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A Slice Of Life, Death, And Everything In-Between

Chapter Text


 

Peter watches as Thor, the God of Thunder, walks over to him, his muscles rippling along with the swish of his jacket.


“Hello, Young Stark!” The God says, a large grin lighting up his perfect and chiseled face. “How are you today?”


Peter swallows, feeling his cheeks heat up as he reaches out a trembling hand to shake Thor’s, his voice squeaking as he replies. “G-good, Mr. Thor God of Thunder sir!”


God, he cannot wait to tell Ned about this at school tomorrow.

Chapter Text


 

It wasn’t supposed to be like this; Tony was supposed to be the one there, the one who protects Peter and makes sure he is safe.

 


But it’s kind of hard to do that when his arms are now turning into ash right before his own eyes.

 


“Dad.” Peter chokes out above him, his tear stained and dirty face floating in and out of focus above Tony’s. “Daddy, I don’t want you to go! I don’t want you to go, please!”

 


Tony feels his heart break even as his body disintegrates further under his son’s arms.

 

Reaching one shaking hand up, the genius gently cups his boy’s face, brushing a thumb against his soft cheek and choking on a sob when Peter leans against the touch.

 


“It’s okay.” The superhero gasps out, his whole body shuddering as he sinks further down into the red dirt of the alien planet. “It’s okay Petey-Pie, I’m okay.”

 


Peter just shakes his head, his beautiful dark eyes spilling even more tears as he holds his father tighter, almost as though he could piece him back together with sheer force alone.

 


Tony can feel the same cold feeling begin to settle into his neck and chest and he knows he doesn’t have much time. With his last breath filling his lungs, the man raises his other hand, caging his kid’s face in his thin grasp.

 


“I love you, baby.” He whispers, so soft it’s barely words at all, but he knows Peter can hear him. “I’m sorry, I’m s-so sorry.”

 


Then the air rushes out of his chest and his body turns to nothing.

 


The last thing he sees before the wind blows the ashy remains of his body is his precious son’s despair ridden face, hallowed by the light of a star not their own and the echo of Peter’s scream rippling across the rust colored dirt.

Chapter Text


 

It was so dark out; so dark and stormy and cold and Peter knows that he shouldn’t be outside right now but he can’t bare to go home; can’t bare to walk into the Tower and see the thing sitting in his living room.

 

The thing that is supposed to be his father but just isn’t even alive.

 


Tony has been in a coma for—god Peter can’t even remember—and it hurts so much; it hurts and he knows that his Dad is going to wake up soon and smile and tell a joke to make everyone laugh and the boy is going to forget all about the pain he feels.

 

But for right now, until the A.I with his father’s voice is gone for good and the man is awake, Peter is just going to keep patrolling.

 

Because that’s all he can ever really do.

Chapter Text


 

The thing about nightmares is that, not matter how scary they seem or how long they last, you can always wake up from them.

 


For Tony, though, there is no waking up from this.

 


Peter—his son, his baby—lays limp against the ground, his head still bleeding from where Thanos had smashed him with a rock, had thrown him into the ground again and again and again. . . 

 


Tony feels bile bubble up his throat, spill from his bleeding lips onto his chin and drip down his neck but he doesn’t care, can’t even make himself think about anything but getting to his kid.

 

He crawls slowly—too slowly, the red and dusty world spinning around him—toward the still boy, the pleads exploding from his mouth without thought as the Titan laughs in the background.

 

“Need some help there, Stark?” Thanos asks, reaching down and picking up the superhero like a baby. “Wouldn’t want the little itsy spider to feel cold would we?”

 


Tony doesn’t even respond, doesn’t take his burning eyes off of his kiddo as the Titan throws him down beside the boy. The genius feels something crack in his chest, a pain so sharp sliding down his leg that it makes his world go gray, but that is nothing—absolutely nothing—compared to the pure agony that flares through his body at the feeling of his little boy’s cold body against his own.

 


And as Thanos looms above him, as the billionaire leans down to place a trembling kiss against Peter’s blood stained and matted hair, curling his body around the still and ice cold one in his arms, Tony knows that he doesn’t want to wake up from this, doesn’t want to face any more of the cruel world without his son’s bright smile and laugh to fill up the ever pressing darkness.

 


He had already felt that for far too long as it was, he knows he cannot bare even a mere second more. It would eat him away, rot his insides into a shell of death and melted happiness.

 


When Thanos raises one purple fist, the meaty hand blocking out the muted sunlight, Tony doesn’t even flinch out of the way. He takes each blow with a grin that grows wider with each passing second, with each hit that continues to shatter his bones and tear through muscles.

 


Because, as the darkness that clouds his vision grows and grows, Tony knows that he is going to see his son again.

 


Only one second more.

 


A strike. Stars explode across the sky, colliding and shaping two new points of light that streak across the atmosphere.

 


Finally.

Chapter Text


 

“This isn’t what is looks like!”


Peter freezes, stopping his decent down to the ground as he looks over at his Dad, the man’s frown literally turned upside down as the spiderling crawls across the wall.

 

“Oh really, bud?” The genius says, crossing his arms over his chest and tapping his foot as he waits for an answer, try to control his racing heart as his son jumps down from the ceiling. “Care to enlighten me then?”

 

Peter bites his lip, finally settling back on the carpet right in front of the apparent angry man. “The movie went on longer than we thought and then Mrs. Leeds wanted to get us ice cream and then we got stuck in traffic on the way home and my phone died but I meant to call you before s—“

 

Cutting his boy off, Tony lets out a huff, gently resting his hands on Peter’s shoulders as he gently steers him toward the bathroom. “Okay okay, kiddie, I’m not mad. Just make sure you keep your phone charged next time, no more Angry Birds or whatever you kids are playing these days!”

 

Happy now that he is not in trouble, Peter grins, rolling his eyes at his father. Swatting his hand away when the man goes to play with his curls, the young Stark begins to tell Tony all about the movie, so excited in his gestures that he doesn’t notice the soft smile flickering across the genius’s face.

 

His son is just too adorable for the world.

Chapter Text


 

God Tony is so proud.


His son is going to college! Off to see the world and live his life and become an even greater man than Tony could ever hope to be.


So why in the world is the billionaire feeling so sad?


Hugging his boy close, laughing as the teenager—now almost a man—mutters something about this getting too sappy, Tony knows that his son is going to be fine, is going to make the world an even better place.


But that doesn’t stop the ache Tony feels in his chest. Because his baby is all grown up and the superhero doesn’t think he will ever be over that.

Chapter Text


 

“Dad, do I really have to babysit tonight?”


Clutching his squirming baby brother in his arms, both young Starks watch as their father gathers his coat. Wincing as Morgan pulls on a loose curl, Peter nearly drops him when the 1 year old tries to jump from his arms and run to Tony.


“Daddy! Daddy stay!” The boy shouts right in Peter’s ear, his squeaky voice ringing in the spiderling’s head.


Pausing in straightening his tie, the billionaire walks over with a soft smile grazing his lips, wrapping his arms around both his boys and pressing a kiss to each of their foreheads.


“It’s just for a couple of hours, Petey-Pie, just until my meeting is over. You can handle Morg for that long right?”


Letting out a chuckle at the doubtful look his oldest shoots him, the superhero hugs them tight once again before grabbing his bag and making his way to the elevator. He looks back as the doors ding open.


“Bye guys! Daddy loves you!” Blowing kisses at his sons, an evil smirk lighting up his face at Peter’s red cheeks and his heart melting with love when Morgan reaches his small, chubby arms out. “I’ll be back in a few hours!”


But when the elevator doors close up around him and Morgan immediately begins to scream right into his ear, Peter knows that these few hours are going to feel like a lifetime.

Chapter Text


 

Red.


So much red. It streams out of the small body in his arms, a river of warm and sticky crimson that strains all it touches, soaking into the red soil and bubbling in the heat. Tony feels a scream build in his throat, climb up his wind pipe and sit, watching the barren world through the thin gaps of his clenched teeth.


“It’s okay buddy.” He repeats over and over, trying in vain to put pressure on the pulsing wound tearing through his son’s side. “It’s okay, I’m right here. Just take some breathes for me, Pete. You gotta breathe, you gotta.”


Peter lays on his side, the sickening hole exposed to the grimy air around them as Tony presses his hand against the wet and broken skin, feeling his heart break at each gasping sob his baby lets out. Gritting his teeth with even more force, the genius blinks tears out of his eyes as he gently moves Peter’s head so it’s in his lap, stopping his progress for just a second to cup his boy’s face.


“D-Daddy—“ Peter whines, squirming when his father presses down with more vigor, hoping and praying with everything in him to stop the inevitable. “Dad it’s s-so cold, I’m so c-cold.”


Shivering himself as his son tries to curl against his side, the grief stricken billionaire doesn’t give up on stopping the bleeding, even as Peter sags against him more and more, the ghosts of his breath ticking his father’s skin with each weak exhale.


“Dad. . . “ Peter suddenly gasps out after a few minutes, his voice sounding oh so very far away. “Daddy I’m-I’m floating. . . “


And Tony tries, he tries so hard it makes his head pound and his ears pop, but he cannot hold back his cries anymore. They spill from him like water, dripping down his chin to join the pool of red on the ground.


“No Peter,” he says, gripping his baby boy tighter, as though he could keep him here and grounded with his own hands alone. “No, sweetheart, stay here okay? Bruce is going to be here soon and he’s gonna help y—“


But Peter cuts him off, a gasping sound leaving him as his eyes stare off into the distance, tracing the outline of the nearby stars with his glazed over gaze. “I’m going there, Dad. I’m going to see more stars, m-more than you will ever know. . . “


And now Tony knows, knows what deep down in his chest he had always known as soon as the Titan had shoved that dagger through his son’s ribs. Leaning down, the billionaire rests his forehead against his child’s, ignoring the blood that still continues to bubble up from between Peter’s teeth.


His smile is a sea of red when he finally looks at his father again.


“Yeah baby,” Tony says, his voice wobbly and strained with an indescribable pain. “You’re gonna go walk among the stars. Leave a trail behind for me, will you?”


Peter nods weakly, reaching up with the last of his strength to grip his Dad’s hands, his gaze finally slipping out of focus as he inhales his last breath.


“I’ll l-leave you a sea.”


Then Peter’s soul leaves his body and Tony’s light leaves his own.

Chapter Text


 

“—so if you take into account the wind and the size of the missile, it would land somewhere along the southern border and we will all be safe to continue into the Compound.”


All of the Avengers stand in a semicircle around their youngest member, Tony being the closest and resting a proud hand on his masked son‘s shoulder as the rest of the team gasps in astonishment.


“H-how did you—?” Clint starts to ask, his mouth open as he looks around at his family, but Steve cuts him off.


“Very, uh, very good Peter!” He says, his own light eyes shinning in shock, puffing out his chest as he tries to get the attention to focus on him once more. “Alright team, lets go kick some ass!”


And with that the group starts to split, with Peter, Tony and Natasha going off in one direction as the others make their way through the jungle surrounding their target. Hanging back to give his child a small smile in pride, Tony wishes he could see Peter’s face but knows that the boy is blushing with embarrassment at the praises he can still hear from Clint even a mile off.


“Good job, kiddo.” The elder Stark says right before his helmet snaps into the place. “Stay safe out there alright? If you need help, call me, got it?”


Peter straightens up, giving a nod and an enthusiastic thumbs up, his muffled “Got it, Dad! You can count on me!” causing his father’s heart to melt with a mix of love and worry.


Then he shoots a web onto a nearby tree and is zipping out of sight.


Giving a sigh, Tony is just about to fly off into the cloudy sky when Natasha’s voice stops him, her tone wavering between indifferent and amusement.


“If there was any doubt about him being yours, Tony,” she says, resting a hand on the metal encasing his arms with featherlight touches. “It was blown to dust the second he corrected Cap. You have a good kid there Stark.”


Tony doesn’t know what to say for a second, his throat clogging with an emotion he can’t name as he squints into the distance, trying to see a flash of blue and red swinging in between the green of the trees. Finally he sighs, stepping away from his friend and gets the thrusters going.


“I know, Nat.” He says just before he blasts off. “You have no idea how special he really is.”

Chapter Text


 

“What the hell do you mean they are back in the Tower?!” Peter asks, his face turning a dark shade of red as his body shakes in anger. “Y-you can’t just let them back in here—“


Tony cuts him off, resting a calming hand on his son’s shoulder and steering him away from the direction of the kitchen. “Hey buddy, calm down alright. I know you aren’t happy right now but—“


“You’re damn right I’m not happy!” Peter practically snarls, trying in vain to rip his father’s hand off of his shoulder without hurting the man. “After what they did to you—after what Rogers did to you—you’re just letting them wander back in here and sit in our kitchen a-and eat our food?!”


Tony sighs, running one aggravated hand through his hair as he looks down at his enraged son. “We need them, Peter. We need all the help we can get right now and if we are going to work together as a team then I need you to put all of this in a box, alright?”


Peter glances down, clenching his fists as traitorous tears fill his eyes. Sniffing, the young Stark shuffles from foot to foot, finally looking back at his Dad just as the first tear slips down his cheek.


“I-I saw the way you were after Siberia, Dad.” He says, voice wobbling. “You-you were broken, and it’s all because of them! I c-can’t just let that go. . . “


Reaching over, Tony tugs his boy against his chest, running a trembling hand through the soft brown locks as Peter sobs. Clenching his eyes shut against his own tears, the genius forcefully shoved down his emotions once more, gently pulling back after a second and cupping his son’s chin.


“Okay buddy, okay.” He whispers, wiping away the last of Peter’s tears with his thumbs. “I understand, alright? I know it’s hard, but we really do need them, and if you can keep your anger in check during this mission, I’ll let you chew Cap a good one when we get back. Does that sound good?”


Peter nods, feeling a smile stretch his lips at the thought of finally giving the Captain a piece of his mind. “Deal, but only if you video tape it to watch later.”


Tony chuckles, releasing his kid and ruffling his hair. They both start back to the kitchen, the billionaire wrapping an arm around Peter’s shoulders and tugging him closer to his side.


“Would you ever expect anything less, kiddie?”


“Not in a million years, Dad. Not in a million years.”

Chapter Text


 

Tony stalls in his tracks, his face turning pale and his eyes glazing over in a mix of fury and hardening despair.

 

 

The man jumps back, holding up his packet of papers as though that could save him from the wrath of the enraged father. Tony nearly laughs out loud at the thought.

 

 

“No.” Tony says, voice a whisper, the room so quiet that people can’t help but hear. “No, see that’s where you don’t get it. You don’t understand.“ 

 

 

He staggers back slightly, hands shaking as he leans against the table.

 

 

“I-I watched him die—I watched his breath still and his skin turn to ash under my very hands. . . “ His fist clench, nails digging into his skin and the taste of the red soil lingering in his throat. “I watched him die and couldn’t do anything about it.”

 

 

Suddenly Tony’s head snaps up, eyes blazing a fire of fury once more. 

 

 

“But go head and joke. Laugh it up. But if I catch you near this property again—if I ever even hear your lifeless name and see the disgrace of your fucking face ever again, the last thing you will ever see is the blue light of a repulser and the pleased smirk on my face.” 

 

 

The man gasps, legs shaking as he backs up, turning and running into the wall in his haste to leave. His face knocks back, his nose gushing blood. It drips down his chin and dots the cold floor in spheres of red. 

 

 

“I-I don’t—“ He says, glancing back around the room as though his fellow coworkers would help, his eyes pleading for someone to step in.

 

 

But no one does. 

 

 

Get out.” Tony says, standing tall, pushing his back straight even when he feels like collapsing, falling onto the ground and letting the sun travel across the sky as the world fades to black once more. 

 

 

It’s more than Peter can do. It’s more than Tony himself deserves.

 

 

The man—the disgrace—looks around once more before turning, his hand covering up his broken nose, and practically runs out of the room. Tony’s eyes follow him, waiting until he is well out of sight before sitting back down in his chair and glancing up at the remaining people. 

 

 

“I think,” He sighs, “it’s time for you all to leave. Please say hello to the kiddos for me and kiss the wife goodnight.” 

 

 

Once everyone is out of the room, the echo of their voices fading into nothing and their footsteps no more than a memory, does Tony finally slump down. He leans against the table, covering his face with his hands and pushes at his stinging eyes until black spots dance across his vision. 

 

 

Until all he can see is the blackness of his own heart coming up through his skull. 

 

 

Finally, after what feels like hours, he sits up, his cheeks wet and red from the pain of his memories—of Peter’s last moments. Checking his watch, the man slips on his coat, looking out at the now dark skyline and watches as the lights of the far off building twinkle like slowly falling stars. 

 

 

He has to hurry now. Has to get down the elevator and across the street, weaving through the crowds of numb and insufficient people and trying in vain to stop himself from continually wiping his hands on his pants. 

 

 

Trying to get the memories away, get the pain and memories away before they can pop up again and drown him. 

 

 

Because he only has a few hours to get to Peter’s grave and he can’t keep his kid waiting.

Chapter Text


 

Tony scans the crowd, his side aching as blood drips down his temple, falling to the dirt like a red tear drop. 

 

They won. It was hard fought, had taken every once of strength they had left, but eventually, after months of battle planning, of bleeding and crying over the loss of half the world--half their souls--, they had managed to outwit the Titan.

 

Tony could still feel the buzz of the Gauntlet against his skin, the way the ancient metal had burned as it was used against Thanos .

 

The Titian had gone down in a purple blast of rage.

 

Now, however, he continues to scan the crowd slowly gathering, the sight of people hugging and crying as they are reunited filling his heart with a panicked longing. 

 

Where was Peter?  

 

It was the very thing on his mind, the only thought he had kept circling back to for months and months and months. It had kept him up at night. It had haunted his dreams, had plagued his nightmares and echoed through the choked off cries he had smothered against his pillows. 

 

But now he was so close to an answer he could almost taste it. 

 

He started walking. Around couples kissing, around mother’s holding their children close and father’s grasping them all tight. Through gangs of people with no one to greet them, their faces hollow and eyes vacant. Tony shutters as he passes. 

 

Along the way, Rhodey finds him, joins his walks with a nod and a small squeeze to his shoulder. And then Natasha, eyeing him from behind her now blonde hair. And then Steve. And Bucky, only looking at Tony once as he slips to Roger’s side. Rocket, with Groot trailing behind him, holding the raccoon’s tail with a branchy hand, the rest of his team right beside him. 

 

Tony can feel their support as he searches.

 

He isn't sure how long he walks until he hears him. 

 

It’s a far off cry, a yell mixed with terror and exhilaration. A voice Tony knows better than his own. 

 

He turns just as a small body slams into his side.

 

“D-Dad.” Peter whimpers, shivers racking his thin frame as he practically claws his way into Tony’s arms. “Daddy.” 

 

Tony pulls him closer in response, biting his lip when his side and leg screams in protest. He can feel the other gazes on him as he staggers slightly, but he doesn't care. He doesn't care about anything other than the boy in his arms.

 

“Peter.” He says his child’s name over and over again, smooshing his lips against the boy’s forehead and temples, running his fingers through the soft hair that tickles his nose. “Peter. Peter. Peter. 

 

“I-I was so scared, it was so dark and cold and-and the whole time I just wanted you to come and make it better--” Peter sobs against his chest, his thin arms wrapping around his father’s neck and squeezing. 

 

Tony’s chest constricts, his pulse pounding under his skin. 

 

“Shh, kiddo, shh. You’re okay now. You’re here with me now, bud.” The genius says over and over again, rocking them from side to side gently. “It’s okay, it’s okay.”

 

He knows he’s babbling, spitting out a string of phrases but he can’t seem to get himself to stop. Tony just continues to talk, to comfort his child and himself. He can see the others out of the corner of his eye, can see them watching them both, their expressions ranging from confusion to sympathetic. Tony only glances over once before his eyes draw back to Peter.  

 

His boy is blinking up at him, his doe eyes still wet with tears, shining in the light of the sun. 

 

“I-I could feel myself dying--” He cuts himself off, swallowing and curling closer to his father. “--fading to dust, getting blow away. . .”

 

Gripping the spidering’s tighter, Tony reaches down to cup his chin, tilting his face up and smiling gently when Peter’s gaze meets his. The superhero brushes his thumb across his son’s cheek, relishing in the smooth skin against his own rough fingers. 

 

“But you’re not fading anymore, Peter.” Bringing his trembling hand down, Tony sets it against the boy’s chest, feeling his heartbeat against his fingers, thumping like a drum, quick and steady. “You’re here with me, baby. You’re right here with me.” 

 

“I’m here with you.” Peter’s hand meets his, curling around the billionaire’s. 

 

“Yes, Pete. You’re solid and real and here.”

 

Peter slumps down fully, his body going limp, leaning against his father and trusting the man to catch him before he slips down to the street below. His eyes close, a sigh spilling from him, his grip never faltering. 

 

“I've almost forgotten what that felt like.” It’s whispered, a hot breath against Tony’s dirty and grime stained shirt. “I’ve almost forgotten what this felt like.”

 

“What? A hug?” 

 

Peter shakes his head, curls tickling Tony’s neck. “No, being safe.”

 

Tony, his throat constricting, just holds his son closer, kissing the top of his head and finally begins to let go of the worry and stress that had followed him around for months. 

 

“Well, I’ll make sure you never forget it, buddy.”

 

Never again.

Chapter Text


 

It started as a small stomach ache.

 

A dull throb that wrapped around Peter’s right side, jolting his ribs and causing him conceal a wince as he bounces down the stairs of Midtown High, Ned by his side. 

 

“You okay, dude?” His best friend asks, side-eyeing him with concern.

 

“Yeah.” The spiderling says, rubbing at his ribs. “Why?”

 

Ned shrugs, moving out of the way as a group of girls pass. “I dunno, you didn’t eat lunch and you just seem, like, off. Are you sure you’re fine?” 

 

Peter just nods, trying to smile as they pass the parked cars near the door, eyes scanning the crowd for his Uncle. Finally, he spots the man, Happy’s frown visible as they get closer. 

 

Hitching his backpack further up his shoulders, Peter gives a small wave, turning to Ned before Happy could call him over. 

 

“I’ll text you tonight.” The spiderling says, squinting as the late afternoon sun slithers down through the trees. “I’ll talk to Dad about seeing the movie on Sunday, see if maybe I can convince him to let you sleepover tomorrow.” 

 

“Shouldn’t be that hard, bro. Just use those puppy eyes of yours and he would probably let you get away with murder.” Ned laughs, jostling his arm.

