and they found me a bit over a month ago."

"And Steve Rogers too?" She pointed to the picture.

Peter had been about to deny, but then he realized Jarvis had just talked about Mr. Rogers leaving him 10 bucks, so he nodded.

"How about Sergeant Barnes?"

He was dead, because of Peter, obviously. Peter shook his head.

"Do you not like to talk about that?"

Peter nodded, closing the reminder of Bucky in front of him.

"I know what helps there," she said and started packing up her history stuff.

Peter just watched her pack and didn't react.

"Come on, we're almost done anyway," she said and Peter cleaned up his stuff as well.

 

"Do you have any Diet Coke?" MJ asked once they were back down in the living room.

"I don't know, ask Jarvis." It had got dark outside; they'd been working for four hours without a break, and Peter was exhausted. He was just nice enough not to send MJ away just now. "I'll go use the restroom, you serve yourself."

MJ did serve herself. When Peter came back, she had a half full bottle of Vodka, a full bottle of Jack Daniels and a bottle of Tequila in front of her. It was from Tony's supply that everyone was welcome to use, and he likely wouldn't notice it was gone because he had people making sure the refrigerator was always full.

"You want some Jackie Cola?" The thing with Diet Coke was that that way, alcohol was absorbed much faster into the body.

Thinking she was offering him Diet Coke, Peter nodded.

MJ mixed about half a cup of Jack Daniels and half a cup of coke for each of them and then walked over to the table, where Peter was already sitting.

"Cheers," she said as she handed him one of the glasses and sat down next to him.

Peter ignored the fact of how disgusting Coca Cola had become in the past 70 years, and downed the glass rather quickly. "Do you want something to eat?"

"Sure, what you got?"

"Jarvis what do we have in the fridge?"

"There is no food left in the tower sir. I suggest you order something, that is why Mr. Rogers left the money."

"What do you want to eat?"

MJ ended up ordering a pizza for herself, while Peter didn't eat a thing. While eating, she somehow convinced Peter to drink another glass of Jackie, stating it would be definitely better after one glass. She wasn't wrong about that.

 

At 10pm, Peter was shirtless, drunk and dancing to music he'd never heard before. MJ was almost in the same state. More dressed, but not less drunk.

Once the two of them were so exhausted they couldn't stand anymore, they lay down on the couch and started to talk. MJ brought Peter to tell him about how Bucky had died, and how it bothered him how many more people he could've saved and just how self-conscious he was and suddenly she was kissing him.

Peter had only kissed one girl in his life, but he did what his instinct told him, and they made out for a while before they fell asleep. Peter ignored the thought of how inappropriate this would have been back in the 40s, and simply tried to enjoy himself being a teenager of the 21st century.

 

Peter and MJ awoke to laughing by Tony. The living room was light flooded by the sun, and the screen at the wall told them it was hitting 11 in the morning.

"Morning," the billionaire said as he approached them. He couldn't believe 15-year-old Peter had had a girl like MJ spend the night. Steve had just told him a day before that the ex-Sergeant was 'still a kid' and that he couldn't 'leave him alone for too long'.

Peter sprung up from his position on the couch, dressed in only boxers. "Tony, hi. Where are the others? What time is it? You're not supposed to be back."

"They'll be coming in a second. And New York is about to be invaded so we sort of need your help."

MJ woke from the talking, still under the thin blanket.

"Good morning," Tony said to her. "I'm Tony."

"MJ." The girl looked at Peter unsurely. She sure hoped that the billionaire didn’t consider her a cheap chick for staying the night after only knowing Peter for a week. They’d been drunk beyond boundaries.

Then, Steve, Clint and Natasha entered the living room.

The Russian Assassin, upon seeing the bottles of liquor on the table and the teenagers at the couch, started laughing as well.

"What happened here?" Steve said, in shock.

"Nothing," Peter and MJ said in unison.

"I'd say they got drunk and had some fun," Tony said and laughed along with Natasha while the two protective men of the group just stood there flabbergasted.

"You're 15 Peter," Steve said and folded his arms. "And I don't think she's supposed to know about us."

"Only if she doesn't watch the news or looks out the window today," Tony said and Steve frowned.

