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What If?

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Peter swung from his web. He was high in the air flying among the debris of a dead planet. Titan is what Mr. Stark had called it. He was trying to wrap his mind around what was happening considering Thanos had just thrown a MOON at them. That would’ve been awesome if it hadn’t been meant to kill them.

He focused on the task at hand. Saving his new friends who were half floating half falling through the air. “I got you! I got you!” He fired webs at them and hung them up on a piece of debris. “Sorry I can’t remember anybody’s names!”

He made sure they were safe and saw Thanos and Mr. Dr. Strange fighting. He wanted to intervene but there was nothing he could do against the kind of power Thanos had.

Strange fired orange blasts from both of his hands at Thanos. Thanos jumped up and fired a purple beam from the Power Stone. Strange used the mirror dimension to stop it and push it back to Thanos. It flew at him and Thanos broke it, used the Space Stone to make a black hole, and pushed it at Strange. Strange, in just the nick of time, used a spell to turn it into butterflies.

Strange rose up and made dozens of duplicates of himself. He used his powers to form whips to grab at Thanos. They latched on and Strange pulled. Thanos barely managed to make a fist, activating the Power and Soul Stones. The Power Stone broke the spell and the Soul stone found the real Strange. Thanos used the gauntlet to pull Strange toward him.

Thanos grabbed Strange by the throat. “You’re full of tricks, Wizard. But you never once used your greatest weapon.” Thanos ripped the necklace off of Strange. He crushed it in his hand. “A fake.” He said as he let the pieces fall from his hand.

He threw Strange aside and temporarily knocked him unconscious.

Tony flew into battle afterward and began to fight Thanos. He used his nano tech suit it its full capabilities. He clamped down on the gauntlet and hit Thanos with a battering ram made of nano parts.

Thanos wiped at his face. “All that for a drop of blood.” He smiled and knocked Tony away. He got back up and shot a powerful blast from both hands at Thanos. But Thanos used the Space Stone to create a shield.

It came to close quarters again. Thanos had Tony’s left arm but he used his right arm and what nano parts he had left to create a dagger. Tony jabbed it at Thanos who grabbed it, broke it, and shoved it through Tony’s lower left torso.

Tony gasped. He began to breathe heavily as blood began to flow from his mouth.

“You have my respect Stark,” Tony didn’t even know what to say. “When I’m done half of humanity will still be alive.” Thanos took a step back. “I hope they remember you.” The four Stones on the gauntlet lit up as Thanos made a fist and prepared to kill Tony.

“Stop!”

Thanos and Tony both turned to look. It was Strange. “Spare his life, and I will give you the Stone.”

“No tricks?” Thanos questioned.

Strange shook his head. Thanos pointed the gauntlet at him and held his free hand out to take the Stone. He put his hand up as the Time Stone faded into view. He sent it Thanos’ way.

“Don’t!” Tony pleaded, but it was too late.

Thanos grabbed it and held up the gauntlet, looking at the slot on the thumb. He placed it there as the energy of another Stone, five now, surged through his body. He looked at the gauntlet in pure admiration. “One to go.”

“Ahhhhhh!”

There was a loud cry from Quill as he fired a few blasts from his blasters. They hit the gauntlet doing no damage as Thanos closed his fist to activate the Space Stone and escape through a portal.

When the puff of blue energy disappeared Quill took off his mask. “Where is he?” His face went white. “Did we just lose?”

Tony used a piece of nano tech to help seal the wound Thanos gave him, and looked back at Strange. “Why would you do that?” He had a regretful tone of voice. Tony really had been willing to die if it meant that trillions would survive because of it.

“We’re in the end game now.” Was all Strange said.

Peter swung down from a web carrying Mantis and Drax thanks to the extra arms. He set them down and gasped when he saw Tony.

“Oh my God Mr. Stark are you okay? What happened?”

“Thanos,” was all Tony wanted to say.

Quill looked full of regret. Strange just sat on the rock, appearing to be deep in thought. “Stark.” Strange said. Tony looked at him. “Where would Thanos have gone?”

“No telling. I know to Earth but I don’t know where. Vision is off the grid and he has the Mind Stone. Thanos will get it eventually.”

Quill spoke up. “Then we have to get to Earth. We’ll take my ship.”

Nebula spoke up. “I’ll scan for energy signatures on Earth that are similar to the Stones when we get on the ship.”

Peter helped Tony to his feet as all of them slowly made their way to the Milano. When they got on board, Quill and the Guardians got into their seats and instructed Peter and Tony to sit in the back of the ship.

Peter sat directly behind Quill and completely geeked out over the fact that he was in another space ship.

“What does this do?” Peter asked pointing to a lever.

“That’s the throttle,” Quill responded. “That’s what allows us to get through different jump points.”

“Cool!” Peter said happily.

“Alright kid you might want to sit down. Earth is several jump points away. It’ll probably take us a day or so to get there.”

Peter sat next to Tony. Tony was in stable condition for now. He would survive. He needed medical attention really soon, but Strange had nothing, there was almost nothing he could do except suggest the best way to deal with the pain. Both Peter and Tony were asleep in seconds. Fighting Thanos and nearly dying really took your energy away.

While the Guardians flew the ship and Peter and Tony slept, Nebula scanned for energy signatures that matched those of the Infinity Stones. Quill just mourned Gamora, he couldn’t believe that asshole Thanos had killed her. He missed her so much. He couldn’t even listen to his music, it reminded him too much of her.

After a while Nebula was about to give up when she found a spot on Earth.

“Quill,” she said in her metallic voice as she walked to the cockpit. “I think I found a hit.”

“Where?”

“A place called Wakanda.”

***

Thor flew low above the Outrider army and hit them with a lightning blast. After flying through that he hit one of the drop ships with full force and flew through it, blowing it up. He stopped mid air and flew toward another.

Things calmed down on the ground. “The Hell?” Natasha whispered as it got unsettlingly quiet.

T’Challa and Okoye stopped as well. It was all so strange.

“Everyone on my position. We have incoming.” Steve said.

There was a blue energy cloud that drew everyone’s attention. Thanos walked through.

“Cap. That’s him,” Bruce said.

“Eyes up. Stay sharp,” Steve said as he adjusted his shield and charged forward.

The Avengers charged at Thanos as he carefully walked forward. He used the various abilities of the Stones to push the Avengers aside.

Wanda knew she had to destroy the Stone. But she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She saw Thanos walk toward her through the wave of Avengers trying to stop him.

“Wanda, it’s time,” Vision said regretfully.

“No,” Wanda said sternly.

“They can’t stop him, but we can.” He grabbed her arm and she turned toward him, her lip quivering. “You have the power to destroy the Stone. You must do it. Wanda please.” Vision took Wanda’s hand. “We are out of time.”

“I can’t,” she barely managed to whisper.

“Yes you can. You can.” Vision said. “If he gets the Stone half the universe dies.”

Wanda shook her head.

“It’s not fair.” Vision said voicing her thoughts. “It’s shouldn’t be you but it is.”

Why does this happen? Why does everyone always have to die? Wanda thought.

“It’s alright. You could never hurt me.” Vision looked as her as her lip began to quiver even more. He held her hand up, and pointed at his head. “I just feel you.”

The red energy slowly formed in Wanda’s hand and she fired a beam at Visions head.

Thanos continued to fight off the Avengers, getting closer and closer to his goal.

As Thanos got too close she fired a beam at him and he used the Space stone to defend himself.

She looked at Vision in the eyes one last time. She could just barely hear him say “I love you.”

She finally managed to destroy the Stone in a large explosion. Vision was gone.

When the dust settled, Thanos walked up to her. “I understand my child. Better than anyone.”

“You could never,” she said through her tears.

“Today I lost more than you could know,” Thanos said. “But now is no time to mourn. Now is no time at all.”

He made a fist and the green Time stone lit up. He held his hand up where Vision had been and moved it to the left. The pieces of Vision slowly came back together.

“NO!” Wanda shouted, and Thanos knocked her away.

He grabbed Vision by the throat and grabbed the stone in his forehead. He pulled on it and it came out, leaving a large gap where the Stone had been.

Visions body drained of color as Thanos threw it aside.

He admired the Stone for just a moment and added it to the gauntlet. The energy flowed through him as he added the Stone. He had all six now. He admired the completed gauntlet and prepared to snap when he was hit by an extremely powerful lightning blast.

It knocked him back several feet but he quickly got back up. He fired all six Stones through a powerful beam at Thor, who threw his axe.

The axe collided with the beam and cut through it. The axe barreled toward Thanos and Thor saw the sudden fear in Thanos’ eyes until it cut right through his head.

The body of the Mad Titan fell to the ground.

The Avengers were in shock, Thor especially. He had just killed Thanos. The most powerful being in the entire universe. They all ran to where the fight had been and saw Thanos’ dead body. Steve clapped him on the back and Thor smiled in relief. Vengeance was his.

“Thor. You did it,” Natasha said in shock.

Thor turned to look at them. “Well of course I did, my friends! I’m a god!”

They laughed and began to tend to the wounded. The relief was tangible. T’Challa and Okoye organized medical parties to bring in the wounded soldiers to Shuri’s lab.

Thor took the gauntlet off of Thanos’ body. He sighed and looked at the Mind stone regretfully. Vision was dead.

Thor talked to T’Challa who agreed the saftest place for the gauntlet would be the Wakandan vault. They debated if it was a good idea to keep all of the stones together. They figured they’d work out a better option later.

Natasha went to comfort Wanda. She had her face buried in Vision’s body as she cried her eyes out. Natasha felt so bad for her, nobody should ever have to kill their love.

When Wanda noticed her, she turned and hugged her, burying her face in her shoulder. Natasha let a few tears fall as well.

They made their way to the palace where T’Challa agreed to let everyone stay for the next few days while they dealt with the aftermath of the battle.

That night the Avengers all had a meal togther to celebrate their victory. Afterward Vision was buried and they had a funeral. It wouldn’t have been anyone’s first call to bury him so soon, but even Shuri couldn’t fix the damage Thanos had done.

They burned to bodies of the Outriders and Thanos where the battle had taken place.

All that remained was the lingering question of what happened to Tony.

Chapter Text

Peter woke slowly, his head was spinning and he was extremely confused. Everything slowly came back to him. He tapped his finger on Quill’s shoulder. 

 

“Um... Mr Star Lord Sir? How long have I been out?”

 

He smiled at him. “Quite a while kid. We’ll be on Earth in about two hours,” Quill said. “I would just relax. Space travel through jump points can be very hard on humans when they’re not used to it.” 

 

“Okay,” Peter said happily. Being on a spaceship was so cool! 

 

Ned will be so jealous! Peter thought.

 

Tony woke up, too, but very slowly. He was  still in pain from the wound. It didn’t hurt quite as bad right now. He hoped that was a good thing. But with him feeling lightheaded and dizzy, he figured it wasn’t. 

 

He needed medical attention, and soon. Strange was a doctor but he had no equipment, there was nothing they could do until they got to Wakanda.

 

He sat up and groaned. 

 

“Mr. Stark? You okay?” Peter asked.

 

“I think I’ll be alright. But I’m gonna need help soon.”

 

“Mr. Star Lord said we were only a few hours away, you can get help when we get there,” Peter said encouragingly.

 

Yeah, if I make it that long. Tony thought. He couldn’t say that to Peter though, he didn’t want the kid to panic. Over the past year and a half, he’d really grown attached to that kid.

 

“Quill, how we looking?” Tony asked.

 

“Just over two hours out.” He turned his head to look at him. “You going to be alright?” Quill asked.

 

“Yeah. Yeah I’m okay.” I hope.

 

Quill hit a few buttons on his console.“Okay I think I can leave the ship on auto pilot for a little while. Come to the lower deck and I’ll explain what we found while you guys were resting.”

 

They all made there way down except for Tony, Peter said he’d fill him in when they were done. 

 

“Whatcha got Nebula?” Quill asked. 

 

Peter, Drax, Mantis, Strange, Quill, and Nebula all gathered around the hologram. 

 

Nebula gave them the plan. “We’re less than two hours out from Earth. The last known energy signature similar to that of the Stones was found in a country called Wakanda. We need to get there and stop Thanos.”

 

“Um I don’t mean to interrupt but if Thanos is in Wakanda, the Avengers are probably dealing with him.” Peter said. 

 

Nebula considered what Peter said. “Regardless, he has an army that I’m sure he has sent for Earth, if they are fighting him, it’s not going to be easy. With how long Thanos has been gone I’m also surprised nothing seems out of the ordinary.”

 

“What do you mean?” Strange asked.

 

“I mean that if Thanos had gotten all of the Stones and snapped, people would be disappearing. At least that’s what I would assume. Not necessarily any of us but there would be hundreds of distress signals across the quadrant. I’m currently not picking up any.”

 

“Could the Avengers have killed him?” Quill asked Strange.

 

“Maybe. But I’m not sure. We’ll just have to wait until we get there.”

 

Peter went to the upper level of the ship and told Tony what was happening. 

 

“I’m still confused though, Mr. Stark. Why Wakanda? It’s a third world country.”

 

Tony realized that most people wouldn’t know how rich in technology Wakanda truly was. “Kid you know what comes from Wakanda?”

 

“Vibranium,” Peter replied.

 

“Yes. It’s allowed them to advance in ways the rest of the world can’t imagine. My guess is that the Avengers brought Vision there to try and remove the stone. The princess, Shuri, is a tech genius. She could do it.”

 

“Wow that’s crazy! I thought they were just another poor country. That’s super cool!”

 

Tony smiled at Peter’s childlike excitement. “I think you’d like Shuri too,” Tony said. “She’s about your age.”

 

“I can’t wait to meet her then!”

 

***

 

The Avengers were still celebrating their victory, but in much simpler ways. They relaxed and enjoyed being together again without the threat of the end of the universe. They were like a family.

 

T’Challa had agreed they would stay for some time while they tried to get a lead on what had happened to Tony. They weren’t sure if Thanos had gotten to him. They also couldn’t exactly track the ship that left Earth, so they had no idea where they would have gone.

 

Steve was worried about Tony. While they hadn’t spoken in almost two years, he still cared about him. Tony had become a good friend ever since the Avengers had gotten together in the first place. He was also worried about that Spider-Man. He’d sounded fairly young when Steve had fought him. He’d seen him get taken aboard the ship from news footage. He guessed the kid was probably no older than twenty, awfully young to fight the most powerful being in the universe.

 

Shuri, naturally, had done her best to calculate where they could have gone based on how the ship left in the space above Earth. She hadn’t had any good results which frustrated her.

 

Rocket and Groot were also anxious. They hadn’t been able to contact Quill aboard the Milano and they hoped that they were still alright. 

 

Wanda was still grieving the loss of Vision. Shuri had also done her best to fix Vision, but too much of his consciousness had been stored in the Stone. That and they couldn’t touch it without dying.

 

 Natasha would check on Wanda frequently to make sure she was okay. Nat couldn’t believe how hard Wanda had it at only twenty years old. And twenty by only a few months.

 

Thor, Steve, and Rhodey were currently in the lab with Shuri, doing their best to find any traces of that ship. 

 

Thor cursed himself. He had heard Thanos tell the Black Order to meet him on a planet, but he couldn’t remember for anything what it was. Having just seen Heimdall murdered, his thoughts had been elsewhere.

 

While they looked through star maps and data, Natasha came down to give them some much needed good news.

 

“Cap? Thor? Rhodey?”

 

They all looked up.

 

“Tony has made contact.”

Chapter Text

Quill pulled back on the throttle as they dropped out into the airspace above Earth. “Guys? We made it.”

 

He flew the Milano down toward the continent of Africa and landed in Wakanda.  He had scanned ahead and seen the illusions the Wakandans had set up. He uneasily flew through the trees as the city opened up. There was a large blue dome around it. He figured it would be best to land outside of that. 

 

It was getting dark in Wakanda. They were all still tired and Tony needed urgent medical attention. 

 

T’Challa and Okoye were the ones who went to the dome to see their new visitors. 

 

“Stark?” T’Challa said confused. He noticed Tony’s condition. He pressed against his earpiece. “Open the barrier, section seventeen. And send emergency medical, have Shuri’s lab prepped.”

 

The barrier slid open. After a good deal of explaining Quill convinced T’Challa that they meant no harm. He granted them access into Wakanda. 

 

T’Challa explained to all of them that Thor had successfully killed Thanos yesterday. The relief that they felt was immeasurable.

 

‘Maybe Thor isn’t too bad a dude after all,’ Quill thought.

 

Peter felt exhausted, even though he’d just slept. He remembered Quill saying that was normal of humans, traveling too much in space had exhausting effects on the body until it adjusted. Peters legs began to shake as he passed out. 

 

Medical arrived and Tony was taken to surgery. Peter was quickly scanned and taken to a room in the palace when they learned he had just passed out due to exhaustion.

 

Peter slept better than he ever had.

 

***

 

When Peter woke, it’s was early afternoon the next day. He was confused and disoriented at first. This wasn’t his bedroom at home, the Compound, or the Tower. It was much bigger than all of them. Also he wasn’t in his suit, he was wearing pajamas. Very slowly he remembered being conscious for about two minutes to put on something to sleep in, then passing out.

 

He noticed Tony was sitting on one of the couches in the room. He looked up from the Starkpad he was reading. “Morning sleeping beauty,” he joked.

 

Peter chuckled. Then he remembered. “Mr Stark? I thought you were hurt! You had a massive stab wound! How are you even here?”

 

“Relax, kid. And for the love of God it’s Tony, not Mr. Stark.” Tony said standing up and walking over to Peter’s bed. He sat down on the end. “Remember when I told you about Wakanda? Super advanced?” Peter nodded. “Well they fixed me up real quick. Hardly even a trace of a scar left.”

 

“Whoa that’s insane! I knew you said advanced but I didn’t know you meant this advanced.”

 

“I know,” Tony said admiring the geeky excitement from Peter. Tony got up and walked toward the door. As he was leaving he said. “By the way, there’s a whole room full of Avengers who are dying to properly meet you.”

 

Peter shot out of bed as the door closed. He went into the massive closet. Inside was an assortment of clothes for both men and women. He guessed the room was meant to tend to all guests. 

 

He picked out a comfy hoodie and jeans, and went into the bathroom. After spending and ungodly amount of time figuring out how the showers worked in a place as advanced as this, he stood under the warm water. 

 

It was an almost physical relief. He just fought a massive alien who’s goal had been the destruction of half the universe. If he didn’t deserve a break, who did?

 

When he was done he dried off and got dressed. He messed with his hair a bit to make a good first impression. Most of the Avengers had met Spider-Man, none had met Peter Parker. 

 

I can’t believe I’m going to meet Thor! Peter thought. Ever since the attack in New York, Thor had been Peter’s favorite Avenger; behind Tony of course.

 

He walked out of his room and into the large hallway. It had high ceilings with beautiful pictures of African landscapes hanging on the walls. He followed the hall into a large great room. 

 

He was taken aback by the number of idols all in one place. Everyone he’d ever looked up to was right here. 

 

Tony took notice of him. He brought him over to Natasha and Wanda. “Nat, Wanda, this is Peter Parker. Spider-Man.”

 

Wanda was the first to respond. “You’re Spider-Man? Oh my God you’re just a kid! How old are you?”

 

“Sixteen,” Peter said hesitantly.

 

“That means you were fourteen in Germany! I threw cars at you!” Wanda was beside herself.

 

“It’s okay Miss Wanda, really.” Peter said.

 

Wanda just gave a half smile and walked away clearly shaken. Nat pulled Tony to the side giving a look to Peter that said “excuse us.”

 

“Tony what the hell are you thinking? He’s a kid and you brought him to a battlefield! He could’ve died!”

 

Tony knew Nat had a point. “Can we just not talk about this? He’s super excited to actually meet you all as friends, not heroes.” Tony said.

 

“Okay.” She turned back to Peter. “Nice to meet you Spider Kid, I’m Natasha.”

 

“Nice to meet you again Miss Natasha,” Peter said shaking her hand.

 

The rest of the Avengers gave Tony grief about Peter just being a kid but they dropped it when they realized that this kid was probably the best thing that had ever happened to Tony. Tony needed Peter.

 

Peter got to finally meet Thor who was absolutely delighted to meet him as well. Peter couldn’t believe how amazing it was!

 

He also met Doctor Banner. He spent a little bit of time talking science with him.

 

That afternoon there was a meeting among the Avengers about what to do with the remaining five Stones and the whole Accords situation. Tony decided this would be a good time to distract Peter by introducing him to Shuri. Lord knew they’d probably talk science for hours. They went down to the lab with T’Challa and introduced them. 

 

Shuri looked up from her work as they entered. “Ah you must be the Spider Boy I’ve heard so much about!” Shuri said with her thick Wakandan accent. “Tell me Spider, when you fought him, how did you manage to take down Captain America?”

 

Peter knew where she was going with this. She was referencing one of his favorite Vines. He used his best German accent. “We shot him in de legs because his shield is de size of a dinner plate and he’s an idiot,” Peter said laughing.

 

Shuri’s face lit up and T’Challa chuckled while Tony practically rolled on the floor laughing.

 

“Brother, the Spider Boy is now my friend! He has passed my Vine test!” Shuri beamed.

 

“Now there’s two of them,” T’Challa said shaking his head.

 

Peter smiled shyly as the other two went back up from the lab to their meeting. 

 

“So Spider Boy, what is your real name?” 

 

“Peter.”

 

“Well it’s good to meet you Peter. Stark says you’re quite the scientist yourself.”

 

“You could say that.” Peter said blushing. It made him feel good knowing that Tony thought so highly of him. 

 

Shuri and Peter talked science for a while. She showed him many new inventions that she had come up with and how they would help the Black Panther suit. 

 

He showed her his web shooters and the old one that didn’t work very well, but he kept just for emergencies. He told her about how he’d made them, and the webbing, by himself.

 

“Impressive for someone as low in technology as you Americans,” Shuri said when she examined the web shooters.

 

“Uh... thanks, I guess?” Peter said.

 

Shuri laughed. “Just joking Peter,” she said with a wink.

 

After a while of talking science the conversation steered over to more about memes and Vines. They ended up in the screening room looking up Vine compilations online. 

 

They sat on the couch with popcorn and quoted basically every single one that came on.

 

*** 

 

Over four hours later, Tony was finally free from the meeting. After a good -and long- discussion about the Accords,Tony and Steve had worked things out. He wasn’t going to fully trust him again anytime soon, but he didn’t feel like he hated his very existence. He even felt that given more time, things could go back to normal.