 

The jab of pain this time is sharp and quick, like an electric shock. Peter grits his teeth, forcing his cry to still in his throat as he continues to tease his friend, finally walking away with a fist-bump when his Godfather beeps the horn. 

 

Opening the car door, Peter ducks into the seat as Happy glares at him through the rearview mirror.

 

“Took you long enough, kid.” The Driver grumbles, starting the engine and pulling out of the parking lot, tires crunching over the gravel. “I was about to up and leave you here to web home.”

 

“You wouldn’t dare.” Peter snickers. “You love me too much.”

 

Happy just rolls his eyes, pulling on his shades as they turn a corner. Reaching out, the young Stark adjusts the AC, turning the knob to the uppermost dial and leaning back against the leather with a small wince. 

 

“You feeling hot back there, Pete?” 

 

His Godfather’s sudden voice startles the teen from where he was staring out the window, watching as the changing leaves drift out into the crowded street.

 

“Y-Yeah, a little.” Peter says, pulling slightly at the collar of his sweatshirt. HIs neck is wet with sweat, anxiety fizzling in his stomach. His hands shake. “Must be from the layers I’m wearing.” 

 

Happy lets out a cross between a laugh and a grunt, the car coming to a stop as they come to a traffic light. “Then take ‘em off, kid.” 

 

Letting out a small, embarrassed laugh, Peter reaches down to grab at his hoodie. He had just started pulling it up when his side lets out an almost blinding pain, sending sparks up his ribs. Biting his lip to smother his yelp, the teenager quickly drops his hands back down, body tense and coiled. 

 

“Nevermind, U-Uncle Happy.” He says when he forces himself to look back up, catching Happy’s gaze from the mirror. “I think I’m actually good, for-for now.” 

 

“You sure, bud?”

 

“Yeah.” Another jolt of pain and another barely held back cry. “For sure, I swear.”

 

His voice is too high. Too fragile. Peter knows it and he knows Happy can hear it and it makes the teen angry. 

 

Nervous. 

 

The word pushes into his mind, unaviodable. 

 

Unintentional. 

 

He shoves it away quickly.

 

Placing his suddenly pounding forehead against the glass window, Peter swallows. He can feel the pain in his side slowly begin to dissipate to a dull throb and he nearly sighs in relief, easing his body against the seat and tries to ignore the looks he can see Happy shoot him out of the corner of his eye. 

 

The pain doesn’t return, full force, until later that night. 

                                           


 

 

“Hey Pete, can you hand me that screw driver?”

 

Tony’s voice is slightly muffled, only his legs visible as he slides under the stretched out form of a Suit. Peter, looking up from his Science textbook, hops down from the stool. 

 

Hot. Sweat drips down his back.

 

“Sure!” He says, shaking his hand out as his fingers tingle, throwing down his pencil. “Need anything else while I’m up, Dad?” 

 

Shivering, shaking. 

 

Why was he shaking so much?

 

Giving an unsee thumbs up when the superhero answers negative, Peter walks to the standing tool box in the corner.

 

Spinning. Whirling. The room are the planets and he is the sun.

 

Humming a small tune under his breathe, Peter reaches into the container and grabs the screw driver, twirling it in his fingers. 

 

He turns around just as a fire erupts in his gut. 

 

The pain floods his veins, black spots dancing through his vision, legs trembling. A cry slips past his lips as he brings his hands up to grab at his side, the screw driver getting dropped, forgotten, to the floor. 

 

A supernova. Inferno. 

 

“Peter? You okay, buddy?” Tony, scrambling out from under the Suit as fast as he can, makes it to his son’s side just as the teen falls to his knees. “Peter?!”

 

Slumping against his father’s chest as the man frantically pats him down, Peter lets out a groan of pain as his side throbs again, breath panting. 

 

“M’ side–” He tries to say, but all that comes out is another moan. “Hurts.”

 

“Hey, hey, baby.” Tony soothes, cupping his face, smoothing his thumbs down the teen’s temples, his dark eyes bright with barely concealed worry and fear. “It’s okay, Pete, shh. Friday, what’s wrong with him?”

 

The A.I’s electronic voice is muffled, watery and foggy sounding above the panic that grips Peter’s heart. 

 

“It would appear, Boss, that Peter has what is commonly known as appendicitis, a condition in which the organ becomes inflamed and filled with pus, causing severe pain and nausea–-”

 

And that’s the very second Peter’s stomach decides it’s had enough.

 

Gravity. A push and pull.

 

What little food he ate for lunch comes up, stinging his throat and making his eyes water. He gags continuously, chest heaving as he finally sags back against Tony with a sob, curling his shaking fingers around his father’s shirt. 

 

“ ‘M sorry!” He cries, pressing his pounding head against the cool of the Reactor. “S-So sorry!” 

 

Tony just shushes him, running a hand through his son’s curls and wiping away his tears. Peter leans into the touch, his side blazing like a dying sun. 

 

“We need to get you to Bruce, kiddie.” Tony’s voice is a deep rumble against the spidering’s ear. “Stay still okay? I’m gonna carry you.”

 

But Peter tries to stand. 

 

Be strong. Strong. Steady.

 

He tries so hard, grits his teeth and swallows down his cries and whimpers until his jaw is aching and he slips to the cool floor once more.

 

“Peter, stop! What the fuck, kiddo? I told you to stay down!” 

 

Stupid. Idiot.

 

Burden.

 

Tony, frantically calling orders to the ever calm Friday, scoops his arms under Peter’s, heaving his child from the ground and into his arms.

 

“I know, buddy, I know, I’m so sorry.” The man says over and over when Peter lets out small sounds of pain, curling his body around his child and practically dragging him from the lab. “Friday, contact Bruce and tell him we need him in Medical right now.”

 

“Yes, Boss.”

 

Hot. Pain. So hot. Dying. Am I dying? 

 

“No, Peter. No, you’re not dying, kiddo.” His Dad’s voice is wrecked, slicing through his throat and the boy feels a hot flash of guilt rise up as he realized he had spoken out loud.

 

“His fever is peaking, Boss. You need to hurry.”

 

Tony’s movements are fast. Quick and rapid, his steps thundering out of the Lab and down the hall. Peter can feel the man’s heart through his shirt.

 

Then the black spots appear again and he knows no more.

 


 

 

He comes to, sharply and fast, like a whip. 

 

All around him is beeping, Loud. Rapid. 

 

Beep. Beep. Beep.

 

His Uncle is there, Bruce’s normally kind face concealed in a white doctor’s mask, his cold hands pressing Peter down into a bed. 

 

“Don’t move, Pete. We need you to stay still, alright? Don’t move.” 

 

Peter tries to speak. Something stops him, a cold and hard plastic. He reaches up to grab at it, but a hand grabs his, pushing it back down gently.

 

Then Peter screams. 

 

The pain is intense. All consuming. It’s gonna swallow him up and choke him down. His skin burns. His stomach is an acid pit and his eyes are raging waterfalls. 

 

Beep. Beep. 

 

Constant. North Star. 

 

Between everything and around nothing. 

 

His Dad is suddenly there, pushing past Bruce even when the mutuant protests. His form blurs, the darkness of his eyes like the cool black of deep water. 

 

Peter’s skin continues to rage with sweat.

 

“Hey, Petey-Pie.” The billionaire’s voice is soft. His hands are even softer, smoothing down the matted locks of brown curls and Peter nearly sobs from the touch. “I know it hurts, bud, but you have to let Bruce work.”

 

The young Stark reaches out, placing a trembling hand against his father’s and grips him as tightly as he can. Tony’s face cracks, jaw tensing. 

 

“Stay?” Peter’s voice is quiet, a horse whisper. “Please?”

 

Tony’s grip tightens against his child’s. 

 

“Forever.” 

 

Letting out a sigh, the boy closes his eyes. Bruce moves around him, his steps muffled. The pain is still there, the flames licking at his stomach and down his side. 

 

A prick in his skin. Cool fire now, blue and white. 

 

A solar eclipse.  

 

“You should be feeling slightly drowsy now, Peter.” His Uncle says. “The new pain medication seems to be working perfectly.”

 

Peter tries to nod, to give him some indication that he heard, but all he can do is sink further into the cot. HIs dad lets go of his hand.

 

Eyes snapping open, the spiderling reaches out, movements sloppy and uncoordinated. The lights above him whirl in and out of focus. Bright and dim. He whines. 

 

Then Tony is back, right above him, the man’s eyes suspiciously wet. His grip returns, as strong and steady as ever. Peter never wants to let go. 

 

“You can sleep now, baby. I’ll be here when you wake up. Everything is okay now, don’t worry.” 

 

A soft kiss is pressed against Peter’s forehead, warm and safe. More beeping and more cold ice in his veins, shooting upwards. Tony sits by his head, safe and familiar. 

 

Only then does Peter allow himself to sink into the depths of unconsciousness.  

Chapter Text


 

“This isn’t what it looks like!”

 

“… what– how did you get so many, Peter?”

 

“Uh, remember the allowance money you gave me last week for helping you clean the Lab?”

 

“YOU SPENT IT ALL ON CANDY NECKLACES??”

 

“No–” 

 

“Peter.”

 

"I-I mean, yes, but I got you one too!” 

 

“…”

 

“It even has writing! See?”

 

“Does that really say ‘I Have One Sweet Dad’?”

 

“Do you not like it?”

 

No! I love it, kiddo, thank you–”

 

“I feel like there is a ‘but” somewhere in there.”

 

“–But that’s not a responsible way to spend your money.”

 

“They are good-- ” 

 

I don’t care.” 

 

“-–and it’s not like I can get sic–” 

 

“…”

 

“Did you seriously just throw up all over my shoes?”

 

“Uh, n-no?” 

 

“Good thing I love you, kiddie. C’mon, let’s go get you cleaned up.”

Chapter Text


 

Peter turned around in his seat, his eyes widening in surprise at the sight of his Dad walking toward his lunch table. 

 

“Hey kiddo!” The man says once he gets closer, looking down at his son in barely hidden amusement, ignoring all the stares the both of them were getting. “Did I break you or something?”

 

The spiderling jumps up, his face beat red. “N-no! I just wasn’t expecting you home for another week and-and–”

 

Peter’s voice chokes up and he has to swallow, Tony had been gone for almost a month, a last minute business meeting in California causing for the unplanned road trip. The young Stark had tried not to show how being away from his Dad for that long really effected him, but he can tell the genius sees right through him, the man’s eyes going soft as he opens his arms. 

 

“Well, come here buddy! I’ve missed your hugs!” 

 

Falling into Tony’s arms, feeling the man gently kiss his head and run a hand through his curls, the boy relaxes for the first time in weeks, content and safe.

Chapter Text


 

Peter tries not to get too annoyed.

 

I mean, sure, it’s just a little party, right? No need to dress up or go all out. 

 

Too bad Tony doesn’t seem to think so.

 

Pulling at his unbuttoned collar, the spiderling watches, sitting on the couch and totally not pouting, as the other members of the Avengers walk around him. Clint, decked out in a black suit with a purple tie, stops to give him a fist bump before moving to the kitchen.

 

“Are you sure we can’t just stay in for Bruce’s birthday?” Peter hears the archer complain, the sound of his legs hitting the counter cut off short as Natasha pushes him off. 

 

Peter can’t help but agree.

 

“Not a chance, bird brain.” Nat says, her heels clicking as she walks. “He really wants to try that new Italian place down the street and you know how he gets about pasta.” 

 

“Yeah, but…”

 

Tony comes around the corner then and Peter’s focus is immediately on his dad, watching as the genius walks past the couch. Suddenly, however, the man stops, his eyes wide as he stares down at his son. 

 

“Hey Dad–” Peter starts to say but the superhero cuts him over, walking over and pulling the teen to stand.

 

“Peter, what happened to your shirt?” Tony asks, tutting under his breath as he gently smooths down the wrinkles in the fabric, face pinched. “It wasn’t like this 10 minuets ago.”

 

Peter blushes a little, trying in vain to push the man’s hands away. “It got itchy.”

 

Tony lets out a small puff of air, the sound more of a huff than an actual laugh. “And you couldn’t just leave it alone for a little while?” A sigh. “What am I gonna  do with you, buddy?”

 

Peter lets out a small laugh, looking up at his father. “Love and cherish me?” 

 

Instead of making a joke or a jab like Peter expected, the superhero’s eyes go soft, his hands staling from where he was tightening the boy’s red tie. 

 

“Always, kiddo.” He whispers.

 

Peter blushes, not meeting Tony’s eyes as the billionaire finishes fixing his shirt, stepping back and looking his son up and down, a smirk on his face as Peter squirms. 

 

“That was so domestic I think I might vomit.” Clint’s voice breaks the silence and the spiderling flinches a little from the unexpected sound, his blush increasing. “Seriously, someone get me a trashcan right now–”

 

“Oh, hush Legolas.” Tony snaps, reaching over and tugging Peter against his side. “You’re just jealous that Peter looks cuter in his suit than you.” 

 

Clint sputters as Natasha laughs, leaning against the wall, her silver dress making her eyes pop. Peter turns even redder, letting out a groan of embarrassment, shifting on his feet. 

 

Checking his watch, Tony’s head suddenly shoots up, his eyes wide. “Shit! We’re gonna be late!” 

 

Grabbing onto his son’s arm, the billionaire piratically pushes them all to the elevator, Peter trying to keep from laughing as Clint grumbles under his breath. 

 

“We wouldn’t have to worry about being late if your kid just kept his freaking tie straight.” 

 

Tony shoots him a dirty look, holding up his key as they get down to the garage. “I’d watch your mouth there, spy boy, or you’re gonna have to be the one to answer to Bruce and Steve when we get to the restaurant.”

 

“That’s not a big deal, I can take ‘em–” 

 

Before they’ve eaten dinner.”

 

At that, Clint pales and piratically sprints out of the elevator and toward the car with a cry of “You can’t make me!”

 

Tony laughs, tugging Peter more firmly against his side as they go. The spiderling laughs along with his dad, both watching as Clint tries in vain to open the passenger side door, Natasha shooting him a look that makes him immediately back up. 

 

“You coming, Starks?” The Widow asks, tugging open the door and ignoring Clint’s squawk of outrage. 

 

Tony reaches over to gently fix the back of Peter’s shirt collar before answering, eyes going soft, before he smirks again. “We’re coming, Nat.”

 

And Peter decides that he can deal with the itchiness, at least for a while. 

Chapter Text


 

“I-I mean, are you sure?” 

 

Tony nearly rolls his entire eyes out of his head, pushing his half-full plate of fries closer to the boy, watching as Peter continues to stare at him. 

 

“Yes, I’m sure, kiddo. You need food and I–” Pausing to pat at his flat stomach, the billionaire leans back more in his chair, the metal squeaking. “– certainly don’t need anymore carbs.”

 

Peter laughs a little, relaxing as he reaches over to grab a handful of fries and dumps them onto his plate, smothering them with ketchup. “You’re not fat, Dad.”

 

“Never said I was, Spider-baby. Now, though, I am questioning…”

 

Reaching over to lighting punch the man’s arm, Peter grins when Tony pretends to tip back, looking hurt. “Shut up, that’s not what I meant and you know it.”

 

“Sure, sure, buddy. Whatever helps you sleep at night.” 

 

The boy’s eyes shine as he picks up a fry. “At least I sleep, you on the other hand–”

 

Reaching out, Tony snatches his son’s fry from his hand, pushing the greasy food into his mouth and chewing, trying not to laugh at the dumbstruck look on Peter’s baby face. 

 

“Hey!” The boy finally protests, moving the basket to his other side as to stop other fry thefts. “These are mine!” 

 

“That was before you insulted me, Pete.” Pressing a hand to his heart, Tony sighs dramatically. “I truly am hurt, and from my own flesh and blood, the betrayal.”

 

Scowling, Peter shoves more food in his mouth, his doe eyes flickering between his smirking father and his fries. “Well, I’m not sorry. Besides, you gave them to me, so ha!”

 

Tony shakes his head, lifting up his milkshake and taking a sip. People move around them, walking in and out of the diner, waiters and waitresses lifting trays high over their heads and writing down orders. 

 

Looking back at his son, the billionaire cannot keep his laugh to himself as Peter stares at his now empty plate, expression like a kicked puppy. As much as it is funny, the sight is enough to make Tony’s heart ache, his parental instincts getting kicked into high gear. 

 

Make his child happy and fed. Safe.

 

Reaching across the table, Tony gently pokes his kid’s cheek, watching as Peter blinks, nose wrinkling before his eyes focus on his dad. 

 

“Would you be sorry if I ordered more fires?” The superhero asks, already flagging down a waiter. 

 

Peter doesn’t hesitate. “Absolutely.”

Chapter Text


 

It was way past Peter’s bed time. 

 

Tony knows that his son realizes this, can see it in the way the boy’s body goes even more slack under their shared blanket and the way he has to practically drag his doe eyes open. 

 

Lifting the soft blanket further up Peter’s side, Tony turns his attention back to the movie flashing across the screen, the bright colors illuminating his child’s baby face in a hue of shifting lights. 

 

They have just made it about half-way through the film, right when Flynn Rider is escorting Rapunzel for a romantic boat ride to see the floating lights, when Peter finally conks out, his jaw going slack as he leans fully against Tony. 

 

Giving a small laugh, the genius carefully maneuvers himself out from under the spiderling, clicking the tv off and plunging the room in a hazy, half-darkness. The muted glow of the Arc Reactor casts half his child’s face in a blue tinged shadow as Tony leans over him. 

 

The man had just began to lift Peter into his arms when the boy’s eyes squint open, his brows furrowing in sleepy confusion. 

 

“Dad?” He mumbles, eyes glazed in sleep. “Where- what–”

 

“Shh, Petey-Pie.” Tony whispers, lifting the boy up with a small grunt. “Go back to sleep.”

 

Laying his head against his father’s chest, the young Stark nuzzles closer, his eyes falling closed once more as Tony begins to move, stepping around the couch. Leaning his chin down, the billionaire lays a soft kiss against his child’s forehead as they pass the kitchen, Peter’s face going relaxed as he sarcomas even more to dreamland.

 

He is sound asleep before Tony even walks down the hall. 

Chapter Text


 

“Dad wh–?”

 

Pushing his son back down onto the bed with a huff, Tony clicks his tongue as Peter winces, his muscles tight under the billionaire’s hand. 

 

“Don’t even try to hide it anymore, Pete.” Tony says, moving the blanket out of the way as he grabs a pillow, gently lifting up his kid’s head and placing it under. “I can obviously see you’re in pain.” 

 

Peter just shakes his head, curls slipping free of his hair jell and covering his doe eyes.  “N-No, I’m fine, I swear.” 

 

He tries to rise from the bed, but Tony keeps a firm hand on his back. 

 

“Nope nope, Spider-Baby.” The man chuckles, grabbing a bottle of lotion and popping the lid. “You are gonna sit right there and be still and let me help you, got it?” 

 

Peter grumbles a little but relaxes after a second, his face squishing against the pillow and his baby cheeks puffing out in a pout. Tony nearly coos at the sight, pausing to brush the hair from his child’s forehead before getting to work. 

 

“You can’t keep doing this to yourself, Peter. I know you wanna help people, kiddie, but that doesn’t mean you can let your body turn into an iron rod, okay?”

 

Peter giggles, twitching as Tony leans over him. “At least I don’t have a suit made of iron, Dad.”

 

“Um, excuse me, mister but it’s made from nickel-titanium alloy.” 

 

“My bad.”

 

His hands dance along Peter’s back, alighting a small laugh from the boy that quickly turns into a groan when his father presses down. Pratically all the bones in the spidering’s body crack from the force, his skin rising in goosebumps as he shivers. 

 

“Feel good, buddy?” Tony asks, amused.

 

Peter just makes a sound between a groan and a laugh, his muscles loosening as Tony presses along his shoulders and down his sides, kneading the tissues with his knuckles.

 

“Scoot up, kiddie.” The genius whispers when Peter’s head begins to slide off the pillow, his doe eyes blinking open at the sound of his dad’s voice. “C’mon, move up, bud.” 

 

“No,” Peter whines, dragging his arms out from under him and wrapping them around the pillow, a yawn stretching his jaw. He nuzzles against the fabric. “Too comfy.” 

 

And Tony wants to argue, but he just can’t force himself too, not when Peter is looking up at him with his wide brown eyes, so fucking trusting. It makes the billionaire’s heart ache. 

 

“Okay.” He says, running his fingers through his boy’s curls and smiling softly when Peter pushes back against his hand like a kitten. “Okay, baby, you stay there, just don’t fall asleep. We gotta get some food in you before you can pass out, alright?”

 

“–”kay.”

 

Of course, about 5 minutes after, when Tony glances back at Peter, the boy is slack jawed, small snores puffing his cheeks from being smushed against the pillow. 

 

Shaking his head, Tony sits down next to him, adjusting the blankets so it covers his son, smoothing down his hair and leans down, pressing a quick kiss to his scrunched up brow. Peter nose wrinkles at the touch, his snore getting cut off short as he shifts, his body instinctively curling against his father’s legs, seeking the man’s warmth and protection even in sleep.  

 

Tony lets him sleep, knowing that his boy needs the rest. 

 

At least until Peter’s own stomach wakes him up an hour later, gurgling and growling like an animal let loose. Tony just laughs as he goes to make his sleepy kid some food.

Chapter Text


 

The thing is, it wasn’t even a Monday. 

 

That’s the thing that was the most troubling for Tony as he watches his son shuffle into the room, dried tear tracks causing his baby cheeks to shine in the lights. The billionaire forces himself to stay seated on the couch, watching with his heart in his throat as Peter practically throws his book bag on the floor, his eyes blazing even as more tears fall down his face. 

 

Stupid.” Tony can hear the boy mumble, his fists clenching as he turns toward the fridge. “Stupid, Peter, stupid.”

 

Okay, that’s enough.

 

Clearing his throat, the billionaire watches as Peter jumps nearly a foot in the air, whirling around and wiping almost angrily at his face, the shaking in his hands visible from where Tony sits. 

 

“Oh,” Peter says, voice watery. “I-I didn’t know you were home…” 

 

“Yeah, no shit, kiddo.” Tony responds, standing up and walking around the couch, his concern increasing the closer he gets to his son. “Any reason why you decided to abuse your poor bag?” 

 

The spidering just shrugs, biting his bottom lip, doe eyes wide and oh so sad and gosh if that sight alone doesn’t make Tony’s heart stutter in his chest. 

 

“Okay,” The genius says, drawing out the word. He steps closer, Peter watching him, eyes now weary. “If you really don’t wanna tell me, then I guess I’ll have to do…this!” 