"Hey guys how about we discuss this later and uhh we get dressed," Peter suggested and slowly everyone made their way out of the living room. "I'm so sorry," the boy said once the bigger part of the Avengers was gone.

"Don't worry, that was fun." It was a good thing that the others had left, because finally, MJ could uncover herself from the blanket. She was only wearing her underwear and a SHIELD sweatshirt from Peter.

MJ gave Peter a kiss when everyone said goodbye to her, and Jarvis recommended on her way down she get far away from the tower fast.

 


"So did you have fun?" Peter could tell there was judgement in Steve's voice as he folded the blanket on the couch. But whoever cared? Steve wasn't his dad, and the war was over, so he wasn't even his captain anymore.

"A lot, actually."

"You know you shouldn't drink at 15."

"I'm 84." Peter was having a lot of fun with this, and he stood there smiling with only his boxers on.

Steve rolled his eyes in response. "Clean this up, then go and get dressed, we have a mission."

Peter smiled to himself, then went to clean up the remains of last night; 3 bottles of liquor, a few glasses, a pizza carton and crumbs and liquid stains all over the place.

"Hey kid, I've got you some Advil and I may actually prepare you a hangover breakfast, if you ask nicely," Tony said once he walked out of the elevator.

"Advil? Why?"

"Don't you have a head ache?"

Only then Peter realized the throbbing pain in the back of his head, and the hole in his stomach from not having eaten in almost 24 hours. "You're right, thanks. And I'd like to ask nicely for a hangover breakfast," the kid said in response.

"Great, go and get dressed, your costume is on your bed."

"Costume?"

"Yeah or did you plan on fighting aliens in your underwear?"

Chapter Text

Peter left his confusion to itself and went to his room in order to get dressed. The ‘costume’ was quite slick; pants like those he’d worn in the war, just black, a bullet proof west for safety and a leather jacket filled with bullets in every pocket accessible.

Peter put on the boots assigned to him and then went downstairs to have some hangover breakfast.

“Well Peter… I’m gonna have to say, good job,” Tony said when he sat down next to the kid. He had prepared eggs, toast, bacon and lots of orange juice.

“Thanks,” Peter said as he laughed. Peter was only 15, yet he had experience enough not to think ‘fondue’ meant having an intimate relationship with someone.

 

They didn’t have a lot of time to finish breakfast before Loki landed on the balcony of the Stark Tower.

“Okay Peter, you get in the elevator and tell Jarv to take you to the weaponry. There you’ll meet Natasha and Clint and they’ll give you what you need.”

Peter did as he’d been told and actually met Natasha and Clint down there, who gave him three back up guns to put in various locations of his pants, a knife for emergencies, a rifle to put on his back and one for his hand.

“Are you good in one on one fights?”

Peter nodded, remembering all of the soldiers he’d knocked down in Rastenburg.

“Then I guess you’ll be alright,” Natasha said.

 

Peter entered the quinjet with the two spies and they first flew around the city, overlooking the entire thing. Steve had already been waiting in the jet and eyed Peter thoroughly as he looked out of the window. There was a hole in the sky, just above the tower, and out of it came hundreds of aliens on little ships.

The quinjet approached the Stark tower after a short conversation with Tony, and they saw Thor fighting Loki on the balcony. Peter had never been more confused, he just knew he had to kill aliens.

Loki used the scepter to shoot one of the turbines of the quinjet, and they crashed to the ground after Clint had maneuvered them safely around the buildings nearby.

The four of them dashed out of the jet and just when they looked up at the sky, saw a turtle like creature come through the worm hole, about as big as an Airbus A-380.

Buildings were being destroyed all around them, and the street they were on was a mess. One of the alien ships brought a literal bombing down the entire road, and civilians were running for their lives.

Peter, Natasha and Clint stayed put until it was safe to move, then attacked the aliens on the streets and helped trapped civilians to run away, while Steve started to take care of the surrounding area.

Peter was happy to see he could still shoot with 100% accuracy, and may or may not have saved both Clint’s and Natasha’s life. Although, the two agents did the same to him.

They seemed to successfully fight of the aliens, and at one point, Cap came running towards them and Thor came flying in from above.