 

Tony had also talked to Barnes. That was awkward in more ways than he could describe. Did  he necessarily forgive him? Hell no. But Tony knew he had reacted poorly, and he was willing to admit that it was his fault. HYDRA had control of Bucky’s mind. Had he acted rationally things would have gone differently. Tony had realized all of this about a year after Siberia. Today was just the day he could finally admit that. 

 

The rest of the meeting had been about the Infinity Stones and who had passed in the fight. Thor had lost Loki, Quill had lost his girlfriend Gamora, and Vision was gone as well. 

 

Tony wasn’t surprised at the tears that were shed for them, except for when Thor had shed a few tears for Gamora. Tony guessed they must have gotten close in the short time they’d known each other. Reality was Thor sympathized with her. They’d both had extremely rough lives.

 

They’d agreed to let Strange keep the Time Stone with him. Quill, Rocket, Groot, Nebula, and Drax all knew the danger of the Power Stone on an organic surface. They explained that if it were to hit the ground, the whole planet would die in less than a minute.

 

They went to the vault with Strange who managed to successfully cast a spell that allowed them to take the Stones from the gauntlet. Strange put the Time Stone back into the necklace and put the Power Stone into the orb the Guardians had. The Guardians said they knew a safe place they could put it where someone would struggle to get ahold of it again. 

 

Quill had also asked if Stephen would mind to travel somewhere with them with the Time Stone. There was a decimated planet they’d like to restore.

 

Right now, though, Tony was trying to find Peter. He and Shuri hadn’t been in the lab but weren’t there now. He found them in the second most likely spot, the screening room.

 

He heard a loud shout of “YEET”as he approached the room. Kids these days, he thought to himself. He opened the door.

 

“Hey kids.” He said poking his head into the room. 

 

“Hi Mr- Tony. Hi Tony.” Peter said waving and blushing with embarrassment at his awkwardness. 

 

“Hello Stark,” Shuri said in a very relaxed voice. “Want to watch some Vines with us?” She asked.

 

Tony had no idea what the hell a “Vine” was supposed to be. “No kids I’m good. But we’re all going to have dinner soon, might want to get to the dining room.” Tony walked out.

 

Shuri and Peter both left the room and made their way through the large palace. They got to the dining room and noticed the large group of Avengers already eating. Peter couldn’t believe how large the room was. He’d thought the Tower was extravagant, this was a whole new level.

 

They joined in and all had a great meal together. When they had all finished and the conversation had died down, they all went back to the screening room and all watched a movie.

 

On the way Tony stopped Peter. “Hey kid. Got somebody on the phone who you need to talk to.” 

 

Peter was confused. “Okay.” Tony handed him his phone. “Hello?”

 

“Peter oh my God I was so worried about you!”

 

“May?” Peter asked horrified. I’m grounded forever.

 

“Yes. Peter you can’t just run off like that! I was worried sick! You went into space!” May was really upset but also extremely relieved to hear that he was okay.

 

“I know, I know May I’m sorry.” Peter said.

 

“I let you be Spider-Man which I really didn’t want to and then you go off and make me worry like crazy over you!”

 

“May. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to make you worry but I had to help. It’s my job to do that!” 

 

“I know. Just please don’t worry me like that. No more space.” She said.

 

“No more space.” He agreed.

 

“Okay well Tony said you and the Avengers are all coming home tomorrow, which is good because you have school again in two days. But for now have fun with them, I’m actually sort of jealous you get to meet them all.”

 

“Yeah it’s great! I’ll try to set it up so you can meet them to. I love you, May.”

 

“Love you too, Peter.”

 

Peter hung up the phone and handed it to Tony. 

 

“How long is the flight back to New York?” Peter asked. 

 

“Normally it would be about twelve hours, but with the Wakandan jets, we’ll be back in about two.”

 

“Cool,” Peter said smiling.

 

Peter and Tony made their way into the screening room. Peter sat next to Shuri who had saved a spot for him. It was crazy how fast they’d become best friends. 

 

He noticed about half way through the movie that Wanda had gotten up and left. He figured she was just tired and wanted to get some sleep. 

 

When the movie ended he said goodnight to everyone and blushed when he received a hug from Shuri. “Goodnight Spider Boy.” 

 

“Night Shuri.” Peter said smiling.

 

T’Challa came up behind her when Peter left the room. “Like the Spider Boy huh?” He asked.

 

“He’s a cool kid. And surprisingly smart and handsome for a white boy.” She said smiling.

 

“Ohhhhhh. I see.” T’Challa said giving her eyes.

 

“Oh whatever! It was just an observation!” Shuri defended. 

 

T’Challa put his hands up in mock defense and walked off.

 

Peter made his way to his room. He couldn’t get over how amazing this place was. He walked down the halls and stopped when he walked past the door before his. It was the room that Wanda was staying in. 

 

Thanks to his advanced hearing, he heard the quiet sniffling coming from her room. He poked his head in and quietly knocked on the door. “Miss Wanda?”

 

She looked startled. “Oh. Hi Peter.” She said wiping the tears from her eyes. 

 

“What’s wrong?” Peter asked.

 

“It’s- it’s nothing. I’m alright.” She said sniffing. She was trying to not break down bawling in front of the kid.

 

“Well... okay. If you change your mind...”

Peter trailed off.

 

Crap why’d this kid have to be so nice?She thought to herself. 

 

She just let it out as Peter walked over and sat beside her. He patted her on the back gently as she cried.

 

“Do you wanna talk about it?” He asked her sweetly.

 

“It’s- it’s Vision. I miss him, I hate what I had to do.” She said crying.

 

Peter had heard. It was horrible. Nobody’s should ever have to kill the person they love. Even if it was strange that Vision was technically a robot, Peter knew Love wasn’t necessarily physical.

 

“I sort of know how you feel,” Peter said. 

 

She looked up surprised.

 

He explained basically everything he’d been through. “When I was about four or five, my parents died in a plane crash. Then when I was fourteen, a month after I got my powers, my uncle was killed in a mugging. It’s just me and my Aunt May now.”

 

“I’m sorry Peter. I had no idea.” Wanda said.

 

“It’s okay. That’s the one thing I’ve learned from all that. People come and go, but the memories last forever. That’s how they’d want you to remember them. Vision wouldn’t want you to be miserable because he’s gone, he’d want you to smile at the memories.” Peter said.

 

Wanda couldn’t believe how profound that was for a freaking sixteen year old. “Thank you Peter.” She said as she gave him a hug. 

 

Peter returned it. “Okay well I’m off to sleep. I’m just next door.” He said implying that he’d be there if she needed anything.

 

“Okay. Goodnight Spider Kid.” 

 

“Goodnight Miss Wanda.”

 

Wanda couldn’t believe the life that kid had. It was pretty similar to hers when she thought about it. Orphans, losing somebody else in their family later in life. He was four years younger than her and had already almost lost just as much.

 

She liked Peter, something about him reminded her of Pietro. Wanda used her powers to flick off the light and go to sleep.

 

***

 

Peter left Wanda’s room and walked to his. He jumped into bed wearing the same pair of pajamas he’d worn the night before.

 

He thought about how crazy his life was. Also the fact that he had to go home tomorrow. All of the Avengers were set to head back to the Tower. The Compound was no longer going to be the main area of housing for them now that they were a team again. Tony had completely planned on selling it, but after the Vulture situation, he thought it better to have an Avengers presence in the city.

 

Peter was also lucky they had a long weekend off from school. When he got back he’d have finals and then school would be out for the summer.

 

He was also unbelievably excited to ride in one of the Wakandan jets. So many awesome things were happening. He couldn’t wait to tell Ned about it at school!

Chapter Text

Peter woke up early the next morning. He tiredly dragged himself out of bed and took a quick shower. He was sad that he had to leave Wakanda already, everything was so cool!

He was sad to leave Shuri too. He’d just made a new best friend and now he had to leave her behind. That and he kind of thought she liked him which made him feel good. He kind of liked her too.

When he got out of the shower he put on jeans and a hoodie again and walked to the dining room. Tony, Steve, Thor, Bruce, Natasha, Wanda, T’Challa, and Shuri were there. 

After saying good morning to everyone he sat down at the table with them and ate. They were having waffles and just like everything else in Wakanda, they were amazing.

The adults chatted about politics and heading home while Peter and Shuri talked about vines and memes.

“I’m sad you have to go so soon, Peter.” Shuri said. “You’ll have to come back to visit sometime. Or T’Challa and I will have to visit your Tower in New York.”

“That would be awesome! I think you’d love the Tower. It’s got literally everything just like this place!” Peter said happily.

After chatting through breakfast it was time to leave. Tony made sure Peter was there along with the rest of the Avengers. 

He saw Steve and noticed he’d shaved and cut his hair. He looked like normal again. “No more beard?” Tony joked.

“Well if things work with the UN, I technically won’t be a criminal and won’t need this anymore. Also, Nat.” Steve said and he and Tony both laughed.

“Yeah. I’ll make sure they work that out. Plus Thor can vouch for you guys, he was neutral so that’ll help.” 

“I do appreciate that, Tony.” Steve said. “And I appreciate your forgiveness. I was wrong to keep that from you.”

Tony nodded. “I was wrong to react so violently.”

Steve put his hand on Tony’s shoulder. “Tony, your reaction was human. You were overcome with grief. I just wish we could’ve talked it out.”

“Me too Rogers.”

They awkwardly shook hands. Tony noticed the Guardians had boarded their ship with Strange and were preparing to leave as well. Quill had been very serious about the fact that the Avengers had allies in them. Tony and the rest agreed. If trouble arose, they could count on each other to fight together.

Tony saw Peter talking to Shuri. “Goodbye Spider Boy. You have my number, yes?” Shuri asked. 

“Yes. I’ll have to make sure to catch that short window we’ll have to talk everyday.” Peter said. The time difference was about eight hours, which left just a couple hours a day for Peter and Shuri to talk. 

“Hopefully I’ll see you again soon.” Shuri said and have him another hug. 

Peter blushed as he hugged her back. “For sure.” He said.

“Oh and by the way, I have something for you.” Shuri said pulling out a small box. She placed the box in his hand and folded his hand over it. “Open it when you get back.” She said. 

Peter smiled gratefully. “Thank you Shuri.”

“You’re welcome, Peter. Goodbye!” she waved as he boarded the jet with the rest of the Avengers.

“Bye!” He shouted and waved back as the ramp receded and the door closed. He turned around and was startled to see Tony standing right behind him.

“You and Shuri became friends quick,” Tony said to Peter suddenly, startling him.

“Well we have a lot in common,” Peter said brushing it off like it was no big deal. 

“If I didn’t know any better. I’d say she likes you.” Tony said. “It’s seems like you maybe like her too?”

“Ugh Tony I don’t know.” Peter said flustered. 

“Kid. Just messing with you. Relax.” Tony said. “And buckle up these things move fast.”

Peter was excited again. He couldn’t wait to see how fast they went. It turned out to not be exactly what he expected. They flew super fast but they could barely feel a thing. Crazy how that worked.

He sat next to Thor who was cheery as always. Peter played a game on his phone and Thor watched. “Young Peter, tell me what is the point of this game?”

“Just helps to pass time.” He said. “Do you want to try?” He said looking up at Thor.

“If you don’t mind of course.”

Peter handed Thor his phone. “Go for it!” He said encouragingly. 

Long story short, Thor was not good at Subway Surfers. “Ahh. Stupid Midguardian  technology!” Thor shouted and his eyes glowed blue with electricity.

“Whoa, Mister Thor! It’s just a game!” Peter exclaimed. Deep down he thought it was awesome how Thor’s eyes had lit up.

Thor’s face softened and his eyes returned to normal. “Apologies Peter.”

“It’s okay. That game can be pretty frustrating,” Peter said remembering playing it without his senses.

 “Peter, do you mind if I try?” Wanda asked.

Peter smiled. “Sure!” He tossed her the phone right as the jet lurched, making his throw inaccurate. She caught the phone just before it hit the floor with her powers and pulled it towards her.

Wanda turned out to almost be better than Peter. With his advanced senses, Peter could sense what obstacles were coming before they even happened, giving him more time to react. The game offered almost no challenge, so it was more of a brain exercise and time consumer for him.

About fifteen minutes into the trip, the ship had gained the proper speed and they were free to move around. 

The jet was very fancy and it reminded Peter of the trip he’d taken on the Stark jet  almost two years ago, when he’d first fought with the Avengers. He couldn’t believe how far he’d come. Ned was right; what even was his life?

The rest of the ride was fairly smooth. About twenty minutes out they had to buckle back up due to the slowing of the jet and the jerking it could cause. 

They played on Peter’s phone for a while as they approached the landing pad of the Tower. Flying above the city of New York was always an amazing site to see. 

The jet began to slow and before Peter knew it, they had landed at the Tower. They all got off slowly, most of them tired from the trip and the eventful past four days.

Peter walked off the jet and noticed Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Pepper, and Aunt May were all waiting.

May ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. “Peter I missed you so much! I was so worried!”

“I missed you too, May.” He said.

Tony reunited with Pepper. “Oh God Tony please, please tell me you’re done. That the threats are over?”

Tony knew he couldn’t promise that, but he had a good feeling. Something just told him that for a while, things were going to be alright.

“Promise.”

“Stark, its good to have you back.” Fury said. “You as well Captain. We’ve been talking to the UN, there will be a special session held to decide what is to become of you.” Fury said. “But I’m on your side, and truthfully after saving the universe, I don’t know how they can’t pardon you.”

“Thank you, Fury,” Steve said shaking his hand. “But technically Thor is the one who saved the universe.” 

Thor walked off the ship and chuckled as he saw Fury again. “Ah Nick my friend, it has been too long.” He said.

“Yes it has. It’s good to have you and Doctor Banner back. Now come on, we need to get everyone all settled in again.”

The Avengers made their way into the Tower. The upper levels where were they would stay. There was the massive penthouse of course and the level below was where the Avengers rooms were. 

May seemed to have just as good a time as Peter with the Avengers. Of course she had heard of all of them. Captain America really meant something to her though since he had been the only hero that had ever existed up until the last ten years.

The Avengers got settled while May, Tony, and Peter talked. They finally got her to agree to the plan they’d been trying to work out forever. That was that Peter would be allowed to stay there a couple times a week and not just on Friday or Saturday nights. 

She was reluctant, but she agreed. “Fine you can stay here at night a few times a week. But for the next week, you have to stay at the apartment with me as punishment for making me so worried.” 

Peter didn’t even argue. Truthfully he missed the apartment. That really was home to him.

With school tomorrow, Peter said his goodbyes to the Avengers. They were all actually pretty disappointed to see the kid leave, they’d grown attached to him pretty quickly. Thor and Wanda especially.  Thor just thought the kid was tons of fun, and Wanda felt a bond with him due to them being closer in age and the fact that he’d helped comfort her about Vision.

“Goodbye Peter,” Thor said shaking the boy’s hand. 

Peter shook his hand back. “Bye Thor. I’ll see you guys after school tomorrow. I usually do some work in Tony’s lab.”

“Great. We’ll see you then.” Thor said happily.

Peter and May got onto the elevator, went through the lobby, and got into May’s car. It wasn’t a very long drive to the apartment and there wasn’t much conversation. 

When they got back May said she was going or order Thai food for dinner. Peter agreed and was thankful he didn’t have homework. 

While May picked up the food, Peter opened the little box Shuri and given him. Inside he found the old classic web shooter he’d made. Shuri had fixed it up and put it in a glass case with a label that said “Web Shooter, Mark One.”

Peter smiled. There was also a note.

Dear Peter,

It was absolutely amazing getting to meet you! You’re surprisingly smart for a white boy. I can see why Stark thinks so highly of you. I had a great time talking about science, memes, and Vines with you. Hopefully I’ll see you again soon! Keep kicking ass Spider-Boy!

Love, Shuri. :)

Peter put the gift on his shelf where he could easily see it and pinned the note to his wall. He knew it was a bit late in Wakanda but he sent Shuri a text thanking her. 

May got home and they had dinner. He  finally told her all about everything that happened. How he’d helped save Strange, and how he’d taken on Thanos. 

May was concerned hearing the story but also proud of how strong and brave Peter was to fight against him.

After dinner they watched TV for a while and Peter went to bed around ten. He couldn’t wait to tell Ned tomorrow about all that happened, but he had to make sure MJ didn’t find out. Peter had begun to notice her acting more and more suspicious toward him. 

He decided that he’d make absolutely sure that she wasn’t around when he told Ned. The last thing he wanted was for another person to be at risk.

He closed his eyes and went to sleep.

Chapter Text

Peter woke up at six thirty as always the next morning. He dragged himself out of bed and went into the bathroom to take a shower. 

He stood under the water for a long time until he finally got out and got dressed. When he left his room May was making pancakes for breakfast. “Morning Peter.” 

“Morning May,” Peter said.

“You going to the Tower after school?” She asked.

“Yeah if that’s alright. Tony and I are gonna keep working on that new reactor for his suit.”

May smiled. She knew how much Peter loved working with Tony. “Yeah it’s okay. Just try to be home around 7:00, alright?”

“You got it.” He said as he hopped up and and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Gotta run. See you tonight.”

He made his way out of the apartment and to the stop for his train. Thankfully it was running on time today. He got on and plugged his earbuds into his phone. 

Peter was super anxious to see Ned and tell him about all that happened. He was really hoping none of the kids would question what suddenly happened to him on the bus. 

The train stopped and he got off. He walked toward the school. The same old boring routine everyday. He couldn’t wait to get to the Tower after school and see all of the Avengers again.

He walked into school and went to his locker as always. Ned came up behind him while he was grabbing a textbook. “Peter oh my God tell me everything!”

“Shhhhh! Ned!” Peter whisper yelled.

“Right, right sorry.” Ned apologized.

“Hey, I’ll tell you at lunch. That’ll be the best time. Okay?”

“Ugh, fine. Now come on we’re gonna be late.” 

As they were walking MJ came up and joined them. “Hey losers. Ready for this stupid Spanish quiz?” 

Peter scoffed. “Don’t remind me.”

They day passed at an average speed. At lunch Ned and Peter made sure they sat down a while before MJ and Peter told him everything. Naturally Ned totally geeked out at how awesome Peter’s life was but also got a bit worried. Peter could have died.

Peter couldn’t help but wonder all day what things were like at the Tower.

***

Tony was exhausted, and it was only 2:30 pm. He’d been in meetings all day trying to convince the higher-ups in the government that the so called “Rogue Avengers” should be pardoned. They’d been through a lot and helped kill Thanos.

He’d finally begun to set up the process of getting the UN together to decided what would happen to them. Unfortunately it looked like that wouldn’t be until next Friday. It was Monday. That meant lots of other meetings every day until things were settled.

The rest of the day hadn’t been too bad, though. The other Avengers had gotten settled and were all enjoying some downtime. Tony actually felt happy to see most of them together again. Maybe things would be normal again.

He realized that since it was 2:30, Peter would be here soon. That made him happy. Only one more week after this one and he’d get to see his ki- Peter everyday. He liked being around the kid and, quite honestly, missed him when he was gone. 

Hell he was pretty sure the others missed him to. Especially Thor, who had asked at least six times that day when Peter would be back.

Tony headed to the penthouse where everyone would be. The elevator doors opened and he saw Wanda sitting on one of the couches, reading a book. Steve, Bucky, Natasha, Sam, and Bruce were watching the news on TV, and Thor was taking a nap on one of the other couches.

Tony walked over to the coffee maker. Hopefully that would get him through the afternoon. 

He decided to take a break. He walked over to sit down with everyone else.

“I don’t know how you can spend so much time in that lab,” Natasha said.

“Keeps me distracted form the rest of the world,” he said implying the news on the TV.

Thor slowly woke up. “Tony is young Peter here yet?” 

Seven times. “He will be any minute.” 

As if on cue, Peter walked in. Thor’s face lit up. 

“Hey kid.” Tony said. “How was school?”

“Ugh. It kind of sucked.” Peter said.

“Why?” Tony asked.

“Finals are next week and I have about a million things to do before school ends.” Peter said.

Natasha spoke up. “Yikes kid that’s rough. We’ll get out of your way if you need us to.” 

Peter didn’t want that at all. Having people around was the only thing that would keep him sane. “No! No. Stay. I’ll probably go crazy if I have to do all this work with nobody else around.”

“Yes!” Thor whispered. With Peter’s advanced abilities, he’d heard it no problem. 

It made him feel good to know that Thor liked him. It seemed that they all liked him. 

He sat down and began to work. History was the first thing he decided to do. It would take the least amount of time. 

Thor read some of Peter’s book as Peter worked and was fascinated to read about Midguardian history. 

“Who is this George Washington? He seems like a very noble warrior and leader. I would very much like to meet him!” Thor said.

They all laughed. “Unless you can go back about two hundred and fifty years, it might be hard to meet him. He’s even older than Cap.” Tony said taking a shot at Steve.

Steve laughed it off. “Yeah he’s an old man like me.”

“I forget you Midguardians only live a very short time.” Thor said.

“Well how long do you live?” Peter asked.

“Usually about fifty centuries,”

“Five thousand years!” Peter said in disbelief. “How old are now?”

“Fifteen hundred.” 

“Holy crap! Dude you look great!” Peter said.

“Thank you young Peter.” Thor said as he smiled and put his hand on Peter’s shoulder. “I believe that with how I age relative to your time, I’m only about twenty two or twenty three in your years.”

Natasha nudged him on the shoulder. “The math and science they don’t teach you at school huh kid?” She asked.

“Definitely not.”

Peter got back to work. He finished several worksheets until he had done all that he needed for the night. It was about 5:30 and he was relieved that he had some time to spend with everyone before he’d have to go home.

May had called and told Peter that she was going to have to work later tonight, so he was going to have dinner with everyone at the Tower. Tony said that night was pizza night, Peter’s favorite.

When Peter was done with his work, he got off the couch and headed to the kitchen where everyone else had gone a few minutes before. 

All of the Avengers were sitting together and getting along. From what Tony had told Peter, it didn’t look very likely that this  would ever happen again. Peter was happy to see Tony in a really good mood again. 

Tony noticed Peter. “Hey kid. Grab a plate and join us.”

Peter stacked a plate with five slices of pizza. His metabolism was crazy ever since he got his powers. But of course, Thor could eat an entire pizza by himself if he wanted to. Probably even two.

Peter walked over to the table and sat next to Tony and across from Wanda who suddenly didn’t look so glum. 

“Peter, after dinner we’re going to go to the screening room to play Mario Kart. Wanna come too?” She asked.

Peters face lit up. “That’d be great!”