 

Reaching over, Tony grabs Peter by the shoulders and brings him closer, ignoring the squawk his boy lets out. Pressing his lips against his child’s forehead, Tony kisses his face again and again, everywhere he can reach, over Peter’s eyes and on the tip of his button nose and his high cheek bones, now dusted in red. 

 

The spiderling squirms after a second, his laughter like a breath of fresh air as he half-heartedly tries to get away from the onslaught. Finally, Tony pulls back, watching with amusement as Peter continues to giggle, his brown eyes bright with mirth now, instead of tears. 

 

“That,” The boy says, voice breathless. “was so ticklish, I don’t even know what to say right now.”

 

Tony just smirks, wrapping an arm around his kid and leading him to the couch, gently sitting him down and reaching to undo his shoes, tugging them off as the boy blinks up at him. 

 

“I can undo my own shoes, Dad.” He finally says.

 

Tony huffs out a laugh. “Too late, kiddie, they’re already off. Lay back for me, okay? You went through an ordeal and need lots of rest.” 

 

Peter rolls his eyes but doesn’t argue, instating choosing to bring his now shoeless feet up onto the cushion and leaning back. Tony reaches over and grabs the remote from the coffee table, flicking on the TV and setting back beside his son. 

 

A few minutes into an episode of Mythbusters, the billionaire can’t stand the puppy dog looks his kid keeps shooting him, finally pausing the episode with a huff and turning toward Peter with a raised brow. 

 

“Anything you wanna share with the class, buddy?” He asks, narrowing his eyes when Peter just blushes bright red, turning his face away. “Peter?”

 

“N-nothing.” It’s said so quietly, Tony almost doesn’t hear. “It’s nothing.”

 

Not believing the words in the slightest, the superhero reaches over and cups his child’s chin, gently turning Peter’s face and forcing the boy to keep his gaze on him.

 

“I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong, baby.” 

 

Blushing even harder at the pet name, Peter keeps his mouth stubbornly closed. Sighing, Tony makes a big show of puckering his lips up and bringing them as close as possible to his son’s forehead, watching as the boy laughs. 

 

“Okay, okay, I’ll tell you!” His kid giggles, wrinkling his nose. “Your goatee is itchy.”

 

“It’s my secret weapon.” Tony responds. “Now spill, kiddie.” 

 

Peter takes a deep breath, puffing up his cheeks and making him look like a fish. Tony nearly coos but stops himself just in time. 

 

“I was just wondering–” The boy says, voice quiet. “–if w-we could maybe, uh, maybe c-cuddle?” 

 

Tony just stares at him for a second in slight shock, brain refusing to form words and Peter seems to take that as a negative because he immediately begins scooting back, face falling and eyes sad. 

 

“Nevermind,” Peter says, throat clicking as he swallows. “Forget I-I said anything, it’s stupid anyways–” 

 

Finally Tony finds his voice. “No! No, buddy, it’s not stupid, alright?” 

 

“Are you s-sure?” 

 

Tony nods, opening his arms and making a ‘come here’ gesture with his fingers. “One hundred percent, kiddo.” 

 

And Peter practically falls into his arms, wrapping his thin arms around the billionaire’s waist and nuzzling against his chest, his whole body relaxing in his father’s hold.

 

Tony doesn’t hesitate, curling his own arms around his child, and running a hand through his curls, undoing knots as he goes. Peter leans into each touch, a content sigh slipping from him. 

 

Turning the TV back on, the superhero can’t force himself to pay attention to Jamie or Adam as they explain some scientific fact, instead choosing to keep his eyes on Peter. His gaze softens as the boy yawns, curling up tighter in his dad’s arms, his legs curling up and over Tony’s knees with ease. 

 

Shifting against the cushion, Tony brings his arm under Peter’s legs and lifts the spiderling further into his arms, brushing his curls from his face and leaning down to gently kiss his forehead. 

 

Ti amo,” The genius whispers, voice thick. “Ti amo, il mio cuore. Forever.

 

Peter sigs, snuggling closer in response. “I love you too.”

Chapter Text


 

Peter started to realize something was wrong when his cough didn’t go away. 

 

The first few times it happened, it wasn’t really that big of a deal. It still hurt like hell, but it was sporadic bouts of coughing, not a continues stream. 

 

That however, changed a few days into the first week of winter break. 

 

That’s when thing’s started to get really bad.

 

His head aches and he weakly rises from bed, throwing the covers off of his legs and shivering as the cool air wraps around him. His nose whistles with each breath and his legs shake, a cough jolting his body and causing his chest to ache. 

 

He gets dressed, body shaking with each tug of his clothes. 

 

Food. He thinks, stumbling out of the room and making his way toward the kitchen, his stomach rumbling and his throat dry. Need food. 

 

Sniffling, the teen had just made it into the other room when a sudden cough shoots up his entire body, catching him off guard. His eyes begin to water and he doubles over, reaching and grabbing at the counter top for support as he limbs shake. 

 

Foot steps, slow at first but quickening in pace, travel down the hall and his dad is suddenly there, grabbing onto his arms and supporting his body. 

 

“Peter?” Tony asks, his still work shop dirtied hands gently cupping his child’s face and tilting his chin up. “Buddy, what’s wrong? What hurts?” 

 

The spidering, on his part, tries to respond, forcefully pushing down his coughs until they jump against his chest. His eyes water with tears and his dad gently brushes them away with his thumb, carefully leading him over to the couch. 

 

“Alright, bambino, alright.” Tony whispers, moving a pillow out of the way and pushing Peter down to sit. “Just stay there for me. Don’t move.” 

 

Peter nods, sniffling as he curls up, bringing his feet, shoes and all, to rest on the cushion beside him. Tony pauses for a second to bend down and press a kiss to his forehead, leaning back to gently run a hand through his curls before stepping away. 

 

And Peter whines

 

Blushing a little once he realizes what he did– in his defense, he is sick– the teen turns his face into the pillow next to him, smothering his coughs into the fabric. He can feel Tony’s eyes on him and he smushes his face in further, ignoring how his nose begins to run from the angle. 

 

Figlio idiota.” He hears Tony mutter and he blushes even harder. 

 

His dad comes back after a few minutes, setting something heavy down on the coffee table before reaching over and gently shaking Peter’s shoulder. The boy weakly lifts his head, blinking, doe eyes squinting in the light as he coughs a little. 

 

“Hey, spider-baby,” Tony coos, sitting down next to his kid and pulling him against his side. “Got you some soup and medicine. Think you can sit up enough to eat?” 

 

“Yeah–” Peter starts to say, but a cough interrupts him and he practically doubles over, chest hitching. Tony, eyes filling with concern, gently shushes him, patting his back until he manages to catch his breath. 

 

“S-Sorry.” He wheezes, leaning into the genius when the man grabs a half full glass from the table. “I didn’t mean t-to–” 

 

“Don’t apologize, kiddie.” Tony says, holding the glass up to Peter’s lips and the boy greedily begins to drink, the water cool and refreshing against his sore throat. “Small sips, tesoro, you don’t wanna make yourself sick.” 

 

Small, white pills get pushed against his lips next and the spiderling obediently opens his mouth, pushing the medication down with the next gulp of water. 

 

The glass is drained after a few more sips. 

 

Falling against Tony, Peter makes a face when the man shifts under him, a small sounds of protest crawling up the teenager’s throat as a spoonful of chicken soup is held up in front of him. 

 

Steam rises from the utensil and Peter nearly cries at how painful it would feel to burn his mouth, especially right now. 

 

“No.” He says when the spoon is brought closer to his face, turning his mouth away. “No.” 

 

“Peter,” Tony says, voice a cross between amused and frustrated. “Bambino, you’ve got to eat, you can’t let the pills sit in your stomach without food, it’ll make you feel worse, Capire?” 

 

A hand cups his cheek and Peter leans into the touch, looking up at Tony, watching as the man struggles to keep a stern expression. 

 

God, why the fuck did his kid have to be so adorable?

 

Finally, Peter says, “It’s too hot.” and Tony’s face clears in understanding. Bringing the spoon up to his own lips, the billionaire blows on the liquid until it stops steaming, before lowering it back down to his son. Peter, now satisfied that the soup won’t burn his tongue off, opens his mouth and swallows. 

 

The entire bowl gets eaten that way, with Tony holding his kid close and hand feeding him lukewarm soup like a baby bird. 

 

Peter would be embarrassed if it didn’t feel so nice.

 

Once the last bite is eaten, the superhero sets the spoon down and lifts Peter up, gently setting his boy against his side. The spiderling closes his eyes once he is situated, leaning his head against his father’s chest, the man’s heartbeat soothing. 

 

A round of coughing catches the teen off-guard and he shoots up, nearly falling off the sofa from the force. He hacks, body jolting against Tony, but the man doesn’t seem to mind, just holds him closer and kisses his face, all around his eyes and his forehead, his finger’s gently scratching at Peter’s scalp.

 

“It’s okay, bud.” The genius whispers over and over, lips moving against Peter’s temple. “Va bene, il mio cuore, va bene.”

 

It takes a few painful minutes for Peter to finally catch his breath once more, sagging back against Tony as he sucks in small puffs of air, throat burning. 

 

“Ow.” He whines, bumping his head against his father’s shoulder. “Hurts”

 

Tony’s voice is thick. “I’m sorry, cucciolo. Do you want more soup?”

 

Peter blinks his eyes open, staring up at his dad, a small pout pulling his mouth downwards. “ ‘M not a puppy.” 

 

“Sure you’re not, kiddo.” Tony’s eyes are soft. “Are you sure you don’t want more water or some crackers?”

 

But the boy shakes his head, snuggling closer to the superhero, nuzzling under his chin and curling his legs against Tony’s. “No, just cuddles.” 

 

Tony’s laugh shakes Peter’s whole body. “Those I can provide.” 

 

A beat of silence, then: “Can you sing too? Please?” 

 

The billionaire answers by clearing his throat, pulling his baby impossibly closer and listening as Peter’s breath wheezes with each gently inhale. It makes the genius’s own chest ache and the first words have to be forced out, his throat thick. Peter just nuzzles closer. 

 

“…Chiudi gli occhi mio tesor,
Dolce amor, dolce amor,
Fa la nanna sul mio cuore,
Dolce amor, dolce amor.
Fa la nanna sul mio cuore…”

 


 

 

Italian Translations: 

Bambino: “baby or child”

Figlio idiota: “idiot boy”

Tesoro: “sweetheart”

Capire: “understand”

Va bene: “It’s alright or It’s okay”

il mio cuore: “my heart”

cucciolo: “puppy”

Name of song used: “Dormi, dormi, bel Bambin’

Chapter Text


 

Tony could definitely tell that something was wrong. 

 

When he got home, shrugging off his dress coat and toeing off his shoes, the billionaire didn’t even see his son on laying on the couch until Tony moved past the blank television. 

 

“Peter?” Tony says, jumping a bit in surprise as the thing he had previously thought of as a pile of blankets gives a small groan, his child’s legs curling closer to his body as he shifts. “Bud?” 

 

Peter just turns his face further away, stuffing his nose into the pillow and groans once more against the fabric. 

 

Tony, frowning now in concern, moves closer to the spidering. As he shifts past the coffee table, the genius can see the pained creases around his son’s face, the area around his doe eyes squinted as he shivers. Reaching down, Tony gently sets a hand against the back of his kid’s head, feeling the heat radiating off. 

 

“You feeling okay, bambino?” The superhero asks in a whisper, beginning to run his fingers through the soft strands of hair at the base of Peter’s neck. 

 

And he can see Peter begin shake his head, to deny what Tony can obviously feel, but the young Stark seems to think better, nodding after a second. 

 

“Tired.” He grunts out, turning his body toward his father as the man gently sits beside him, the cushion sinking under their combined weights. “Head hurts.”

 

Tony winces in sympathy, gently pulling his son up and settling his head back into his lap, smiling softly when his boy shifts closer with a small sniff. 

 

“Oh, il mio cuore,” The billionaire coos. “I’m sorry, kiddo. Have you had anything to eat today?” 

 

Peter nods, his curls shifting under Tony’s hand. “Yeah, had some left over pizza from last night.” A yawn. “ ‘t’was good.” 

 

Blinking his doe eyes up at his dad, the teenager leans into the man’s gentle touch with a small grunt, shifting so that his body was curled up against Tony’s. 

 

Getting an idea, the genius moves both of his hands so that they are on either side of Peter’s head, his thumbs rubbing small circles in his son’s temples. Peter lets out a small gasp, his body going limp as he lets out a puff of air, eyes slipping shut.

 

“Feel good, piccolo?” Tony asks in slight amusement. 

 

All he gets as an answer is a small, jerky nod, Peter melting into the touch as Tony starts to gently run his other fingers through the soft curls around his child’s ears, bushing each strand back with a gentleness one would use on a newborn. 

 

Leaning down to press his lips against Peter’s forehead, Tony just takes a second to breathe in his son’s shampoo and listen to the sound of his breathing, content in the fact that he is there and safe

Chapter Text


It was just a stupid bet.

 

That’s what Peter tells himself, at least. His arms and the back of his neck burns and itches as the wool scratches at his skin. He shivers, resisting the urge to squirm as he steps into the elevator, brushing his nails down his arms and neck, skin tingling.

 

It was Flash that had this stupid idea in the first place. He had gloated Peter into putting on this ugly, itchy sweater on and Peter had let him.

 

“Come on, Penis.” The other boy had sneered, stepping closer. “Prove to us that you really aren’t such a fucking wimp  I’m sure this would improve your looks anyway.”

 

“But why don’t you like it?” Peter had asked, attempting to get Flash to step back and leave him alone. “It’s not like it’s old or anything!” 

 

“Too itchy.” Flash said simply, throwing the sweater at Peter’s head and walking away. “And puke green seems to be more your color, Stark.”

 

The spiderling wasn’t fully sure why he took up the dare.

 

Maybe it was pride or some stupid sense of victory.

 

Either way, here he is, riding the elevator up to his home so he can suffer in his own room. He just has to make it through the living room without running into Tony.

 

Hopefully his Dad is in the workshop.

 

Please be in the workshop.

 

Finally, the doors open in a whoosh and Peter steps out, scratching at the back of his neck as the fabric pinches his arms. Taking a quick glance into the kitchen as he passes, the boy lets out a harsh sigh as he finds it empty, adjusting the straps of his backpack.

 

Walking past the couch, the young Stark pulls at the collar of the oversized sweater, contemplating if it would be cheating if he took it off for just a couple of seconds.

 

“Hey, buddy.” A sudden voice causes Peter to freeze in his tracks, whipping around to see Tony sitting on the couch, a Stark Pad in his lap and a smile on his face. “How was school?”

 

Peter gasps a little, crossing his arms over his chest and trying to hide a wince as the fabric scratches. “Hey, uh, hey Dad. It was good, but I got lots of homework so I’m just gonna go–”

 

But Tony is already holding up his hand, face creasing in a small frown. “Whoah, whoah, slow down there, ragazzo, what’s the deal with the new outfit?”

 

“N-nothing.” Peter says, blushing and shifting on his feet. “It’s just a sweater.”

 

His dad scoffs a little, setting aside his Stark Pad and standing up. “Yeah, a sweater you didn’t have when you left this morning. Don’t tell me you swing from buildings and steal Granny’s winter wear too, kiddo.”

 

The boy just blushes harder, jumping when Tony’s hand settles on his shoulder, biting his lip to keep his cry of pain caged in.

 

“Tell me where you got the sweater, Peter.”

 

Oh, no. That’s his tell me or else you’re grounded for a month voice.

 

Swallowing, Peter doesn’t meet his dad’s eyes, instead choosing to stare at the ground. “Just f-from a kid at school, it’s not that big of deal…”

 

Tony steps closer, grabbing the young Stark’s other shoulder and jostling Peter a little. This time, however, the boy can’t keep his discomfort completely silent and a small squeak of pain escapes, his whole upper body stinging as the whool rubs against skin. 

 

His dad freezes, his grip tightening for a split second before he lets go, tiling Peter’s face up as he checks for injuries. 

 

“What’s wrong, miele?” The genius asks, eyes wide. “Why didn’t you tell me you got hurt on patrol last night, we talked about this–”

 

Peter shakes his head, curls bouncing, attempting to step back as his father rambles. “It’s fine, Dad, I’m fine.”

 

“Don’t lie to me, I heard you–”

 

“That was an accident!” 

 

Tony tuts, eyes concerned. “Doesn’t matter, buddy. You’re in pain and I’m not gonna stop asking you until you spill.” 

 

Crossing his arms, Peter hisses through his teeth at the sting, resisting the urge to claw at his skin for the millionth time that day. Becoming red at the look his father shoots him, the spidering shrugs, looking away.

 

“See!” Tony says, frustration seeping into his voice and Peter winces a little. “You just did it again, Peter. Just tell me– What the fuck is that?!” 

 

Jumping as his dad grabs his arm gently, Peter nearly chokes on air when the man rips his sleeve up, exposing his red and raw skin, fresh scratch marks trailing down his arms. 

 

Tony, on his part, just gasps, dark eyes wide in horror. He reaches down, his left hand gripping Peter tighter as his right ghosts over his child’s arms, his fingers grazing Peter’s skin and causing goosebumps to rise above the irritated skin. 

 

Peter,” His dad finally breathes out, his voice breaking. “Oh, il mio cuore, don’t worry, okay? W-we are gonna get you some help…” 

 

Peter’s eyes widen as he realizes what his dad means. “No!”

 

“Baby, it’s okay, it’s nothing to be ashamed of–”

 

“No,” Peter finally says, feeling his face heating up even further as his father eyes him in confusion and slight fear. “No, I didn’t- I mean, It’s not from-from doing anything like that.”

 

Tony’s eyes narrow and he cups Peter’s cheeks, his gaze searching. “You promise?” 

 

“Yes! Yes, Dad, I swear!”

 

Seemingly satisfied with his child’s answer, the billionaire releases Peter with one last disturbed look, feeling along the boy’s scratched up arms with feather-light touches. 

 

“What are they from then, kiddo?” Tony asks. 

 

“The, uh, the sweater is r-really itchy.” Peter answers lamely, picking at the hem as Tony make a sound of disbelief above him. 

 

“The sweater,” The genius repeats, “that you mysteriously came home wearing and the same exact one I saw that punk Flash wearing at your last school science fair?”

 

Shit.

 

“Uh, y-yeah.” Peter answers lamely, grimacing as Tony sucks in a breath. “But it’s okay, Dad, it was just a stupid dare–”

 

“It’s not stupid if it’s fucking hurting you, Peter!” Reaching up to pinch at his nose, the superhero leads his son over to the sink. “I want you to take it off right now.” 

 

Peter blanches. “H-here? In the middle of the kitchen?” 

 

“No, on the goddamn moon,” Tony reports, tapping his foot. “Yes, here!” 

 

“But–”

 

Now.”

 

Sighing a little, the young Stark reaches down and tugs the sweater over his head, setting it into his dad’s outstretched hand without looking up. The cool air settles over his skin and the boy shivers, wrapping his arms around his own middle as Tony throws the fabric on the counter beside them. 

 

“Come here, buddy.” Tony says quietly and Peter obeys without question, moving under his father’s arm as the man gently tugs him closer. 

 

The spiderling feels the man gently trace over the scratch marks along the back of his neck, rough fingers ghosting over the raised and red skin. Peter leans against the soft touch, ignoring how his wounds burn. 

 

“You really did a number on yourself here, tesoro.” Tony says, his voice a gentle rumble against Peter’s side as he leans against his dad’s chest. “Why?”

 

Peter shrugs, flinching a little as a soft rag suddenly trails down his arm, looking up to see Tony watching him, dark eyes soft and questioning. 

 

“I dunno.” Peter finally says. “Wanted to p-prove something, I guess.” 

 

“Prove what, kiddie?”

 

“How cool I am or-or how I can fit in, at least a little.”

 

Tony rinses the rag, squeezing the excess water out before moving on to Peter’s other arm, rubbing soothing circles into the irritated skin of his shoulder. Peter melts into the touch, a small whimper escaping him as the burn starts to fade. Tony pauses for just a second to cup his cheek before continuing with his cleaning, pressing a sweet kiss to the crown of his child’s head.

 

“You know you don’t have to prove anything to that asshole, right?” His father finally says, voice soft. “To any of them.”

 

Peter starts to look down again, but his dad gently bumps his chin up with the rag, getting warm water along Peter’s jaw. 

 

“Nope, you need to listen to me, bambino. You are perfect just the way you are and nothing you say will ever convince me otherwise. You are my son and I won’t tolerate shitty kids making you think any differently, alright?”

 

“Okay, Dad.” Peter says and he means it. 

 

Reaching up with a trembling hand, Peter wipes away the water from his face, nodding as his father finishes cleaning the scratches along his biceps.

 

Finally, Tony sets the damp rag back in the sink for the final time, moving Peter back over to the couch and pushing him to sit. The young Stark complies without argument, his skin tingling. 

 

“I’ll be right back, Petey-Pie.” The man says, leaning down to gently kiss his temple before stepping away. “Stay there.”  

 

Peter doesn’t have to wait for long, however, Tony already walking back into the room just as the boy had flipped on the TV. Looking up, Peter scoots over to give Tony room as he sits down, the cushion dipping under the added weight. 

 

“Here you go, bud.” His dad says, handing him a black shirt. “Fresh from the dryer and everything.”

 

Unflolding the fabric, Peter slips it over his head, the cotton soothing against his now dry skin. Looking down at his chest, the boy frowns in confusion, picking the collar.

 

“This is your shirt, Dad.”

 

Tony just smirks a little, pulling his child closer with one hand and grabbing a blanket with the other. Peter settles against his chest on instinct, his chin just above the familiar glow of the Arc Reactor as he pulls his feet up. 

 

“Oh, it is? I didn’t even notice.” Tony says, a chuckle vibrating Peter’s cheek. 

 

“But I can’t take your shirt–”

 

“I already know you take my sweatshirt when I leave for long conferences, piccolo.” Tony cuts him off, no anger in his voice, only affection and mirth. “Consider this one a permeant loan.” 

 

Pushing his face into his father’s side, Peter lets out a small whine of embarrassment as Tony just laughs harder, his hand coming up to gently comb through his kid’s soft curls, tugging Peter further into his arms. 

 

“Just relax, buddy. Everything is okay now.” His dad soothes, pressing a couple of gentle kisses to Peter’s forehead and temples. “Just relax.” 

 

Peter does, curling further up in the safety of Tony’s arms, his arms and back no longer burning and his heart a million times lighter. 

 

Because he is perfect just the way he is. His dad said so.

 

And his dad has never lied to him, not about stuff like this. 