“Who’s that child? We shall get him out of here,” Thor said, pointing towards Peter. The two of them had yet to be introduced, but there would be time for that afterwards.

“Trust me, we’ll want him here,” the Captain said and Peter smiled. He’d thought Steve was still mad at him for what had happened in the morning.

The team heard a motorcycle approach from behind: Banner. Then, the actual party started: Tony brought in the turtle alligator flying thing and Bruce hulked out, stopping it right on the ground.

The Iron Man destroyed the alien right there, and while Steve went to protect Natasha from the parts flying to the ground, Thor towered over Peter.

 

They thought the fight to be won when another two of those huge alien ships came through the portal above Stark tower.

The captain gave his orders. Clint and Peter were sent up on two different roofs, shooting down the aliens that were still flying. Tony had to keep the air above the buildings clear, Hulk was to smash, Thor was to take care of the portal and Selvig up on the rooftop of Stark tower and Natasha and Steve stayed on the ground.

While Tony gave Barton a lift to his roof, Thor gave Peter one to his. From there on, the teenager didn’t notice a lot that was going on around him on the battlefield. He heard it over the intercom but was mainly focused on the aliens he had to shoot down. At one point, he had to reload the rifle, and it took him a while to figure that out but once he did, he went straight back to shooting.

He used up all of his shots for both the rifles and the guns, not missing a single one of them. Peter wanted to go down to ground level to continue fighting along with Steve, not having approached any alien up close by then.

This would soon change though: Three aliens were climbing up the building which Peter was located on, and he couldn’t do anything but wait to fight them one on one. Hawkeye had already gone down to fight along with Thor and Steve.

Peter had his bulletproof west, but whatever those creatures had in their weapons, came right through. His breath was knocked out of him, and he had a feeling all too familiar: the panic attack he’d had during the bombing in Germany. He remembered Bucky so sweetly taking care of him, and his heart burned in agony.

Staying strong, Peter pushed that thought to the back of his mind and continued to fight the aliens.

 

They were still fighting when Tony informed them about the nuke, but soon all the aliens died down, and the tension was immense as everyone stared up at the wormhole to find out whether or not Tony had made it back in time.

Peter found himself starting to shake terribly throughout those few seconds of waiting, and that didn’t go unnoticed by the Avengers. Yet they chose to ignore it. Peter was a troubled kid, it was probably normal for him to be that worried, and what would it change if they said something or not?

Obviously, Tony did not die, and all of them were able to go back inside the tower to get cleaned up after a fight like that. The only person who had more to do now was Tony.

Peter walked behind, slowly. Now it was time to think about Barnes. Although the Sergeant’s death had happened literally 70 years, for Peter it was a mere month of living, and he hadn’t cried about his loss yet.

Steve had. Peter had heard him a couple of times at night when he couldn’t sleep, and that is also why he chose not to cry. He knew if he cried, Steve would too, and that he didn’t want because it would hurt Steve’s pride.

Peter’s eyes were watering. His stomach hurt where the alien had shot him, but he wasn’t about to tell anyone.

 

The Avengers all took their showers in the tower, and Peter got dressed in his SHIELD sweats once again. Then, he lay down on his bed and took out the history book he’d been working with the day before.

He opened the page about war heroes, and read the text about Bucky. Grief was consuming his heart from the inside. He didn’t even care that he had just fought a bunch of extraterrestrials, or that he’d fought alongside of a god and a victim of a radioactive accident. All Peter wanted was to go back. To be back in Germany, having just killed Hitler, convincing Steve and Bucky that hijacking that train was not a good idea.

“Mr. Parker, the Avengers are downstairs and celebrating their win, they would like you to join.”

“Yeah tell them I’m not in the mood,” he said, his voice cracking. He had examined the bruise on his stomach and was sure it would go away on its own.

 

A couple of minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Peter was still staring at the picture in his history textbook, his heart aching more with every minute passing. Steve entered the teenager’s room without being called in, and Peter quickly wiped away the few tear streaks on his cheeks.

“Hey kid,” Steve said and walked over. “You did great out there.”

“Thanks,” Peter said, sitting down at the edge of the bed, completely abandoning the book behind him.