“Watch out guys,” Tony spoke up. “This kids a little cheater.” He said teasingly.

“Hey it’s not my fault you were winning and I happened to get a blue shell!” Peter said.

Tony out his hands up. “Okay kid whatever you say.”

Tony fake coughed and said “cheater” in between.

Peter just laughed and rolled his eyes.

“I bet I could beat the kid!” Sam said.

Rhodey spoke up. “Yeah right! You lost to Steve earlier today!” Steve was notoriously bad at all video games.

“Hey that was low!” Steve said without any real offense taken. 

“One bad game,” Sam mumbled. 

“Still.” Rhodey continued. “The real test will be if the kid can beat Wanda. She’s clearly the best.”

“Challenge accepted.” Peter said.

Wanda gave him a confident look. Maybe she would actually be hard to beat.

They laughed and finished their meal. They made their way to the screening room and fired up the game. First race was Sam against Rhodey. Sam beat him and gloated for a while.

The second game was Tony and Wanda. It was heated and intense until Wanda rolled a red shell just in the nick of time to win. Steve and Bucky played and everyone had a good laugh at how bad they were. Bucky eventually won. 

Thor and Bruce faced off and Thor won. Moving the game to Peter and Nat. This would be interesting. 

The whole game was intense, Peter led most of the first two laps and got nailed in the third. It was neck and neck but somehow Peter pulled through. 

“Aw crap!” Nat said frustrated. “Good game Spider Kid.” She said with a friendly smile and gave him a high five. 

The others played and it was down to Peter and Wanda, decidedly to two best out of them all. The last race was super intense and of course they were playing rainbow road, the hardest course.

After an extremely rough and difficult game Peter barely managed to beat Wanda. 

Everyone else stared in shock. Nobody had ever beaten Wanda before. Sam cheered and so did the others. Wanda couldn’t believe it. 

“I’d like to be upset, but that was pretty impressive.” Wanda said. “Good job! But tomorrow when you get back from school, I wanna rematch.” 

“Deal!” Peter said.

Wanda smiled. Peter was a cool kid. And she couldn’t deny how much he reminded her of Pietro. It’s like for the first time, she had a little brother. 

Peter hung out with them for a while longer until he needed to head home. 

“Kid?” Tony asked. Peter looked to him. “You need a ride home from Happy or you just gonna swing there?”

“I’ll just put on my suit and swing.” Peter said.

“Okay be careful bud. Text me when you get home. See you tomorrow.” 

Thor walked up to Peter ignoring all boundaries and hugged him. Peter couldn’t breathe but the hug made him feel good anyway. 

“Bye!” He said to everyone as he hopped from the window and fired a web at a building. 

He swung the few minutes back to the apartment and slid in through his window as always. 

May wouldn’t be home until much later, so he decided to just hop in bed and get some sleep while he could. He knew with finals next week he wouldn’t be getting hardly any. 

 Peter just couldn’t wait until he got to spend every day with the Avengers! 

Chapter Text

The rest of Peter’s week was fairly uneventful. He got slammed with homework just as he expected but he still got to spend a good amount of time with the Avengers at the Tower. 

The last class on Friday passed impossibly slow. He just wanted to leave so he could go hang out with all the Avengers again.

When the bell finally rang at 2:45, Peter got up and went straight to his locker. He grabbed the books he’d need for the weekend to study.

After saying bye to Ned and MJ he left school and went to his normal alley to changed into his suit. He figured today would be a good time to patrol since he’d be studying all weekend. At least May had agreed to let him stay at the Tower, he wouldn’t be lonely while studying.

Peter had managed to successfully save a dog from being hit by a car but aside from that, nothing very eventful happened as he swung through the buildings. 

It was a beautiful day in late May. It wasn’t too hot and there was a breeze. He shot a web at the roof of a building and pulled himself toward it. He sat on the edge and stared at the city. In the distance, he could just barely see the Tower through the other buildings. 

“Incoming call from: Tony Stark.” Karen said through his suit.

Peter was excited. “Go ahead and answer Karen.” 

Tony’s face popped up on the screen. “Hey, kid. Where are you?”

“I’m patrolling. I won’t have time this weekend and I figured I could be back at the Tower by dinner.” He explained.

“Well uh... it’s almost six o’clock. Might wanna get here.”

Peter was surprised. He hadn’t been very busy but time had somehow gotten away from him. 

“On my way!” He said happily. 

Tony hung up and Peter jumped from the roof. He swung from building to building toward the Tower. 

***

Tony felt borderline brain dead. After a whole week of nonstop meetings trying to put out the fire that was the Rogue Avengers, he’d finally got a meeting with the UN set up. The next Friday would be the day of the meeting. 

Tony had gotten Natasha to get ahold of Clint so he could be pardoned as well despite not being able to help fight Thanos. But hey, if everyone else got pardoned, shouldn’t he?

Steve had also asked that they pardon Scott Lang who Tony learned was the Ant Man. So of course, Tony made sure Scott would be there as well.

Right now though, it was nearing six and he hadn’t heard from Peter. That was weird since Peter almost always came to find him right away. Must’ve had homework. 

“FRIDAY? Where’s Peter?” Tony asked the AI.

“Mr. Parker is not in the Tower.” 

“That’s weird. Call him FRI.”

“Will do boss.”

Tony pulled out his phone and Peter answered. 

“Hey kid. Where are you?” He asked.

“I’m patrolling. I won’t have time this weekend and I figured I could be back at the Tower by dinner.”

“Well uhh... it’s almost six o’clock. Might wanna get here.”

“On my way!” Peter said. 

Tony hung up and walked into the elevator. “Penthouse,” he said as the door closed. He quickly zoomed up to the upper levels. 

Tony stepped off the elevator and smelled the food that was being cooked. He walked to the kitchen and saw Steve attempting to make burgers with guidance from Nat and Pepper. Bucky was laughing had he watched over his shoulder.

“Well look who’s finally here.” Pepper said. She walked over to Tony and gave him a quick peck on the lips.

“Letting Steve cook? Never a good idea.” Tony joked.

“I’d be offended, but you’re right.” Steve laughed. 

Nat put a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry. We’ll take it from here.”

Steve walked off and went to sit at the table with Sam, Rhodey, Thor, Bucky, and Bruce. 

“Tony, I thought Peter was coming today. Where is he?” Pepper asked. 

“Patrolling. I just talked to him a few minutes ago, he’ll be here soon.”

“Great! We made a lot of extra food for him and Thor.” 

Tony went to the table with everyone else. He was honestly exhausted, but Peter was going to be here soon. He sipped his coffee in an attempt to get more energy.

***

Peter finally swung on his final web to the Tower. He was glad to be there. He missed everyone and he was starving.

The Tower was such a sight to take in really. The panels on the outside giving it a blue-green color during the day. It stood fairly tall above the other buildings, and the bright blue Avengers logo couldn’t be missed. While it wasn’t home, he sure loved this place.

He flipped up onto the landing platform and walked toward the Tower. He got to the door and ran his little card over the lock which gave him access. The sensor blinked green and made a clicking sound as the doors slid open. 

Peter walked inside and pulled his mask off. His brown curls ruffled and messed up from the mask. The hangar looked like a work of art with the setting sun casting orange light on everything. He walked past the Quinjet and up the stairs that led to the penthouse. He stopped by his room to change out of his suit and into some normal clothes. 

While he changed, his stomach growled. He was starving. As he walked out, Wanda was walking out of her room too. 

“Hey Peter!” She said in a cheery voice.

“Hi Wanda! You headed to get dinner too?” He asked.

“Yep. I heard Steve is cooking though so I’m not sure what to expect.”

“Uh oh. And on the one day I’m starving!” Peter half complained, half joked. 

Wanda laughed as they got on the elevator together. 

“So how was school?”

“Ugh, brutal. I don’t understand why finals have to be a thing! You’re lucky you don’t have to worry about it.” Peter said.

“But you’re off for the Summer soon right?” She asked.

“Yeah. Just gotta get through the next week. Then I’ll be able to spend everyday at the Tower with you guys!”

“Cool!” Wanda said happily. “By the way, I never got that rematch. Tonight after dinner?” 

Peter smirked confidently. “You’re on.” 

Peter really did love everything about this place. And he really couldn’t believe how quickly the rest of the Avengers had accepted him. Of course every now and then he felt like the kid he was, but he never really felt out of place. 

Wanda helped with that too. While she had a pretty messed up past, she was still really young too, just about four years older than Peter. It was nice to have someone around who was close to his age.

The elevator dinged and the door slid open. They walked out and saw Pepper and Nat cooking the burgers, both of them thankful it wasn’t Steve. 

“Hey I thought you were letting the old man cook.” Wanda joked. 

“Rude,” Steve said laughing. Wanda used her power to give him a gentle, friendly punch on the shoulder. 

Peter was somewhat surprised at how fast Wanda adjusted to American culture. It’s not like things were necessarily super different in Sokovia, he was just surprised. It was mostly because of the year she spent living at the Compound with the Avengers after Sokovia, but Peter would’ve had no way of knowing that.

Peter and Wanda walked over to the table. “Hey kid. How’s school?” Tony asked.

Peter sighed. “Stressful. I’m just glad it’s over.” 

Thor was happy to see Peter too. “Peter are you staying here tonight?” He asked. 

“Yep! I’ll be here all day tomorrow too!” Peter said happily.

“Great!” Thor said through as huge smile. 

“Dinner is served.” Natasha said in a mock chef voice as she sat the burgers on the table. 

Peter grabbed three. He was absolutely starving. He ate them quickly and was done before even Thor. 

When everybody was done they decided to go to the screening room and watch a movie. Before the movie though, Peter and Wanda were going to have their rematch race. 

Peter went to his room quickly and threw on pajama pants and a T-shirt with a science pun on it. Tony knew how much Peter loved those.

He got back upstairs and noticed the other Avengers had all put on pajamas too. Peter had to take a second to acknowledge the fact that Avengers acted like normal people too. Something about seeing them all in pajamas made him realize that. 

He saw Wanda sitting on the couch closest to the TV wearing an oversized hoodie and pink plaid pajama pants. She tossed the controller across the large room to him. 

He still had his web shooters on so he fired a web at it and pulled it towards himself. 

“Oooo. Little show off huh?” Tony joked. 

Peter scoffed and made sarcastic face. “Please. We all know you couldn’t have made it look that good.”

That earned a “Ohhhhhhhhh” from Sam and Rhodey. 

Tony just laughed. 

Wanda looked back at him. “You ready?” 

“It’s on.” He said as he sat down next to her on the couch. He got into a comfortable position to play the game. This was going to be a tough race.

It did turn out to be a hard race. Neither of them played nice as they let their skills take the full effect. Peter led most of the race, but just barely. Right when things were looking great, Wanda rolled a red shell in one of the mystery boxes. Peter had no way of defending himself. 

He pushed down on the button as hard as possible as if it would somehow make his character go faster. Right before the finish line, the shell hit him. Wanda shot right past him and won. 

Everyone hollered and cheered. Peter had to give Wanda credit for an extremely competitive game. 

“Damn. Got me that time.” Peter said.

“The title of best player once again falls to Wanda!” Sam said.

Wanda shot him a look telling him he’d gone too far. She didn’t want to hurt Peter’s feelings.

“Good job Peter. Anytime you want a rematch, let me know.” 

“Thanks Wanda.”

They all calmed down and decided to watch Star Wars. Rogue One was Peter’s favorite and since he lost, they decided that would be the one they watched.

Peter was happy. Watching all of the Avengers together was amazing and he couldn’t believe he was apart of it. He knew how happy it made Tony, too. 

If only he didn’t have to spend the rest of the weekend studying.

When the movie was over, Peter said goodnight to everyone and went down to his room. It was eleven o’clock, not too late but Peter knew he had a whole day of work ahead of him. 

He went to his bathroom and brushed his teeth, then jumped into bed. He was half to get some sleep while he could, next week would be really rough.

Chapter Text

Peter got a fairly early start the next morning. He felt pretty groggy when he woke up, but once he was out of bed he was fine. He sighed. Today would be a long day. 

He knew he’d probably procrastinate his studying just a bit this morning; he was a kid after all. But he figured it wouldn’t be too hard to stay focused. He just needed to make sure he didn’t go to the lab. If he started working down there, the whole day would slip away from him.

Peter walked to his bathroom and splashed some water on his face to wake himself up. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and laughed. His brown curls were all over the place and he looked ridiculous. He didn’t care though, nobody else would.

He walked into the hall and pushed the button on the elevator. The doors slid open and he stepped on. It was only two floors from all of their rooms to the penthouse, so the ride was short. 

He stepped off and saw Tony and Pepper sitting at one of the nice little tables near the widows, sipping coffee. The table was there so that you could look out and enjoy the view of the city. Peter couldn’t deny that even though it was a cloudy morning, the city did look amazing.

Tony noticed Peter. “Hey kid. Want some breakfast? Pepper and I were about to make pancakes.”

Peter’s stomach growled. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was. “Yeah that’d be great. Thanks!”

Tony walked past him and ruffled his hair. Peter let out a little grumble of annoyance as always but didn’t worry much about it.

Tony and Pepper got what they needed to make breakfast. Peter didn’t want to just sit there. It made him feel like a freeloader. 

“Do you guys want some help?”

“Sure.” Pepper said. 

“Why don’t you grab another mixing bowl that way we can make them faster. You and Thor eat like crazy!” 

Peter laughed.

He helped mix the batter for a while and some of the team began to wake up. Nat came up first.

“Hey Tony, Pep, Spider Kid.” She noticed them making breakfast. Peter and Tony were throwing flour at each other, because, of course they would. “Want some help?” 

Pepper answered. “You could help me cook them while these two stir. If they can actually stay focused.” Pepper said lightheartedly. 

“He started it!” Tony said, not realizing how much he sounded like a kid.

“Oh okay. Yeah. I started it.” Peter said sarcastically.

“Tony you’re just as bad as another kid sometimes.” Pepper sighed.

“That’s the point. Gotta keep you thinking on your feet.” 

“Kids these days.” Nat said as she flipped a pancake. 

About twenty minutes later, everyone else was awake. Between the four of them Pepper, Tony, Peter, and Nat had a pretty impressive stack of pancakes. 

“I think we have enough for everyone.” Pepper said.

“Good I’m starving!” Peter said.

They had two plates stacked high with pancakes. They brought them all over to the table and Peter nearly dropped them at one point. 

They put them on the table and Peter sat in his usual spot next to Tony and across from Wanda. 

As expected, Peter and Thor ate the most. By the time they were done, Peter was stuffed and it was time to study. He went to his room to be alone for a bit. It was nice to have company, but he had to make sure he really got some stuff done. 

His science finals would be the hardest. Chemistry was one that he was definitely not looking forward to. There were so many formulas and elements that he had to know if he even had a shot at doing well.

He took a long, hot shower before he got started so he would be more relaxed all day. Then he went into his closet and took a little extra time just to pick out a hoodie and pajama pants to wear. If he had to study in the Tower all day, might as well be comfortable.

After successfully killing half an hour, he finally got started. One thing Peter didn’t do when he got working was get distracted. His advanced senses allowed him to stay focused on what he was doing. Something that helped save Strange when they were aboard that ship a week ago.

That thought did distract Peter. All that had happened just over a week ago. He’d helped save the universe. Granted it want much but he still helped. He pushed the thoughts away so he could study.

Over the next few hours he read over the most important parts of the book, studied all of the formulas, and practiced close to a hundred problems. 

Peter was finally given a reason to relax when he heard a knock on the door.

“Yeah?” He asked somewhat irritated. He was very close to solving one problem that had been eluding him the whole time. There was just one thing he was missing that he couldn’t quite figure out.

“Its Wanda. Lunch is ready!” She said cheerfully.

“Okay. I’ll be up in just a minute.”

He couldn’t decide if now was good time for a break, or if he should just keep working to figure out the problem. Truthfully he did need a break. He started studying at nine that morning and hadn’t stopped working until now. He looked at his phone sand saw that it was almost one. 

Peter’s stomach growled. He got up and headed for the the door. 

Maybe a break will be a good thing. Take a little time to gather my thoughts.

Peter walked down the hall to the elevator.

“Penthouse please FRIDAY.”

The doors closed and since the rooms were just below, he was at the penthouse in seconds.

He walked out and was hit with an amazing smell. Grilled cheese sandwiches were for lunch; one of Peter’s favorites. Although for the most part he’d really eat anything. 

“Ah, Peter there you are.” Thor said. “While you were studying we had an idea.”

“What is it?” Peter asked curiously. 

“The two of us can eat more than anyone here, how about a challenge?” Thor asked.

“It’s on!” Peter said happily. He knew he was probably never going to beat him but it would still be fun. Plus he was incredibly hungry. “Wait do we have enough for everyone?”

“Kid we made extra just for this.” Tony said.

“If you’re sure.”

Nat grabbed a cooking timer and set it for five minutes. “Alright boys this should be fairy simple. Five minutes. Whichever one of you eats the most in that time wins.”

“Wait. We only get five minutes?” Peter asked.

“Yeah. Sort of our way of making sure you guys don’t eat way too much.” Nat said.

“Sounds suspiciously like something Mister Rogers would say but okay.” Peter said looking at Steve. 

Steve laughed. “Hey, just trying to make sure you guys don’t make yourselves sick.”

Nat brought the attention back to the competition. “Okay boys, five minutes. 3... 2... 1... Go!”  

Peter instantly grabbed a sandwich and started eating. They both ate like crazy and Peters stomach began to hurt a little bit. When the timer went off five minutes later, Peter had eaten eight sandwiches which was about twice as many as normal.  

“Okay time!” Nat said. 

Peter and Thor both moved back from the table. 

“Okay you both did a very impressive job but sorry Peter, Thor beat you.”

It was close, but Thor managed to eat ten.  He only beat Peter by two so Thor was quite impressed at how much Peter had eaten. Thor put his hand on Peter’s shoulder. “I’m impressed Peter. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a mortal eat so much food before!”

Peter took the compliment. “Thanks Mister Thor!” 

Since Peter and Thor had already eaten, they just sat and talked while everyone else ate. 

When they were done, Peter went back down to his room to study until dinner. He noticed he had a missed call from May.

He tapped on the button with her name and the phone began to ring. 

“Hello?” 

“Hey May, it’s me.” Peter said.

“Oh good! Hey listen. I know you’re probably having a great time with everyone even though you’re stuck studying.”

“Yeah it’s great! Thor and I had a challenge to see how many sandwiches we could eat. He beat me by two.”

“Oh how fun! I’m kind of jealous.” She got back on topic. “Well anyway, you know how I’ve been looking at the getting the new job?”

“Yeah.”

“They want me to visit the new location as part of my interview. I have to be out of town Monday through Thursday. It’s just about two hours upstate. I’ll be back on Friday.”

“Oh okay. Do you want me to come home? I can be there in about half an hour.” Peter offered. He really didn’t wan to leave, but he didn’t want to not see May before she left for a week.

“No go ahead and stay tonight. Maybe just come home tomorrow? I was going to see if Tony wouldn’t mind to let you stay there this week. Could you ask him for me? Then call me back and let me know?”

“Yep. Call you back in a few.”

Peter hung up the phone and went to find Tony, who was more than happy to let Peter stay there that week. 

Peter told May and they worked everything out. He spent the night studying and only pausing briefly to eat dinner. 

Normally he would’ve had a much bigger appetite but he was still a little sick to his stomach from earlier. He ate what little food he’d put in his plate quickly, then excused himself to go back downstairs to study. 

He worked until fairly late into the night. Around midnight he heard the door to Wanda’s room close and decided that after this problem, he was going to get some much needed sleep.

***

Peter woke up tired and confused. He lifted his head off of his desk and his paper stuck to his face. He pulled it off and saw that he had fallen asleep in the middle of doing his work. 

He checked his phone. Three seventeen AM. He got up and went into his closet. He grabbed a pair of his plaid pajamas and slid them on. 

He hopped into bed and quickly fell back to sleep.

He woke early the next morning at seven thirty. Really just over for hours later. He was tired and filled with dread. Stupid finals.

Peter got up and walked into the bathroom and splashed some water on his face to wake himself up. He felt much better after that. 

He went into the hall and went up to the penthouse for breakfast. Again, Tony and Pepper were the only two awake. 

Breakfast wasn’t a big meal that morning, just cereal. Peter remembered from his time in the Tower that they liked to take it easy on Sunday.

“How’d you sleep kid?” Tony asked.

“Good. I fell asleep at my desk for a few hours but then I woke up and got in bed.” Peter said.

“Well by the looks of it I’m in charge of you from Monday to Thursday so be sure and get some sleep. Don’t want to explain to May why her nephew is sleep deprived or she probably won’t let you stay here again.”

“Good point. But it’s finals, I’ll definitely be up late.”

“Oh finals. I remember those days.” Pepper said almost longingly.

“Do you miss them or something Pep?” Tony asked.

“Yes and no. Yes because I was so young and had so much ahead of me. No because it was stressful as hell.”

“Ain’t that the truth.” Peter said.

Pepper laughed. She liked Peter just as much as Tony, which was good since Tony and Pepper were getting married, she would be around Peter for probably the rest of her life. God knew Tony was going to hang on to that kid forever.

Peter ate breakfast as the rest of the Avengers woke up. When he was done he went down to his room and packed up his stuff in his backpack. He put on his suit and went back to the penthouse to say goodbye to everyone. 

After that he went to the only window in the Tower that opened that high up. Peter jumped out and swung back to the apartment. He really wanted to patrol but he had too much studying to do. Plus he missed May and she would be gone almost all week. 

He swung one last time and landed on the side of the apartment building. He crawled to his room and pushed the window open. He closed the window then took his suit off to change into some comfortable clothes. 

He walked out and saw May and went to give her a hug. 

“Hey kiddo.” She said. “I missed you.”

“Missed you too.” Peter said.

“So. How was your time at the Tower?”

“It was great! I can’t believe they actually accept me as part of their team! I really feel like I’m one of them.” Peter said happily. 

“Aw I’m glad. Did you get some studying done?” May asked concerned. Finals were a big deal.

“Yeah a lot. It’s basically all I did yesterday. But I got to hang out with everyone all night on Friday.”

“That’s good.” May suddenly looked a bit sad. “I’m sorry I have to leave this week, Peter. I know finals are an important time.”

“It’s okay May. Yeah I’ll miss you being there but I’ll have Tony and the team to keep me going. As much as I don’t want you to leave, it’ll be okay.”

“Alright. Why don’t you go study and I’ll get to work on lunch?” 