 

Never.

Chapter Text


 

It had been a long last two days. 

 

Tony sits up from where he is hunched over a computer screen, his back popping from the sudden movement. On the screen, Peter last recorded vitals move back and forth, his past heartbeat thumping through the speakers.

 

His son was taken after school on a late Wednesday afternoon. It is now Friday and Tony has been searching non-stop for the past 48 hours, tracking security cameras and vitals from Peter’s watch. 

 

The watch that must have been broken or taken off of Peter because there was no way in hell his kid would ever willingly take it off. 

 

Rubbing his stinging eyes, the billionaire begins to pace in front of his chair, moving his hands up to tug at his hair as Peter’s heartbeat echoes through the lab. 

 

The sound pulls at this own heart, his chest aching at each recorded record of his baby’s life that floods out of his computer. His lips pull in a snarl even as his eyes fill with frustrated tears, his body trembling. 

 

Where the fuck is his son?

 

The sudden sound of his lab door swinging open pulls Tony from his thoughts and he comes to a halt as Rhodey walks toward him. 

 

“Did you find anything?” Tony asks immediately, sucking in a small gasp as his fingers drum on his leg. “Rhodey?” 

 

His friend just shakes his head, his face drawn as he sits in Tony’s chair, the wheels squeaking. 

 

“I searched the whole city, Tone.” Rhodey says, deflating a little. “There was no sign of him.” 

 

Tony feels panic settle into his bones, his nerves seeming to vibrate. “Let me go out again, honey bear. One more round–”

 

Rhodey holds up a hand, sitting up a little. “No, man. You stayed out all night last night and almost fell from the sky twice. You can’t find Peter if you crash into a building, Tony.” 

 

“That was one time.”

 

“It doesn’t matter.” 

 

Turning back toward his still blinking computer screen, the genius clenches his fists, his nails digging into his palm. “I-I can’t stay here. I can’t.

 

“I know, man.” 

 

“I need to find him.” Tony sniffs, teeth grinding. “He– Rhodey, it’s been two days.” 

 

“We’ll find him.” The other Avenger says, standing up. “We will.”

 

“They–” Swallowing down bile, the billionaire watches as Peter’s lifeline blinks again and again. “–they could be doing anything to him, and I can’t do anything about it.”

 

And that’s the thing that hurts Tony the most, the thing that tears him up and leaves his insides looking like ribbons at a fun fair. 

 

Anything.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, Tony can see his friend extend a hand in his direction, the other man’s mouth opening to offer a comfort Tony knows will do him no good. 

 

Friday’s sudden voice from above startles both superheroes and they jump, eyes widening as she speaks. 

 

“Peter’s heartbeat has been detected by my Babysitter Protocol, boss. Do you want me to send you the location?”

 

Heart thumping in his chest, Tony swallows before forcing out a choked “yes”, his suit snapping around him as Rhodey follows him out the door to the launching pad. 

 

A small red dot, blinking in time with the faint heartbeat he can hear over his own ragged breaths, brings tears to Tony’s eyes. Blinking them away, the genius shoots into the sky, his repulsers glowing hot. 

 

He is going to go get his child back.

 

Neither superhero speaks as they travel through the cloudy New York sky, zipping around buildings and whirling through the chilly November air. Tony keeps his eyes on the red dot in the corner of his vision, watching as the light blinks with every precious pump of his baby’s heart. 

 

Finally, after what feels like hours, they make it to a rundown building on the outskirts of the city, the metal rusted and the roof almost fully caved in.

 

Landing on the most solid looking part, Tony immediately begins to cut through the metal, the heat from his repulser causing the air to steam. 

 

“Lift the other side.” He says to Rhodey as the other man lands next to him. “We need to get inside as fast as we can.” 

 

His friend doesn’t argue, only helps Tony pry the metal from its frame as the billionaire tries to calm his frantic breathing. After a few more seconds of tugging, the metal comes undone with a pop, and the genius slides down into the building as soon as he can fit.

 

Scanning through the dust that blows up, Tony steps to the side as his brother slips down beside him, Rhodey’s eyes glowing a bright red. 

 

“Anyone hiding in here, Fri?” Tony asks as he takes a small step, kicking away an old beer can.

 

“No, boss.” His A.I says after a second.“There are, however, four life-forms detected one hundred feet away from your current location– thought the door to your left.”

 

“Peter one of them?” 

 

Please, please be one of them. 

 

“Yes, boss. Your tracker should lead you right to him.”

 

Letting out a bitter chuckle, Tony walks with purpose now, pushing through the door and stomping down the short hallway. Rhodey follows behind him, silent. The closer the billionaire gets, the clearer he can hear the voices that begin to rise up. 

 

“I though you said Stark would have contacted us by now, Danny? I don’t get paid to babysit brats all day.” 

 

A second voice, gruff and deep. “He will be, just wait and then you’ll have all the money you want, you dip-shit.”

 

“Maybe we should just kill the brat now, I mean, look at him.” 

 

A thump and a grunt of pain. Peter.

 

Tony increases his speed, almost running now as his blood boils in his veins. His vision is red.

 

“No, no.” The other voice is softer than the first, breathy. “We can’t kill him yet, not before we’ve had some more fun.”

 

That’s when Tony bursts through the far door, bending the metal and shattering glass shards throughout the small room. 

 

The men who took Peter freeze, faces blurring into one mass that Tony hates with every fiber of his being.

 

Arms rising up and palms glowing, Tony doesn’t even bother speaking before he is blasting the asshole who is leaning over his child, the man’s leg denigrating with a wet sizzle. The fucker howls, going down in a heap and his buddies start to back away slowly, their eyes wide and filled with terror. 

 

“N-No, please…” They plead but it falls on deaf ears, Tony lips curling into a snarl. 

 

Because no one touches his child and get away with it. 

 

Tony tries not to laugh as he blasts each of them as well. His blood roars in his ears, his palms warming and he growls, chest vibrating. 

 

Rhodey goes over and drags them to a corner once his brother is done. Faintly, the billionaire can hear the other man talking with the police, confirming that they are on their way with a slight nod. 

 

Breathing harshly through his nose, Tony retracts his helmet and turns toward the chair Peter is still tied to. He nearly sobs at the sight.

 

“Oh god, bambino… what did they do to you?” He whispers, voice breaking.

 

Because Peter’s face

 

Around his eyes, there are black and blue bruises, as dark as the night sky. One cheek is split open, gushing blood down his neck and soaking into his white sweatshirt. Duck tape covers the boy’s mouth and his doe eyes spill hot tears, arms staining against the chains holding him down. 

 

Staggering over, Tony rips the metal holding his kid down with a small grunt of effort, catching the boy when he slides against his father’s chest. Gently pealing back the tape from Peter’s mouth, Tony flinches a bit at the broken sob that reaches his ears. 

 

“Dad.” Peter cries, his trembling arms wrapping around Tony. “Daddy.

 

The billionaire just shushes him, gathering his kid closer and running soothing hands through his hair, pushing the loose curls back. Peter leans into the touch, sobs spilling from him as he shivers. 

 

“It’s okay, sweetheart, shh. I’m here, il mio piccolo cuore, Daddy’s right here, shh.” 

 

Peter doesn’t calm down, however. He just cries harder, gagging a little as blood continues to pour down his face. Tony wipes away the redness with a gentle hand. 

 

He needs to get his son out of there right now.

 

Carefully reaching down, the billionaire gathers his spidering and lifts, feeling Peter sink down into his arms with a sharp whine of pain. Pressing a kiss against his kid’s temple in apology, Tony looks over at Rhodey. 

 

“I’m gonna get him home. Don’t let the bastards even blink, honey bear.” 

 

His friend nods, eyes narrowed as he looks each of the men under him over. “Wouldn’t dream of it, man. Get my nephew home safe, all right?” 

 

Tony looks down, his eyes softening as Peter sniffs, his son’s wet and red face nuzzling against the Iron Man armor. “Will do.” 

 

He then begins to walk back to the hole in the roof, stepping over pieces of metal and glass, his boots crunching with each step. Lifting up one metal covered hand, Tony sets it on the back of Peter’s neck, protecting his head from falling debris. 

 

“Dad?” Peter calls weakly, his voice raspy and cracking.

 

Tony answers immediately, his grip tightening a little. “I’m right here, baby. Not going anywhere.” 

 

Splaying his fingers through the soft hair at the base of Peter’s head, Tony gently untangles the sweaty and bloody locks, feeling his child’s pulse pumping under his pale skin. 

 

God, Tony didn’t there was any feeling better than that. 

 

Reaching down to softly kiss his baby’s forehead and face, the billionaire rubs away the tears that continue to escape, Peter sighing as he goes even more limp against the genius’s chest. 

 

Tony feels guilt rise up and he squishes it down before it can reach up and swallow him whole. 

 

No time for that. Not right now.

 

Stopping under the still steaming hole in the roof, Tony looks up at the dotted sky above them, shifting Peter so that the boy is covered almost completely by his dad’s body. 

 

Can’t have his precious cucciolo getting cold. Not even a little bit. 

 

Looking over his shoulder at the torn down door at the end of the hallway, Tony barely manages to hold back a snarl, his lip curling as he thinks of the fuckers Rhodey is currently holding down. 

 

They were gonna pay, oh yes, they were gonna rot in jail for the rest of their pathetic lives, shitting their pants whenever they even think of him. 

 

Tony would make sure of it. 

 

But first he has to get his child home and make sure that he’s safe. Make sure that Peter heals and isn’t scared and knows that Tony will always, always be there to protect him. 

 

No matter what. 

 

Holding Peter tighter in his arms, Tony activates his feet repulsers, the chilly wind rushing past, and begins to fly back to the Tower. 

 

Back home. 

Chapter Text


 

 

"Oh, uh," Tony says, clearing his throat and attempting to push his now giggling grandkids behind him. "Heya, kiddie, didn't see you there—"

 

 

Peter, for his part, just looks unimpressed, cocking an eyebrow and crossing his arms. "Uh-huh, Dad, oh please do go on." 

 

 

For a split second, Peter looks so much like Tony that the man's heart skips a beat. 

 

 

Reaching behind him to close the door to his son's apartment, Tony winces as Ben tugs at his tie, setting the young boy down and watching as he rushes to Peter's side. 

 

 

"Daddy, Grandpa took us shopping and-and we got so much stuff." Ben rambles, practically bouncing out of his skin. "We had t-to take it all to the Tower though, it was so much!"

 

 

Peter chuckles as he stands up from his chair, the wheels squeaking. "Is that right, Benny? What did you get?"

 

 

"Oh no you don't Dad!" Virginia, Tony's granddaughter, says, pointing a finger up at her father as she steps from behind Tony. "We aren't telling you, it's a surprise!" 

 

 

“But we did have lots of candy!" Benjamin giggles. "Lots and lots of candy!"

 

 

Virginia nods, her brown eyes shining. "Cookies too and-and Grandpa got us huge milkshakes."

 

 

Shrugging helplessly when his kid turns his accusing gaze toward him, Tony follows his family as they make their way into the kitchen. Peter, sighing as he opens the fridge, speaks over his shoulder. 

 

 

"Why don't you guys go put on a movie and Grandpa can help me make some popcorn?" 

 

 

"Can we watch Elf?" Virginia asks, already beginning to walk off, her little brother in tow. 

 

 

"Sure, sweetie, but not too loud."

 

 

Leaning against the cool counter, Tony waits for the kiddos to run into the living room, their laughter trailing behind, before beginning to grab some bowls from the cabinets above. 

 

 

"I know you're excited to spend Christmas with the kids, Dad, but you have got to wait until they are out of school first." Peter finally says, popping a bag into the microwave and pressing START. "They need to finish their homework before eating dessert."

 

 

Shifting on his feet, Tony let's out a small laugh. "You didn't seem to think that when you were in school, buddy." 

 

 

Brushing his father's hands away when Tony reaches to play with his hair, Peter begins filling the small bowls with popcorn once the microwave beeps. 

 

 

“Yeah yeah, you'll never let that go, will you?" 

 

 

Tony laughs louder this time, finally catching Peter off guard and ruffling his hair as his son huffs in fake protest. "Not on your life, bambino."

 

 

“I'm not a baby, Dad! I'm 35-years-old." 

 

 

Flicking a lose curl behind Peter's ear, Tony reaches around him and grabs the now filled bowls with his free hands. "Still my Spider-Baby though." 

 

 

Letting out a chuckle of his own, Peter doesn't protest when Tony tugs his closer, wrapping a protective arm across his son's shoulders. 

 

 

"Does this mean you're not mad at me anymore?" Tony asks as they make it to the living room, the television lit up and his grandkids sitting on the couch. 

 

 

Peter nods with a laugh, sitting down beside Virginia and scooting over for Tony to settle beside them. Ben, climbing up onto Tony's lap, kicks his small feet in time with the intro song. The couch cushion sinks with all of their combined weight. 

 

 

"Nope, not mad." The spiderling answers, smirking in a signature Stark way. "But when Ben ends up throwing up all this yummy popcorn later tonight, you're on clean up duty." 

 

 

Tony just sighs, pulling his family tighter against him. 

 

 

It wasn't more then five minutes later, however, that Ben pukes all over the end of the couch, the coffee table and the carpet. 

 

 

Yep, Tony deserved that one.

Chapter Text


 

 

“Are you sure you can eat all those, buddy?” 

 

Peter glances up at his father from behind a mountain of pancakes, picking up his fork as his stomach rumbles. Tony eyes him with slight worry, setting down his own steaming cup of coffee. 

 

“Of course!” Peter chirps, cutting into the first pancake and shoving about half of it into his mouth. “I’s so goo’!” 

 

Tony lets out a small chuckle, licking his finger and reaching over to gently wipe away a spear of maple syrup from Peter’s chin. The boy wrinkles his nose at the touch, one hand flying up to bat at his dad’s. 

 

“Hey! That’s so gross.” 

 

Tony rolls his eyes, taking a bite of his eggs. “So is being covered in jelly, bambino.” 

 

Peter huffs, bottom lip pushing out in a tiny pout as he glances around the small diner. In the corner, few feet from the back door and right beside the soda fountain, sits an elderly couple, the man carefully cutting his ham as his wife adds sugar to her tea. The rest of the diner is empty, and Peter relaxes more in his seat.

 

 “Hey, Pete?” Tony’s voice shakes the boy out of his thoughts and he looks back at his father with wide doe eyes. 

 

“Yeah, Dad?” The spidering answers, smirking a little. “Finally decide that I was right?” 

 

Tony huffs out a laugh, ruffling his son’s curls. “Not a chance, kiddie. I was just gonna ask if you wanted a milkshake but with that sass. . .” 

 

Peter sudden sits up, holding up a slightly pleading hand. “No, no Dad! I’m sorry-- wait, you’re going to let me have a milkshake at,” Peter looks up at the clock on the wall. “ten in the morning?” 

 

“Nope.” Tony says, stirring his coffee. “Just wanted to make sure you were listening.” 

 

Peter groans, sinking further down into his seat. “You’re evil.” 

 

“Tell me something I don’t know.” 

 

“Did you know that spider blood is blue, because the oxygen in spider bloodstreams is bound to a chemical called hemocyanin?” 

 

This time Tony is the one who groans. “Peter, that’s not what I meant and you know it. Stop being sassy and eat your pancakes.” 

 

The spiderling just laughs, stabbing another piece and shoving it into his mouth. Tony grimaces as the boy chugs down his apple juice after swallowing. Quickly calling over the waiter, Tony orders another coffee for himself, as well as a plate of hash-browns for his kid. 

 

“So, what did want to tell me?” Peter looks up at Tony, his eyes wide and curious and the man can feel his heart fill with love. 

 

“Are you going on patrol tonight, cucciolo?” 

 

Peter frowns. “Am I allowed to go?” 

 

“Did you finish all of your chores?” 

 

“Yep, I finished them last night while you were in the lab.” 

 

“Are you sure?” 

 

Peter nods, face earnest. Tony reaches out and gently flicks a loose curl behind his ear, smiling. “Okay, thanks kiddo. What do you say, tonight after dinner, me and you go out for some father-son crime fighting?” 

 

Peter’s eye widen and he grins, punching the air with a fist. “Really? Oh my god, yes! That sounds so awesome, thank you Dad.” 

 

High-fiving the offered hand his son puts out, Tony watches as the boy goes back to happily eating, and the man feels his own face split in a smile so wide that it hurts his cheeks. 

 

He can’t wait for tonight. 

Chapter Text


 

Tony jolts awake just as the first scream pierces the night air. 

 

Peter. 

 

Jumping up, the billionaire takes a split second to grab his gauntlet from his nightstand, pulling it onto his wrist before taking off again. He has just made it out the door and into the darkened hallway when another bloodcurdling scream rips the air in half. 

 

Hitting his shoulder against the far wall in his haste, Tony finally makes it to the source of the sounds, pushing Peter’s door open and raising up his now glowing hand. 

 

No one. 

 

There’s no one in there besides his son. Looking down at Peter’s bed, Tony quickly extinguishes his hand and falls to his knees, reaching out and cupping his boy’s face. 

 

Peter flinches back at the touch, his eyes shifting rapidly behind his squeezed shut lids and the genius can feel his heart threaten to break in half. Making soothing sounds in the back of his throat, Tony moves so that he is sitting on the bed, cradling his baby, Peter’s face against his chest. 

 

The spiderling’s tears soak into Tony’s night shirt. 

 

“No.” Peter moans, his legs kicking under the covers. “Please, please help me. Help–” 

 

The boy cries out, as though in agony and Tony feels a sob of his own stumble up his throat. Gritting his teeth, the billionaire begins to hum under his breath, rocking both of them back and forth slowly. He wipes away each tear that falls. 

 

“Wake up, il mio piccolo cuore.” Tony whispers, “I’m right here, baby, just open your eyes please.” 

 

And slowly, one more shrill scream later, Peter finally wakes up with a wet gasp, falling against his dad and sobbing. His chest hitches, his shaking hands fisting into Tony’s shirt, wrinkling the fabric. 

 

“D-Dad?” Another sob, Peter’s grip tightening. “I-I–” 

 

Tony cuts him off, pressing a series of gentle kisses against his child’s forehead and temples. Peter’s hair is soft against Tony’s fingers and the man smooths back the strands as the spiderling nuzzles closer. 

 

“I know, miele.” Tony presses another kiss to Peter’s head, shifting the boy closer. “I know, it’s okay.” 

 

Peter relaxes into his arms, melting like putty as his head thumps against his father’s chest. “I was s-so scared, Dad. It was so dark and I-I couldn’t get it off me–” 

 

Tony shushes him, bring the hand that was rubbing Peter’s back down to grab at the boy’s own, tangling their fingers together and setting it on Peter’s chest. Though their conjoined hands, the billionaire can feel the steady thumping of his kid’s heart. 

 

You don’t have to be scared anymore, buddy. You feel your heartbeat? Focus on that for me, okay? Just focus on that and close your eyes.” 

 

Peter’s voice crackles, like tin foil. “O-Okay.” 

 

Curling his arms even tighter around his son, Tony follows his own advice and closes his eyes, counting each beat of Peter’s heart through their hands and listening as the spiderling begins the process of visiting dreamland once more. 

 

Peter only counts to 11 before he is asleep once more, snoring softly and feeling completely safe in his dad’s arms. 

 

And Tony?

 

Tony can barely make it to 12. 

Chapter Text


 It wasn’t supposed to be that big of deal. 

 

Peter had gone on field trips before, many times actually. He loves them, to be able to get out of the stuffy classroom and into the real world, to experience things in person and not have to deal with bullies sitting right behind him or a teacher unexpectedly calling on him. 

 

This time, however, Peter would rather be anywhere but there. 

 

Him and his class are currently on a bus headed to the planetarium, and Peter shifts in the leather seat, feeling beads of sweat begin to form on the back of his neck. He reaches up and wipes it away, almost hitting Ned across the face. 

 

“Whoah, man.” His best friend says, dark eyes searching Peter’s face. “You good?” 

 

Peter nods, face growing hot. “Y-Yeah, I’m fine.” 

 

Ned leans closer, voice dropping to a whisper. “It isn’t anything, like, Spider-Man related right?” 

 

“No!” Peter answers, glancing around. “No, Ned, I’m fine.” 

 

Ned shrugs, resting a hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Okay, dude, just making sure. You’ll tell me if it’s anything superhero-ie right?” 

 

The spidering nods, swallowing. “Of course, bro. Let’s just-just not talk about that kind of stuff right now.” 

 

Ned gives him one more once over before he turns back to his phone, his silent support helping Peter calm down, at least a little bit. Peter lets out a nearly silent sigh, resting his suddenly pounding head against the glass window and watching the New York buildings wiz by in a blur of grays and silvers. 

 

He just hopes this trip will be over soon. 

 


 

 By the time the astronomer had gone over the legend of the Three Little Indians, Peter feels like he can’t breathe. 

 

The dome above him swirls, the pattern of the artificial stars twinkling as blackness presses against him from all sides. MJ, looking over at him from her seat, frowns, half of her face visible in the limited light. 

 

“You okay, loser?” She whispers and Peter nods, trembling a little as the display above him changes again. 

 

The presenter in the corner clicks his remote and the room in suddenly bathed in light. Peter flinches, bringing his suddenly trembling hand up to cover his eyes, a choked off gasp getting forced from between his clenched teeth. 

 

“What we are looking at here,” The microphone muffles the scientist’s voice, his words gravely. “Is the IC 1101 galaxy. The IC 1101 is the single largest galaxy that has ever been found in the observable universe.” 

 

The room suddenly moves again, the stars warping as the camera zips past them at light speed. Peter grips the seat handles tightly, the leather squeaking in his hands as his stomach lurches. His eyes sting against the assault of light and movements and it’s all he can do to force the bile down. 

 

“In this galaxy,” The man speaking continues without a care in the world. “There are a multitude of different types of stars located across its vast 2 million light-year length. The largest of them is the Red Giant.” 

 

The room suddenly bursts in a bright red light. 

 

It’s everywhere. The star on the screen pulses, beating in time with the frantic pumping of Peter’s heart. With a strangled gasp, the boy suddenly stands up, his ears ringing. In the fiery light, Peter can make out the stunned and confused faces of his classmates before he turns around and runs out, slamming the doors open. 

 

He stumbles out into the lobby, trembling from head to toe. People stare at him, their eyes wide with shock but he doesn’t care. 

 

The red, the dust. It’s everywhere and the echo of the titan’s laughter still rings in the distance. Tony stands off to the side, his side still bleeding from Thanos’s blade. Suddenly the air shifts and Peter can feel himself fading again, can feel his own flesh turning to ash and his bones disintegrating. He stumbles over to his father, crying, sobbing and pleading for the man to save him.