The captain sat down next to his youngest team member. “So why don’t you want to come and join us downstairs?” He placed a hand on the boy’s knee.

“Uhh. I don’t know I’m just tired.” The fight had lasted only about 2 hours, and Peter had slept for 12 hours that night, Steve would definitely not buy that.

To Peter’s horror, the captain looked around his room, and saw the still open book on the kid’s bed. He took it in his hand. “Isn’t that cool?”

“Yeah, awesome.” Peter took the book from Steve again, closing it and throwing it behind him. Then, he got up. “Come on, let’s go downstairs.”

When he was at the door, Peter felt a firm grip on his shoulder. “Why were you looking at that?” Steve asked, sympathy written all over his face.

Peter’s eyes were awfully watery as he looked up at the man, yet hoped he wouldn’t notice. “It’s for a history thing at school,” he lied and turned around, but the grip was still firm.

He turned around again, and Steve gave him his ‘don’t lie to me’ face. “You still miss him, don’t you?”

Peter knew Steve didn’t mean it in the way that Peter would ever forget about the sergeant. “I just… It hurts,” he croaked out and walked back over to the bed, opening up the page again. “I see this picture and it’s only been a few weeks since and my heart hurts so bad and I think of him a lot.” The tears were close to falling again, but Peter wouldn’t let that happen. Not in front of Steve. He couldn’t do that to the man. “But I guess that’s normal, so we should really go downstairs.” He didn’t get up though.

“You know I’ll listen if you need to talk. And I’m gonna tell you to grief if you need to.” Right, but Peter could do that on his own.

The teenager brought his hands to his face, wiping at the corners of his eyes. “Hey,” Steve said and sat down next to him, rubbing the kid’s back. “It’s okay to be sad.”

“I know, but not in front of you.”

“Why’s that?”

The tears finally fell at Steve’s question, but Peter wiped them away as they came. “I just saw how much you were grieving and I didn’t want to bother you with my feelings. I’ve only known Bucky for 3 months.” Peter had also never called Bucky Bucky, but that was a story for another day. “I don’t want to make you that sad again,” Peter whispered and his gaze shifted back down to the floor.

“Peter it’s okay to be hurting. And if anything grieving will just make it better in the long-run.” Steve thought about how they’d spent the time after Bucky’s death. He’d been quite withdrawn, and oh well, Peter hadn’t really shown emotions since. “Talking helps.”

Peter knew, obviously, that it was okay to grieve. But his image on how to do that was askew. When his parents had died, May and Ben had been there for him. When Ben had died, he’d been there for May, because Ben was ‘just’ his uncle, and May had been his wife. That situation had been similar to what he was in right now.

“Come here,” the Captain said and gave him a hug.

“I’m sorry,” Peter choked out and didn’t dare to look at Steve anymore.

“Don’t be sorry.”

Peter started to feel bad about the morning too. Steve cared so much, and he was taking all of that for granted. He didn’t dare to say anything about that, though. He was completely embarrassed. The captain was so righteous while he was out there living like a sloppy mess.

 

The next day, Steve took Peter to Shady Acres. He had seen Peggy a few times, and told May he would bring Peter by soon.

Peter was extremely excited to see his aunt again; he’d been homesick for a while before his death.

“May!” He ran over to his aunt and hugged her. May was sitting on a couch in her room and had been reading a book.

“Peter,” she cried upon seeing her nephew enter the room. Steve was standing in the doorstep, awkwardly looking at the family reunion.

“Oh Peter, I’m so glad you’re alive.” Peter’s eyes filled with tears at the thought of his aunt having lived alone for the past 70 years. But when he looked at the walls, he saw May had lived a spectacular life after his death.

There were peace medals, awards, pictures with Howard Stark, John F. Kennedy and more politicians whom he didn’t know.

“Don’t cry,” May said and cupped Peter’s cheek with her hand, wiping away an already fallen tear.

Peter’s smile peeked through from behind his shiny eyes. He felt somewhat warm. That everything was going to be okay. He had Steve who’d definitely take care of him if May would die. And May was happily living her life’s evening, which is all Peter had wanted during the war.