Peter took the hint that he needed to get some work done. “Okay.”

*** 

After another day full of studying, Peter figured he was as ready as he’d ever be. He spent his meal time with May, but the rest of the day he studied in his room. He could already feel how tired he was and he hadn’t even taken a single test yet. 

It would be an interesting week with the Avengers to say the least.

Chapter Text

Peter woke up and instantly felt dread. He had breakfast with May before she left, said goodbye, and got ready for school.

He went through his usual morning routine to get to school and dreaded having to get off the train. Even though he only had two finals today, that still left four that he had to be prepared for. 

The only positive spin he could put on things was that he got to stay with the Avengers most of the week and summer was coming up soon. But even then May was still going to be gone. Now that he thought about it, he probably wouldn’t see the Avengers much, because if he remembered right, that was the day of the UN meeting.

When the train got to his stop, he slowly got off and walked toward school. The train had been on time again today so he walked a bit slower than normal to get to school.

When he was inside he went to his locker and was instantly greeted by a very tired looking Ned. Truthfully when he looked around, everyone looked tired. Didn’t take a genius to figure out why.

Peter made his way to his class. His chemistry final was first. The test took the whole class but he thought he did fairly well. Next was Engineering, another final he thought he did fairly well on.

When lunch rolled around, he was extremely relieved. He made every second with Ned and MJ last. 

The last two classes were extremely long and boring, but he finally made it through the day. Peter didn’t waste any time getting out of school as fast as possible. 

He grabbed the books he needed for tomorrow’s finals, said goodbye to Ned and MJ and walked to the subway. The ride to the Tower was only about ten minutes.

The ride was uneventful and before he knew it., he was there. He hopped off and walked toward the building.

Peter wanted more than anything to go patrolling, but there was no way he’d have enough time for that.

“Hello Mister Parker.” FRIDAY greeted as usual when he walked in.

“Hey FRIDAY. Penthouse please.” He said as he walked into the elevator. 

The door closed and he shot up toward the top of the building. The elevator made a ding sound and the door slid open. 

Peter stepped off and was surprised to see that there wasn’t anybody lounging around like normal. Not a single Avenger was in sight.

That was strange. Every time Peter had come home from school they were there. He began to wonder if something happened and they had to go on a mission. 

That would be my luck. A mission rolls around and I’m stuck at school.

Just when he was about to ask FRIDAY if he should suit up, he heard a loud shout from the screening room. 

Peter pushed the thin bracelets on his wrist and his web shooters took form. He sprinted to the room, fearing somebody was hurt. 

When he got there he was pleasantly surprised to see that it was just Sam yelling in frustration over losing to Bucky at Mario Kart. 

Thor noticed Peter and that he looked very alarmed. 

“Peter? Are you alright?” Thor asked.

Everyone turned to look at him. “Yeah, yeah I’m fine. It’s just you guys weren’t out in the living room like normal. I heard Sam shout and thought maybe you were in trouble.”

Tony got up. “Thanks for the concern kid but we’re fine. You have more studying to do?” 

“Way too much.” Peter said irritated. 

“You think you have time for one race?” Wanda asked.

Truthfully Peter did not. But it was Wanda, and she had beaten him last time. He couldn’t refuse a rematch could he?

“Uh, yeah, I guess I have time for one race.” 

“Great!” 

“But this time, I’m not going to let you win.” Peter said.

Wanda scoffed. “Okay.”

Peter smiled and grabbed his controller. He sat next to Wanda and everyone else gathered around. A race between Peter and Wanda was always intense. 

Peter eventually won. Wanda had beaten him more times total, but at least he had won. 

After that he went down to his room to study. He got his books from his bag and got to work. He had a trigonometry final tomorrow and was really dreading it. He wasn’t bad at math, but it was a pain to deal with. 

He began to work on problems and tried not to feel too frustrated. He worked until dinner and felt pretty good about the harder parts of the book. Peter really hated the finals at the end of the year since they covered everything they had learned. 

When it was finally time for dinner, Peter was very happy for the distraction. He walked down the hall and got onto the elevator for the short ride to the penthouse. 

Dinner was a blur as he ate his food and went back down to study. He cracked open his Spanish book and got to reading. Learning another language sucked. 

He went over what seemed like a million vocabulary words using flash cards and made sure he understood how to put them in sentences and conjugate them.

At eleven o’clock, Peter still didn’t feel every confident with his Spanish. He kept looking over them for a while longer. Peter figured if he was sleep deprived just one night it wouldn’t be a big deal. 

He finally closed the book at one in the morning. He threw on pajamas and brushed his teeth then hopped in bed. He had to be up in five hours but he figured that would be enough. 

If only he could’ve fallen asleep. It was one of those nights. For some reason Peter could not fall asleep. Usually stress kept him up but he really didn’t feel that bad. Plus he was exhausted so it really didn’t make sense to him.

At two thirty, Peter decided to take a sleeping pill in hopes of at least getting a couple hours. He felt pretty delirious from being awake so long. Ever since he was a little kid, Peter has always been a disaster when he hadn’t gotten much sleep. 

He got out of bed and walked to his bathroom. He opened the medical cabinet and moved the painkillers and first aid kit aside to grab the sleeping aid. He took one and swallowed it with a cup of water from the sink. 

Peter jumped back in bed and sighed; he was extremely frustrated. After another forty five minutes of this he finally fell asleep. 

***

Peter just about died when his alarm went off. He somehow mustered up the will to get out of bed and go to school. He went into his bathroom and started the shower. 

After that he got dressed and went upstairs for breakfast. The elevator doors slid open and he got off.

Tony noticed Peter and was about to say something cheery until he caught sight of him. “Uh... Pete. You okay?”

“Ugh.” 

By that answer, Tony knew things were rough. “Well did you sleep okay?” Tony was pretty sure that was resounding no.

“How much coffee can a person consume before the caffeine amount is lethal?” Peter asked. That pretty much answered the sleep question.

“Well kid...uh... I don’t know. You could probably have more than normal.” Tony suggested.

“Top me off.” Peter said as he held the mug up to Tony. 

Tony laughed. “You got it kid. But you should eat something too, you’ll feel better.” 

Peter ate a couple granola bars and drank a cup of coffee. He went through the cabinets and tried to find one of the to-go coffee cups. He found one and made another cup.

It was getting late, if Peter didn’t hurry he’d miss his train. “Okay Tony I gotta go. See you tonight.” Peter said dully as he walked out. 

“Bye kid. Good luck on your tests!” Tony called.

Peter didn’t respond. He was being a little rude but he wasn’t functioning enough to realize or care. 

The school day wasn’t too bad which was surprising given his lack of sleep. Coffee was a lifesaver. When school ended a physical weight was lifted off Peter’s shoulders. 

He walked into the Tower and was greeted by FRIDAY as usual. For some reason, as soon as he stepped foot in the Tower, he was suddenly exhausted again. 

He made his way up to the penthouse and was greeted by a room full of Avengers. He had a quick snack before he got started on more studying. History and English were the next days’ finals so he felt better about things. 

He went to his room and started reading and studying. After a while, he wound up reading on the ceiling. Peter found that when he got his powers, it helped him feel more relaxed when he hung upside down. 

He couldn’t believe how tired he was. He vowed that tomorrow night he’d go to bed much earlier so he could catch up on his sleep. 

Around five thirty the door to his room slid open. “Hey Peter is ti- oh my God!”

“Oh hey Wanda!” Pete said happily from the ceiling. 

“What’re- what’re you doing?” She asked.

“Oh yeah.” He laughed. “My powers let me stick to things and I learned that sometimes  it helps me focus to hang from the ceiling.”

Wanda was sure that was one of the strangest things she’d ever seen. And she herself was a scientific breakthrough. “Okay well uh... dinner is ready.” 

“I’ll be there in a minute.” 

Wanda left and a couple minutes later he flipped down from the ceiling to go eat. Peter got up to the penthouse and was hit with an amazing smell. 

Peter turned left to the kitchen area and saw Tony and Rhodey cooking steaks. Peter’s mouth watered. 

He went and sat at the table where Pepper noticed how exhausted he looked. “Peter are you okay? You look exhausted.” 

“I am. But once finals are over I’ll actually be able to get a good nights sleep.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She said. 

Pepper honestly reminded Peter of May. They had remarkably similar personalities. Both were strong willed and independent, but also kind and caring. 

Peter absolutely inhaled his food and went back to studying. At eleven o’clock he had a terrible headache and decided to go upstairs and get a bottle of water. He felt so delirious that he barely got to the elevator. 

When he got up he noticed Tony and Steve talking, sitting at the barstools. Wanda, Natasha, and Pepper were all sitting at the table chatting as well. In the distance, he heard Sam, Bucky, Rhodey, and Thor in the rec room. Probably playing pool. He didn’t hear Bruce so he figured he was either sleeping or in his lab. 

“Hey kid what’s up?” Tony asked. 

Steve chimed in too. “Isn’t it a little late for you to be up?” 

“I was gonna ask you the same thing, old people go to bed at four o’clock.” Peter said. 

It was happening. When Peter got tired enough, he could really lay on the insults. May had filmed it one time and he wished his comebacks were that good when he was actually more aware of what he was doing.

“Ohhhhhh.” Tony said laughing. 

Steve honestly thought it was funny too. Tony’s laugh drew the attention of the girls too. 

Peter’s brain decided to target Tony next. “What’re you laughing at? You’re the genius who built a robot that tired to wipe out all of humanity.”

“Oh crap!” Steve said laughing. “He got you there Tony.” 

The others heard everything and were drawn in. Bucky saw Peter. “Hey, it’s the youngest Avenger. No offense but don’t you think sometimes, maybe you’re just a little young to be an Avenger?”

“Don’t you think you’re little old to be alive?” Peter shot back. 

“What?” Bucky said surprised as everyone else burst into fits of laughter. Sam especially.

Tony got up. “Okay Pete you need some rest. May told me this might happen.”

“What might happen?” Pepper asked.

“Apparently Peter is really delirious when he is exhausted. May said he has a sort of semi-conscious sleep walk. He apparently has the best comebacks ever. So far, May was right.” Tony said laughing. 

Tony looked back at Peter. “What’s wrong bud?” He shook peter just a little bit to make him fully conscious. 

Peter seemed to fully wake up. “Head hurts. Wanted to get some water.”

“Okay, we’ll get you some medicine.” He looked at Pepper who was already up and getting the medicine and a bottle of water. 

Peter took the pills and Tony walked him back to his room. While Peter didn’t realize how crazy he’d been, none of the Avengers were offended. In fact they found it pretty entertaining. 

They got to Peter’s room and Tony opened the door. He walked Peter to his bed to make sure he got in it and hopefully wouldn’t sleep walk again. 

He mussed up Peter’s hair. “Night kid.” 

“Night Mr.Stark.” Peter said. He was so tired he forgot he was allowed to call him Tony.

Tony took one last look at the kid and closed the door. 

***

Peter woke the next morning feeling much better. He was still tired but he actually felt like he could function. 

He went upstairs for breakfast and coffee. He’d definitely need more of that to survive the day.

“Hey kid. Good morning.” Tony said.

“Hey Tony. Sorry about last night. I’ve just been so tired.” 

“No problem kid. May told me you get a little crazy. Made Sam laugh harder than I’ve ever seen.” Tony said.

Peter smiled. He walked over to the coffee maker and poured himself a cup to take with him to school. 

Today was the last day and he was so happy. He just had to get through his last two finals. Since there was no math or science, the finals that day would be significantly easier. 

When the bell rang Peter said goodbye to Ned and MJ, promising they would hang out this summer. 

Peter got onto the subway train with pure glee. He was tired but he felt better. The ride to the Tower seemed much shorter than normal. When he got there he went up to his room and grabbed his suit. He went up to the penthouse to tell Tony what he was doing. He didn’t think his day would get any better until tony gave him some amazing news.

“Hey Peter. How was school?” 

“Great!”Peter beamed. “I was going to go patrolling if you don’t care.” He said.

“Kid why would I care? Go for it!” Tony said. 

“Okay!” Peter was about to swing out the window when Tony stopped him. 

“Hey kid wait.” Tony said. Peter stopped. “I just talked to King T’Challa about an hour ago. He’s coming here tomorrow night for the UN meeting.”

“Cool.” Peter said.

“Well he’s also bringing a guest.”

“Who?”

Peter really hoped it was who he thought it was. 

“Shuri.”

Chapter Text

It had been a very long day. Shuri had spent the entirety of it in her lab trying to figure out a new development for the Kimoyo Beads. Her attempts hadn’t exactly been successful. 

She began another trial. Same failure. She jotted it down in her notes. 

Trial 147: Unsuccessful 

She looked at her list of failed notes. Shuri didn’t typically think of herself as easily discouraged. She could normally fail over and over and only be encouraged to work harder. Her persistence was something  her mother and T’Challa both admired about her. She didn’t give up easily.

But nearly a hundred and fifty failures in a row isn’t exactly an easy thing to put a positive spin on. 

She leaned back in her chair and let out a sight of frustration. She glanced at the clock. Just after nine. Only one in New York though. Ever since she had met Peter she’d always seen the clock that way. Both in local and New York time. She wondered what he was up to. 

Honestly she missed him. Sure they texted almost every day but they were never able to talk for long. Being eight hours apart made it hard to stay in touch with someone. Also frustrating when you maybe- though can’t admit it to yourself- have a crush on that person. 

Shuri liked Peter. She knew it, but didn’t want to accept it. They would almost never see each other and she didn’t want to catch feelings if that was the case. Talk about a long distance relationship. 

Shuri pushed the thought of Peter out of her head and focused back on her work. About fifteen minutes later her beads were beeping. She groaned in irritation and slid the bead forward from her wrist into her palm. 

T’Challa appeared. “Ah Shuri.”

“What do you want brother? This better be important.” She said annoyed.

T’Challa easily picked up on it. “Whoa sister, no need to be so snappy.”

Shuri rolled her eyes. 

“Anyway.” T’Challa continued. “I need you to come to the Throne Room.”

“Why?”

“Just a short meeting, then you can go back to your lab work.”

She sighed. “Ugh this better be good.” 

“Trust me, this is something you want to hear.” 

He ended the call and her bead slid back onto her wrist. She got up and made her way out of the lab. 

Being in the lab all day had made her tired and worn down. She hadn’t even noticed until she left. 

Maybe I won’t go back to the lab and just get some sleep. I can always keep working on the Kimoyo Beads tomorrow.

She decided that’s what she would do. She approached the door and gave the traditional Wakandan salute to two of the Dora Milaje guards at the door. 

The doors slid open as she walked in. T’Challa was sitting on his Throne in his normal, basic, black robes. 

“There she is. Now we can get his meeting started.”

There weren’t many people there. The normal tribe leaders and the Queen but that was all. Shuri walked over to stand next to her mother and brother. 

“My friends, I have spoken to Mister Tony Stark. The Avengers that helped us fight here and risked there lives did not do so legally. That is partially my fault in the past.” He said looking at the ground. Shuri thought he almost looked ashamed. He continued. 

“I think it is safe to say that we would not have been successful without them. The United States Government will be holding a trial at the United Nations building in New York City. I am to attend and testify to their case. I will be taking Shuri with me. We are to leave tomorrow afternoon.”

Shuri couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She actually going to get to see Peter again!

After taking a second to contain her excitement she began to listen to T’Challa again.

“My mother will be taking over my responsibilities for the next four days.”

Shuri really couldn’t keep it together. She wanted this meeting to end already so she could text Peter that she was coming to America. Tony had probably told him but still, she was very excited.

The meeting was dismissed and T’Challa walked towards her. “So sister, worth leaving the lab for?”

“Absolutely! But what made you decide to take me along?” She asked.

“Well New York City is quite an amazing place. I love rubbing in that fact that you’re smarter than Tony. And I’ve seen the way you look when you talk about that Spider Boy, Peter.”

Shuri blushed at the mention of Peter’s name, proving T’Challa’s point. 

“Those are... mostly accurate reasons.”

T’Challa smiled. “That’s what I figured. What kind of brother would I be to not help you with your boy struggles?”

Shuri scoffed and then smiled. “Thanks I guess. I think I’m going to get some rest. I’ve been working in that lab for so long.”

“Good idea.” T’Challa said. “You might be a little bit jet lagged tomorrow after the flight so I’d sleep while you can.”

She smiled and walked off to her room. After getting ready for bed quickly she sent Peter a text. It was only three in the afternoon in New York. 

She turned her phone off and went to sleep. It had turned out to be a good day after all.  

***

Peter’s face lit up at the mention of Shuri’s name. “Really? Shuri is coming here?” 

“Yep. She’ll be here with T’Challa tomorrow evening.” Tony said.

“Cool!” Peter jumped back toward the window. “I’m gonna to patrol now, I’ll be back for dinner!”

“Bye kid.” 

Peter swung from the window and let himself free fall from the Tower for a second before shooting a web at another building. 

He was so excited to see Shuri again! 

As Peter swung he thought about whether he and Shuri would be allowed at the meeting or not. They had both taken part in he battle against Thanos but they were also just kids. Though the UN didn’t have any idea that Peter was Spider-Man. 

He figured he’d just ask Tony when he was done patrolling. He continued to swing through the warm summer breeze. 

After rounding a corner Peter heard a loud shout for help. He could tell it was a little ways off so he moved even faster.

When he found the alley he noticed a young woman crying. She had a bloody knee that appeared to be from falling. A man nearly six and a half feet tall stood over her with a large knife.

Peter swung down and shot a web at the mans hand. It latched on and Peter yanked it towards him. The knife flew from the man’s  hand. Peter caught it, chucked it into the dumpster and stood in front of the man. 

He ran towards Peter who jumped over him and grabbed both of the man’s arms with webs. He yanked the man down to the ground and hit him with a web grenade. The webs shot all over the man who was now stuck to the ground. 

The girl Peter had saved was still crying. “Th-thank you.” She barely got the words out. “He- he would’ve killed me.” 

Peter walked towards her. “It’s okay. Do you know why he attacked you?”

The girl shook her no. “N-no I don’t know why. I-I was just walking along.”

“Okay. Do you live near here? I’d be happy to walk you home to make sure it get there safely.”

She nodded her head yes. “Just a couple blocks away.”

“Okay.” Peter said. “You have a name?”

“Mandy.” 

“Okay Mandy. Let’s go.”

Peter walked her home and she seemed to do better. She could talk without stuttering in fear and she stopped shaking.

They reached her apartment building after a surprisingly short walk. 

“Thank you Spider-Man.” Mandy said gratefully and shaking Peter’s hand.

“You’re welcome Ma’am, just doing my job.” Peter said with a salute. 

She laughed and waved to him as he took off to see how else he could help. What he just did made him feel so good. Nothing was more satisfying than knowing that you stopped a criminal and saved a person in the process. That’s what Peter loved about being Spider-Man; he could really make a difference.

The rest of the night was fairly calm. Peter was always glad when that was the case. It meant the people of the city were mostly safe. He noticed it was almost eight so he began to swing his way toward the Tower. 

He flipped over the Empire State Building and saw the bright neon blue Avengers logo. He swung over a few more buildings and jumped onto the landing platform. 

He walked into the building and went up the few stairs into the penthouse. Peter instantly smelled the pizza everyone must’ve ordered. He could hear everyone in the rec room. Probably playing ping pong. 

He ran over to the pizza boxes and grabbed a couple slices to eat on the way to his room. He hopped on the elevator.

He ate the pizza slices quickly and took a quick shower. After that he threw on pajama pants and a hoodie. He went back to the penthouse and grabbed three more pieces of pizza before joining everyone  in the rec room.

“Hey Pete!” Tony said. “We found the one game Cap is good at; pool.”

“Only one game?” Steve protested.

Tony shot him a glare along with almost everybody else. 

“Okay that’s fair.” 

“I bet I could beat him.” Peter said confidently. 

“Oh a challenger.” Sam said.

Same threw Peter a pool stick. He easily caught it. 

“Alright. I’ll give the kid a shot.”

Everyone gathered around. The game took them quite a while, but Peter did win. Everyone made a big deal about it and Sam being Sam had to give Steve a hard time.

“Maybe there isn’t a game you’re good at?” 

“Whatever.” Steve said, but he wasn’t really upset about it.

Peter spent the rest of the night hanging out with the Avengers. He played ping pong with Thor for a while. He played Wanda at pool and then at Mario Kart. 

Even thought he’d only been at school for three days that week, it had been the longest of Peter’s life. Because of that, he went to bed around eleven that night. 

On his phone, he noticed Shuri had sent him a text.

S: My brother just told me that he’s coming to America tomorrow for the meeting. He said he taking me along too!  I can’t wait to see you again!

Peter smiled and replied. 

P: I know Tony told me earlier! It’s gonna be so much fun! 

Peter smiled and turned his phone off to sleep. A few days of adventure were ahead of him.

***

Peter woke at eight the next morning. It was earlier then he would have liked. Since Shuri and T’Challa wouldn’t be there until four that afternoon, he had been hoping to sleep late so he wouldn’t  be bored waiting all day. When you were just killing time, it always went by slower.

May was also coming back into town late that night. He’d get to stay at the Tower because of that but tomorrow night he’d be back home. He was happy that he’d get to see May again. He really missed her.

He went upstairs for breakfast and found that most the Avengers were already awake. He had forgotten that Hawkeye and Ant Man were coming too. He felt sort of embarrassed for not knowing their real names.

He didn’t know much about Ant Man but he did know that Hawkeye was very close with both Nat and Wanda.

“Hi Peter. What would you like for breakfast?” Pepper asked in a very happy and cheery voice.

“I was just going to make myself some waffles if that’s okay?” 

“Make yourself at home.” Pepper said.

“Oh wait.” Peter said. “Where’s Tony?” 

Pepper laughed. “Oh you know him, always staying up late in the lab. I’m making him sleep in a little so he isn’t exhausted when every body gets here later today.”

Peter was kind of sad to hear that because he was wanting to see Tony so he just said “Okay.”

He brought his waffles to the table and talked to Thor, Nat, and Wanda for a bit. They talked for about an hour and Peter learned that Hawkeye’s name was Clint Barton and Ant Man’s name was Scott Lang. He was anxious to properly meet them.

They would be coming in earlier today than Shuri and T’Challa. Around one of Peter remembered Tony correctly.

Peter was desperate to kill time. It was just after nine in the morning and he had seven hours until Shuri would be there.

He would have gone patrolling to pass the time but Tony had asked that he stay in today because if all that was going on. Deep down Peter didn’t like it, he didn’t agree with it, but he accepted it.