 

Save him. . .save him. . .save him please. . .

 

With a gasp, Peter is suddenly outside, the air around his face cool and his skin burning. He stands in the parking lot, shivering, wet gasps choking the air around him. Falling to his knees, Peter backs away so that his back is against he side of the building, hidden from the door by the wall. Vaguely through his panic, the spiderling can hear his teacher come outside, calling his name. 

 

Peter just backs further away, curling up into a tighter ball as he sobs. 

 

A sudden buzzing in his pocket has the boy jumping, struggling to keep his cries silent as he lifts his phone up, his hand trembling. 

 

Dad. The screen suddenly becomes blurry. 

 

“H-Hello?” He answers, voice cracking. 

 

Tony’s voice is frantic on the other end. “Peter? Kiddo, why did I just get a notification that your heart rate spiked so much?” 

 

Shit. Peter forgot about that.

 

“Oh,” He says, wiping at his eyes with his sleeve. “T-that? I just got excited about-about something.” 

 

“Really?” Tony answers, voice a law drawl. “You don’t sound very excited, buddy. What’s wrong?” 

 

“Nothing.” 

 

“Peter.” 

 

Blinking away his tears, the boy sniffs. “We went to the planetarium today. For school, I mean.” 

 

“Wha—“ Suddenly, Tony sighs a little, his tone softening. “Oh, Peter.” 

 

“It’s okay.” The spiderling says, already knowing that his father is on his way and that there is nothing he can do about it. He shivers again. “Dad?” 

 

“I’m almost there, bambino.” Tony responds, the Iron Man suit whirling around him. “I’m almost there.” 

 


 

 

 By the time Tony finally lands on the sidewalk, Peter had been reunited with the rest of his class. 

 

Standing next to his teacher, the boy doesn’t meet the man’s gaze as he asks him question after question, finally giving up when all Peter would do is shake his head. 

 

Shuffling his feet, the spiderling flinches a little as Ned rests his hand on his shoulder, eyes shooting up to glance over Ned’s round face before studying his sneakers once more. Ned doesn’t speak, instead offering silent support as the people around them avert their eyes away from Peter’s tear stained face. 

 

Finally, the sound of thrusters echos through the parking lot and all attending glance up, Peter having to blink back more tears as the Iron Man suit slams down to land a few feet away from him. 

 

“Peter?” Tony’s voice is stricken with worry and the boy can’t hold his cry back any longer. 

 

Staggering over, the boy falls against his father just as the man steps out of the suit, burying his face against Tony’s ribcage and sobbing in earnest now. His thin shoulders jump and he can feel the deep rumble of his dad’s voice when the man speaks against his cheek. 

 

“I’m taking him home.” His tone leaves no room for argument and before Peter’s teacher even opens his mouth, Tony is up in the air.

 

Peter clings to him, his tears sliding down his face and getting blown away in the wind. Tony continues to make soothing sounds in the back of his throat, one metal hand gently smoothing his child’s hair back, the other stabilizing them as they zip through the clouds. 

 

They make it home in record time. 

 

Almost as soon as they land on the Stark Tower launch pad, the Iron Man armor is retracting and Tony gathers Peter in his arms, gently leading the still crying boy over to the couch. After carefully setting his son on the cushion, Tony leans down and presses a quick kiss to his brow. 

 

“I’m gonna go grab you a drink, okay kiddo? Stay here and keep the seat warm for me.” The genius says, already beginning to walk to the kitchen and pulling out a cup from the cabinet. 

 

Peter just sniffs, wrapping the blanket from the back of the couch tighter around himself. He is still shivering, still trembling down to the very marrow of his bones and the spiderling suddenly cannot bare to be alone anymore, can’t take the silence and the way his own heartbeat echos in his ears. He stands up, his legs jelly. 

 

Tony has just walked back into the room, a cup held out, when Peter staggers over. 

 

“Peter what—“ Tony asks, his question cut off short when his son slams into his stomach. “Hey, miele, hey. Shh, kiddie, let’s go sit on the couch again, okay? Let’s just go over here— good job. I’m just gonna sit down right here, shh.” 

 

Tony sets the cup on the coffee table and pulls his kid against his side, muffling the boy’s heart wrenching cries against his chest. Peter grabs onto his father, his knuckles turning white with the force, his voice watery. 

 

“I-I’m sorry!” Peter sobs. “It just-just got to be too much, the stars and t-the red light—“ 

 

“It’s okay, baby. You don’t have to explain, alright? Just calm down, breathe, breathe.” 

 

Rubbing soothing circles in Peter’s back, Tony continues his manta, pressing small kisses against his child’s face every few seconds. Peter leans into each touch, tiny whimpers pulling up from his chest. After a few harrowing minutes does Peter finally begin to calm down, his sobs turning to sniffles as he relaxes against his father’s side. 

 

“Do you need to blow your nose, buddy?” Tony asks, beginning to get up to get a tissue, but a whine from his kid stops him in his tracks. The man frowns, settling back down when the thin arms around him tighten. “I’m gonna take that as a negative.” 

 

“S-Sorry.” Peter whispers, reluctantly loosening his hold as his face burns. “You can get up.” 

 

Tony shakes his head. “No, Pete, it’s okay, we can sit here for a little longer. I’m not mad— about anything.” 

 

“Really?”

 

“Yes.” Tony laughs a little. “Bud, I can’t even go up onto the roof at night anymore, sometimes even during the day. The fact that you sat through more than half of a show only dedicated to space shows just how strong you are. Why the hell would I ever be mad about that?” 

 

Peter shrugs, picking at a loose string on Tony’s sweatshirt. “It’s stupid though. The-The show wasn’t even real.” 

 

“That doesn’t mean it can’t effect you, il mio cuore.”

 

They are both quiet after that, just breathing and taking the time to calm down. Bringing his knees up onto the cushion, Peter shifts even closer to his dad, nuzzling closer as the man gently runs his fingers through his child’s hair, untangling knots as he goes. Tony, for his part, just holds the boy tighter, the billionaire’s pulse a steady thump against Peter’s ears. 

 

The blue light of his father’s heart is the best sight Peter had seen all day. 

Chapter Text


 

“Peter?” Tony calls, his eyes widening as he takes in the sight before him. “Kiddo, what’re you doing?” 

 

All across the living room, from the TV to the edge of the kitchen counter, is covered with pillows and sheets. Moving around to the couch, the billionaire watches as part of the sheet nearest to him gets lifted up, his son’s messy bed head poking out. 

 

“Hi Dad.” The boy says, giving a little wave. “I made a fort.” 

 

Tony laughs, reaching out a hand to help Peter up. “I can see that, buddy. What’s it for?”

 

“Dunno.” Peter shrugs, grinning, doe eyes sparkling. “Just felt like it, you know? It even has room for two…” 

 

“Are you trying to get me to crawl into your fort with you?” 

 

The spiderling shrugs, walking into the kitchen and trying in vain to grab a bowl from the top shelf. “You said it, not me.” 

 

Tony laughs, reaching up from behind his kid and grabs the bowl. “Well played, bambino. Remind me to stop putting sassy juice in the fridge, I think you’ve been drinking too much of it lately.” 

 

“If I don’t drink it, you will and stuff that strong isn’t good for your heart, Dad.” 

 

Peter smirks, popping a bag of popcorn into the microwave and pressing start. He leans against the counter, looking up at Tony, shoulders shaking with mirth. The billionaire just mock glares at him, reaching down to flick him on the ear. 

 

“Hey!” Peter yelps, rubbing at his now red ear with a hand. “What was that for?” 

 

“For being a little shit.” 

 

For all his talk though, Tony reaches out and gently smooths down his child’s hair, his fingers running over Peter’s soft ear and soothing the sting. Peter, even as he glares, leans into the touch with a small pout. 

 

“The popcorn’s done, kiddie.” Tony says just as the microwave beeps, causing the teen to jump. “Told you.”

 

“Ha ha, Dad, you’re so funny.” 

 

“Thanks, it’s a gift. Move over and let me get that, buddy, so you don’t burn your hand off.” 

 

Reluctantly, Peter scoots over so his father can get the bag and pour it into the bowl, the steam rising the filling the kitchen with the buttery smell. Peter, after Tony turns around to throw the bag away, reaches out and snatches a piece of popcorn, popping it into his mouth. 

 

“Save some for me, will you?” Tony grins, bumping his son out of the way with his hip and grabbing the entire bowl. “I guess I’ll have to take it all now, until my kid learns to share with his old man.” 

 

“Old is right.”

 

“What was that?”

 

“Oh, nothing.” Peter smiles, all cherub features and innocent eyes. “Nothing at all.” 

 

Tony snorts, walking back to the living room and eyeing the mess with a grimace. Peter, coming up beside him with a grin, gently pokes the man in the side.

 

“Are you sure you don’t want to chill in Peter’s Playhouse?”

 

“I’m sorry, your what?” 

 

Ducking his head as he blushes, Peter talks over his father’s laughter as the genius nearly spills the popcorn all over the floor in his mirth. 

 

“Shut up! You’re just jealous I have this cool fort and you have to go back down to your stupid lab with all of your stupid suits.” 

 

Quickly setting the bowl on the coffee table before he drops it, Tony reaches out and tugs Peter again his side despite the boy’s half-hearted protest. 

 

“Okay, okay, kiddo. No need for such language, Cap would be appalled.” 

 

Peter looks up at him for a few seconds, his brows furrowed before he bursts into giggles. His laughter, like everything about him, is infectious and Tony is soon laughing too, his side aching and his eyes watering. 

 

“Alright, miele.” Tony finally gasps out once they have calmed down. “Move this sheet so I can sit down.”

 

Peter’s head snaps up, a smile lighting up his still red features. “Wait, you’re gonna hang out?”

 

“Yes, kiddo, yes, you’ve convinced me. Now help me get this popcorn down without breaking a hip.” 

 

After a few seconds of struggle, both father and son are underneath the largest sheet, the gentle glow of the arc reactor casting the small space in a hue of light blue. Peter, sitting cross-legged, holds the bowl of popcorn in his lap and starts clicking on his computer, the screen illuminating his face. 

 

“Tangled or Mulan?” He asks around a mouthful of popcorn. 

 

Tony reaches over and grabs a handful, leaning against the front of the couch with his legs stretched out in-front of him. “Tangled. Flynn Rider is the best Disney prince and you can quote me on that.” 

 

Peter snorts, getting the movie set up and handing his father the laptop. “You’re just saying that cause people say you two look alike.”

 

“Can you blame me? Facial hair is hard to pull off and he does it almost as well as me.” 

 

Rolling his eyes, Peter shifts so that his head is resting against Tony’s chest, his legs thrown off to the side and the bowl near his knees. Tony, after pressing play and grabbing more popcorn, gently threads his fingers through his child’s hair, untangling knots and scratching at the boy’s scalp. 

 

“Thanks for hanging out with me, Dad.” Peter says quietly, curling up closer to his father just as Mother Gothel steals baby Rapunzel from the castle. 

 

Tony swallow down the sudden lump in his throat, pressing a kiss against Peter’s temple and feeling his heart fill with love. “It’s no problem, buddy.” 

 

“…Does that mean you’re going to help me clean all of this up before Aunt Pepper sees?” 

 

“Not a chance, bambino, not a chance.” 

Chapter Text


 

Peter’s head felt like it was going to explode. 

 

He sits up in bed, a small groan of agony cutting into the silence of his room. Sweat coats his skin, the back of his neck sticky as he reaches up to rub at the ache shooting up his skull. 

 

This is the 5th one this week. 

 

Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, the boy wearily pushes himself out of bed and makes his way over to his door, having to stop for a few seconds when he becomes lightheaded. 

 

Finally, with a weary sigh, Peter stumbles him way out of his room and down the hall. The pounding in his head beats in time with his steps and the spidering can barely keep from crying out. 

 

By the time Peter makes it to the living room, the pain is so strong he can’t keep his eyes open.

 

Squinting, the teenager thumps into the wall, a low keen of agony pushing past his lips before he can stop it. Vaguely, he is aware of Tony jumping up from the sofa and rushing towards him, but the boy is too much in pain to react. 

 

“Peter?” Tony whispers, falling to his knees and reaching out with shaking hands to clutch at his child. “Bambino, what’s wrong?”

 

Peter just buries his face into his father’s chest, reaching up to grip the billionaire’s shirt with a whine. “Head hurts.” 

 

“Again?” Letting out a coo when Peter nods, Tony gently runs his fingers through his son’s curls. “Oh, buddy, I’m sorry. Let’s go sit on the couch, okay?” 

 

Leaning fully against his father, Peter lets the man practically carry him over to the living room. Laying down on the couch, Peter reaches out for Tony when he takes a step away, a whimper escaping. 

 

“I’m just going to get you a drink, kiddo.” Tony says, leaning down and pressing a quick kiss against Peter’s overheated forehead. “I’ll be back in just a second.”

 

Nodding and stuffing his face into a pillow, the boy tries in vain to keep his tears from escaping as his head throbs. They soak into the fabric below him, and he presses further into the coolness. 

 

A sudden hand on his head has Peter startling and he jerks up, blinking. 

 

“Okay, I got you some water and pills--” Tony begins, setting the cup and white tablets on the coffee table, but pauses when he catches sight of his kid’s tear stained and miserable face. “Oh, baby.” 

 

Sitting down next to Peter, the genius carefully gathers his son into his arms, smushing the boy’s face against his chest and running his fingers through Peter’s already messy curls. Peter whimpers, leaning into the touch and smothers himself further against Tony, scooting over so that his knees are in the man's lap.

 

“It hurts, Dad.” He sobs. “It hurts so bad.” 

 

“I know, miele, I know and I’m so sorry. I would take all the pain away if I could, bud. Shh, shh, I’m right here, just focus on me, sweetheart, just listen to my heart. It’s okay, il mio piccolo cuore, it’s alright. Shh.”

 

After a few more minutes of crying, Peter finally calms down enough to drink some water and take his pills, nearly gagging at the taste. Resting his head back against Tony's chest with a sigh, the teen nuzzles closer when he feels his father sigh. 

 

“Try to sleep a little more, spider-baby.” Tony’s voice rumbles against Peter’s cheek. “I’ll be right here, don’t worry.”

 

Giving a nod, Peter sniffs, closing his eyes against the soft glow of the arc reactor. Wrapping his arms around his dad’s waist, the spidering sighs in relief when the fire in his head starts to dim, mewling a little when Tony scratches at his scalp. 

 

“Sleep, cucciolo.” Tony whispers, pressing his lips against Peter's temple and speaking against his skin. 

 

And Peter does, nestled in his dad’s protective arms, making little kitten snores and happy that his headache is finally going away. 

Chapter Text


 

By the time Peter has swung out of the Tower, he already regrets his decision.

 

Him and Tony had fought. Sure, they argue all the time, bickering over what movie they watch or music they listen to in the Lab. Those are normal fights, things they both father and son brush off after a few hours. 

 

This time, however, Peter knows he really fucked up. 

 

Big time. 

 


 

 

“I’m not letting up about this, Peter!” Tony had shouted, pointing with a shaking hand in the direction of the letter the boy had thrown on the coffee table. “This is the third time this week I’ve gotten a notice about you getting into fights at school!” 

 

Peter had felt his face heat up, his embarrassment fueling the anger pooling in his gut. 

 

“If you would just listen to me,” He spit out, clenching his fists and ignoring the sharp spikes of pain as his nails dig into his palms.”It wasn’t my fault! Flash was saying mean things and--”

 

“And you reacted with violence instead of coming to me for help.” 

 

Looking away from his father’s pointed gaze, the boy blinks away the frustrated tears that made his eyes sting. Swallowing, he crosses his arms over his chest. 

 

“I-I didn’t want to bother you with that!” Hating how his voice cracks, the spidering clenches his jaw. “I’m not some 5-year-old baby that needs to run to his dad for everything!”

 

“You do when it’s making you upset.” Tony seems to swallow down his own anger, taking a step forward. “Not to mention, I thought I already talked to this little bastard. He promised to stop hurting you! Don’t worry, buddy, I’m gonna go up to your school again tomorrow and--” 

 

“No!” Holding up his hand, Peter’s head snaps up from where he was glaring at the floor. “Why can’t you just mind your own business for once?” 

 

“Excuse me?” Hands twitching, the genius shifts. “I will not ‘mind my own business’ when it involves my son getting fucking black eyes at school by a dickwad of a kid. Especially when I’ve told you to come to me if you need help!”

 

 Peter swallows, reaching up to wipe away at his tears and pretends not to notice how Tony’s whole face seems to crack at the seams. 

 

“He was saying stuff about Ned.” Peter whispers. “And I wasn’t about to stand around and let that-that asshole do that, not to my best friend.” 

 

Tony walks over and starts to put his hand on Peter’s shoulder, his eyes softening. “I know, kiddo, and I’m so sorry. I’m going to go up there and talk with your principle, see if we can get Flash expelled for--” 

 

Peter wrenches his arms away, not sure where this anger is coming from but letting it swallow him whole. He sees, out of the corner of his eyes, his dad jerk back, as though Peter had slapped him. 

 

The boy has to swallow back a sob. 

 

It has not been a great week and this is just the icing on top of the shitty cake. 

 

He can’t take anymore.

 

He can’t. 

 

“I don’t want that.” Peter hisses, turning around and stomping towards the elevator. Tony doesn't even seem to bother to follow. “I don't want you to talk to anyone for me. You couldn’t even talk to the Avengers and see where that got you.” 

 

Stepping into the elevator, Peter turns around and stares at the floor, sure if he would look up and see the heartbroken look on his father's face then he would surely burst into sobs. 

 

“You ruin everything.” The spiderling says quietly, positive Tony heard by the sharp inhale the man makes. Peter wraps his arms around himself. “Everything.

 

He waits, feeling his chest ache, for the doors to close before letting the bitter tears fall. 

 


 

That was around 30 minutes ago and Peter has been swinging through the city ever since. 

 

The wind whips around him, shivering ranking his body as he flies through the air. His own horrible, cruel words echo in his ears, his chest jumping at each dry sob that crawls up his sore throat. 

 

You ruin everything.

 

That’s not true and Peter knows it. He doesn’t know why he said it, why he got so angry in the first place. Tony had just wanted to help him, make sure that he doesn’t get hurt and Peter had fucking pushed him away. 

 

You ruin everything.

 

No, it wasn't his dad that ruined things. It was Peter. 

 

It was all his fault and now Tony is upset and alone in that big penthouse and It’s all Peter’s fault. 

 

“Incoming call from Tony Star--” 

 

“Karen, mute.”

 

Sighing, the boy swings sharply to the right and settles on top of an apartment building. The New York skyline twinkles in the distance, the lights gleaming and the cars zooming below like little electric ants. 

 

Peter, taking a deep breath, shoots a web back toward home, intent on sitting down with his dad and telling the man how fucking sorry he is. He barely makes it a step away, however, when a scream from below causes him to startle. 

 

Immediately turning around, the teenager swings into a cramped ally, landing a few feet away from the apparent robber and rolling to a stop. 

 

The man, dressed head to toe in black, has a woman cornered, pointing a gun at her and screaming something in another language. The woman, makeup and tears streaming down her face, has her pulse held out to the man. 

 

“Please.” She sobs, shaking. “Please just take my money. Don’t shoot me, please.” 

 

Peter feels a different sort of anger fill his body and he is firing a web before he even registers the action, his palm stinging at the gun slaps into it. The gunman, his eyes widening behind his mask, turns away from the woman to face Peter.

 

“You have to be above the age of never to play with a gun, my dude.” Peter says, motioning with his head for the woman to get up and run, which she does with a seres of grateful and frantic nods. “And didn’t your mother ever tell you to be nice to girls?” 

 

The robber pulls out a knife without a word and charges. Peter, quickly webbing the gun to the brick wall a few feet away, just out of the way of the first swing, the knife reflecting the dim lights around them. 

 

“Whoah, there, dude.” Peter says, climbing up the wall and jumping above the guy. “Watch where you point that thing!” 

 

They fight for a few more seconds, going back and forth, until finally, just before Peter webs up the robber, the man gets a lucky shot. 

 

The knife, sailing through the air, digs into Peter’s left arm, impaling him through the suit. 

 

Peter, his eyes widening as his arm explodes with a burning pain, cries out, falling to his knees with the knife laying in a bloody heap next to him. The robber doesn’t even hesitate before taking off into a dead sprint once Peter doesn’t get up, his boots slapping against the ground.

 

Then the spiderling is alone, his blood pooling on the cold concrete. 

 

“Peter,” Karen’s soft voice says in his ear and the boy groans. “It would appear that you have suffered a major puncture wound. Would you like me to contact Tony Stark?” 

 

And at first Peter shakes his head.

 

But then his eyes start to blur and the pain escalates, his whole arm throbbing in time with his frantic beating heart. 

 

You ruin everything.

 

Well, Peter is about to prove that statement completely wrong. 

 

“Yes,” He finally gasps out, feeling more blood drip down his arm. “Yes, please call him. Please.”

 

Yes, Peter.” 

 

The phone only rings for a second before Tony picks up, his voice breathless and smothered in worry. Peter feels as sharp spike of guilt, as painful as his stab wound, lodge itself in his gut. 

 

Oh my god,” Tony says, the relief in his voice the final thing that breaks though Peter’s carefully constructed walls. “Holy fuck, Peter, wher--?”

 

But the teenager cuts him off, his voice cracking in a sob. “Dad, I got-got stabbed and I-I need help.” 

 

There is a beat of silence before Tony seems to jump up and run outside, the whirling of the iron man suit as it surrounds him crackling into the speaker. “Okay, alright, bambino, I’m on my way, okay?”

 

Shifting on the asphalt, Peter hesitantly reaches up to lightly touch at the cut and hisses at the agony that flares up, his tears spilling down his cheeks. 

 

“It hurts.” He whines, not caring how young he sounds. “Daddy, it burns.” 

 

“I know, kiddo, I know. Just hold on. I’ll be there in--” Silence as Tony checks with Friday. “--5 minutes. Can you hang on for me, buddy?” 

 

Peter chokes down another sob. “Y-Yes.” 

 

“Good, baby. I’m almost there.” 

 

Peter rests his head on his good arm, trying to stall the tears that continue to leak from his burning eyes. Suddenly, he gasps, jolting up even through his father isn't physically there. 

 

Tony’s voice this time is more panicked. “What’s wrong?”