The teenager wasn’t going to try and talk things better; May was 97, and would probably die soon given her very weak state. And that was okay because she had lived life to the fullest. And because it wasn’t the same anymore. Steve was probably feeling the exact same thing with Peggy, only had their love been something entirely different.

But now Peter knew that he could grieve together with Steve.

Chapter Text

“Did you get in trouble?” MJ asked when Peter approached her the next morning.

“Not much,” he said. “I’m 85 after all.”

Michelle smiled at that. “I saw you on the news.”

Peter’s eyes shot up at that, only then realizing his face hadn’t even been covered. He was going to have to talk to Stark about that.

“Don’t worry. You were covered in dust and they couldn’t even get a real shot of you. I only saw you because I knew you were going to be there.”

“Peter!” Ned whisper shouted as he approached them. “That was awesome.”

Peter shot Michelle a questioning glare. “I may have spent the day at Ned’s, outside the city.”

 

The three of them went to history class, where they were just approaching the second world war after discussing the interwar years. That was going to be a fun topic. Everyone knew someone had killed Hitler. But none of the children actually bothered enough to know that soldier's name. And that was good while it lasted.

In English class, their teacher brought in new books, all covering the topics of World War as well. One was 'All Quiet on the Western Front'. Then there were several more, including Lieutenant Gustl, The boy in the striped pajamas and several literary theories.

"So class, since the government now considers you old enough to talk about the topic of Anti-Semitism and National Socialism, we will take on the post-modern literary era. I will cover one literary theory a month and you will be reading half a book a month as well, and at least one chapter per week. There is one assignment due each week of writing an essay about the chapter you've read."

Wow, this could only be fun, right?

 

The first literary theory they started to discuss was the 'banality of evil'. It would prepare them for the book Eichmann in Jerusalem.

What the banality of evil questioned was the thought whether soldiers were actually just as guilty as their leaders during a war, or if they were just acting out the requests made to them and not chargeable for that type of murder.

Upon thinking about that, Peter took a walk down memory lane. He had seen things these kids here could only have nightmares of, and they thought they were able to properly judge who was guilty in a war situation?

He had seen dead babies, children and adults, hundreds of them, and he had put an end to it by shooting a bullet through Hitler's brain. They were questioning whether he was guilty of murder or not? That was simply ridiculous. And Flash coming to the conclusion that in fact, 'that dude who killed Hitler is guilty too', gave Peter the rest of it.

He raised his hand.

"Yes, Mr. Parker?"

"I don't feel so good, may I be excused?"

 

Peter didn't remember how he'd got out of that school so quickly. All he knew was that now he was running, heading for the Stark tower.

"Kid what are you doing here so early?" Tony asked when the boy stormed through the elevator doors, hair crazy and eyes wet.

Peter leaped forward towards the millionaire and just about started bawling his eyes out. Stark did what he had to and wrapped the boy in a solid hug.

Chapter Text

Tony was quite taken aback at the kid in his arms, but he wasn't about to push him away. Peter was a good boy, and everyone felt more than sorry for him at the tower. None of them had gone through such big trauma at such a young age: trauma of war, hunger at home, abandonment in worse forms than even Natasha and Tony had suffered.

"Hey, hey. It's alright kid. You're okay, just breathe." Tony placed his chin on top of Peter's head and streaked the hair at the back of it.

It took a while until Peter's tears subsided and he finally lifted his head out of Tony's shirt.

Tony just gave him a sad smile. "How about something to drink?"

After a few minutes, the two were sitting in the lounge on the balcony. While Peter had a glass of Coca Cola sitting in front of him, Tony went with plain water.

"So, care to tell me what happened at school?"

Peter took a deep breath. Now that he was coming back down to earth, he started to feel majorly embarrassed about his breakdown in front of Tony. He felt his cheeks heat up, and looked away from the billionaire.

"It's alright, you can tell me. I won't judge you."

"Okay uhm. We talked about this literary theory." Surprisingly, Peter managed not to start crying again when he explained all about the theory they had treated in class.

"Oh Pete. I really think you need to start talking to someone. You can't deal with your PTSD by yourself."

"What's PTSD?"

Tony only then remembered that PTSD hadn't had a definition back in Peter's day. "It means that your traumatic memories are haunting you: flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks... And those things interfere with your daily life. It sucks." The billionaire stared off into the distance.