The rest of the day was impossibly slow. He played ping pong with Wanda and watched a movie until finally FRIDAY alerted everyone that the jet was fifteen minutes out.

That’s when Peter finally saw Tony. “Hey kid. Excited to meet everyone?”

“Yeah. And a little nervous.”

Tony put his hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Don’t be. Both Clint and Scott are good guys. You’ll like them.”

“If you say so.” Peter said in a voice that somewhat lacked confidence.

They heard the jet approach. They all went out to the platform to greet them. Clint walked right up to Nat and Wanda and have them both huge hugs. He gave Steve and Sam hugs as well. He walked up to Tony and Peter. 

“Hey Tony. Everything good?” He said as he shook Tony’s hand.

“Yeah Clint we’re good. No hard feelings?”

“Nope. I’m past that. Also I’m kind of upset I didn’t get a crack at that big rasin myself.”

Peter laughed at that drawing Clint’s attention back to him. “Who’s this?” 

“This is Peter Parker.” Tony said. “Spider-Man.”

Clint looked surprised. “You’re Spider-Man? I’m impressed.” Clint said.

“Thanks.” Peter said.

“No hard feelings about Germany right?”

“No but I’m sorry for shooting a web right in your face.”

Clint laughed. “Don’t be kid, that was a hell of a shot. Maybe I’ll teach you to shoot a bow while I’m here?” 

“Awesome!” 

“God Kid you’re actually gonna give me a heart attack.” Tony said laughing.

“Ah come on Tony. He’d be fine, especially if I’m teaching him.”

“Whatever. But I want you both to come back with the same amount of holes in your body as you had when you began.” 

Both Peter and Clint laughed. Clint was actually pretty cool. Peter could see why him and Nat were such good friends.

Scott walked up to Peter and introduced himself. “Hey kid I’m Scott Lang. Ant Man.  They tell me you’re the Spider-Man.”

“Yep that’s me. I’m Peter Parker.” 

Scott shook his hand. “Glad to meet you Peter. Nice to have another insect named hero.”

“For real.” Peter said agreeing. 

“So do you like control spiders?” Scott asked Peter.

“Well do you like control ants?” 

“Actually yeah. I can call on them to help me.”

Peter was caught off guard. He was pretty sure if he could control spiders then the crime rate of the city would drop to zero.

“Well that’s cool! But no I don’t control spiders. Even though that actually sounds pretty cool.”

Peter hung out with everybody and anxiously waited for Shuri to get there. Peter about died of relief when FRIDAY announced that the Wakandan jet was arriving. 

He ran to the bathroom to make sure he looked alright and that his clothes weren’t messed up. He ran to catch up with Tony and the rest of the Avengers. 

They walked out and the jet landed on the platform near the Quinjet that dropped off Clint and Scott. 

The doors open and the platform slid down. Peter saw Shuri and smiled. Her hair was done up nicely and Peter couldn’t deny how pretty she looked. 

T’Challa walked off first distracting everyone and Shuri move through the people right to Peter and gave him a huge hug which he happily returned. 

Shuri was absolutely giddy. “Oh my God Peter I missed you so much!” She said.

Peter had really missed her too even thought it had only been like three weeks. “I missed you too! Tony said we’re not going to the meeting since we’re so young and I kind of have a secret identity so we can go explore the city all day tomorrow!” 

“That sounds amazing!” Shuri said.

“I can’t wait to show you the Tower! The lab is not quite as advanced as yours but it’s got almost everything!”

Peter and Shuri talked for a while until everybody else had caught up and they went inside the Tower. 

Peter gave Shuri the tour of the Tower which took about two hours. After that, they made their way up to the penthouse for dinner. They were having pizza again but that was his favorite so Peter wasn’t complaining.

After dinner Peter and Shuri spent the rest of the night hanging out together. They played pool, ping pong, and a lot of Mario Kart. Wanda played Mario Kart with them too. 

They watched Vines after that and explained the concept to Wanda, who began to find them funny as well.

Peter was pretty sure this was peak happiness. How could it possibly get better?

***

The next morning Peter woke up ready for the day. He got up and took a shower, then put on some nicer clothes so he’d look good for the day. 

When he was down he knocked on Shuri’s door right across the hall. She opened it up and was ready for the day as well. 

“You look nice.” Peter said with a hint of nervousness. 

“Thanks. So do you!” Shuri said smiling.

They walked down the hall to the elevator and went to the penthouse for breakfast. 

Everybody was awake and getting ready. It would be a big day. It would kind of decide the fate of half of the Avengers team. Tony had told Peter not to worry though, he was pretty confident everything would be alright. 

At ten, the jet landed to take them to the UN. Peter and Shuri saw them off then went down to the lobby and out to start the day. 

They went to the top of Empire State, the top of Freedom Tower, and to Grand Central Station. While it Wanda Wakanda, Shuri definitely thought New York was a beautiful city. 

When they got back that night, Shuri had bought three souvenir T-shirts and Peter had gotten three that matched. It made them look like total dorks but they didn’t care. 

Tomorrow they were going to meet Ned and MJ at the mall. 

When they got home Tony informed them that’s the Avengers had been pardoned. 

They spent the night hanging out again and it became harder and harder ore everyone not to notice how close they were. 

They liked each other. Big deal. Maybe they hadn’t known each other long but they became best friends right away. Peter felt like he’d known her for years.

The next day at the mall Ned totally freaked out at the fact that he was meeting the Princess of Wakanda. MJ sort of fangirled too which was very uncommon. Shuri hit it off with them right away. 

Shuri got up and MJ being MJ had to ask something obnoxious. “So when are you two getting together?” 

Peter was surprised. “What? No no no no no, we’re just friends.” 

“Come on Peter. We can see the way she looks at you, the way you look at her. It’s obvious.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “If you say so.”

***

The next day was sadly Shuri and T’Challa’s last day. Peter and Shuri spent the whole day together like they had the last couple. That day they went to Coney Island. 

They honestly had the time of their lives. When they got back that night, Peter took Shuri onto the roof, insisting that she got a full view of New York at night. 

They sat on the edge of the building, their legs swinging over the side, as they took in the view. Peter had his web shooters equipped just to be safe. 

“I’m so sad I have to leave tomorrow. New York is truly an amazing place.”

“I thought you’d like it. It’s not Wakanda but it’s special in its own kind of way.”

There was some silence as they overlooked the city. 

“Shuri can I ask you something?” 

“Sure Spider Boy.”

“We’ve had a really good time together the last few days. And I really like being around you. Are we becoming really good friends or-“

Peter was cut off by Shuri giving him a kiss. She smiled and blushed. He did too. 

“Well I guess that answers that.” He said. God he felt like such a dork. 

Shuri gave him another quick kiss. She really liked him and he really liked her.

After sitting on the roof a while longer they went back down to the penthouse. Peter sort of thought it would be awkward afterwards but it wasn’t. They liked each other so it wasn’t a big deal.

They grabbed the attention of T’Challa and Tony. “Hey where were you guys?” Tony asked. He wasn’t upset, just curious. 

“On the roof.” Peter said quickly. “I wanted Shuri to see the whole city at night before they had to leave.”

“Well actually we wanted to talk to you about that.” Tony said.

T’Challa stood up. “I believe Shuri being here has done a lot of good for her. Being in a new environment is always good for somebody. I’d like to let her stay here for the summer. It’ll be a good experience.”

Peter couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Neither could Shuri. 

“Yep.” Tony said. “That room you stayed in will be your room for the next two and a half months. Sound alright?” 

“It’s perfect Stark. Thank you.” 

They went down to their rooms later.

“Okay we can’t tell Stark we’re dating alright?”

“Is that what we are?” Pete asked surprised.

“Peter please. Focus.” 

“Sorry, sorry.” He cleared his throat. “But I agree. T’Challa will not want you to stay if he knows about us.”

“Okay well honestly he knew I liked you but I don’t think he expects us to get together and I guess he assumed it wasn’t  a big deal because we live so far away.”

“Okay then we keep it a secret.”

“Okay.” 

Pete gave Shuri a hug and then went to put on his suit to get back to the apartment. He hadn’t stayed there in almost a week. 

He swung home and hopped through his window. He said goodnight to May and got in bed. That night, Peter went to sleep happier than he’d ever been.

Chapter Text

The next month and a half is what Peter would look back on one day and call the best of his life. Really that whole summer.

He was dating Shuri and they went out fairly often. They disguised it from everyone by just acting like friends in front of the others. No holding hands, hugging, and definitely no kissing. At least not in public. 

They also had self control and weren’t going to do something stupid like have sex. They weren’t going to screw up their lives at such a young age. And honestly, they were both fine with that.

They spent time in the lab, the screening room, or rec room when they were in the Tower. As for outside, well, New York was full of things to do. 

As that month and a half passed, it became mid July. The days were long and hot, so Peter and Shuri spent a lot of the day indoors. 

Shuri had some of her lab equipment shipped to the Tower so she could work. She was finally successful on the Kimoyo Bead upgrade. 

Wanda would hang out with Peter and Shuri too. While the loss of Vision still bothered her, Wanda was definitely doing much better. The kids, whether they realized or not, were really helping her through the hard time. 

With the Avengers all pardoned for their “crimes” the Tower constantly felt like a family get together. Clint went back home but still visited sometimes. Scott had gone back to his family as well. Nobody knew if he planned to come back to the Tower or not. But Tony was happier than he’d ever been. Both Pepper and Peter had noticed that. They were glad, Tony deserved happiness. 

Peter still spent a good amount of time at the apartment with May, too. She was working more and more so he made sure to be there when she had some time off.

Right now, Peter was about to go to sleep. He was trying to sleep but kept remembering all of the crazy things that had happened that summer. 

Little did he know, things were going to get even crazier. 

***

The next day was hotter than ever. July was always like that. Peter couldn’t wait until October or November when it cooled down. The only downside was that he would be back in school. 

The morning had been a pretty slow one. It was a lazy summer day for all the Avengers. Wanda, Thor, Steve, and Bucky were reading in the main room. Thor mostly read about world history, he wanted to be educated about Midguardian culture if he was going to live there. 

Sam and Rhodey were watching a movie with Nat and Pepper. Tony was up in his lab with Bruce and Peter and Shuri were goofing off in the rec room playing a made up version of ping pong. The rules were simple; don’t let the ball stop moving.

“I got it!” Peter shouted as he dove down to hit it back on the table.

Shuri got it back over to his side as he jumped up and barely managed to hit it back. 

Eventually, Peter didn’t quite move fast enough, and the ball stopped on the rug. 

“Yes!” Shuri shouted.

“Dang it. How’d you do that?” Peter asked.

“Simple. Outwit your spidey sense.” 

“I can’t understand how How figure stuff out so fast.”

“You’ll catch on.” Shuri said with a wink. 

“Okay, I want a rematch. And this time, I’m not letting you win.” Peter said.

Shuri rolled her eyes. “Is that how you’re defending that pathetic loss?” 

Peter shook his head yes with a smile. 

“If it helps you sleep at night.” She said. 

They played another round and Peter lost again. He accepted it this time and they decided to find something else to do. 

As much as he loved being with Shuri, it had kept him from being Spider-Man. Not a lot, but enough that Peter felt he needed to do more. Taking care of the city felt like his responsibility.

They went up to the lab. Peter said it was to work on one of the projects he and Tony had started, but was hoping Shuri would get distracted and he could go patrol. It’s not like she would care if he went right now, he just didn’t want to be rude and leave her with nothing to do. He was a softie like that. 

“Hey kids.” Tony said as they walked into the lab. They could tell he was hard at work on something.

“Hey Tony.” Peter said. “Whatcha working on?”

“That reactor. I know we can make it run in a more efficient way, I just can’t figure out how.” Tony was visibly frustrated at his work.

“Well maybe Shuri could help?” Peter suggested.

Shuri seemed to like the idea as well. “Yeah let me take a look. No promises but maybe we can figure something out?”

“Alright, it’s worth a shot.” Tony said.

Peter left the lab to Tony and Shuri, who were instantly so focused on their work that they didn’t notice him leave. 

He went down to his room quickly and put on his suit. He pushed the spider logo on his chest and the suit became skin-tight. 

He opened the window and hopped out of the Tower, firing a web to close the window behind him.

Even with the air flying past him, the day was miserably hot. He knew he wouldn’t be staying out long.

While the suit also had some air conditioning just like it had a heater, it couldn’t quite outmatch the summer heat. 

That summer had been unusually hot and everybody was anxiously waiting for the day it finally began to cool down. 

Peter sat perched on the edge of a fairly high building, waiting in case something were to go wrong.

No sirens, screams, cries for help, or anything.

Maybe the heat is keeping all the criminals inside too. I don’t blame them.  

Peter decided to swing back to the Tower. It had been a couple very uneventful hours so there was no reason to stay out.

He swung back inside, took his suit off, and took a shower. The heat made him feel sticky and grimy with sweat so the shower felt amazing. 

When he got out it was beginning to get dark. He decided to put on a T-shirt and a pair of pajama pants for the night.  

He went upstairs for dinner. He always had to take in the view of the setting sun in the penthouse. The sunlight casted bright orange light all through the large room and the windows gave the perfect view of the sunset. It was truly beautiful.

Peter stopped gawking at the sight of the sunset and headed to kitchen for dinner. They were having spaghetti. Peter ate and talked with everyone like any other night. 

Everyone went to the screening room where they watched a couple movies as usual. After that most of the Avengers headed to bed. 

Peter and Shuri waited until the coast was clear to say goodnight. 

Shuri gave Peter a kiss. “Night Spider Boy.” Shuri always insisted on calling him that. 

“Night Shuri.” 

They broke away from the kiss and went to bed. 

***

The next morning Clint flew back in to visit everyone for a few days. Peter was especially excited since he had said he’d teach Peter to shoot. Tony wasn’t exactly happy about that, but he trusted Clint enough.

When he got there, he went down to the training room with Peter and Tony.

The training room was awesome. It was in the basement of the Tower and was basically a glorified gym, with any equipment you’d need for weight lifting, but also skills training. It was an absolutely massive area. There was a pool, boxing ring, football/soccer field, gun and archery range, and a area to train with knives and other weapons.

Peter had been there only twice. It was a sight to behold every time.

“Okay kid.” Clint said. “Let’s go to the range and get you a bow.”

Peter grabbed a right-handed bow and Clint showed him how the quiver should rest on his back. Tony watched anxiously from behind them. 

“You guys better be careful.” Tony said.

“Tony the kids fine. I’m the best archer in the world.” 

Peter turned and gave Tony a wink. He was excited, he’d never shot a bow before.

“Okay Peter, watch me first to make sure you know what you’re doing. While it may not be the most modern weapon, it can still be just as dangerous as a gun.”

Peter nodded.

“Okay so you reach back to the quiver and grab the arrow by the knock which is where it clicks into the string. Like this.”

Clint snagged an arrow from his quiver and had it loaded instantly. It was impressively fast. 

“Now put your fingers on the string right next to the arrow. One finger above the knock, two fingers below.”

Clint pulled back on the string and listened to the satisfying sound of the arrow sliding against the bow. He fired quickly as the arrow whistled down range and hit the target dead center. Another quickly followed.

“Wow!” Peter said impressed. “Can I try now?”

“Sure thing kid. Just remember what I said.”

“Okay.” 

Peter pulled an arrow from his quiver and connected it to the string. He wasn’t as graceful as Clint had been, but he did pretty good for a starter.

He pulled back on the string and aimed down range. He took a deep breath and let the arrow fly as he breathed out. 

The arrow flew down range and hit the target. It wasn’t dead center but it was pretty close. It was a great shot for his first time.

“Good job kid!” Tony said from behind them. 

“Tony’s right. That’s impressive for you’re first shot. Go again.”

Peter hit another pretty good shot. He spent the next hour shooting and really got the hang of it. 

By the time the hour was up, he was able to load the bow as fast as Clint, he just wasn’t quite as accurate yet.

“Kid I’m impressed, you catch on quick.”

“Thanks!” Peter said happily.

As they were about to leave, Thor came down with Natasha. He was holding Stormbreaker, the weapon that killed Thanos. Peter was positive it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen in his whole life. 

“Hey Clint!” Natasha said. “How’d the Spider kid shoot?”

“Really well for his first time. He may have to change his superhero name.” Clint said with a wink.

“No. No.” Tony said. “Peter is not becoming an archer, he’s Spider-Man!”

“I agree with Tony.” Peter said. “Being Spider-Man is too fun to give up.”

“Suit yourself.” Clint said. He walked back to the range and kept shooting. 

Nat went into the gun range to practice. Peter wanted to go to but Tony really don’t want him around guns. Tony could be such a dad sometimes.

Peter did go watch Thor throw his axe. He had a special target set up for it in another long range. Peter was always amazed when the axe flew right back into Thor’s hand after he threw it.

Peter wondered if he could lift it. He figured probably not. Nobody else had been able to lift the hammer. Why would this be any different? 

Peter was determined to find out though. He didn’t want to seem childish so he waited until Thor was done and hung the axe on its spot on the rack. It hung with the blade sitting in a special spot so the back end was sticking out. It was easier for Thor to call for it that way. 

As Thor went back up, Peter snuck over to the rack. It was surprisingly low for somebody as tall as Thor. 

Peter put ran his hand over the smooth handle of the axe. He gave it a firm grip and pulled.

That was the last thing Peter remembered.

***

When he came to some time later, he was in one of the hospital beds in the medical facility in the building. 

He opened his eyes to see a very worried looking group of Avengers. Thor looked almost distraught. 

“Ugh. My head.” Peter said as he sat up. He put his hand to his forehead. 

“Oh thank God.” Tony said hugging Peter. 

“Mr. Stark? What happened?”

Tony gave a light laugh. “You tried to life Thor’s axe.”

“Did it work?” 

“Kid it worked so well you knocked yourself out.” Tony said.

“He also has a moderate concussion.” FRIDAY chimed in.

“Really? It worked?” 

Thor explained. “Peter this weapon does not require worthiness, but it does require a great deal of strength. It must’ve been like lifting a feather for you if it hit you that hard. I jut wish you’d have asked so you didn’t get hurt.”

“I’m sorry. But don’t worry Thor, I’ll be fine.” Peter felt a jolt of pain in his head. He winced hard.

“Yeah that’s gonna hurt for a week or so.” Tony said. “We’ll leave you alone to rest.”

“Can I at least go back to my room?”

“Sure buddy.”

Peter slowly and lazily made his way to his room. He’d never had a headache so bad. Everything felt weird and he was dizzy. He eventually made his way to the floor with their rooms and slowly walked down the hall. 

Shuri happened to walk out of her room across the hall from his and noticed him. “Peter! Are you doing better? I told Stark to tell me when you woke up!” 

“I’m fine. Just tired. Head hurts really bad.”

“Oh I’m sorry. Why don’t you get some rest?” She suggested. 

“That’s the plan.” He said with a little laugh. He winced again. Even laughing hurt a little bit.

“I’m serious. Get some sleep.” Shuri said. She leaned in to give him a kiss.

With all that was going on, they hadn’t exactly been paying attention when the elevator slid open down the hall.

They heard a gasp. “What the hell?”

Chapter Text

Tony watched as Peter left the medical room and headed to his actual room to rest. He’d have to call May and explain what happened.

He walked out of the room a few minutes later and decided to go check on Peter. He was going to have him worried all night. Wanda and Shuri had rooms right next to him though, he’d just have them keep an extra eye on Peter.

Speaking of Wanda, Tony saw her heading back up the penthouse. “Hey, Wanda?”

“Yeah?”

“Could you keep an extra eye on Peter tonight? He should be fine but the more people looking out the better.”

“I will. In fact I’ll go check on him right now.”

“I’ll go too.”

They got on the elevator and went up to everybody’s rooms. They walked off and were greeted with a strange sight. Peter and Shuri were kissing.

“What the hell?” Tony said.

***

Shuri gasped and pulled way from Peter quick.

“Stark! It’s not what you think!” Shuri defended.

“It’s really not!” Peter said.

Tony glared at them. Then his face softened and he laughed.

Shuri, Peter, and Wanda all exchanged confused glances at Tony’s reaction.

“Tony? What’s so funny?” Peter asked.

“I just can’t believe how blind I was to not realize. It’s so obvious now.”

Wanda stepped in too. “I have to admit, now that I’ve seen it, it’s hard to believe I didn’t notice it.”

“So are we in trouble or...?” Peter asked.

“Of course not! You’re two kids who have feeling for each other. Have fun. But be smart. And you know what I mean by that.” Tony said.

“Thank you Stark.” Shuri said.

“No problem. But I’ll have to tell T’Challa, he’s been betting on this since you two met.”

“What?” Shuri asked.

“Yeah, he was pretty sure that you guys would get together if you stayed.”

“So he wouldn’t be mad and make me go back home?”

“Absolutely not.”

Shuri and Peter both let out sighs of relief. The fact that they didn’t have to keep this a secret anymore was such a weight off their shoulders.

Peter went to his room to get some rest. Wanda went to Shuri’s room with her to talk.

“So. Let’s be real.” Wanda started. “Peter is a cute kid, and he’s a good kid. Probably the best that I’ve ever met. So just please tell me you have good intentions with him.”

“Of course!” Shuri said. “Peter is the sweetest and most adorable person I’ve ever met. Trust me, my intentions are good.”

“Okay.” Wanda said. “Sorry, it’s just that literally everybody loves him and he’s like my little brother. I just want what’s best for him. And it seems like you are.”

Shuri smiled. “Thanks Wanda.”

“One last thing. Both of you please be responsible. Don’t do anything stupid.”

“Wanda, trust me. Me and peter aren’t going to do any of that. We talked about it. Neither one of us is ready for that and we don’t want to screw up our lives so young.”

“Okay. I trust you guys. I’m actually really excited for you.”

“Me too!”

The girls talked for a while longer while Peter got some sleep. The next day he and Tony talked and had a similar conversation to the one Wanda and Shuri had the night before.

All of the Avengers heard the news and were happy as well. Peter and Shuri were definitely glad they didn’t have to hide it anymore.

The summer went on. Everyday was a new adventure for Peter. He had never had such a great time in his life.

The long, hot summer days began to grow shorter and cooler as school started back up.

Shuri and T’Challa both moved into the Tower since they could be in Wakanda in two hours if there was a desperate situation. The Avengers were a complete family.

Finally, Halloween rolled around. Being the pranksters that they are, Peter and Shuri had their biggest prank ever planned for Halloween. The prank targets were Steve and Tony.

The idea was simple. Shuri hacked the Tower so that every so often, the lights would go dark for about ten seconds, and one person would disappear from the room. They knew it would scare the crap out of them both.