 

“I--” Peter begins, choking on the words. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Dad. I didn’t mean what I said before and I wish we never started fighting and you don’t ruin everything and I-I was so wrong and I’m so sorry--” 

 

“Hey,” Tony coos, voice so soft and tender that it makes Peter’s chest ache. “It’s okay, il mio cuore, it’s alright. Shh, shh. I’m not mad, buddy, I promise. Please calm down, I’m gonna be there in a few seconds, shh.”

 

True to his words, the Iron Man suit lands next to the trembling boy not even a minute later, his father stumbling out as soon as he is on the ground. 

 

“Peter,” Tony whispers, his voice wrecked and the spiderling can only imagine what he must look like, all bloody and beat up. “Oh, il mio bambino, il mio piccolo.” 

 

Falling to his knees, the genius gently wraps his arms around his son, pulling off Peter’s mask with one hand. His dark eyes study Peter’s wet and red face as the young Stark lets out a small cry of pain. 

 

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Shh, hold on, kiddie, I’m gonna get you home.” 

 

Calling the suit closer, Tony takes a second to press a firm kiss against Peter’s temple, combing his fingers through the soft curls at the base of the boy’s neck, before stepping into the metal. Scooping Peter up, resting the boy’s head against his chest, the man begins their slow track back to the Tower. 

 

Nuzzling closer to the warmth of the Iron Man suit, Peter feels his father clutch him tighter, careful of his throbbing arm. Faintly, barely audible through the whirl of the machines, Peter thinks he can hear the sound of his dad’s heart beating. 

 

And flying through the chilly night air, his arm roaring in pain and leaking blood, the wind clogging his ears, Peter has never felt quite so loved. 

Chapter Text


 

When Peter comes home with a stray dog hidden in his arms, he realizes he didn’t think this thing through. 

 

Holding the squirming pooch close to this chest, the boy carefully climbs the last few feet up the Tower wall until he pulls his window open, dropping into the room with less grace than normal. 

 

Reaching up to tug his mask off, Peter listens for footsteps from outside with bated breath. Hearing none, he sighs, gently setting the small dog on his bed. 

 

“Hey girl,” The spiderling whispers, reaching out to pat the little furry head. The dog, her brown eyes tracking Peter’s movements, nips at his fingers. “Ow, that hurts, you turd.” 

 

The dog’s tail wags and Peter smiles as her paws sink down against the mattress, her little head pushing against his hand as she lets out a small whine. 

 

Then she lets out a bark and the boy feels his blood go cold. 

 

Shit. He can hear his father’s footsteps traveling down the hall now and Peter flails for a second, before quickly picking up the dog and setting her down in his closet, her small whine of protest cutting into his heart.

 

He has just closed the door, making sure not to hit her, when Tony stops in his doorway. 

 

“Hi, kiddo.” The billionaire says, a dish towel hanging from one arm. “Dinner’s almost done so get washed up.” 

 

Peter nods, praying with everything in him that his stowaway stays silent. “O-Okay, sounds good.” 

 

But his dad must have heard something in his voice because he frowns, taking a step into the room. “Is everything alright, buddy?” 

 

“Yeah, yeah I’m fine.” Peter says, looking away from Tony’s dark, concerned eyes as his gut fizzles with guilt. “Just-Just really hungry.” 

 

The boy feels his father’s eyes trace over him before the genius backs away, his hand still held up in a questioning gesture. Swallowing, Peter quickly presses the spider in the middle of his chest, feeling his suit slack around him as he steps closer to his closet door. 

 

“I’m gonna get changed now.” He says, turning away from Tony and faking nonchalantness. “I’ll be down in a few, I promise.” 

 

Tony, hovering in the doorway for a few more seconds, smiles. “Don’t take too long. I made your favorite and we wouldn't want the pasta getting cold.” 

 

Flashing his dad what he hopes is an excited grin, Peter makes a slightly awkward shewing motion with his hand, his other holding up his suit as it sags. “Okay, goodbye Dad.” 

 

Laughing, Tony finally leaves and closes Peter’s door lightly behind him. Waiting until the man’s footsteps fade, Peter immediately whips around and throws open his closet door. 

 

The puppy, her little paws tapping against the carpet, pratically attempts to claw her way up his legs and Peter gently scoots her over as he pulls off his dirty suit and dumps it on the ground. 

 

“You were such a good puppy.” Peter says, gently scratching behind her floppy ears once he finishes changing. “Can you stay in here while I go eat? I’ll even bring you some leftovers.” 

 

The dog-- Peter really needs to come up with a name-- wags her tail as though in agreement, her small body almost vibrating as she circles around him. Thankfully, she doesn’t bark and Peter lets out a sigh of relief as he gently scoots her back with his foot, barely managing to squeeze through his door. 

 

Her high pitched whines of protest clenches at his heart but the spiderling ignores them and makes his way to the kitchen. The smell of his Dad’s spaghetti makes his stomach rumble and the boy licks his lips as he sits down. 

 

“Do you want milk or water?” Tony asks from the fridge, his back to Peter. 

 

“Water, please.” The spiderling answers, tapping his fingers against the table as he listens for any barks from down the hall. “Extra ice too.” 

 

Filling up the cups, Tony carries them over to the table and sets them down before grabbing the plates. He has just sat down, a smile on his face, when Peter hears a faint yelp. 

 

“Did you hear something?” Tony asks, narrowing his eyes in confusion as he starts to stand back up. “I could have sworn I heard someth--” 

 

Quickly hitting his leg against the underside of the table, the boy winces at the dull throb of pain, but that seems to stall his father in his tracks. The genius’s face goes from confused to worried in a matter of seconds and if not for the anxiety thudding through his veins, Peter would be embarrassed with how safe that makes him feel. 

 

“Peter?” Tony asks, setting a gentle hand on his son’s shoulder. “You okay, bambino? Do you need some ice?” 

 

Quickly shaking his head, the spiderling shoves a forkful of pasta into his mouth, ignoring how the noodles burn his tongue. Tony gives him a confused and concerned once over, squeezing his shoulder before sitting back down. 

 

They eat in silence for the next few minutes, Peter wincing a bit at each movement of his still throbbing leg. Quickly shuffing a small piece of garlic bread into his pocket when Tony isn’t looking, the young Stark finishes his dinner in record time. 

 

He nearly chokes on a noodle when another faint bark from his bedroom barely vibrates through the wall. 

 

Sneaking a quick glance at his father, Peter sighs in relief when Tony doesn’t appear to hear. 

 

Finally, he is done eating and carries his dirty plate over to the sink, dumping it into the bubbles and flinching as a suds splat on his nose. Tony, walking to stand beside him, laughs a little and gently wipes away the soap with a swipe of his finger. 

 

“Want to watch a movie, kiddie?” The genius asks, his eyes soft. 

 

“Sure,” Peter says, taking a step backwards and praying that the bread still in his pocket doesn’t crunch. “Let me just go uh--”

 

Shit. He didn’t think this through. 

 

Tony crosses his arms, tilting his head to look Peter in the eyes. “Peter, what’s going on?”

 

“N-nothing.” Taking another step back, the boy gives him dad a tight smile. “I just have to pee real quick.”

 

Turning around before Tony can respond, Peter makes his way back down the hall, his father’s dark eyes boring a hole into his back. Quickly opening his bedroom door, the boy practically drives into the room, nearly stepping on the puppy as she jumps around his legs. 

 

“Hi girl,” Peter says, bending down to gently pat her head, giggling as she licks at his grease stained fingers. “I got you a little treat--hold on, stand still.” 

 

Reaching into his pocket, the boy has just dropped what little bit of bread he was able to sneak away, when a knock at his door has him freezing. 

 

“Peter?” Tony’s voice is slightly muffled through the wood. “I got us some popcorn, if you want some.”

 

“Yeah t-totally!” Peter responds, nearly tripping, and hitting his head on the wall, on the dog as she tears into the bread. “Shit!”

 

“You okay, bud?” Tony asks, voice high in concern. “Can I come in?” 

 

“No! N-no, don’t come in. Everything is fine!”

 

“Are you sure? You sounded like you’re hurt, did something happen on patrol?”

 

“I’m fine!” It’s at that second that, as he was reaching down to pick up the dog and hide her in the closet again, that she decides to bite his hand, drawing a small drop of blood. “Ow!” 

 

The lock gets jiggled, Tony's now angry and panicked voice seeming to vibrate against the door. “Peter Anthony Stark, you will let me in this instant.” 

 

Deciding to not test fate anymore than he already has, Peter reluctantly reaches over and twists the doorknob, holding his stinging hand against his chest. Tony, his eyes narrowed, steps around the door and walks into the room.

 

“Peter, wha--” The puppy, her little tail wagging, suddenly scoots around Peter’s legs and jumps against his father’s, the man cutting himself off to glance down. “What the hell?”

 

“Oh yeah uh--” Peter says, ducking his head at the look his dad shoots him. “I found a dog on patrol.”

 

Tony, glancing from the still excited puppy to his son’s red face, crosses his arms. “Yes, I can see that, kiddo. What I’m wondering, however, is why the hell it’s in your room at 7 at night?” 

 

“It’s a she.” Peter mutters.

 

“What?”

 

“The-the dog, it’s a she.” 

 

Tony sighs, stepping further into the room and setting a hand on his kid’s arm. “Why is she here, buddy?”

 

Peter sniffs, shuffling his feet. “She looked sad and-and hungry and it’s cold out and she seemed so lonely. . .”

 

Tony sucks in a small gasp, seeming to understand as he gently pulls his son against his side, reaching down to carefully twist Peter’s still stinging hand upwards. He studies the small bite marks with a soft expression, rubbing his thump across the small, raised bumps.

 

 “Oh, bambino.” He says, looking down at the dog and back up at his son’s pleading face. “Does she have a collar?” 

 

“Nope, she isn’t chipped either, I had Karen check.” Peter admires with a slight blush. “Does that mean. . .?”

 

Tony closes his eyes, reaching up to pinch at the bridge of his nose as Peter smiles, feeling his hopes soar for the first time that night. “Dad?”

 

“Peter, I swear to Jarvis if you make me regret this--”

 

“Is that a yes?” 

 

Tony scoffs, opening his eyes and trying in vain to keep a straight face at the puppy dog eyes his child is currently shooting at him. “Yes, yes! You can keep her.”

 

Peter, grinning wide and hugging his father tightly, reaches down and gently picks up the now barking puppy, her brown fur smushing against his face. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re not gonna regret this, Dad, I promise!” 

 

Tony smiles softly, leaning down to gently press his lips against his Spider-Baby’s forehead, grimacing in disgust when the dog reaches up and licks his cheek. 

 

“Ew. If you haven’t come up with a name yet, I would seriously consider ‘Drooler’ as an option.” 

 

Peter laughs, hosting his puppy up further into his arms as she whines. “I was actually thinking of naming her ‘Maria’.”

 

His heart skipping a beat, Tony blinks the sudden tears out of his eyes and tugs his child more firmly against his side. He speaks against his curls, swallowing when Peter leans further against him. “That’s a great name, baby.”

 

“Thanks Dad. Don’t worry, okay? I’m gonna be the best pet owner ever.” 

 

“Well, you can start by cleaning up the poop you just stepped in.” 

 

Peter looks down and groans. “Dang it!”

Chapter Text


 

“Dad, I can’t see.”

 

Peter’s voice rises above the screams of the other small kids around them and Tony looks down immediately, smiling at the pout that is currently pushing his child’s bottom lip out. 

 

“There isn’t really much to see, buddy.” Tony laughs, reaching down to tug his son further against his side. “They haven’t even gotten out the bigger floats yet.” 

 

Peter shrugs, turning his face away as his cheeks go red. “Still, I wanna see.” 

 

Rolling his eyes, the genius shifts to the side a bit so he doesn’t crush a little kid as they push around his legs. Peter, his brows drawing together is confusion, grabs onto his father’s sleeve as they move through the crowd near Cinderella’s Castle. Tony reaches down and grips Peter’s hand, pulling his 8-year-old as close as possible as they finally make it to the thinner part of Main Street.

 

The thinner part, which is unfortunately, still full of people a mile deep. 

 

Sighing in defeat, Tony carefully leads his still pouting son back to their original spot, ignoring the huff of annoyance from a woman in front of them. 

 

“I’m sorry, bambino.” Tony says, running one hand through Peter’s fluffy curls. “Everywhere is packed and unless we want to be bombarded by paparazzi, I can’t risk getting the Suit out…”  

 

Leaning more fully against his father’s legs, the boy nods, smiling up at Tony. “It’s okay, Daddy. I can still see people’s feet!”

 

Feeling his heart stutter in his chest at the innocent optimism in his child’s voice, Tony swallows and suddenly has an idea.

 

Reaching down and ignoring Peter’s small, questioning squeak, the billionaire gently lifts his squirming kid up into the air. Twisting his head to avoid Peter’s kicking feet, Tony gently sets his son on his shoulders. 

 

Looking up at Peter’s wide doe eyes, Tony grins up at the boy, gripping his little legs tighter as he shifts. 

 

“Can you see now, Petey-Pie?” Tony asks, squeezing his son’s legs and sending him into a fit of giggles. 

 

“Y-Y-Yes! Dad, stop t-that tickles!” The 8-year-old squeals out as soon as he catches his breath, wrapping his small hands around his father’s head. 

 

Tony, after gently brushing his son’s sticky fingers away from his eyes and nose, presses a series of butterfly kisses against the small knuckles. Peter, kicking his red and blue sneakers, lets out an excited yell as music suddenly begins to play and characters fill the street. 

 

And if Peter enjoys the parade and has the time of his little life, then the bruises and the stiff neck Tony has tomorrow with be one hundred percent worth it. 

Chapter Text


 

The thing is, Peter was almost unconscious when his dad finally slams to the ground beside him.

 

Through his blurry vision, the boy watches as Tony stumbles out of the Iron Man suit, falling to his knees next to Peter’s bleeding and throbbing head. His hands, trembling and barely visible through the tears that cloud the spiderlings eyes, hover over Peter’s body for a few seconds.

 

“Peter?” Tony’s voice is shredded, ripped apart in a way the boy has never heard before. “Buddy, please --”

 

He cuts himself off to sob and Peter twitches a little at the sound, his head twisting to the side as his legs jerk. Sucking in a gasping breath, the spiderling weakly lifts his hand, reaching out toward his still crying father.

 

“Dad? “ He groans, his ribs sparking a fire under his skin. “Don’t c-cry.”

 

A calloused hand suddenly engulfs his own, the palm warm and familiar and Peter nearly sobs himself, swallowing down his agony and forces his eyes to focus.

 

Tony is leaning above him, his dark eyes wide in horror and hope, before he leans down, pressing Peter’s bleeding knuckles against his lips. Peter can feel the way they tremble against his skin.

 

Peter coughs, struggling to grip Tony’s hands back. “I’m so-sorry.”  

 

“Oh, Peter.” The genius sobs, presses a series of searing kisses against the teens hands. “Oh God, baby, don’t y-you ever do that again, you hear me? P-Please, please don't go, I can't do this without you.

 

Can’t do what? Peter wanted to ask, but when he opens his mouth, all that comes out is a whimper, his throat burning.  

 

Tony just shakes his head, shushing him again, his tears running down his cheeks and dripping into the gashes along Peter’s hands. The boy grits his teeth at the sting, but doesn’t pull away.

 

He never wants to pull away.

 

“Let’s just get you home.” His dad finally says after a few more seconds, straightening up and tightening his grip. “I’m gonna lift you up in the Suit, alright?”

 

Waiting until Peter gives a small nod, the billionaire quickly allows the Iron Man suit to wrap around him before reaching down. Peter tenses up, squeezing his eyes shut and letting out a soft moan of agony as Tony gently lifts him into his metal arms.

 

“I’m sorry, kiddo. I’m so sorry, shh, shh.” Tony whispers, running one hand through Peter’s curls as the boy leans into the touch. “Just hold on for a few more minutes, bud. Don’t fall asleep.”

 

“Will y-you smile?” Peter whispers, forcing the words out, coughing. “When we get home? I haven't seen-seen you smile in such a long time, Dad.”  

 

Tony’s chest jumps under his cheek, his grip tightening. Peter thinks they might have hit some turbulence, and nuzzles closer.

 

“Yes.” Tony says. His voice is tight, as though in pain. “Yeah, bambino, I’ll smile. Just stay awake, okay?”

 

It takes everything in Peter to listen to Tony.

 

To not get lost in the lull of the wind in his ears and the soft heartbeat under his cheek; to not surrender into the tender blackness of unconsciousness and let the pain that is currently pulsing under his skin cool to an ashy ember.

 

His mouth tastes like pennies and his bones are like lead, but still he blinks again and again.

 

Because his dad asked him to stay awake and goddamn it if Peter isn’t going to see Tony smile one more time.  

Chapter Text


 

Peter watches, his soul drifting through the empty vacuum of space, as the Mars rover, Opportunity sends her last message to the blue planet they both had once called home. 

 

My battery is low and it’s getting dark. 

 

Peter watches and he isn’t sure how. He has no body, no flesh and blood. No bones. Nothing.

 

My battery is low and it’s getting dark. 

 

He feels for the robot. He too, knows what it’s like to die on a red world, to feel the dirt thats not your own sink under your weight, a trillion stars above you. If Peter had a face, he would be crying. If he had lungs, he would be screaming. 

 

For Tony. May. Ned. Anyone. 

 

His still heart goes out for Opportunity, for the struggles she went through and the fact that she, like him, was blown away by an alien wind, harsh and bitting and stinging. 

 

My battery is low and it’s getting dark.

 

Reluctantly, Peter leaves. Is forced away by an unknown presence so that his soul can continue its way across the galaxy, skipping around planets and rocks of ice. He never is allowed to stay in a single place for too long.

 

Too many times he has wondered if there’s a Heaven. Somewhere out there, in the vast blackness of space, just out of his reach. Just beyond the next planet, the next star, the next galaxy. 

 

If he had arms, he would grab on and never let go. 

 

He spots, beyond the red planet under him, a small spec of blue and green. Like a marble, it floats and spins in the blackness. Then, almost as soon as he sees it, a tug in his chest has him turning away. 

 

Peter’s body wants its soul near, the stone wants his soul trapped.

 

Peter just wants to go home.

 

He shoots across space in a streak of invisible light. He digs his heels in, he claws at the empty air around him, opening his nonexistent mouth in a scream as his soul is forced away. 

 

His head feels empty and his stomach is in knots. Peter passes by the asteroid belt, ducking under exploding and imploding rocks, before sailing off into the never-ending blackness around him. His invisible tears leave a trail behind.

 

My battery is low and it’s getting dark.  

Chapter Text


 

The clock has just stuck 11:00pm when the credits began to roll.

 

Tony, stretching from his position on the couch, looks down at his half-asleep son as the boy lets out a huge yawn. His doe eyes blink against the blue glow of the Arc Reactor and he snuggles closer with a grumble.

 

“It’s time for bed, cucciolo.” Tony says, gently smoothing down Peter’s curls. “You have to be up for your decathlon practice in the morning.”

 

Peter groans, smushing his face even further into his father’s stomach. “Don’t wanna.” His voice is muffled from the cotton.

 

Tony lets out a chuckle, scooting over so that, with a small whine, Peter slips from resting against his side. He doesn’t try to stall his decent, however, just slides so that he is lying face down against the leather.

 

“Come on, buddy.” Tony says as he stands up, his knees cracking. He reaches down and pokes Peter on the cheek, watching with fond eyes as his son’s button nose crinkles. “You need to sleep in a bed.”

 

“Don’t want to get up.”

 

Cracking one eye open, the boy glares up at his father, a small pout poking his bottom lip out. Reaching out, the spiderling grabs onto Tony’s hand and tugs, pulling the man back toward him.

 

“Lay back down, I was comfy.” Peter says, maneuvering his father’s hand so that it cups his cheek. “You’re warm.”

 

Tony, chuckling, curls his fingers upwards, grazing his fingertips across the spiderling’s temples. Peter leans against the touch with a small hum, his body sinking even further against the cushions.

 

“No can do, kiddo.” Tony shakes his head, gently moving his other hand so that it rests against his son’s other arm, giving a little tug that has the boy grimacing. “You need to sleep in an actual bed otherwise it’s gonna kill your back.”

 

“You’re just saying that because it hurts your back, Dad.”

 

Tony rolls his eyes, giving his kid another gentle tug until the boy sits up, reaching up to rub at his eyes even as he glares up at the smirking billionaire.

 

“Has anyone ever told you that you have an adorable bed head, ragazzo.” Tony sasy, smoothing down a soft curl.

 

Peter yawns. “Only you, a million times a day.”

 

“Well, I only speak the truth. Now, come on, kiddo, it’s seriously time for bed.”

 

“Nope.” The boy says again, flopping back down on the sofa and giggling. “I’m going to stay here all night now.”

 

“Peter.” Tony sighs, rubbing at the bridge of his nose. “Bedtime, now.”

 

“No.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Nope.”

 

“I shouldn’t have given you sugar so late at night.” Tony says, shaking his head. “Get up, buddy, otherwise I’ll carry you if I have to.”

 

Peter suddenly looks up with wide eyes, a mischievous smirk on his face. “Is that a promise?”

 

Tony blinks. “What?”

 

“Will you really–” A yawn cuts his sentence in half and Tony can barely hold back a coo cause fuck, his kid is just too adorable. “–carry me to-to bed?”

 

Tony quickly considers his options. “If I do, will you actually go to sleep?”

 

“Yeah, I will, I promise.”

 

Peter, nodding almost frantically, holds up his arms as he yawns for the third time in ten minutes. Tony reaches down and pulls the boy up by him armpits, feeling as the spiderling gently wrap his arms around his neck. His son’s weight is comforting and Tony feels some stress he didn’t know existed melt off.

 

“Comfy there, bambino?” Tony whispers, smoothing one hand down his child’s back as he adjusts his grip with his other.

 

Peter just nods, nuzzling closer, his breath tickling his father’s neck. Letting out a huff, Tony starts the track toward Peter’s room, making sure to not hit his son’s legs against the wall as he rounds the corner.

 

Peter is sound asleep before Tony even makes it to his door. 

Chapter Text


 

When Tony parked his car in front of Midtown High School, the lot was basically empty.

 

Checking his watch, the man sighs and leans back a little further against his seat, the afternoon sun flickering between the trees as he glares outside. Turning the radio up a bit, Tony glances at his phone, frowning when his last text to Peter is still marked as unread.

 

He waits for a few more minutes, watching as the bell rings and bunches of kids spill through the doors, jostling each other and laughing. Sitting up now, the man looks through the crowd, feeling his slight confusion begin to spike into panic when his child’s smiling face is nowhere to be seen.