"Why do you know so much about it?"

Tony sucked in a breath. "I was uh... kidnapped. Six years ago." They were both silent for a while. "Look. I've been talking to someone ever since I started having panic attacks, and it has helped me a lot."

Peter was actually glad his phone rang then, because although he wasn't against talking about it, he had no idea what to say.

"Hello?"

"Hey Peter it's MJ. How are you?"

"I'm better. How's school?"

"We're having lunch right now. And by the way, just so you know, I punched Flash's nose after English class."

Peter smiled to himself.

"Anyway. I was wondering if I should skip class this afternoon if you need someone?”

"Uhhh. Can you hang on for a second?" When Peter looked at Tony, the man smiled at him. "MJ asks me if we want to hang out this afternoon. That's the girl from the other night."

"Well say yes?" Tony chuckled when Peter told MJ yes. Then he gave the boy some money with the task of having so much fun he would forget all about his breakdown that morning.

Chapter Text

It was only two days later that Tony told Peter he would pick him up after school. What the billionaire didn't tell the kid, was that he was taking him to a 'therapist'.

Said therapist was none other than Sam Wilson. Back when Tony had lived in Malibu, he'd had James, a therapist he went to once a week. But now that they lived in New York, he could only talk to him on the phone, and being introduced to someone you were supposed to share feelings with on the phone didn't seem really inviting. So, after a short talk to Steve, Tony found that Sam was a great match.

"Where are we going Tony?" Peter asked him as he climbed into the man's car.

"To go see someone you can talk to," Tony said as he pulled onto the road.

"I don't think I'll feel that comfortable talking to someone, can I just go home?" Peter asked, scared of having to open up.

"This is someone you can trust kid, not a random therapist I've chosen on the internet. He's been through similar things like you," Tony informed the kid, knowing that he'd need to talk to someone or life would get a lot harder.

Peter didn't answer to that, and stayed quiet for the rest of the ride to the treatment center Sam worked at.

"I'll be outside," Tony informed his protegé as he left him in the office with Sam.

"Hey Peter, I'm Sam," Sam said and shook Peter's hand. "Why don't you take a seat?"

The room was plainly furnished with a couch, a small table, an armchair for Sam and bookshelves built into the wall. Peter reluctantly took a seat on the very edge of the couch.

"So Peter tell me, how was your day?" Sam asked and took a small notebook and pen into his hand.

"It was alright I guess. School is kind of fun," Peter said, looking Sam straight in the eyes. It was weird for the therapist to see a 15 year old acting like that. Usually they were either very talkative or wouldn't talk at all, but Peter was calm, too well mannered to say anything offensive or make remarks about how annoyed he was to be here.

"I'm glad to hear that, have you made some friends?"

Peter nodded his head in response. "Yeah, actually..." He was about to say that one of those friends might be more than a friend, but his upbringing from the 30s had him put the urge away. "Yeah, I made two really great friends," he said.

"That sounds great. Do they know?" At that, Sam opened his notebook.

"Yes, they do, but they don't pester me about it."

Sam hummed softly along. The kid seemed warmed up, now it was time to ask the real questions. "How is it being expected to be a normal teenager of 2012 and forget all about your past?"

Peter frowned and swallowed dry. "It's uh..." He thought for a minute, hoping that maybe Sam would ask another question if he didn't speak, but that wasn't about to happen. "It's tough," he admitted and looked out of the window to his right at the building on the other side of the road.

"How so?"

Peter shrugged his shoulders, then realized that that was rude, and straightened his back. "It's just... Nothing is the same as I left it. My aunt is now what, 97, probably on the brink of death, Bucky is still gone, Captain Rogers is a mess, everyone else in the 107th is dead. It's me against the world."

Sam was a bit taken aback by what Peter had said about Steve, but he wasn't about to go into his friend's psych with the boy. "So you're having trouble adjusting?"

Peter nodded. "Yes." After a second he spoke up again. "No, it's not that. I just wish that some things had stayed the same. I mean, I'm glad May had the chance to live a life she's always wanted. I miss Bucky terribly. And Captain Rogers used to take such good care of me back in Europe and now that he can't I feel like I have to, but I can't either," Peter breathed, eyes wet with unshed tears.