All of the Avengers were in on it and knew when they had to disappear. But for now everybody was having a good time at the party. The costume theme this year was interesting; they all dressed up as Spider-Man.

Peter went up to the penthouse in his Spider-Man suit. When he got up, he was surprised to see how well everybody else had dressed for the theme, they all looked like him.

The whole place was decked out in Halloween decorations.

Wanda came up to Peter to let him know how she planned to help them pull off the prank. Everyone had a part to play.

“Hey, Peter. So the plan for now is to have us start disappearing after dinner when it’s clam.”

“Okay. Do you really think everyone can pull it off? Everybody’s reactions will have to be perfect.”

“Yeah I think it’ll work.”

“Okay. Hey have you seen Shuri?”

“She’s in her room with Nat, they’re putting the finishing touches on their suits.”

“Naturally they’d go all extra for this.”

“I’d expect nothing less at this point. They better hurry though, dinner is soon.”

Peter went to the kitchen where every other Avenger was dressed as Spider-Man. Everybody had a pretty good costume.

Pepper and Tony were making soup for dinner. It was a specialty in the colder months.

Peter heard the elevator doors open, and turned to see Shuri and Nat walk off.

Shuri’s suit was almost an exact replica of Peter’s.

“Whoa, Shuri that’s awesome!”

“I know! It took forever to get it to look just like yours, but it was worth it!”

“What did you add to it?” Peter asked. He figured she’d have added some kind of technological advancement to it

Shuri gave a him a look. “Peter do you really think I’m that predictable? Maybe his time I just left it normal?”

Peter raised a suspicious eyebrow at her.

Shuri smiled. “Ugh fine you’re right! But check this out!”

She put her hands on the wall and they stuck exactly like Peter’s.

“How did you do that?” Peter asked amazed.

“Well it wasn’t easy, and it doesn’t work even close to your powers, but it’s something.”

Peter jumped onto the ceiling. “Can you do this?”

Shuri shook her head. She almost looked sad. “No. It’s not reliable enough.”

Peter jumped down. He put a comforting hand on her shoulder. He knew very well by now that Shuri wasn’t easily discourage but she was always a little sad when she failed.

“Show off.” She joked.

“Hey. The prank is all set up. I talked to Wanda a few minutes ago. We’re gonna scare the crap out of Tony and Steve!” Peter said a little loudly. Luckily they didn’t hear.

Shuri put her hand over Peters mouth. “Shhh! Peter!” She whisper shouted.

“Right, right. Sorry”

They went toward the kitchen and saw all the Avengers were up and getting food. The soup smelled amazing. But Pepper was cooking, so that was no surprise.

Peter grabbed a big bowl and filled it up. He took it over to the table. His heart began to beat fast in anticipation. Shuri just had to give him the look and he’d press the button that turned the lights off.

Everybody began to finish their food and just talked at the table like normal. Making dumb jokes or laughing at something that happened earlier.

Shuri finally gave Peter the look. Everyone knew what to do when the lights went out. Sam volunteered to be the first to go. When the lights went out, he had to get to the panic room quick.

Even the Tower had a panic room. You never knew what could happen. It was really big too, so everyone would fit.

After Shuri gave Peter the look, he pressed the button on his suit. The lights went dark.

He heard a few mutters of “what the hell?” And the lights came back on.

Sam was next to Bucky before, so he needed to have the first reaction. He was surprisingly good.

“Uh... Guys? Where’s Sam?”

“What do you mean?” Steve asked.

“I mean he was right next to me before the the lights went out and now he’s gone!” Bucky said.

“That’s impossible.” Tony said.

“This makes no sense.” Peter agreed. He pushed the button again. Bruce was ditching this time.

The lights went out and came back on.

Pepper let out a gasp. “Where’s Bruce?”

“What?” Tony said. “What’s happening?”

There were all kinds out shouts and ideas flowing across the room. Everybody kept the act up great. Tony and Steve were definitely confused.

They all got up and stared looking around the penthouse.

“Sam! Bruce! Where are you guys?” Tony called.

It took all of everybody else’s willpower to keep from laughing.

Peter continued to flip the lights off as everybody kept going to hide in the panic room.

It came down to Tony, Steve, Peter, Pepper, Shuri, and T’Challa. T’Challa was the next one to disappear.

Peter cut the power and T’Challa quickly got away from everybody and ran to the panic room. The lights came back on and Shuri screamed.

“T’Challa! Where’d he go? T’Challa! T’Challa!” Peter and Pepper admired how well Shuri could act.

Shuri even began to cry which was a whole new level of acting. She turned to Peter and hugged him. He pulled her close.

“Okay what the hell?” Steve said. “Everyone is disappearing one by one. Do you think we’re under attack?”

“I don’t know. This is the weirdest way to attack us that I can think of.”

“Tony none of this makes sense.” Pepper said. “Who could be out to get us?”

Tony hugged Pepper. “I don’t know. But all of us have to stick together. Everybody join hands.”

Peter got nervous. It would be hard to disappear from the room if they were all so close.

They all joined hands per Tony’s request and waited. Shuri was next to go. Peter pushed the button on his suit and the lights went out.

Shuri ran to the panic room.

“How bad are they panicking?” Nat asked when Shuri arrived.

Shuri laughed. “They’re holding together now, but when Pepper or Peter disappears, Tony will lose it.”

Back at the penthouse, Peter was freaking out about Shuri’s fake disappearance.

“Kid. Clam down, were gonna figure this out.” Tony said.

“But-but she was right here! And she just vanished.”

Tony walked toward him when Peter hit he button and he ran off.

It left just Pepper, Steve, and Tony.

“Oh my God, Pepper! The kid is gone! Holy shit he’s gone!”

Steve was even freaking out at this point. “Tony it’s fine everything will be fine.” Steve tried to convince himself. It wasn’t working.

Peter hit the lights and Pepper left the room quickly and got to the panic room.

“Okay guys we might want to give this up soon. Tony and Steve are actually freaking out.” Pepper said.

“I almost feel bad.” Peter said.

“But this prank is legendary.” Shuri said.

“Okay. We give them five minutes then we give it up.” Clint said.

Everybody agreed.

Tony and Steve were panicking now.

“Oh my God. It’s just us, what do we do?” Steve said.

“I don’t know. This is crazy! It’s not even possible.” Tony said.

“Why are we the last two?” Steve asked. “What happens when we’re all gone?”

Tony didn’t answer, he just started ranting. “Oh my God. Sam, Bruce, Thor, Bucky, Wanda, Nat, Clint, Peter, Pepper, Shuri. Everybody!”

“Tony just calm down.” Steve said. He put his hand on Tony’s shoulder.

The lights went out again. All over the Tower. The emergency lighting was all that was left. It didn’t help very much but it was something. In the panic room, all eyes fell on Peter.

Peter shrugged. “I didn’t do that. I don’t know what’s happening.”

“FRIDAY pull up the camera feed in the main room of the penthouse.”

“On it.” FRIDAY replied.

The screen in the panic room turned on. Steve and Tony were nowhere to be seen.

“Where’d they go?” Thor asked.

“They’re gone.” Wanda said.

“FRIDAY pull up all cameras in the Tower.”

The other screen in the panic room also turned on an each was split into multiple sections. The security footage popped up.

“They’re not here.” Bruce said.

“FRIDAY location of Tony and Steve.” Nat said.

“Mister Stark and Mister Rogers are not in the Tower.”

FRIDAY’s voice sounded strange. It was deeper and sounded almost demonic.

“FRIDAY what’s wrong?” Peter asked.

“Nothing. My plan is going great.”

“Plan?” Everybody asked at once.

“The annihilation of the human race.”

“Oh shit it’s another superbot!” Bruce said.

Everyone ran out of the panic room and to the windows. They were blocked and the whole Tower was under security lockdown.

“I’m sorry it had to be this way.” FRIDAY said.

Everyone was in a panic and was grabbing their gear to fight. Thor summoned Stormbreaker and Wanda’s eyes began to glow red.

Suddenly they heard laughter. All around them playing through FRIDAY. It was hysterical and carried on for a while. Peter began to recognize it. Tony.

The elevator doors slid open and the lights came back on.

“HAPPY HALLOWEEN!” Tony and Steve shouted.

“What the hell?”

Everybody crowded them and asked them a million questions.

Tony got everyone to settle down. “Steve care to explain our prank to everyone?”

“So a few days ago Tony and I overheard you all talking about a prank. So we got all the information and decided we’d play along while pulling off a prank of our own.”

“By the looks of it, it worked.” Tony said. “And while I’m at it, I think we could all be hella good actors and actresses one day!”

The Avengers looked extremely mad at Tony and Steve. They had just disappeared, Steve and Tony made them all think the world was ending.

Shuri stepped forward and Steven and Tomy took a step back, expecting her to lash out. “Steve, Stark. We only have one thing to say to you. That. Was. AWESOME!”

All the Avengers started laughing and gave them credit for pulling off such a good prank. Shuri even took notes so she could come up with a prank like that in the future.

They made their way to the screening room where they spent the rest of the night watching scary movies.

Shuri and Peter sat together. She leaned her head on his shoulder and he put his arm around her. They were all warm and cozy cuddled up together.

Peter stayed up far later than he should have on a school night, but it was worth it. No doubt, it was the best Halloween ever.

Chapter Text

A couple days later and it was Friday afternoon. Peter was sitting in his last period class dying to leave and go to the Tower. He had a date with Shuri that night.

Of course Ned and MJ were the only people who knew he and Shuri were a thing. Over the summer MJ has also told Peter she knew he was Spider-Man, it all added up too well. 

He was excited though, he and Shuri had been together for five months and he was still as excited as ever to spend time with her. 

The bell finally rang and Peter packed his backpack with the books he’d need for the weekend. He walked out with Ned and MJ.

“So where’s your date tonight?” MJ asked.

“Shuri and I are going for dinner. Then probably for a nice walk in the park. She loves being outside this time of year since it’s cold now and it’s always hot in Wakanda. Can you believe she has only seen snow a few time in her life?” 

Ned and MJ both smiled at how Peter ranted about Shuri. It was really cute.

MJ couldn’t deny the fact that she’d had a crush on Peter in the past. But Peter was happy now, and she wasn’t going to cause a problem and get in the way.

“Sounds like fun.” MJ said.

“So she probably doesn’t know now Wha what it’s  like to walk to the subway through the snow?” Ned asked.

“Probably not” Peter said.

“Lucky.” Ned said. “Feel free to tell her it’s not all fun and games.”

Peter laughed remembering the time last year that he and Ned had walked four blocks through the snow to get back to the apartment. They basically froze to death and their shoes had been soaked from the melted snow.

They all split off and went their separate ways. Peter anxiously waited throughout the ten minute ride to the Tower. He was excited, so naturally it felt longer. He wondered what Shuri had been up to all day.

***

Shuri was excited. It had been a long day waiting for Peter to get off school for their date that night. 

She’s spent time working in the lab on a project with Tony. She practiced her fighting techniques in the training room with Nat, Bucky, Steve, and Thor. And she’d watched vines and played Mario Kart with Wanda.

Despite all that, the day had seemed to last an incredibly long time. She just wanted to see her boyfriend. 

She really liked Peter. He was such an adorable little dork and she didn’t understand how every girl wasn’t lining up to date him. Not that she was complaining though. She was the one lucky enough to have him.

She was currently sitting in her bathroom with Wanda and they chatted while Shuri got ready for her date. 

Wanda was helping Shuri paint her fingernails. Being right handed, she always struggled when she had to hold the brush in her left hand. Needless to say, Wanda was willing to help Shuri out.

To both Peter and Shuri, Wanda was like an older sister. Always there for them no matter what. And when the increasingly rare night when Wanda had nightmares from Thanos or just felt lonely, Peter and Shuri were always there for her too.

Shuri’s phone alarm went off. 2:45. Peter would be leaving school now. She couldn’t wait to see him.

“Okay...done.” Wanda said. She leaned back to admire her work with Shuri’s nails.

Shuri smiled. “Thank you Wanda!” She gave her a hug. Wanda returned it. 

“You’re welcome. Now let’s pick out an outfit.”

They went through Shuri’s wardrobe and finally found an outfit. Shuri got dressed and touched up her makeup. 

She looked at herself in the mirror. She looked great. 

“You look great Shuri. I’m sure Peter is here by now. Why don’t you go find him?” Wanda said.

Shuri and Wanda left her room and made their way up to the penthouse. The elevator doors slid open and they stepped off. 

Peter was standing in the kitchen with Tony and Pepper. His hair was nicely done, he was wearing an incredibly fancy outfit that he must have borrowed from Tony and nice new sneakers to tie the whole outfit together. 

Shuri had to admire how adorable he looked. He turned to her and his heart melted.

My girlfriend is the cutest, most adorable person ever. Peter thought. 

Peter was also holding a bouquet of flowers. 

Peter shyly gave them to Shuri. “These are for you.” He said with a shy smile.

Shuri blushed and sniffed them. “They smell wonderful Peter. And they’re beautiful. Thank you.” She gave him a hug and kissed him on the cheek. 

“Oh get a room.” T’Challa said as he walked in.

Tony and Pepper laughed while Peter and Shuri rolled their eyes.

“You act like this is our first date brother.” Shuri said.

“Just joking. You guys have fun.” T’Challa said.

“And be back by eleven.” Tony added.

“We will.” Peter and Shuri said in unison. 

The doors to the elevator shut and they were off.

They walked out of the main door and into the cold night. It had been a little colder than normal for November in New York this year but Peter didn’t mind. Especially since Shuri loved the change from the heat.

They walked a block to the restaurant they were going to eat at. 

It was a very fancy place that Tony had said they should go to. Peter was surprised when they were seated immediately. 

Peter looked at Shuri across the table. “You look absolutely amazing, Shuri.”

Shuri blushed. “You look great too.”

The waiter came over to get their order and the conversation steered onto the project Shuri was currently working on.

“So using the nanotech that Stark has, I’ve managed to perfect my vibranium panther gauntlets. They take the form of a basic wristwatch and all I have to do is tap on it twice for them to take form!”

“That’s amazing! How long have you been working on them?”

“Longer than I care to admit but they do work. I tested them in the training room. Later you should try to shoot them.”

“That would be awesome!” Peter said.

They finished their dinner and headed out into the cold night again. They walked hand in hand through a nearby park, taking in the scenery of the lamps casting shadows on the beautifully colored trees.

They laughed and talked when suddenly, a few white flakes floated into Peter’s view. 

Shuri looked to Peter and her face lit up. She held her hand out. “It’s always so beautiful” She said innocently. 

Peter smiled wide and nodded his head. “Where would you have seen snow in Wakanda?” Peter asked.

”The Jabari Tribe. They live in the mountains. They had pretty much isolated themselves there until a couple years back. I’ve only been there a few times.”

Peter nodded. While he’d been to Wakanda before, he hadn’t really left the palace. The rest of Wakanda was a mystery to him.

The snow began to fall harder and Shuri looked up at it. “It’s even more beautiful now.”

Peter smiled at Shuri’s adorable reaction. The lights in the park, mixed with the snow made for the perfect moment. Shuri pulled Peter close and kissed him. 

Peter blushed afterwards. 

They spent a while longer in the park and when they got cold enough, they started walking back home.

It was about five blocks and Peter was freezing, but Shuri was happy and enjoying the snow, so he was happy too.

They passed by Starbucks and each got a cup of hot chocolate. They held their drinks in one hand, and each other’s hands in the other.

After a couple blocks, they turned onto the street where the Tower was front and center. They were only three blocks away.

Peter was so happy being with Shuri he almost didn’t notice when his Spider sense went off. 

It was like a loud scream. He knew there was imminent danger.

“Shuri duck!” 

A knife whizzed past Shuri, narrowly missing her head, and landed in the alley behind them.

Peter grabbed her and they headed behind a dumpster in the alley for cover. There were five masked men trapping them in the alley.

“Shuri are you okay?” Peter asked frantically.

Shuri was a bit shocked, but she was fine. “I’m okay. But these people won’t stop.”

Peter nodded. He flicked the switches on his wrist and his web shooters formed. He pulled a his mask from his pocket.

Shuri started to stand up from behind the dumpster, but Peter caught her wrist. “What’re you doing?” He whisper shouted.

Shuri looked him right in they eyes. “Trust me,” she said.

He nodded. Shuri stepped out and tapped the watch she was wearing. Suddenly the gauntlets she’d used to fight off Killmonger took form and she blasted a blue beam at their attackers.

The man went flying back and Peter fired a couple webs at him so he’d be stuck to the ground. 

Shuri kept firing at them. A few had guns and fired back. 

Peter swung and kicked another person away hard. They hit one of the walls and he shot a web to stick them. 

Peter saw more men on the way to reinforce the attackers. Shuri shot more beams at them and Peter swung around trying to take them out.

Peter was trying to balance fighting the attackers off, and protecting Shuri. He was busy taking on three of the guys when he heard her scream.

One guy had pushed her down. Her pants had torn at the knee, and she was bleeding. Being an incomplete prototype, her gauntlet had broken as well. Shuri looked up at them and they cocked their guns at her. 

Peter swung over as fast as he could to help, when he heard what sounded like a rocket. 

 There was a loud metal clanking sound and something landed in front of Shuri. It was Tony. The men opened fire on the suit and Tony took them all out in seconds. 

Peter swung over to Tony and Shuri. Shuri was crying and holding a cloth to her knee. 

Tony was comforting her. He turned to look at Peter. “Kid, she’s fine but we’ve got to get back to the Tower.” 

Peter nodded. Tony grabbed onto Shuri and shot up toward the Tower. Peter swung his way there too.

When he got inside, Tony was out of his armor and T’Challa and the others were crowded around. 

They took her to the med bay. She was fine but her knee had a pretty big gash taken out of it. They were also worried she’d sprained her wrist when she fell. 

T’Challa and Tony came up to Peter. “What happened?”

“I don’t know.” Peter said. He had tears in his eyes. 

“You’ve gotta do better than that.” Tony said.

“We were just walking along. On our way back to the Tower. Shuri was admiring the snow and I was just happily walking with her when my spider sense went off. Shuri ducked under a knife and we tried to fight those people off.”

“Who were they?” T’Challa asked Tony.

“They seemed to just be some lowlife criminals. But there were a lot of them. I think about twelve.” Tony said.

“We did our best to fight them off, and I promise, I did everything I could do protect Shuri.”

“We know.” Tony said. “I’m sure she’ll be fine. She’s probably just a bit in shock. It all happened so fast.”

Peter stood up and grunted. That’s when T’Challa and Tony noticed the deep cut in Peter’s back. There was blood on the chair he had been sitting in. 

“Kid you’re hurt too.” Tony said grabbing him.

Peter’s senses and adrenaline had been working so hard, he hadn’t even noticed. Peter turned toward Tony and passed out.

***

Peter slowly opened his eyes. He could tell by the bright lights that he was in the med bay. He had an IV in his arm. 

Peter looked to the chair next to the bed and saw May sitting there. Tony must’ve called her.

“May?” Peter barely managed to say the words.

“Oh my God Peter. Thank God you’re awake!” 

“Wha’ happened?” 

“The fight you were in. You got cut pretty bad in your back. Bruce stitched it up.” May explained.

“Where’s Shuri?” 

“She’s right outside. She’s okay. She has a sprained wrist but they said she’ll be good as new in a week. I’ll get her.”

May peeked out the door and Shuri walked in a few seconds later. Her arm was in a sling.

“Peter? How are you?”

“Tired and confused.” Peter gave her a sad look. “I’m so sorry Shuri.” 

“What for? You helped save me.” 

“But I couldn’t do it alone. You could’ve died if Tony hadn’t show up.” Peter said.

“I know Peter, but I don’t blame you. You did everything you could, and for that, I’m grateful.” Shuri leaned down and kissed Peter on the forehead. 

“Now get some rest and get better so we can binge watch vines again.” 

Peter laughed and closed his eyes. Shuri’s words had been comforting, but he still felt like he’d let her down. He felt like he’d let everyone down. 

May sat with him in the room. Tony checked in occasionally along with a few other Avengers every now and again. 

Peter eventually fell asleep, but with his guilt, he knew it wouldn’t have happened without the sedatives he was on.

*** 

A few days later and both Peter and Shuri were back to normal. Their recoveries had been quick, but Peter still felt bad that Shuri had been hurt in the first place.

The next few weeks passed and school let out for Thanksgiving break. When school was out that Friday, he had the whole next week off.

He spent that Friday curled up on the couch in the screening room Shuri. They watched about a million vines and Peter was finally feeling less guilty. 

They snuggled up together and fell asleep on the couch. 

Tony found them as he was headed to bed. He threw another blanket over them and smiled. 

“Goodnight kids,” Tony whispered. He walked out and shut the door behind him, taking one last look at those two adorable kids.

Chapter Text

Hey guys I’m sorry this isn’t a chapter. I spent nearly a week writing the Thanksgiving chapter but for some reason, it didn’t save on my laptop. I’m sorry to keep you all waiting, but it’s probably going to be at least three more days until I’m done. I hope you guys understand. Thank you to all of you guys for reading! You all really are the best! See you in a few days!

Chapter Text

The next few days passed by fast and the next thing Peter knew it was Thanksgiving. He and May were going to the Tower for dinner with the Avengers that night and Peter couldn’t wait.

Thanksgiving with the Avengers had to be super special right?

Peter woke up slowly and lazily got out of bed. May was already up and making a pot of coffee. Peter was anxious to get to the Tower though.

“May do you mind if I go to the Tower early? Tony said there’s going to be a surprise today and it’s kind of killing me waiting.”

May smiled. She loved how adorably dorky her nephew was. “Sure Peter. But be careful.”

“I will.”

Peter ran over to give her a quick hug then took off out the door.

He decided to take a train to the Tower because it was so cold outside. It was a gray and cloudy day that almost promised snow.

The ride to the Tower wasn’t too long but Peter was incredibly anxious to figure out what the surprise was that Tony had spoken of.

When Peter’s stop came, he got off the train quickly and walked through the frigid air to the Tower.

He walked inside and went up to the penthouse as always, looking forward to seeing everybody again for the first time in a few days.

The elevator doors opened and Peter was hit with an amazing smell. Peter went to the kitchen and saw Pepper, Tony, Nat, and Wanda busy cooking away.

“Peter!” Wanda said happily. She ran up to him and gave him a big hug.

Tony, Nat, and Pepper all gave Peter a hug too.

“Nice to see you again, kid.” Tony said.