 

Gripping the steering-wheel tighter, Tony grits his teeth and takes a deep breath.

 

It’s fine. He thinks, his leg beginning to bounce. Peter’s fine. Just running a little behind. He’s fine.

 

It isn’t until, after waiting another 15 gruesome minutes and watching as parents and buses drive off, that the billionaire allows himself to leave the car and half walk, half jog up the steps. He enters the school, his leather shoes squeaking against the dirty tile as he approaches the front desk.

 

“My son, Peter Stark, was supposed to be dismissed about 20 minutes ago.” Tony says in lue of a greeting, sniffing in annoyance when all the woman does is stare blankly at him. “Is there any way you could tell me where he is?”

 

“Uh, well, uh Mr. Stark.” She says, squinting down at her paper. “It would seem, sir, that Peter is currently serving detention with Mr. Harris. His room is number 112, down the hall and to the left.”

 

Tony feels his blood go cold, his left hand balling into a fist. He shifts so that he is leaning more fully against the desk, the wood creaking.

 

“Detention, was it?” Tony asks, voice biting as he plasters on a fake smile. “Do you know why Peter got detention, ma’am?”

 

The lady shakes her head. “I’m afraid not, sir. That information is between the student and the teac--”

 

“Thank you. What was the room number again? 112? Awesome, I’m assuming it’s down this way?”

 

“Uh, n-no, sir. It’s down that um, that way.”

 

The receptionist, her fingers shaking around a flowered decorated pen, points to a long hallway behind her, eyes widening when Tony immediately takes off in that direction without as much as a backwards glance.

 

The genius’s stomach is in knots and he swallows as he makes his way down the silent hall.

 

  1. . .106. . . the numbers flash past and with each step, Tony feels even more uneasy, but he isn't entirely sure why. Wiggling his fingers, he feels his repulsor wrap around his fingers, his palm glowing a faint blue.

 

It’s by the time he reaches room 110 that the billionaire hears it.

 

Muffle voices. A man’s, deep in anger. A softer one, filled with apology.

 

“Is this the best you can do, boy!?” A thump, a muffled cry of pain. “Get up, I don’t get paid to see little babies cry.”

 

“But-But, sir?” The softer voices says, barely audible as Tony finally makes it down the hall. The billionaire pales when he realizes just where the voices were coming from. Room 112.  “I thought--”

 

“No!” A harder hit, eching through the shut door. “I’ve told you before, you don’t get to backtalk. Showing up in here, acting all high and mighty, like you’re better than anyone. It’s bullshit!”  

 

The softer voice, the voice Tony now unmistakably identifies as Peter’s, is just answering when Tony rips the door open, his gloved hand held up and glowing.

 

“Yes, s-sir I uh I--” Peter, tears streaming down his red face, is laying on the ground, a purple bruise already forming on his temple. “Wha--?”

 

He turns just as Tony steps across the threshold, his doe eyes widening as he takes in the sight of his father standing there, the man’s body trembling in pure rage. Tony is fully inside the classroom in a split second, stepping in front of his son and pointing his gloved hand at the gasping teacher.

 

“You son of a bitch!” The genius snarls. “You motherfucker! What shitty excuse are you going to pull to get yourself out of this one huh, Mr. Harris ?”

 

Peter’s teacher, his steel-blue eyes widening as he stumbles back a bit, hits hip against his desk. His pencil cup tips over, spilling the bright yellow pencils all over the floor.

 

“I-I--” Harris says. “I don’t--”

 

“That’s right,” Tony cuts him off, reaching down and gently helping Peter off the floor, smoothing his thumb across his kid’s red cheek. “You don’t.”

 

Harris watches both Tony and Peter make their way over to the door, Tony keeping a firm hand against his son’s trembling back as the boy trips. Pulling Peter further against his side, Tony startles as a sharp grip on his child’s arm rips him backwards.

 

Peter yelps, reaching out his free hand in his dad’s direction  and Tony is immediately in Mr. Harris’s face, his blood boiling.

 

“If you--” Tony whispers, reaching over and grabbing Harris’s fingers, prying his hand from off of the billionaire's now sobbing child. “-- ever touch him again, I’ll kill you

 

Tony flings Harris away, the pure force of his anger sending the man stumbling again. Harris falls for good this time, landing hard on his ass with a muffled huff of air. His cold eyes stare at both father and son as they finally make it out of the classroom, Tony calling for security.

 

The guards pass them as both Stark’s walk down the hall, Peter cuddling as close to Tony as physically possible. Wrapping one arm around his son’s shoulders, Tony opens the door of the school with his other, leading the still crying boy over to the car.

 

Quickly helping Peter into the passenger's seat, Tony ducks into the car and shuts the door just as the spiderling starts to sob for real.

 

Gathering his kid into his arms, Tony leans over the center console, not caring as the leather digs into his side. Peter turns his face into his father’s shoulder, the force of his cries twisting at the genius’s heart.

 

“Hey, hey bambino. ” Tony whispers, gently brushing his child’s curls from his face. “It’s okay, Pete. Shh, shh, I’m right here, buddy, shh.”

 

But Peter just shakes his head, curling up further against his dad as much as the space will allow. “He called m-me names all the time.”

 

Tony feels his anger rise to the surface again, but he swallows it down, instead choosing to gently pull Peter away from his chest. His son makes a soft, wounded noise in the back of his throat, blinking up at Tony as the man cups his face.

 

“He was wrong.” Tony says, jousting Peter a bit when the boy begins to shake his head.

 

“But--”

 

“No buts.” Tugging at the soft strands of hair at the base of the teen’s head, Tony smooths his thumb across the now dark bruise on Peter’s cheek, heart melting when his son leans into the touch. “That jackass was wrong. I don’t know why he was saying all of those things to you, baby, but he was wrong.”

 

Peter looks away, biting his bottom lip. “His son is, uh, is in my grade. Jeremy Harris, I think is his name. Mr. Harris doesn’t like the-the fact that I got a better score than Jeremy on a, um, Algebra t-test.”

 

Tony would have laughed if not for the downtrodden look on Peter’s face.

 

“Kiddo,” The superhero says instead. “Listen to me, okay?”

 

Peter nods, eyes widening in trust. “O-Okay.”

 

“You deserve to be smarter than that kid. You deserve the grade you got, the praise you get, all of the work you put in, you deserve it all. Never, ever let anyone tell you differently, least of all a jealous, shitty teacher who can’t stand the thought of anyone being better than him.”

 

Tony watches as Peter absorbs his words, watches as the teenager’s brows draw in and his button nose crinkles in thought, his doe eyes filling with tears.

 

“I deserve my grade.” He says, voice wobbly as he smushes his face against Tony’s chest once more. “And Mr. Harris was wrong.”

 

Tony nods, curls his arms even tighter around the boy as he cries. “That’s right, miele . You deserve the good grade and so much more.”

 

They don’t speak after this, Tony just lets Peter cry against his chest, small whimpers rising unbidden as his face rubs against his father’s shirt. Making soothing sounds in the back of his throat, Tony just cards one hand through the spiderling’s curls, using his other to start the car.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, the billionaire can see a cop car pull up to the school, its lights flashing a red and blue glow. He turns away just as they drag Harris out, stuffing the teacher into the backseat and pulling away just as quickly. Tony expects he will get a phone call in a few hours.

 

Finally, after a few more minutes of sobbing, Peter pulls back, his face red with dried tear tracks trailing down his cheeks. Brushing away the salty liquid with a finger, Tony gently tilts his boy’s face up, smiling softly.

 

“Let’s get home, huh? We can watch a movie and eat some ice cream, how does that sound, Petey-Pie?”

 

Peter just nods, leaning back into his own seat and buckling up, a yawn stretching his jaw wide. Tony reaches over to ruffle his hair before pulling out of the now empty parking lot, his tire crunching over the gravel and dirt.

 

It’s dark outside now, the setting sun transforming half the sky into a pale blue-black, the street lamps turning his child’s hair a gold of faint orange as they drive down the street. Peter, having rested his non-bruised cheek against the window, watches the lights as they pass with a tired gaze. Tony glances over at him every so often, feeling content for the first time in hours.

 

A sigh pulls at his lips, leaving him in a rush of gentle air. The billionaire reaches over one more time to push a stray curl from his child’s forehead, Peter letting out a sigh of his own.

 

The spiderling is asleep by the time they make it home, his chest rising and falling against Tony’s as the man carries him inside, stepping into the elevator and allowing Friday to push them upwards.

 

And stepping into the living room, Tony kisses his son’s forehead and finally relaxes, because Peter is safe in his arms, in his home and the genius cannot think of a better feeling.

Chapter Text


 

“Clint, I swear if you wake him up…” 

 

Look up from the sight of his newborns precious face, Tony glares hard at his fellow Avenger as the archer walks into the living room. Clint, for his credit, only manages to flinch a little, sitting down beside Tony as the billionaire rocks his son. 

 

“I thought you said you wanted us to meet him?” Clint says, both adults looking up as the rest of the team hovers in the doorway. “I mean, we can wait a little longer if you want?” 

 

Tony signs, shaking his head and gesturing with his free hand for the others to join them. “No, no Legolas, it’s alright. I can’t hide him from you crazy people any longer.” 

 

Natasha raises an eyebrow as she walks to stand beside the arm of the couch, peering down at Peter’s sleeping face with a small smile. “He’s beautiful, Tony.” 

 

Tony feels a burst of love and pride expand in his chest, looking down at his son and rubbing a gentle finger across his baby’s soft cheek. “Yeah, yeah he is, isn’t he?” 

 

Peter yawns in his sleep, turning his little face further into his father’s chest with a soft sniffle. Tony can practically see all of the Avengers melt on the spot, but the billionaire can’t judge. He cried for hours when he first held his little boy. 

 

“Peter’s still doing okay with the new formula?” Bruce asks from the other end of the sofa, shifting so that Steve can sit down beside him. “And how’s his sleeping pattern?” 

 

Tony rolls his eyes. “Yes, Brucie Bear, Peter is doing fine. You would be the first to know if he wasn’t, trust me.” 

 

The doctor smiles, reaching over to tap lightly at Tony’s arm in jest. “Oh, believe me, I know.” 

 

Turning toward Steve suddenly, Tony fights down a laugh when the Captain freezes, his blue eyes wide. 

 

“You want to hold him, Cap?” Tony asks, shifting Peter in his arms when the baby whines. “I promise he doesn’t bite, at least not while he is sleeping.” 

 

“M-Me?” Steve says, pointing at himself. 

 

“I don’t know anyone else who is called ‘Cap’” Tony says with a laugh. “So, yes you, dumbass.” 

 

Steve frowns. “But he’s so tiny.” 

 

Tony shrugs. “So am I, but you don’t seem to mind beating me into the training mat whenever you get the chance. Plus, my arm is starting to fall asleep.” 

 

“That’s different and you know it.” The super solider says with a laugh, but when he looks back at Tony, his face is sincere. “Are you sure?” 

 

Nodding, Tony carefully extracts his son’s little fist from his shirt, making soothing sounds when the baby starts to whimper, his little head turning to the side. Quickly handing over Peter to the still hesitant Captain, Tony carefully rearranges his child’s delicate body so that he is laying snug against Steve’s broad chest. 

 

“There. Snug as a bug.” Tony says, leaning back and shaking out his arm as it tingles. “Doing okay, Steve?” 

 

The blonde nods, his blue eyes wide as he looks down at the baby in his arms. “Y-Yeah, everything’s fine.”

 

“You sure?”

 

“Yep.” 

 

And for a few blissful seconds, all are quiet as they watch the tiny chest rise and fall, Peter’s soft baby hair curling around his ears as he shifts against Steve. 

 

Then Peter opens his eyes, looks up at Steve’s now pale face and gasping mouth, and screams. 

 

Tony is already reaching forward to grab his son when Steve looks over, his eyes wide now as Bruce and Clint cover their ears, Natasha smacking the archer in the back of the head when he lets out a cry of his own. 

 

Well, it was nice while it lasted. 

Chapter Text


 

“Peter,” Tony calls as he walks into the room, the doors swooshing shut behind him. The teen hears the rest of his class inhale a single, consecutive gasp at the sight of the billionaire. “I thought you might be here, bud!”

 

Peter blushes a bright red, ducking under from under his father’s arm as the man comes up beside him, fighting off a groan of embarrassment as Flash snickers in the background. Ignoring the fake wounded look Tony shoots him, the teen lightly pushes the man away.

 

“Of course you did, Dad.” Peter says with an eye roll. “You signed the permission slip, remember? Plus I live here.” 

 

Tony snaps his fingers, startling Ned he comes up beside Peter. “Oh yeah, that’s right! I never understood why I had to sign you up to come to your own home, but eh.” 

 

Reaching over, Tony manages to ruffle his son’s curls before stepping away and walking to the front of the room, all eyes on him. The genius shoots a wink at Peter’s teacher, causing her to fan herself, before he puts his hands behind his back and faces the class. 

 

“Alright kiddos, let’s get going. Peter’s bedtime is at 8 o’clock sharp and trust me, you don’t want to be around him when he is cranky.”

 

Letting out another groan as the class giggles, Peter knows that this is going to be a very long day.  

Chapter Text


 

Peter tries in vain to keep his tears at bay as he walks out of the elevator.

 

His body trembles, and he wraps his arms around his torso, curling his chin toward his chest as he shuffles across the threshold. Today had not been a very good day.

 

Flash had been on him all day, calling him names and kicking him as he walked down the hallway, hitting Peter’s lunch out of his hands and has sent the sandwich skidding across the floor.

 

Ned had offered to split his own lunch, but Peter had refused, instead choosing to eat the little bit of chips that survived the fall. The teen curses his past-self, his stomach rumbling as he passes the fridge, but he can’t risk stopping right now.

 

He doesn’t want his dad to see how upset he is.

 

Not when the man was still mad at him for his Spider-Man stunt last weekend.

 

Sniffling, the young Stark ignores the tears that continue to spill down his cheeks, eyes widening when he hears faint footsteps from down the hall. He quickened his pace, ducking his head further into his chest.

 

Peter is just about to push his bedroom door open when his father’s voice freezes him in his tracks.

 

“Hey, buddy.” Tony says as he walks past the boy, stopping to rest a warm hand against his shoulder. “How was school? Did your Spanish test go okay? I know you were worried about that.”

 

Peter just nods, not trusting himself to speak. Keeping his head down, the boy quickly steps out from under Tony’s hold and goes into his room, lightly pushing his door shut behind him. He can hear his dad let out a sigh, can feel him hovering as he contemplates knocking, shifting on his feet.

 

Finally, Tony seems to come to a decision.

 

“Peter?” He calls softly through the wood, the thump of his hand against the doors startling Peter as he drops his book bag to the floor. “Are you hungry, kiddie? Does spaghetti sound good?”

 

Swallowing, Peter nods before realizing his dad can’t see him. His stomach clenches at the mention of food and the boy grimaces. “Y-yeah, that's fine.”

 

A pause, before Tony knocks again. “Can I come in, Bambi?”

 

Peter has to bite his lip to stifle a sob, blinking back tears at the softness of his father’s voice. Clenching his hands tightly, the teen shakes his head.

 

“N-No!” He calls, frowning in self-anger as his voice cracks. “I’m g-getting changed.”

 

“Okay.” Tony says, and Peter can imagine him holding up his hands in surrender. “Okay, bud. I’m gonna go start dinner. Let me know if you need anything, alright?”

 

Wiping away at his continued flow of tears, Peter sniffs before answering. “Okay.”

 

Turning around, the spiderling listens as Tony continues to hover outside of his door for a few more seconds, as the man lets out another sigh before walking the rest of the way down the hall. 

 

Now alone, Peter breaks into sobs once more, his limbs trembling as he strips himself of his sweater and jeans.

 

Sucking in gigantic gulps of air, the teen quickly throws on a pair of fluffy night pants, grabbing one of his father’s old MIT hoodies and pulling that over his head. The soft, oversized cotton pools at his hands and brings his palms up to his face, the smell of laundry detergent and something distinctly safe causing more tears to spill down his cheeks.

 

Walking into his bathroom, the boy splashes warm water on his face, wiping away the excess with his towel.

 

Peter leaves quickly, before he can get a good look at his own blotchy face and bloodshot eyes.

 

Pulling the hood up, Peter stuffs his now shaking hands into his pockets and opens his door, the wood creaking. Creeping out into the hall, the spiderling makes his way towards the kitchen, the carpet soft under his feet.

 

Looking around the corner, the boy swallows as he catches sight of Tony, the genius standing near the stove and stirring a large pot of spaghetti sauce. Shuffling into the room, Peter keeps his gaze on his toes, walking over to the table and pulling his normal chair out.

 

“Hey, Pete.” Tony greets him just as he sits down. “How are you feeling?”

 

Peter twists his fingers together, playing with the hem of his sweatshirt. “Fine.”

 

Tony shoots him a look but the young Stark doesn’t lift his head, instead choosing to stare intensely at his lap. A sudden hand on his shoulder startles the teen, however, and his head shoots up. A choked off gasp slips past his dry lips as his dad’s warm, concerned eyes find his.

 

“We talked about the lying, Peter.” Tony says, but there is no real heat behind his words.

 

Peter frowns, looking back down. “I’m not lying.”

 

The grip on his shoulder tightens a little, and Peter has to blink back more tears. A gentle hand cups his chin, tilts his face up so that he is forced to meet Tony’s gaze once more. His dad frowns now, smoothing his thumb across Peter’s cheek.

 

“Don’t even play that game with me, kiddo.” The superhero whispers. “I know something’s not right with you.”

 

“I’m fine.” Peter says, even though he can feel his own resolve cracking under the weight of his father’s protective eyes.

 

Tony hums. “You know that I’ll do anything for you, right?”

 

Peter nods, reaching up to grip at his father’s sleeve. “O-Of course, Dad.”

 

“Then why won’t you tell me what’s wrong?”

 

Peter opens his mouth to deny it, to deny that there is anything wrong, to say that he is fine and for Tony to leave it alone. But one look, one glance at the man’s face, his open expression and gentle smile, sends Peter over the edge.

 

He sobs, the cries busting out of him like water from a spicket and Tony catches him as he falls forward, burying his face into his dad’s chest and wrapping his trembling arms around the man’s neck. Tony just holds him closer, running a soothing hand through his hair.

 

“Shh, baby.” Tony says, his voice a deep rumble against Peter’s cheek. “Shh, hey. It’s okay, it’s alright, buddy. I’m here, I’m right here, shh.”

 

“Today--” Peter sobs, curling closer. “--Today was so hard, Dad. And-And I’m just so tired.”

 

“I know, buddy.” Tony whispers. “I know and I’m so sorry. I wish I could take all of that away.”

 

Peter just cries harder, pushing his chair as close to Tony as possible and clinging to him. The billionaire responds by leaning down, cupping his son’s face in his hands, his palms warm, and pressing his lips repeatedly against the spiderling’s forehead and temples.

 

“They don’t deserve you, bambino.” Tony says over and over between kisses. “They don’t deserve to be in the same room as you, to breathe the same air or sit in the same chairs. You, Peter Anthony Stark, you are the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me.”

  

“I’m sorry that-that I’m such a screw up.” Peter whispers, voice ragged. “I’m sorry that I-I can’t just be normal!”

 

Tony lifts Peter’s face up, forces the boy to look him in the eyes. “I never want to hear you talk about yourself like that again.”

 

Peter swallows. “But--”

 

“No.” Tony jolts him, shifts so that Peter can see the barely visible flecks of gold in his eyes. “No. You are my son, my child, and I will not have anyone-- not even yourself-- talk like that. Do you understand, Petey-Pie?”

 

Too overcome with emotions, some the boy can’t even name, Peter just nods. He stuffs his face back against the genius’s chest, nuzzles closer so that he can listen to Tony’s heartbeat. Tony just hugs him closer, runs one hand through his son’s hair and uses the other to brush away the tears that still fall.

 

They are silent for a few minutes, the only sounds being their combined breathing and the slight simmer of the stove as the spaghetti sauce boils.

 

Then Peter’s stomach growls and both father and son burst out in laughter.

 

“S-Sorry.” Peter says in-between chuckles. “I guess I am really hungry after all.”

 

Tony laughs again, stepping away from his son with one final squeeze. “Let’s get you fed before your stomach commits anarchy, huh?”

 

The genius doesn’t even ask why Peter is so hungry and for that, the spiderling is grateful.

 

“Should I get the noodles?” The teen asks, standing up with slightly shaky legs.

 

Tony shakes his head, however, moving closer to gentle push his son back into his chair, ruffling his curls. “Nope, kiddo. You’re gonna sit there and let your old man treat you to a good dinner.”

 

“And desert?”

 

“Well, of course! What do you take me for, buddy?”

 

Peter smirks. “And a movie?”

 

Tony pretends to think about it, tapping his chin as he grabs a large pot from the cabinet and fills it with water. Peter just smiles at him, wiping away the dry tears from his still red cheeks.

 

“Depends, buddy.” The billionaire says as puts the pot on the stove, grabbing a spoon to stir. “What movie are we talking about here?”

 

Brave.” Peter responds, making his doe eyes extra wide. “Please?”

 

The boy can see his father try and fight it, can see the man attempt to keep a straight face as he turns back around to face Peter. It isn’t until he is looking directly at Peter’s shit eating grin that the man allows himself to laugh.

 

“Come on, bambino.” The superhero practically whines, gesturing at a now giggling Peter with the wooden spoon. “That’s cheating.”

 

Peter shrugs. “It works though.”

 

“Yeah,” Tony says with a now gentle smile. “Yeah, it does.”

Chapter Text


 

Peter shuffles closer to Tony, reaching out to clutch at his father’s coat sleeve with a shaking and numb hand. 

 

“Why are we up here again?” The boy practically whines, stepping quickly behind Tony as the man continues up the steps toward the roof. “Is it a mission?”

 

His Dad chuckles, reaching behind him and grabbing Peter’s arm, pulling him so that the young Stark is in front of him as they reach the top. “It’s a surprise, bambino.

 

Peter shivers, pushing the cold, metal door open with his free hand, his other still gripping Tony’s coat. “But it’s cold.” 

 

“It’ll be worth it, I promise.” 

 

The spidering grumbles, crossing his arms across his chest as both him and his father step out onto the roof, the icy wind biting at his face. Glancing around at the dark sky above them, Peter squints as his eyes fill with tears. 

 

“Come here, bud.” Tony calls as he steps away and over to what looks like a tarp on the ground. “We don’t have that much time left.” 