"You don't have to take care of Steve, Peter," Sam assured the boy but that was presumably the wrong thing to say because now Peter's cheeks were lined with two tear streaks.

"Yes, I do. If I hadn't... If I hadn't missed that first night in Rastenburg, if I had just killed that bastard, we would've been after the Tesseract long before it was in Austria, Bucky would've never fallen off the train. We might even not have crashed into the arctic. We could've gone home, all three of us, happy and alive. Now we're scattered over history and emotionally unstable."

Sam took a deep breath. "Peter, there is nothing you can blame yourself for. Throughout history there have been so many whats and ifs. You saved millions of jewish people, you saved millions of soldiers. And you don't even know for sure what would have happened after." He looked at the boy, who carried a pained expression but had wiped his face and was surprisingly not crying. "It happened, there's nothing you can do about it. What you can do, is accept it and grow."

Peter hummed in uncertain approval to Sam's words, not knowing what to say.

"And Steve will too, trust me," Sam assured and believed his own words.

The teenager looked out of the window again. He had no idea what to say to this.

"So, if you don't want to talk about this anymore, we can change the topic?" Sam suggested, and wrote in his notebook to pick up on the topic in the next session.

"Okay, yes. That sounds good," Peter said and adjusted his tie and jacket of the school uniform.

"So, Tony told me about what happened two days ago."

Peter took a deep breath. He'd thought Tony had silently agreed to never tell anyone about his moment of painstakingly obvious weakness. But he guessed it was  something to cover at therapy, so Peter shrugged his shoulders. "What about it?"

"Care to tell me what happened in your words?" He leaned back against  the armchair, clearly waiting for Peter to start talking. 

"Well," Peter said. "We were discussing the banality of evil at school," he saidand upon Sam's confused look, started with a brief explanation. "It's basically the discussion of whether soldiers are guilty of murder or not, whether they're just following orders or actually commiting a crime." Peter looked out of the window, his pulse picking up on speed. "I... This topic is absolutely not suitable to bring up in a room of 16 year olds. They have no idea what they're saying," Peter explained. 

"What did they say?"

"Some boy, Flash, he was saying how no one can just get around killing someone saying he was given orders. And that the soldiers could've just resisted those orders. And he specifically said that I was guilty too, without knowing it was me."

"What was it like to discuss this topic?"

Peter laughed painfully. "I was back on the frontier. Back to killing those German soldiers that were maybe three years older than me. What was I thinking, I could've just knocked them out I-" 

"That's enough, Peter," Sam said as he noticed that Peter was beginning to panic. 

Peter looked at his shaking fingers and then got up. "I think so too," he said and walked towards the door.

Sam's "hold up," didn't stop Peter on his way out. He told Tony to please take him home and sat down in the man's car without a glance back. 

 

Chapter Text

«Are you okay?» Tony asked Peter once they had left the parking spot.

He would’ve liked to tell the kid that he wouldn’t take him back before finishing the session with Sam. Yet something in him told him to not betray Peter’s trust like that.

Peter didn’t answer for a while, just staring out of the window and Tony realized how new this must still be to him.

So he waited for a few minutes before asking again whether or not the ex Sergeant was okay.

“I’m alright, just so overwhelmed,” Peter said and tugged at his brown curls.

“I know Peter, I understand,” Tony said but didn’t even believe himself.

“No, you don’t,” Peter said quietly, not necessarily rude but not nice either. He felt disrespected. “Two months ago I was in Nazi Germany about to shoot Hitler dead. My aunt was what, 25 years old and I was happy to go home to 1943 New York. And now I’m-“ Peter touched his chest with his right hand, his forehead with his other hand. “I’m here and it’s 70 years later and-“ he took a couple of deep breaths. “And I have no one. I’m fucking alone and I’m fifteen years old and I should’ve been dead already on that Stark mission and-“

“Pete stop!” Tony said and Peter had the feeling he’d heard that several times for a few seconds before it finally got through to him.

He touched his forehead again to check whether he had a fever and then his heart to see if it was actually still beating. His chest heaved. Maybe this was it and he wouldn’t even have to bother to adjust to the 21st century. Bliss and sorrow filled his thoughts.