Peter smiled. “I missed you guys the past few days.”

“Everybody has missed you too!” Wanda said. “They’re all in the screening room, let’s go see them.”

“Okay!”

Tony watched and smiled as Peter and Wanda happily headed off to see the other Avengers. Pepper came up and put a hand on his shoulder.

Everyone could see how much Tony and Peter cared for each other. Tony was like a dad to Peter and Tony honestly thought of Peter as a son. All of he Avengers loved Peter too. Wanda hadn’t been exaggerating when she said that everyone missed him. He was just such a kind and adorable little dork. How could people not fall in love with him?

Peter and Wanda made their way to the screening room where the rest of the Avengers were.

When they opened the door the attention was all drawn to them. “Peter!” Shuri exclaimed happily.

She got up and ran to him. She practically jumped right into his arms. Peter hugged her tightly for a long time.

When they broke off Shuri smiled brightly. “We’re about to have a Mariokart tournament, wanna play?”

Peter assumed that was the surprise. Tony must have made sure they planned it for Peter.

“Of course! Just as long as I don’t have to play Steve. I want a challenge.”

Steve scoffed. “Still a smart aleck after the past few days I see.”

Bucky punched Steve playfully on the shoulder. “You can’t be mad at the truth.”

“Oh that’s how it is?”

Bucky nodded and laughed. “That’s how it is.”

“Okay then let’s go. Let’s play right now.”

“I guess Steve and Bucky are taking the first game.” Shuri said as she began drawing up a bracket.

They started up the game and Steve and Bucky sat next to each other on the couch closest to the screen.

They started the race and everybody else gathered around to watch.

While he still wasn’t the best player, Steve had definitely gotten better at the game over the past several months living at the Tower. Mostly because Peter, Wanda, and Shuri were always playing.

Steve put up a pretty good race against Bucky and somehow, for the first time ever, he won.

“YES! Finally! I finally won!”

Everybody cheered for Steve as Bucky sat staring at the screen with his mouth open in disbelief.

Steve turned to Bucky and to everyone’s surprise, he didn’t gloat. He simply gave his best friend a hug.

“Hey maybe next time, Buck.”

Sam tapped Bucky on the shoulder. “I hope you realize I’m literally never going to let this go.”

Bucky groaned and rolled his eyes in annoyance.

Everybody else went through the bracket that Shuri had set up. The final race came around and it was down to Wanda and Shuri. Peter had lost to Shuri when he’d played her.

Wanda and Shuri played a cut-throat game with both of them putting their full skills to use. The race was pretty back and forth with both of them gaining and losing the lead several times.

As they were rounding the last corner Wanda was in the lead. Shuri got a red shell in one of the power ups and threw it at Wanda. Wanda had nothing to block it with and was hit.

Shuri shot right past her and won.

“Whoo!” Shuri shouted as she crossed the finish line. She threw her hands up in victory and then threw her arms around Peter, brining him in for a hug.

Wanda was frustrated but not upset. She’d still gotten second place. Shuri turned to her. “Good game Wanda. Maybe fell like a rematch after dinner?”

Wanda smirked. “May want to quit while you’re ahead.”

Shuri laughed.

Peter, Wanda, and Shuri all left the screening room since the guys wanted to watch football.

They went back to the kitchen where Nat, Tony, and Pepper were still cooking like crazy. With how many people there were, and how much some of them could eat, they needed a lot of food.

“Tony give me a head count on the pies will you?” Pepper asked.

“A dozen pumpkin, ten pecan, six chocolate, four banana cream, and... a partridge in a pear tree.”

Pepper scoffed but had a real smile on her face.

“You realize its still Thanksgiving right Tony?” Wanda said.

“Hey the real person you should be accusing of that is Peter.” Today said.

“What do you mean?” Peter asked defensively.

“I mean FRIDAY has a video of you in your room from the day after Halloween playing Christmas music through the speakers while you did your homework.”

Peter’s face burned bright red. “I forgot about the cameras.”

“Don’t worry about it kid, it’s not that weird.” Tony said.

Peter smiled but he was still embarrassed. He, Shuri, and Wanda all decided to go down to Shuri’s room to watch some vines to pass the time until May arrived and dinner was ready.

They were in the middle of the “Chris is that a weed?!” vine when there was a knock on the door.

“Come in!” Shuri hollered.

The door opened as Thor walked in. “Do you mind if I hang out with you all for a while? The sport of football is a vey hard concept to understand! I’ve never heard of a sport with so many rules!”

“Sure! Come sit! We’re watching vines.”

“Oh I remembered you all talking about these. They seem funny, and maybe I’ll be able to understand the jokes you three are always making!”

Thor sat down on the bed with the kids as they played vine after vine. Thor found them to be really funny, just like the kids.

“I don’t understand why the others don’t like these videos, they’re great!” Thor said.

“I know!” Peter said. “I guess adults just don’t understand our humor.”

“Tell me about it.” Shuri added. “Trying to talk vines with T’Challa is impossible! And all of my references go right over his head!”

“I’m just glad you two showed them to me. I doubt I’d have ever heard of them if you hadn’t.” Wanda said.

After another half hour of watching vines they got and alert from FRIDAY. “Boss says dinner is almost ready and that you should head up right away.”

They all got up and went to the penthouse. The food all smelled amazing. Pepper, Tony, and Nat managed to make more than thirty pies, four turkeys and three hams, along with an assortment of other sides.

May was waiting for Peter when they got off the elevator. “Happy Thanksgiving kiddo,” she said giving him a hug.

“Ready for Thanksgiving with the Avengers?” He asked her.

“You bet!”

May went off and talked to Pepper saying something about “oh you should’ve called! I’d have been happy to come help.”

They all went to the table in the dining room. It was set up with all the food in the middle. Peter was sure he’d never seen so much in his entire life.

As they were about to dig in, Tony tapped on his wine glass, signaling that he had a speech to make.

“Okay everybody. I just wanted to say happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I know we’ve had our struggles and disagreements over the years- what family doesn’t? There have been the low points where we lost some people along the way. But I just want to say that I am truly thankful to be spending the holiday surrounded by the people that mean the most to me! Here’s to a holiday season full of laughter and happiness! Cheers!”

There was a chorus of “cheers from everyone else as they clinked their wine glasses together. Peter, Wanda, and Shuri all tapped their glasses full of sparking soda together. That was as close to wine as they were getting.

The rest of the night was filed with pure happiness for everyone. After dinner, they went into the screening room and all watched a movie together.

Peter sat cuddled up with Shuri, happier than he’d ever been.

***

That night around midnight, Peter realized he was starving again. He got out of bed and went up to the penthouse for a piece of leftover pie.

He opened the fridge and cut a piece.

“Shouldn’t you be asleep?” Tony asked as he walked into the kitchen.

Peter jumped from being startled. “I could ask you the same thing.”

Tony looked closer at Peter’s outfit. “What are you wearing kid?”

Peter smoothed our his shirt to reveal an ugly Christmas sweater and pajama pants with candy canes on them. “It’s called style.”

“Kid it’s still November for a week.”

“I can’t hear you over the sleigh bells, Mr. Stark.” Peter said jokingly to prove he wasn’t giving up on starting Christmas already.

Tony rolled his eyes. “Whatever kid. Eat your pie and get some sleep. Goodnight.”

Tony started to walk off.

“Wait! Tony!”

Tony turned around and was surprised when Peter threw his arms around him in a big hug. “Thanks for the best Thanksgiving ever,” Peter said in a voice muffled by his face buried in Tony’s sweatshirt.

Tony smiled and hugged the kid back. “You’re welcome Peter. Now go get some sleep, okay? Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Tony.”

Peter ate his pie quickly, then went back to bed and went to sleep. It really had been the best Thanksgiving ever.

Chapter Text

Everything was dark. Peter was extremely confused and unaware of his surroundings. His Spider sense wasn’t working.

He stuck his hand out to feel his surroundings. Nothing. He was alone. 

“Hello? Hello? What’s happening?” He couldn’t hide the fear in his voice. How could he not be at the Tower?

Suddenly his vision was filed with a bright orange light. 

I know this place, Peter thought. 

He was back on Titan. He was hanging on his web on some debris with Quill, Drax, and Mantis next to him. Below, Thanos and Tony were fighting.

Peter wanted to help, but something prevented him from moving. 

He saw Tony make a dagger out of nano parts. He stabbed it at Thanos, who broke it, but this time, he aimed his blow higher. It went right through Tony’s heart.

“No!” Peter cried at the top of his lungs. 

He ran to Tony, but as he got closer, his surroundings flipped, and he was suddenly in the forest of Wakanda, where Quill had landed the ship all those months ago.

Thanos was there too. The full powered Infinity Gauntlet lit up as he made a fist. The other Avengers ran towards him as he quickly wiped the out one by one. 

Peter couldn’t move, no matter what he tried his body wouldn’t. It was if he was there just to watch. 

He blinked and was stuck under a pile of rubble again. The same pile that had trapped him during homecoming the year before, only bigger this time. Peter felt all of the air leave his lungs as he completely panicked. He shouted out for help. For Tony and May, but of course nobody could hear him.

Suddenly his surroundings spun again and he was on the streets of New York. It was a cold snowy night and there was gunfire.

“Peter! Help!” 

Shuri.

“I’m coming! I’m coming Shuri!” Peter could move this time, and he ran as fast as he could. 

But he arrived too late. 

“NO!”

 

Peter snapped awake and let out a loud cry. He was drenched in a cold sweat, and his bed sheets were soaked in sweat as well.

He’d suffered a terrible nightmare. He’d had them from the whole Thanos situation before, but this one was particularly bad. He felt like he’d relieved almost every traumatic event he’d ever been through. Everything had felt so real.

Peter began to cry. He knew it was childish and it wouldn’t solve anything, but he couldn’t help it. He’d just seen all of the people he cared about die in his dream.

He tried to clam himself down and stop crying but for some reason he couldn’t. He suddenly heard his doorknob turn. Wanda poked her head in.

“Peter? Are you okay?” 

Peter wiped at the tears on his face and sniffed. “‘M fine Wanda. Don’t worry about it.”

Wanda opened the door enough to walk in. “Peter you had a nightmare. You’re always there for me when I get them, so I’m here for you.”

Peter began to cry again and Wanda hugged him. God he felt like such a baby.  Wanda may have  always cried after a nightmare, but he still felt weak. He was Spider-Man. Spider-Man didn’t cry just because he had a bad dream.

He finally began to clam down a bit. Enough to where he could at least talk. 

“You wanna tell me about it?” Wanda asked.

Peter didn’t but he figured he probably should. Wanda always told him and Shuri about her nightmares.

“It was about Thanos. I was back on Titan and he and Tony were fighting. But instead of stabbing Tony lower, he-he stabbed him in the heart.” Tears began to fall from Peter’s eyes again. “Then I was in Wakanda and Thanos wiped all of the Avengers out like it was nothing. Then back to a few weeks ago when me and Shuri were on our date, but this time...” Peter trailed off into more tears.

Wanda could deduce what happened next so she didn’t have him elaborate. She just hugged him some more.

Peter finally seemed to clam down for good. “Thanks, Wanda.” He said sniffling. “Sorry I woke you.”

“Don’t be sorry. You’re always there for me, I owe it to you. Besides, I’d still want to help you no matter what. You’re like my little brother.”

Peter smiled and sniffed again. “Thanks Wanda.”

Wanda smiled. “You think you can go back to sleep?”

“Uhh... yeah I guess so.”

Tony suddenly walked in the door. He was in his pajamas and his hair was disheveled from sleep. “You okay Pete? FRIDAY alerted me that your heart rate was dangerously high.”

“It’s nothing,” Peter said. He really didn’t want to act weak and vulnerable in front of Tony if he could avoid it.

Wanda walked up to Tony. “He had a nightmare,” she explained. “He already told me about it. I don’t know if he’ll want to talk about it more.”

“Okay, Wanda. Why don’t you go on back to sleep and I’ll talk to the kid?” Tony suggested. 

Wanda picked up on Tony wanting some time alone to talk to Peter. While she didn’t want to leave, she also didn’t object.

“Okay. Goodnight Tony,” she looked to Peter. “Night Peter.”

“Night Wanda,” Peter said.

Wanda walked out and Tony closed the door.

“Kid? You okay?” Tony asked.

“Fine,” Peter said. He was still sniffing. 

“You sure?” Tony asked.

Peter tried to say yes, he wanted to say yes, but he couldn’t. Instead, he broke down and cried. 

Tony sat next to him on the bed and put his arms around him. Peter leaned toward him as he cried. 

After a few minutes Peter calmed down. Tony could finally talk to him. “What was it about, Peter?”

Peter sniffed. “Just Thanos. What happened with the Vulture, and the whole shootout that happened a few weeks ago where Shuri could’ve died. It just felt so real.”

Tony hugged Peter close to him. “Well you’ll be glad to know that I had FRIDAY run a background check on the people who attacked you guys that night. They’re not part of any larger group. They simply attacked because she was the princes of Wakanda. They’re all locked up in a high security prison.”

“That does help. But I- I just feel so weak,” Peter said sadly.

Tony grabbed Peter’s face gently so he’d look at him. “Peter Parker, if there’s anything I’ve ever learned about you, it’s that you are not weak. You’re an amazing kid, with an amazing heart. Don’t ever be afraid of being vulnerable. Everybody has nightmares, Hell kid, I still have nightmares. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Really?”

Tony hugged Peter again. “Really.”

Tony checked the time. Two thirty. “Pete? You think you can go back to sleep?”

“I guess so,” Peter said quietly.

“Alright. Goodnight Peter,” Tony said hugging Peter one last time and messing up his hair. 

Tony began to walk away. “Wait.” Tony turned around. “Would you...would you maybe st-stay with me?” Peter asked shyly.

Tony smiled. “Sure kid.” 

Tony walked over and climbed into bed on the other side. Peter got in bed too and snuggled close to Tony. 

They’d done this before when Peter had suffered nightmares. Peter felt like a little kid but Tony never judged him for it. Tony thought of Peter as his kid, and he always wanted to be there for him, unlike his own father.

Tony obviously had never had a kid, but he’d always promised himself that he’d never be the kind of parent his dad was.

Peter was embarrassed that this had happened, and he thought Shuri would find it really lame too, but for now he was happy.

Peter snuggled closer to Tony and closed his eyes. He felt childish, but at least he felt safe.

***

Peter woke up several hours later. He checked the clock on the table next to his bed. It was almost ten o’clock. Good thing it was Saturday. 

Peter noticed that Tony wasn’t next to him anymore. He probably got up once Peter had fallen asleep and gone to work in the lab. Peter felt bad. He knew tony didn’t sleep much and his stupid nightmare had disrupted Tony’s sleep as well.

He slowly got out of bed and went upstairs to the penthouse. He found that everybody was already awake. That wasn’t really a surprise considering how late he’d slept. Most of the Avengers weren’t even in the kitchen. Just Tony and Pepper.

“Hey kid, want some waffles?” Tony asked.

“Sure. Thanks.”

Tony smiled and went to put them in the toaster. “Sorry we’ve only got frozen ones today, the waffle maker had been acting up,” Tony looked around to make sure nobody was looking. “It’s because Steve used it,” He half whispered.

Peter laughed. The joke of Steve not being able to cook still floated around even though now he was one of the best in the Tower. Pepper and Nat had basically trained him.

“I’m sorry, Tony.” Peter said.

Tony looked up from the toaster. “Sorry? What for? You haven’t done anything wrong.” Tony looked concerned.

“For making you get up last night just because I had a stupid nightmare. I know you don’t get a lot of sleep and last night you were sleeping and I just ruined it.”

Tony walked over to Peter. “Peter you have no reason to be sorry. I had FRIDAY set alerts for your room in case there was a problem. I didn’t mind getting up to help you at all. Besides, I went right back to sleep when I was with you.”

“You did?”

“Yes. I know I don’t always but last night I did get to sleep so don’t feel like you disrupted that, okay? I mean I do appreciate your concern, but I’m willing to lose a little sleep if it means that the people I care about are safe.”

“Thanks Tony.”

“You’re welcome kid. Now promise me, no more feeing bad about waking me up if you need me for something?”

Peter knew he would still feel bad but he supposed he had to promise Tony anyway. “I promise.”

Peter finished eating quickly and then went to find the rest of the Avengers. He found Shuri and gave her a big hug. It was reassuring to hold her again after his nightmare.

“Wanda told me about your dream. You could have gotten me up if you wanted to talk about it you know?” Shuri asked.

“I know, but I didn’t want to wake you up,” Peter said.

“You didn’t want to be vulnerable in front of me,” Shuri corrected.

Peter wasn’t surprise that she realized that, but he was surprised that she’d said it. “Maybe...” Peter trailed off.

“It’s okay, Peter. Just know that you don’t have to be afraid of that, okay?”

“Okay.”

Peter, Shuri, Wanda, Thor, Sam, and Rhodey turned on some vines on the TV. The kids always loved to see how confused the adults were at them. 

Thor had actually gotten into them like the kids and could quote them almost as well as Peter, Wanda, and Shuri.

The rest of the day was pretty slow. Peter left around three that afternoon to patrol for a while since it had been about a week since he’d been out as Spider-Man. 

He flipped back into his room around 10 that night and went to sleep. This time, not disrupted by any nightmares.

Chapter Text

Over the next couple weeks, Peter spent a majority of his time at the Tower. He studied for his mid-year finals but was also able to spend a good amount of time with Shuri and everybody else.

It was finally winter break, and Peter couldnt be happier to have a break to be free from the stress of school.

Right now, he was in the lab, working on the Christmas present he was trying to make for Shuri. He was attempting to weld a necklace for her. He wanted it to have a charm on it with a panther head. On the back it would have her name etched into it. Needless to say, it was not a simple job, but he was nearly finished.

Peter also had to worry about his gift for Tony. He’d spent a good amount of time talking to just about everybody figuring out what to get the man who could afford everything.

He’d settled on making something heartfelt, that would show how much he appreciated everything Tony had done for him.

Peter had decided- with the help of Wanda and Pepper- that he was going to make a scrapbook of all the pictures Peter had ever taken of him with Tony. Pictures from working on the lab, training, and a couple Peter had secretly taken on missions. He hoped something like that would be special to Tony.

The door to the lab suddenly opened as Tony walked in. Peter scrambled to quickly cover up the pictures, decorations, and binder he was using to make Tony’s present.

Peter turned around looking suspicious despite himself.

“Hey kid,” Tony, of course, noticed how suspicious Peter looked. “What’re you hiding there?”

“Uh... Nothing! It’s nothing!” Peter said desperate for Tony to leave.

Tony quirked an eyebrow. “Is that Shuri’s present?”

It wasn’t obviously, but if it got Tony to forget about it, then that’s what Peter was going to tell him. “Y-Yeah it’s Shuri’s. Just sort of trying to keep it a secret,” Peter explained a bit too quickly.

“Okay, I can respect that. So you ready to do some work on that reactor?”

“Actually could I take a rain check? Christmas is two days away and I’m worried I won’t have her gift done in time.”

Tony nodded. “No big deal, we’ll work on it more after Christmas.”

“Cool! Thanks Tony!”

Tony nodded and Peter grabbed his binder full of pictures. He did his best to conceal it from Tony’s eyes as he walked out of the lab and went down to his room.

Now that he thought about it, he probably should have just worked on it in his room, even if all of the supplies were in the lab.

Peter walked through the penthouse quickly stopping only for a moment to greet Thor and Steve, and got on the elevator.

He got off and went down the hall to his room. Right as he was opening his door, Wanda walked out of her room next door.

“Hey Peter!”

“Oh, hi Wanda!” He said with a smile.

“Is that Tony’s gift?”

Peter facepalmed. “Lordy, am I that bad at hiding it?”

Wanda laughed. “No but I know you said you were working on it.”

“Oh... yeah, right. Sorry it’s just that I ran into him in the lab and he almost saw me. He said he thought it was for Shuri so I just went along with it. I hope he really doesn’t suspect it. I want it to be a surprise.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” Wanda said reassuringly.

“Thanks. Would you maybe mind to help me out for a few minutes before dinner? I’m struggling to come up with like... the basic layout I guess.”

“Sure, no problem.”

Wanda came up with an amazing idea. She made pages dedicated to certain aspects the pictures related to. Like battles, hanging out in the lab, and other random things like that.

Peter’s favorite picture was from the lab one day. Peter and Tony has been working on the nano part suit for quite a while before it was put into use. They’d spent almost twelve hours that day working on it.

Needless to say Tony had ended up passing out in the lab and Peter had put Tony’s glasses on. He’d taken a selfie of a drooling unconscious Tony on the desk and Peter standing in front of him, wearing his glasses.

Things like that always brought back happy memories for Peter. That’s why taking pictures was fun to him. He loved looking back at the memories and being able to remember all the times he had for years to come.

After about forty five minutes, Peter and Wanda went up to the penthouse for dinner. They were a bit late but there was still plenty of food so it wasn’t a problem.

It turned out they were having pasta for dinner. Peter and Wanda both got big servings and joined everyone else at the table.

Peter sat down next to Shuri and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Glad to see you again! I haven’t seen you hardly all day.” She said

“I know, I’m sorry, it’s just, you know, two days til Christmas and I’ve got to finish-“ Peter leaned closer so he could whisper and not be overheard by Tony- “Tony’s gift.”

“It’s no big deal. I’m actually excited for Christmas! It’s not a tradition in Wakanda the way it is here,” Shuri said.

“Well us Americans love us some Christmas that’s for sure.”

“I know, I’ve seen the city the last few weeks. You can’t walk two steps without seeing a Christmas tree.”

Peter shrugged. “Holidays in America I guess.”

“I know how you feel,” Wanda said to Shuri. “In Sokovia, Christmas wasn’t a big deal either. My first Christmas at the compound was quite a new experience. But in a good way. It’s lots of fun.”

After spending a while explaining the concept of Christmas to Shuri, and just sitting around the table and talking about any given subject, Peter had to go home to the apartment.

He’d promised May he’d be there for Christmas Eve like he was every year.

So Peter said his goodbyes and left the Tower. The ride to the apartment was quick. The walk was slower.

It was freezing cold outside and snowing pretty hard. Even with his advanced senses, Peter had poor visibility from the snow.

He finally got to the building, freezing cold and hugging himself with his arms. There were dozens of little snowflakes stuck in his curly brown hair.

He blew into his hands and rubbed them together to warm them up as he walked up to the apartment.

He put the key in the lock and opened the door. May was waiting for him. She walked up to him and gave him a big hug.

“Hey bud, did you have fun?”