 

Frowning in confusion, Peter pads over to stand beside his father. Tony smiles down at the teen, pressing on his son’s shoulder so that the boy slides down to sit on the tarp. Around him, blankets sit and Peter reaches out and grabs one, wrapping it around his shoulders as Tony settles down beside him. 

 

The man wordlessly pulls Peter to lean back against his chest, angling them so that they are looking up at the black sky. 

 

“Any minute now, kiddo.” Tony whispers, resting his chin on top of Peter’s head. “Just wait.” 

 

Letting out a sigh, the spiderling just snuggles closer, sinking further against his father as the man wraps his arms tighter around him. A quick kiss is pressed against his brow before Tony tenses up, his hand shooting up to point at a faint pulsing light in the distance. 

 

“There it is!” The genius basically shouts, jostling Peter. “See it, Petey-Pie?” 

 

Peter’s eyes widen. “Is that–?” 

 

“A meteor shower?” Tony grins, his gaze reflecting the faint blue glow of the Reactor as he glances down at his son. “You bet, bud! It’s it great?” 

 

“Yes.” Peter breathes, watching as more streaks of light smear across the sky, a blaze of white against a hazy blue-black. “It’s incredible, Dad.” 

 

Tony grins wider, curling his arms even tighter around his kid as the boy gazes up at the shooting stars above them. Peter can feel the superhero’s eyes on his face but the teenager can’t force himself to look away from the flashes overhead. 

 

It isn’t until something is pushed into his hands that Peter drags his gaze away from the sky.

 

“Here, Bambi.” Tony says softly, flicking a stray curl from his son’s face. “Drink up, it’s still hot.” 

 

Taking the offered thermos in a trembling grip, Peter unscrews the lid with numb fingers, taking a small sip. The taste of warm coco fills his mouth and the boy lets out a contented sigh. 

 

“Thanks, Dad.” Peter whispers as soon as he’s done drinking, setting the cup beside them and resting back again. “This-This is exactly what I needed.” 

 

A scratchy kiss is pressed against Peter’s temple. “It’s no problem, baby.” 

 

Smiling, the spiderling looks again to the sky, a faint rumble shaking his back as Tony starts to hum softly. His voice, deep and soothing, fils up Peter with a sort of safety that only his father could offer. Blinking back tears that have nothing to do with the chill in the air, the boy responds to the humming with another sigh. 

 

Above them, the sky continues to spill streaks of light, quick and silent. 

 

A beat. A burst, sinking back into the blackness. Another, this one short and bright, burning up before Peter has time to blink. 

 

The teen tries to make a wish, to think of anything he would rather have in this moment, but he comes up empty. 

 

Instead, Peter watches the sky, sinking further into his Dad’s warm embrace, and smiles. 

Chapter Text


 

"Dad?" Peter's voice is a mixture of amused and afraid, and Tony turns around at the sound. "What are you doing?"

 

 

The billionaire shifts to the side, allowing the mixture of blown up balloons and stuffed animals sitting next to him to fall to the floor. He stand up from the couch, grinning.

 

 

"What does it look like, buddy?" He asks, taking a step forward and nearly squishing a stuffed rabbit under his foot.

 

 

Peter blinks. "Well, right now it looks like a 8-year-old girl's birthday party just threw up in our living room."

 

 

"I'm offended, kiddo, this is obviously at least up to a 10-year-old standard."

 

 

Peter just rolls his eyes, walking to the kitchen and grabbing a bottle of apple juice, before hopping up on a stool and sitting. He kicks his legs, the front of his sneakers thumping against the wall.

 

 

"Is this a midlife crisis?"

 

 

"What?"

 

 

Peter takes a sip of his juice. "Is this like, what Ned was telling me about? His dad got to be 45-ish, and went off the deep end. He even bought a boat."

 

 

Tony laughs, coming over to stand beside his son and lightly flicks his ear. "Bud, I could buy a whole ocean if I wanted too, and no, this is not a midlife crisis."

 

 

"Are you sure, age regression is the first sign."

 

 

"Says the 15-year-old drinking a caprisun."

 

 

"Um, excuse me, sir, but this is a Khoolaid."

 

 

Tony holds up his hands, effective schooling his features into a serious expression. "Oh yeah, my mistake, sorry."

 

 

Peter giggles, scooting his chair over so that he is pushed against his father's side, leaning into the man. "Are you going to tell me about the balloons and stuff now?"

 

 

"Depends," Tony responds, reaching over to push a curl behind his son's ear. "Are you going to keep being a little shit?"

 

 

Peter nods, baby face serious. "When am I ever?"

 

 

"Uh-huh."

 

 

"Please?"

 

 

"Still thinking."

 

 

"Dad."

 

 

"Please hold for the beep."

 

 

"Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad,. . ."

 

 

Finally, Tony places a gentle hand over his son's mouth, effectively cutting off Peter's chanting. "If you are going to just waste air like that, I'm gonna put you on balloon duty."

 

 

Peter just groans goodnaturedly, pushing his dad's hand away and wiping at his face with a wrinkled nose. "Ew, you're hand tasted nasty."

 

 

"I don't even know how to respond to that."

 

 

"Dad." Peter says again, looking up at his father through his lashes, his doe eyes wide. "Please tell me now, I really really really wanna know."

 

 

Don’t give in to the puppy dog eyes Tony thinks. Don't you dare give in.

 

 

"It's Clint's daughter's birthday tomorrow." The billionaire says, cursing everything above for how fucking adorable his kid is. "And I wanted to surprise her with a little something."

 

 

Peter grins now, setting down his juice and getting to his feet. "Well, why didn't you just say so! I can totally help, what do I need to do?"

 

 

Thinking for a second, Tony gently steers his son toward the couch, sitting down beside the boy and pulling his against his side. Peter shifts, the leather squeaking underneath their combined weights.

 

 

"Start by gathering all the stuffed animals. " Tony instructs as he grabs a red balloon from the floor. "She doesn't like lions so if you find one, put it in the pile near the coffee table."

 

 

"No lions." Peter nods, already beginning to sort. "Got it."

 

 

"I'm gonna blow up some balloons and we can switch off jobs in a few minutes."

 

 

Sinking even further against his father's side, Peter just nods again, face creased in concentration and he inspects the stuffed animals in front of him. Tony watches his for a few more seconds, his heart filling up the like the balloons scattered around them, before lifting up a yellow decoration and blowing into it.

 

 

By the time Rhodey walks into the penthouse later that night, both father and son are leaning against each other, Peter snuggled against Tony's chest, the man's arm around his kid's waist, party decorations up to their knees around them.

 

 

Fast asleep.

Chapter Text


 

Shuffling out from the stuffy warmth of his covers, Peter shivers as the cold air from his fan blows across his tear streaked face.

 

 

He hasn’t had a nightmare this bad in a few days. 

 

 

They all started the same, of course. 

 

 

A gun shot, his Uncle splayed across the sidewalk, his red blood pooling around him as he had stared, lifeless, into the sky. A pulsing warmth, a sting in Peter’s neck as the Spider’s venom had coursed through his veins, hours of puking and shivering. A crushing weight, the feeling of thousands of pounds of concrete and dirt pressing him down as the Vulture’s voice echoed around him. 

 

 

A red sky. His body turning to dust, getting blown away as he had stared into Tony’s terrified eyes. His pleas had split from his mouth like honey and the boy nearly gags at the taste as he licks his suddenly dry lips.

 

 

Gathering his covers in his trembling arms, Peter silently makes his way to his door, nearly tripping on his cocoon of blankets. The darkness around him presses on all sides and the teen shakes his head, pulling his door open with a gasp like a drowning man coming up for air.

 

 

The relief he feels at the seeing the small sliver of light at the other end of the hall nearly knocks Peter off his feet. 

 

 

Taking a deep, shuttering breath, the boy gathers his courage and walks the few feet to Tony’s door.

 

 

Lifting up a trembling hand, Peter hesitates for only a split second before knocking, gathering his blanket tighter around his shoulders as he waits for his dad. He doesn’t have to wait long, thankfully. With a swoosh, the door is pulled open and Tony is standing there, his eyes reflecting the blue glow of the Arc Reactor under his chin. 

 

 

“Peter?” The man asks as he blinks, his voice rough with sleep. “Buddy—“

 

 

Suddenly, the spiderling can’t take it anymore and he is practically leaping across the doorway, wrapping his arms around Tony and pushing his head against his mentor’s chest. Immediately, the boy feels Tony’s arms wrap around him, the comforting weight finally allowing Peter to break down.

 

 

The tears fall, fast and hard, down his face and he muffles his sobs against his father figure’s night shirt. Tony makes a sound of confusion and alarm, the noise vibrating against Peter’s cheek as the genius holds him impossibly closer, on hand coming up to rub through his hair and the other rubbing soothing circles against his back. 

 

 

“Hey, hey.” Tony whispers, his voice so soft and gentle that Peter sobs again. “Bambino, what’s wrong, hmm?” 

 

 

“B-Bad dream.” 

 

 

“Oh, bud.” Gently steering them both further into the room, Tony sits himself and Peter down on the edge of his bed, the teenager a dead weight against his side as the mattress squeaks under them. “It’s okay, it’s alright. Do you wanna talk about it, kiddo?” 

 

 

Peter shakes his head, pressing further against his dad’s side and bringing his legs up onto the mattress. He cuddles close to the man, not caring how young he looks as he sniffs, nuzzling a red cheek against the soft material of Tony’s black shirt. The billionaire holds him impossibly closer in response, reaching down to press a gentle kiss against Peter’s forehead. 

 

 

“I’m sorry I woke you up, Dad.” Peter whispers after a few seconds, his guilt making his stomach churn. 

 

 

This time, its Tony who shakes his head, lying them back so that he is prompt up against the headboard, Peter still snuggled against his chest. The boy relaxes into the familiar embrace, curling up close and sighing. 

 

 

“I wasn’t asleep anyways, buddy” Tony says once they are both settled. 

 

 

Peter looks up at the man, his doe eyes wide. “But it’s late.”

 

 

Tony sighs, his voice nearly a whisper, but in the silence, Peter hears him all the same. “You aren’t the only one with nightmares, Spider-Baby.” 

 

 

“Oh.” Peter has never felt more stupid. “I’m sorry.”

 

 

Tony smiles down at him, his dark eyes alight with faint amusement and such pure parental love that Peter can’t help but grin a little back. “It’s all good, kid. At least we have each other, right?”

 

 

“R-Right.”

 

 

They are both silent after that, the only sound being the faint rush of traffic from the New York streets below and their combined breathing. Lifting the covers further up them both, Tony presses a sweet kiss against his child’s temple, feeling Peter sigh into the gentle touch. Small hands, twisting digits, grab onto the genius’s shirt and clutch, and Tony finds that he doesn’t mind the wrinkles he knows will be there in the morning. 

 

 

Not when he has his son, safe and alive and a little worse for wear, in his arms. 

Chapter Text


 

“Underoos?” Tony’s voice floats up the stairs and the spiderling reluctantly pauses his game, setting down his XBox controller with a sigh. “Come down here, please.”

 

“Coming!” Peter yells, sitting up in his gaming chair and stretches, scratching at the back of his neck.

 

Staying at the Tower with his mentor-turned-adopted-dad was the best part of Peter’s weekend. Getting to go out as Spider-Man and spend time with Tony? 

 

Nothing could beat that. 

 

Ever. 

 

Making his way across the hall and bounding down the stairs, the boy comes to a quick halt as he enters the living room. Tony is standing near the window, his arms crossed over his black band t-shirt and his eyebrows raised. 

 

The New York skyline, outlined in baby blue as the morning turns midday, is spread out behind the man and Peter squints against the glare of the sun as he crosses the room.

 

“What have I told you about running?”

 

Peter groans, rolling his eyes goodnaturedly. “Not in the house.”

 

“That’s right.” Tony smirks, reaching over to gently ruffle Peter’s curls as the boy gets closer. “I knew I sent you to that smart school for a reason.” 

 

“Oh, har har, very funny.” Reaching up to smooth down his tousled hair, the teenager tilts his head. “So, what did you need? Forget how to turn the TV on?”

 

“Now who’s the funny one, mister?” Tony reports back, but his eyes are sparkling and Peter laughs as the man pulls him against his side. “No, actually, I wanted to talk to you about something.” 

 

Poking his dad in the stomach, Peter grins up at the man when he lets out a startled curse. Tony, after poking Peter back and causing the spiderling to stifle his giggles against the back of his hand, gently steers them both to the kitchen, stopping near the fridge. 

 

“So, my amazing and wonderful son,” The genius says, pulling Peter back from where the 15-year-old was leaning against his side, his head resting against his father’s shoulder. “You have spider powers.”

 

“Wow.” Peter snorts, hopping up onto the counter and swinging his legs, his heels bumping against the cabinets with muffled thuds. “Really working that genius brain of yours today, huh Dad?” 

 

Tony reaches over and lightly flicks Peter’s ear, ignoring the yelp the boy lets out. “Let me finish before you start running your mouth, buddy.” 

 

Waiting until Peter nods, Tony leans down and opens the drawer under the sink, pulling out a rag and a small bucket. Setting the container on the counter, the billionaire hits his son’s hand away when Peter makes a grab at it, glaring at the boy when he laughs in response. 

 

“Oh yeah, you’re laughing now, kiddo.” Tony smirks, stepping back and watching as Peter’s face falls slightly in confusion. “Not for long though, not for long, trust me.” 

 

“What--?”

 

Holding up a finger, Tony points to the rag and bucket, his voice now stern. “Let me finish, Peter. You have spider powers. You swing from webs and have super strength. But what else, oh tell me what, Petey-Pie, am I forgetting?”

 

Shit.

 

Suddenly understanding, Peter gulps, all his earlier amusement gone in a flash. “Uhh.”

 

“Don’t ‘uh’ me, bambino. ” Snapping his fingers, Tony makes a ‘get down’ gesture, nodding when Peter immediately hops off the counter and stands in-front of him, his head lowered. “You know the answer.”

 

“I-I can walk on walls.” 

 

Giving a sarcastic clap, Tony turns on the faucet, holding the bucket under the spray. “Good job, bud. Yes! You can walk on walls and on the ceiling. Would you care to look up and tell me just what those are?”

 

Grimacing, Peter briefly glances above them, already knowing the mess that stains the normally white walls. Looking back at his dad, Peter fidgets, wringing his hands as Tony crosses his arms. 

 

The genius raises an unimpressed eyebrow, propping himself up against the side of the sink.

 

“Well?”

 

The Dad Voice has come out full-swing and the teenager flinches a bit at the sound of it. However, a small bundle of warmth pools in his stomach as well, and Peter has to bite his lip to stop from smiling. 

 

Tony Stark really is his dad now, huh?

 

The sound of Tony clearing his throat shakes Peter from his thoughts and the boy jumped, glancing up to see his mentor’s dark eyes clouded in annoyance. 

 

“Those are uh-those are footprints.” Peter finally squeaks out, cursing interally when he stutters. “On the-the ceiling.”

 

“Whose footprints, Pete?”

 

“Mine.” Peter fiddles with the hem of his dad’s old MIT sweatshirt, wringing out the fabric. “They are my footprints.” 

 

A sudden, warm hand engulfs his own and Peter reluctantly stops his fidgeting, raising his eyes to meet his father’s as the genius leans closer. His gaze is gentle this time and Peter nearly sighs in relief at the sight. 

 

“Do you wanna tell me, bambino , why the hell your footprints are all along my kitchen ceiling?”

 

Peter blushes. “I got h-hungry, after patrol last night, I mean, and-and I didn’t want to wake you up or anything by accident because it was kinda late--not that late, but still, um, y-yeah.”

 

Tony just stares at him, one finger raised in question. 

 

“So you mean to tell me,” The billionaire finally says, his words slow. “That you got home last night from Spider-Manning, got hungry, and decided to walk on the ceiling to not wake me up?”

 

“Uh, y-yes.”

 

Tony laughs then, a short, bubbly laugh that Peter mimics after a second, both of them starting to crack up. Leaning against the counter for support, Tony finally manages to catch his breath after a second. 

 

“Spider-Baby, what the hell am I gonna do with you, huh?” He gasps out, reaching over and gently brushing a stray curl behind Peter’s ear. 

 

The teenager leans into the touch, doe eyes still alight with mirth. “Help me clean the ceiling off?”

 

Tony snorts this time, grabbing the rag and dunking it into the now filled up bucket, filling the water with soap. Picking up the container by the handle, the superhero holds it out toward his son with a flourish. Peter grabs it, grumbling. 

 

“You make the mess, kiddie, you clean it.” Tony says, turning around and beginning to make his way back toward the living room. “Have fun, Pete.”

 

With a sigh, the spiderling carefully surveys the dirty, shoe-print covered ceiling before picking a random corner and making his way over. Gripping the bucket with one hand, he hoasts himself up onto the wall and across the kitchen, using his legs and feet to push off. 

 

He has just started scrubbing, the leftover water on the rag dripping to the tile floor below, when Tony’s voice comes through the doorway again. 

 

“Oh yeah, if all of that dirt isn’t scrubbed up by dinner time, I’m taking away your XBox and telling Aunt May.”

 

Peter just groans.

Chapter Text


I love you. 

 

Tony gently gathers Peter closer, tugging the kid until he’s tucked under the billionaire’s chin. Peter laughs, his curls tickling Tony’s nose. The TV plays low in the background, some cartoon Disney movie.

 

“I’m going to so use this for blackmail material one day.” The boy says.

 

Tony snorts. “Oh really?”

 

“Yeah,” Peter shifts, pulling his legs up onto the cushion beside them, resting so that he’s completely smushed against Tony’s chest. “The great Iron Man? Cuddling? Best blackmail.”

 

Tony reaches down, bopping the teen on the nose and causing Peter to grimace. The genius fights down a smile at the sight. 

 

“Spider-Man seems to enjoy cuddles too. Hmm? I wonder what people would think of that , huh bambino ?”

 

“They’re never gonna believe you, Mr. Stark. Spider-Man’s way too macho to enjoy snuggling of all things.”

 

“Cuddling and snuggling? What’s next, goodnight kisses too?”

 

Peter leans into the soft touch Tony places at the back of his neck, his hair soft against Tony’s fingers as the man scratches at his scalp. 

 

“Never.” The boy sighs, letting out a small laugh when Tony pokes his side. “Hey! That’s not fair!”

 

“All’s fair in love and war, buddy.”

 

Peter just grumbles. Tony rolls his eyes, reaching over to grab the forgotten popcorn from the coffee table, holding out the bowl for Peter when the boy flashes him the Signature Peter Parker Puppy Eyes™️.

 


 

I love you. 

 

“Hey, hey.” Tony, stopping with a metallic screech as the Iron Man suit skids on the concrete, reaches out to cup his son’s cheeks, tilting the boy’s face upwards. “Peter, bubba, it’s me, it’s Tony.”

 

Peter sobs harder at the words, his entire body shaking in Tony’s hold. “I-I—“

 

“Shh, baby.” Tony knows how hard it is when Peter can’t save someone, knows that the kid takes every single failed rescue to heart. “I’m here now, it’s okay. Does May know that you’re out here?”

 

Peter shakes his head, his mask getting dropped to the damp ground as he flings himself at Tony, crying. 

 

Okay, alright, Tony can work with that.

 

After sending a quick command to FRIDAY to text May that he’s found Peter, Tony carefully disassembles the Suit around him, gathering his child into his arms once the metal recedes. 

 

“It’s okay. It’s okay, you’re alright, Bambi. Shh, shh.”

 

Peter chokes, a sob getting stuck in his throat. He holds Tony tightly, burying his face in his father’s neck, his knees shaking. Tony is quick to scoop him up, practically holding Peter upright as the boy babbles. 

 

“I’m sorry, so sorry, sorry sorry sorry. Mr-Mr. Stark I’m sorry, I couldn’t—I wasn’t fast enough and they— they —“

 

Tony just holds him tighter, watching as the New York skyline glows around them. His heart breaks, shatters for the teenager in his arms.

 


 

I love you. 

 

“I’m n-not sick.”

 

Tony snorts, standing up from his place on the couch. His son stands at the hallway doorframe, his thin frame shivering as he sniffs. Peter’s normally bright doe eyes are bleak, rimmed red, his button nose wrinkling as he blinks up at his mentor. 

 

“Right.” Tony drawls out the word, gently tugging Peter’s backpack from his weak grip. “And I’m a ballerina.” 

 

“I mean, I don’t know what-what you do in your free time—“

 

Tony sighs. “Peter, you have a cold. You’re not going to school today, kiddie, no if ands or buts about it.”

 

“I have a test.”

 

“It can wait.”

 

“My grades will drop.”

 

“I’ll talk to your teachers. Peter, for the love of God, go back to bed.”

 

“Aunt M-May would let me go.”

 

“Nope, no she sure as hell wouldn’t. Don’t forget, bud, me and her have a group chat remember? That’s the whole reason you’re here and not at your apartment.”

 

Peter pouts, reluctantly allowing his father to gently steer him back to his room, ducking his head when Tony’s attempts feel his temperature. 

 

“ ‘m not sick.”

 

“No matter how many times you say that, Petey-Pie, it’s not gonna become any more true.” Pulling back Peter’s covers with one hand, Tony gently pulls his son forward with his other. “Come on, Bambi, bed time.”

 

Finally, Peter sniffs, allowing his clearly exhausted body to fit back against the sunken mattress, a sigh escaping. Tony smirks, gently fixing the pillow under his son’s head, taking a second to gently brush a hand through Peter’s soft, sweat soaked curls. 

 

Peter leans into the touch, his doe eyes watery. 

 

“See, bubba. Wasn’t so bad, huh? Lay here, I’m gonna go get you some soup.”

 

Peter shakes his head, burying his face in his pillow. His voice is muffled. “Don’t want any.”

 

Tony pauses. “You sure?”

 

“Y-Yeah.” A cough cuts Peter off and he jolts, groaning as Tony gently rubs soothing circles against his back, wincing in sympathy. “Not v-very hungry.”

 

“Mkay, let me know if that changes, okay? You’re gonna eat dinner tonight though, you have to get something in your stomach.” 

 

Peter just nods, curling up into a tighter, shivering ball in the middle of the bed and Tony can’t help the gentle coo that rises out of him. Standing up with one last kiss against Peter’s temple, the genius is just about to close the door behind him when Peter’s sudden voice stalls him in his tracks. 

 

“Wait, T-Tony can-can you stay? Please?”

 

Tony smiles, walking back over to the bed and carefully settling down beside his kid, his heart melting when Peter immediately leans against his side. 

 

“Of course, kiddo, anything you need.”

 

I love you.