He was snapped back into reality with wide eyes as Tony grabbed his shoulders and turned him around. When had they parked down in the tower’s parking lot?

“Hey Pete, do you hear me?” Tony asked gently and Peter nodded his head. “Okay,” the billionaire said and smiled reassuringly.

“Tell me five things you can see right now,” the man said and began to run his right hand up and down Peter’s bicep.

Peter looked around confused. “Come on, five things you can see,” Tony repeated.

“Hm… Y… Your hair… The car key… Your sunglasses, your beard, m-my hands.”

“Very good Peter, now tell me four things you can feel.”

“M-My pants…The car seat.” Peter lifted his hand and touched the stubble on Tony’s chin. “Your beard… Your hand,” he said and took Tony’s left hand into his own.

“Yes, you’re doing amazing,” Tony said and continued holding Peter’s sweaty hand. “Okay come on, three things you can hear.”

“The air conditioning, the traffic, your breath,” Peter said, finally clearing up a little and finding it easier to focus on finding things to list.

“Great Peter, two things you can smell,” Tony said and stopped rubbing his hand on Peter’s arm and instead bringing the one that was already holding his to rest on his chest, an inch next to the arc reactor so that Peter could feel his chest moving while he breathed. Peter’s other hand, he brought to Peter’s own chest.

“The leather seats, your musk,” Peter said quite fast this time. The panic had almost worn off.

“One thing you can taste?” Tony asked one last time.

“Cafeteria hot dogs,” Peter said and Tony smiled at him.

“You’ve done great Peter. Do you feel me breathing?”

Peter nodded in response.

“And yourself too?”

The boy nodded again. “It’s because we’re alive Peter.”

Finally, Peter’s senses seemed to come back. Tony physically saw the teenager relax and then let go of the boy’s hands at their chests and Peter slowly dropped his too. Peter sure did want to stay alive if dying meant he’d have to be this scared.

“How do you feel?” Tony asked the boy.

“Tired,” Peter stated simply. “Thank you. How did you know what to do?”

Tony shrugged his shoulder. “I’ve dealt with a good amount of anxiety and panic attacks myself kid. Was this your first one?”

Peter thought about that for a second before shaking his head. “I had one during a bombing in Germany. Bucky helped me,” he said and realized he maybe shouldn’t think about this now, and Tony thought the same so he suggested they watch a movie together.

 

 

 

Slowly but surely Peter realized that life in the 21st century wasn’t all bad. And that he wanted to learn as much as he could about the future, or well, the past now. Upon Tony’s recommendation, he started to spend more time with MJ and Ned outside of school, and also tried to get to know each and every single Avenger personally.

The teenager spent a lot of time with Tony in the lab, working on the man’s suits or even his own costume. It was clear to everyone that Peter would not just become a normal boy now but that he would fight along their sides as well.

Peter learned a lot after he decided to give himself into adjusting to this life. He had great grades at school, good friends with Ned and MJ and he trained a lot with Steve.

What also kept lifting weight off his heart was the fact that Steve seemed to get better too, and that New York was starting to clear up after the alien battle.

Before Peter knew, the few weeks he had to attend school before the summer break were over and he hands down could not believe that he now wouldn’t have to go to school for three months.

 

 

 

He walked into the tower after having taken his last ever class of the school year and found Steve sitting on the balcony reading a book. He decided to join the man.

“Hi Steve,” Peter said.

“Hey kid, how was school?”

“Alright, I’m glad it’s over,” Peter said and turned to look at the skyline. His classmates would have finals for two weeks now, but they’d decided that with Peter having missed a big part of the classes he wouldn’t have to.

“Hey, you know what we should do?” Steve asked at one point, placing a bookmark in his book and putting it back on the table.

“No?” Peter said and Steve smiled.

“Go and get ready, we’ll have some good fun.”

Maybe, Steve thought, maybe taking Peter to Coney Island for the afternoon would be a good bonding exercise for the two. He’d done it with Bucky every year on the last school day.

Coney Island was also a place that had stayed much the same since the 1940s, and he simply wanted to spend some time with Peter.