Peter smiled. “Yeah it was great! I’m pretty much done with Shuri’s gift and Tony’s gift is almost finished too.”

“Aw that’s good sweetie,” May ruffled his hair. “You’re favorite Christmas movie is on by the way.”

“Home Alone?”

“Yep! Let’s watch it.”

After they watched the movie, Peter went to get some sleep. He had to finish all of his gifts tomorrow so they were ready for Christmas.

Peter spent pretty much all of Christmas Eve making sure his gifts to everybody would be perfect.

Around three in the afternoon he snuck out to go get May’s present. He’d seen her admire a beautiful bracelet in the window of one of the jewelry stores around town. So he saved up for the past several months so he could get it.

It cost a hundred dollars, but Peter knew that May deserved something really nice for Christmas this year.

After getting the bracelet he snuck back in his room to wrap it, then his it under his bed so he could give it to her first thing tomorrow morning.

He spent a couple more hours making sure Tony’s present was prefect, and then wrapped that up too.

He had Christmas Eve dinner with May as always. It was always a bit sad now that Ben was gone. He used to always buy a big ham and May would bake a pie every year.

They couldn’t ever really afford it but it was a special tradition among them. After dinner they would always watch a movie together.

The last two years hadn’t been the same. With only May working, they couldn’t afford to have a bigger meal like they used to. May didn’t stress Peter out over money issues, but he knew.

Peter and May both had a nice dinner and watched a Christmas movie. Afterwards Peter got some sleep. He couldn’t wait to give everybody their gifts tomorrow.

***

Peter woke up and could hear May was already awake in the kitchen. He got up, threw on a hoodie, and grabbed her gift from under his bed. He had wrapped the little box up and put a pink ribbon on it.

He walked into the kitchen and saw May making pancakes in the shape of Christmas trees.

He stepped into the room quietly. “Merry Christmas, May,” he said holding up the little gift.

May smiled and pulled him into a hug. “Oh Peter you didn’t have to get me anything.”

“Yes I did. You work so hard to take care of us May, you deserve it.”

May opened up the box and saw the bracelet inside. “Peter... it’s beautiful. How did you afford it?”

“I saved up for months, I knew it would be worth it.”

She gave him another big hug. “I love it. But I wish you hadn’t spent your money on me.”

“May. You deserve it more than anybody. I know how hard you work to keep things in shape around here. You deserve a nice Christmas present.”

She hugged him tightly again. “You’re the best kid anyone could ever ask for. I love you, Peter.”

“I love you too, May.”

The rest of he morning was spent eating breakfast and getting ready to go to the Tower. Peter was anxious to give Shuri and Tony their gifts.

The ride to the Tower was short and uneventful. Peter was glad they got there quick.

They walked through the lobby and went up to the penthouse. The Tower looked beautiful. There were hundreds of Christmas trees scattered throughout the building and there were various other decorations all over the place.

When they got to the penthouse, Peter was instantly swarmed with Christmas greetings and hug from all of the Avengers.

Peter went over to the massive tree and sat his gifts under there tree with all of the others.

“Hey kid,” Tony said. “You having a good Christmas?”

“Yeah, and this place looks great! It wasn’t this decked out in decorations the other day.”

“Well Shuri and T’Challa are here and sine they don’t really celebrate Christmas in Wakanda I wanted them to get the full experience. Also Thor hasn’t really ever had Christmas before either.”

“Well it looks great!”

“Thanks kid, I’m gonna go talk to your aunt and Pepper, enjoy the party.”

“Thanks Tony!”

Tony winked at him and walked off. Peter went and found Wanda, Shuri, and Thor.

“Hey it’s Peter!” Thor said walked up to him and brining him into a bear hug.

Pete let out an oof sound. “Good to see ya Thor!”

Peter gave Wanda a hug and Shuri a kiss. It was great to be around everybody again.

“So what do you guys think of Christmas?” Peter asked Thor and Shuri.

“It’s beautiful honestly. Everybody spent most of the day yesterday watching Christmas movies in the screening room. So we’re mostly familiar with it now.”

“I appreciate the gift giving,” Thor said. “It’s a very generous act by your people,” Thor said trying his best. Midguardian customs were still a bit unfamiliar to him even though he’d been there for a while.

“Thanks...I guess.”

Throughout the whole day Peter managed to spend a little bit of time with all of the Avengers. He had an amazing time.

That afternoon before dinner, they opened gifts. Peter couldn’t believe how many were under the tree. Everybody had gotten everyone else gifts.

After a couple hours, Peter went to the tree to hand his gifts out. He was most excited for Tony and Shuri to open theirs.

Shuri opened hers first. She gasped. “Peter...it’s-it’s beautiful!”

“You like it?”

“I love it! Thank you so much!” She ran over and hugged him then gave him a kiss on the cheek, making all of the adults coo.

“You’re welcome Shuri.”

Everybody else kept exchanging gifts until Peter handed Tony his gift. Tony looked surprised. “What’s this, kid? You did need to get me anything.”

Peter nodded. “I know, but you’ve done so much for me and May over the last couple years, you deserve it,” Peter said holding it out to him.

Tony accepted it with a nod of his head and opened the wrapping paper. Pepper was sitting next to him on the couch and leaned over him to see it.

Tony saw the cover. It read: The Adventures of Ironman and Spider-Man.

Inside we’re countless pictures of him and Peter working in the lab, walking around the old Compound, watching movies, playing video games, and a couple pictures from missions.

The last page is what hit Tony right in the feels. It said: I’d never have had all of these adventures without you! Thanks for always being there for me!

Those words were surrounded by cheesy heart stickers and some stickers of Ironman and Spider-Man.

Tony felt his eyes getting a little watery. He honestly loved Peter. He was like his son and he cared so much about him. Knowing Peter cared so much about him made him feel so happy.

Tony leaned toward Peter and brought him in to the biggest hug of his life.

“Did you like it Tony?”

Tony somehow kept his composure. “I love it, Peter. Thank you so much.”

“By the way, Pepper and I got you something too.”

Peter raised an eyebrow. With how much Tony always did for him, he hadn’t expected Tony to get him anything.

Tony grabbed one of the gifts from under the tree. It was medium sized box with red and green wrapping paper.

Peter opened the box to reveal new web shooters. He broke into a huge smile. “These are amazing! Thank you so much, Tony!” Peter gave Tony a huge hug.

“You’re welcome, Peter. Now these are even more advanced, I came up with some new types of webs you can shoot. I believe you now have seven hundred web shooter combinations.”

“Holy crap! That’s insane! How did you do that?”

Tony shrugged. “What can I say, I’m a genius.”

Peter laughed. The next half an hour was spent with everybody finishing their gift exchange. It was really nice to be around so many happy, smiling faces.

They all made their way into the kitchen and had dinner. Tony had bought six hams so that there would be enough food for everybody.

After dinner, which took about two and a half hours, they all went into the screening room and watched Christmas movies.

Peter was cuddled up with Shuri. May was sitting with Nat and Wanda, Tony and Pepper sat together, Steve was with Bucky and Sam, and Clint, Rhodey, and T’Challa sat together.

Peter felt like these people really were his family. Being around them and seeing them all so happy made it the best Christmas ever.

Chapter Text

The bell rung announcing the end of the school day and Peter moved quickly to get his things from his locker. It had been a long week back at school after getting used to being on break.

The new year had come and while Peter was glad to have a fresh start, he was also sad. He’d been given some bad news the other day. Shuri and T’Challa had been away from Wakanda for too long, and this afternoon they were headed back home.

T’Challa had reassured everyone that they would visit when they got the chance, but that didn’t mean that Peter and Shuri were going to like being away from each other.

Peter caught up with Ned and MJ on his way out of school.

“Hey Peter, you okay?” Ned asked. Peter had told Ned and MJ that T’Challa and Shuri would be leaving and they knew that it would be hard on Peter.

Peter nodded. “Yeah. Yeah I’m alright, just going to be a little sad for a few days. But T’Challa said they’ll make sure the visit as often as they can, so hopefully it won’t be too long until I see her again.”

MJ decided to say a few comforting words as well. “You know we’re always here for you Peter. If you need us, you let us know, and we’ll be there for you.”

Peter brought them into a group hug. “Thanks guys, what would I do without you?”

“Have no friends,” MJ said jokingly.

Peter laughed and said his goodbyes since he’d arrived at the subway.

He hated when he was in a hurry and needed to get on the train. It always seemed to go slower or run late at the worst possible times. He was pretty sure they’d wait for him at the Tower, though.

When the train finally arrived, Peter got on board and sat down. The stops were agonizing as he waited for his own.

He constantly checked the time on his phone, taking it out of his pocket, turning it on then back off and stuffing it back in his pocket, only to do the same thing again thirty seconds later.

He finally reached his stop at the Tower and got off the train at record speed. He made his way through the lobby, quickly greeting the nice elderly man with grey hair and a mustache who always worked at the front desk. Peter was pretty sure his name was Stan.

Peter got up to the penthouse and went out to where the jet would be to take them back to Wakanda. He ran through the hangar and out onto the landing platform where everybody else was.

Shuri was hugging onto Wanda tight. Nat, Thor, Steve, Bucky, and Pepper were all sporting sad looks. Tony looked sad as well, but he still had a bit of the cockiness that was almost always on his face.

“Peter!” Shuri saw him and ran to him, giving him a huge hug. “I’m going to miss you so much!” Shuri said on the verge of tears.

“Me too. But hey, we’ll see each other again soon, okay? I really don’t want you to leave, but your people need you. What would they do without their princess?”

“Okay, good point. Just please make sure you make that one hour gap when we can talk to each other, okay?”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Peter said as he gave her a kiss on the forehead.

“Shuri,” T’Challa walked up behind them. “The jet is all loaded up, I’m afraid it is time to go.”

Shuri nodded in understanding. She gave Peter a kiss and walked off. T’Challa shook Peter’s hand and gave him and understanding look.

T’Challa boarded the jet along with Shuri. Peter and Shuri waved at each other as long as they could until the doors to the jet closed and they took off.

Tony put a comforting hand on Peter’s shoulder. Peter looked up and formed a small smile.

Everyone made their way inside to get away from the cold. The night went on as usual. The Avengers had dinner together and Peter sat and talked with Wanda, both of them sad that Shuri was gone.

After dinner Peter decided that it was time to go out as Spider-Man again. It had been a long time and he felt like he hadn’t been doing his part lately. He just had to ask Tony first.

Peter walked into the lab where Tony was working.

“Hey, kid. What’s up?”

“I was just wondering... can I go out as Spider-Man tonight? I fell like lately with the holidays and starting up school again, I haven’t really been doing much. I don’t want things to get out of control.”

“Fine by me, just try and be back by eleven thirty, I don’t want to be worried about you all night.”

“Thank you! And you know you don’t have to worry, I can take care of myself,” Peter said trying to sound tough.

“I know,” Tony said. “But that doesn’t mean I won’t worry.”

“Okay, I promise to be in at exactly eleven thirty.”

“Alright Kid, go catch those bad guys,” Tony instantly cringed at how lame he sounded.

“Jeez, you sound like Aunt May,” Peter said as he walked from the lab and headed out of the Tower.

Tony smiled fondly at Peter as he walked away, then got back to work.

Peter opened one of the windows and jumped out into the cold January air. He shot web after web swinging between the buildings.

Being out as Spider-Man again was exhilarating. It had been over three weeks since Peter had felt the rush of swinging from building to building and stopping criminals from doing harm to the city.

It looked beautiful at night too. Even with the holidays over, the city still looked like it had Christmas lights everywhere. That was one of the things that Peter loved so much about the city.

After swinging for an extremely uneventful half hour, Peter decided to rest on one of the buildings. He silently thanked Tony for including a heater in his suit.

He sat on the roof and peacefully watched the city. Every now and then it was nice for there to be nothing to do. That meant that the city was getting along alright. Or it at least gave off that illusion.

Peter should’ve known better than to get too comfortable with the lack of crime. His Spider sense went off and a few blocks away he heard multiple gunshots.

He pulled his mask back on and jumped off the building he was perched on, headed toward danger.

Peter swung as fast as he could to the sounds. He heard several more shots along the way.

He finally found the source of the gunfire. It was coming from a group of people breaking into a building. They were attacking an area around the twentieth floor of the building.

Peter swung into action kicking one of the criminals from behind and knocking him unconscious.

The others took notice of him and he heard one shout. “Damn it! It’s Spider-Man!”

They began to fire and he did his best to dodge it. They were in a large office room with a tall ceiling so he was able to swing around inside.

He shot a web at one of the rifles they were using, ripped it out of the mans grip, and flung it at another person knocking them back. He webbed another person to a wall, and threw a chair at another.

Out of nowhere he was hit by an electric blast that felt similar to the one the Shocker had used against him at homecoming.

Sure enough, he looked to have an electric gauntlet just like it.

Peter got to his feet after being hit across the room.

“Grab the file!” The man with the gauntlet shouted. “I’ll deal with Spider-Man.”

Three of the other bad guys ran deeper into the building. Peter was only able to trip one of them up.

It was clear that they were trying to steal data of some kind. Peter just didn’t know what for.

“You’ll wish you hadn’t challenged me!”
Peter shouted confidently as he ran toward him firing his webs.

He latched onto the man’s gauntlet but the electricity dissolved his webs. He ran at the man and fought him close up.

The other three people ran back to where he was and fired at Peter, forcing him to dodge and jump away from the man with the gauntlet.

He jumped up above the criminals and shot a web at the tablet they were holding that must contain whatever data they were after.

“I’ll take that,” Peter said snatching the file right out of their hand.

He tossed it away from them and charged back at them. He was suddenly hit with an invisible force and thrown back into the wall behind him. He hit with a loud thud.

They had some sort of foreign weapon, similar to the ones the Vulture and his lackeys had used.

Peter was dazed and confused after hitting the wall so hard. They fired grappling hooks and swung from the building with whatever file they had come for.

Peter felt like a failure.

He slowly got to his feet and half limped, half walked to the window. There was no sign of them.

“Crap,” Peter mumbled weakly.

Down below he could see the red and blue flashes of police car lights. There were dozens of cars and officers down below.

Peter jumped from the window and swung off back toward the Tower.

***

When Peter finally got back to Avengers Tower, all he really wanted to do was just collapse into bed. After the adrenaline rush wore off, his body felt weak and sore.

He went into the Tower and went straight up to the lab to find Tony. He had to tell him about all of this. Peter was hoping he’d be there so he wouldn’t have to explain himself to one of the other Avengers first.

Thankfully, Tony was in the exact same place he had been a few hours before. He looked to be busy at work on something. Peter almost felt bad for interrupting, but this was important.

“Uh...Mr.Stark?”

Tony looked up and smiled at Peter for a second, until he saw his face. Peter had been hit hard a few times and had a couple minor cuts on his face.

Tony got up and ran to him. “Kid what happened to you?” Tony looked closely at his face, examining the cuts to make sure they weren’t too deep.

“Bad guys,” was all Peter said.

“Okay, let’s take you down to the med bay and get you cleaned up. You can explain everything along the way.”

“Okay,”

As they went down, Peter explained everything that had happened that night.

“...and then they left me on the ground and took off with the file they came for,” Peter finished.

They were currently in one of the exam rooms and Tony was getting alcohol swabs ready to clean Peter’s cuts. The last thing Peter needed was to get an infection form a cut.

“Do you know what was on the file they were after?”

Tony placed a alcohol swab on Peter’s face. Peter hissed from the pain.

“No, I have no idea what they were after, but it was obviously something they found extremely valuable.”

Tony nodded. “They wouldn’t have broken into a building like that if it wasn’t.”

“What does that building have that is so important?” Peter asked curiously.

“Secure secret files. Government related and whatnot. Whatever they took, they definitely don’t have any intentions of using it for something good.”

“They also had a couple crazy weapons. They seemed similar to the ones the Vulture had used.”

“I’ll make sure to look into that,” Tony said.

Peter nodded. Tony wiped another swab across Peter’s face, then gently turned his face form side to side, making sure he had cleaned every cut.

“Okay kid, I think you’re good. You feel any other cuts or scrapes anywhere?” Tony asked.

Peter shook his head. “No, I just feel a little bruised in a few places. I’ll be okay.”

Tony nodded. “Alright, let’s head back up.”

Tony walked Peter back up to his room. It was getting late and it was obvious that the kid was exhausted.

“Alright kid you go on and get some sleep. Tomorrow is Saturday, so I’ll get everyone together for a meeting and we’ll see what we can figure out about those people tonight,” Tony said patting Peter on the back.

Peter gave Tony a hug. “Thank you Mr.Stark.”

Tony smiled and hugged Peter back. “You’re welcome kid. Now seriously go take a shower and get some sleep, you need it.”

“Okay. Goodnight!”

“Night kid!” Tony said as he walked toward the elevator.

Peter walked into his room and into the bathroom. He turned on the shower to let the water warm up and got undressed.

He looked in the mirror and saw the bruises that were on his chest and back. They weren’t bad, and they’d likely be gone by this time tomorrow, but they still left him feeling sore. Peter also noticed the bags under his eyes. It had been a long day and his adrenaline rush earlier had no doubt taken some energy out of him.

He stood under the water for a long time, wincing whenever he looked up and the water seeped into the cuts on his face.

After a long while, he turned the shower off and dried off with one of the many soft, fluffy towels in his bathroom.

He walked to his closet and put on a pair of warm and cozy pajama pants and a T-shirt.

He hopped in bed, sighing in relief at the feeling of being able to finally relax after a long day.

While the events of the night still worried him, he trusted that with the Avengers, they would be able to figure something out. He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Peter woke up just a little while later. He’d barely slept for an hour. It was just after one in the morning and Peter felt wide awake now.

Frustrated, Peter tossed and turned for the next hour trying to get comfortable and go back to sleep. Finally, he gave up and got out of bed. He couldn’t get the events of the night out of his head. He hoped that Karen might be able to help.

He walked over to his desk and grabbed his mask. He slid it on and sat in the chair, sitting his feet up on the desk.

His view in the mask blinked to life and Karen turned on and greeted him. “Good morning, Peter. What has you up so early?”

“Just can’t sleep,” Peter replied. “I was wondering if you could pull up some footage from that fight earlier tonight?”

“Sure thing.”

Karen played the footage and scanned the faces of all of the criminals. Peter payed close attention to try and catch something about the bad guys he may not have noticed before. He couldn’t pick up on anything new.

Karen was able to deduce that four of them were men and two of them were women. This was only based on a body scan, their faces were covered by masks so there was nothing Karen was able to do to figure out who they might be.

“Can you identify any of them?” Peter asked hopefully.

“I’m sorry, Peter, but the masks they wore are preventing me from identifying anyone,” Karen said.

Peter facepalmed and let out a big sigh. “Is their anything we can do to figure out who they are?” Peter knew the answer, but he didn’t want to give up hope.

“I’m afraid not Peter.”

“Ugh, great. Thanks anyway Karen.”

“Anytime Peter.”

The Screen in the suit went dark as Karen deactivated, Peter slid the mask off and sat it on his desk. He got out of the chair and got back in bed, hoping he could fall back asleep. 

He just hoped that when morning came, and the Avengers got together for the meeting, they’d be able to figure something out.

Considering that three of the team members were former spies and assassins, Peter was fairly hopeful they’d have some idea as to how they could figure out who these people were. 

Peter spent a while trying to go back asleep and eventually dozed off.

***

Around seven that morning, Peter decided to just get up for the day. He’d spent the rest of the night in and out of a doze, never really falling asleep for long. 

Since most of the Avengers got up early, Peter figured he might as well. 

When he got up to the penthouse, Nat, Wanda, Bucky, Steve, and Thor were already awake. All of them were pretty surprised to see Peter up so early on a Saturday. He was usually one of the last ones to get up, taking second place to Clint who could sleep for a week if everybody would let him. 

Clint wasn’t even currently at the Tower. He was usually only there every other weekend. He’d brought his whole family a few times and Peter thought they were all very nice. 

Tony had offered to let Clint and his whole family live at the Tower, but Clint had declined. Apparently he liked living the simple life. Peter didn’t blame him either since he had a family to take care of and everything.

Peter lazily walked to the pantry and grabbed a box of cereal off the shelf. 

“Everything alright, Spider-Kid?” Nat asked. Peter had a look of worry on his face that he hadn’t even realized.

“Yeah, yeah, everything’s fine, I just woke up early for some reason. I think everything that happened last night has just been bothering me.”

Nat nodded. “That’s understandable. But Tony called a meeting for nine o’clock this morning, we’ll do our best to figure some things out.”

Peter smiled. “Thanks,”

Peter grabbed the milk from the fridge and poured it over his cereal. He walked over to the table and sat across from Wanda as usual. 

He spent the next couple hours talking with everybody at the table and anxiously waiting the meeting. Now that Peter thought about it, this was the first official meeting he’d been in with all of the Avengers. 

Around nine, everybody made their way to the conference room in the Tower. When they arrived, Tony was already waiting for everybody. Peter chuckled when he saw that Tony was still in his pajamas like everybody else.

“Okay everyone, I’m gonna skip the formalities because let’s be real, nobody cares,” Tony said. Tony gestured to the screen in the wall and pulled up the footage the Peter’s mask had caught the night before.

“So,” Tony began, “this is the footage that Peter’s suit camera caught during the fight. After running several scans we’ve managed to at least identify the gender of each criminal. Four men and two women were involved last night.” Tony let the footage continue to play. 

Steve spoke up. “I think it’s a little suspicious that there’s only six people. Something tells me they’re part of a bigger group.”

There were murmurs of agreement around the room and Tony nodded in agreement as well. “We could be looking at a small criminal organization. Hopefully not, but it’s definitely a possibility.”

“Peter did you see what direction they took off toward?” Wanda asked. 

Peter shook his head no. “It would have been to the North if they had gone straight from the window, so that’s the best lead I have. But they also could have gone any other direction. Once they knocked me down I couldn’t get up in time to see where they went.” 

“Okay well that’s something,” Nat said. “We can do some searching for any suspicious activity, at the very least we can rule out a few places.”

“Steve and I will help you out,” Bucky offered. 

“We all will,” Thor said and Wanda nodded along. 

“Sounds good, but there’s also the issue of the weapons that they used. While they had some standard firearms, they had some others that were clearly advanced in ways that a petty criminal group shouldn’t be able to get their hands on, the video shows a few.”

The Avengers all turned back to the screen. They watched as the criminals used their weapons against Peter. And cringed when he was thrown back against the wall.

“It reminds me of a HYDRA weapon,” Steve said referring to the electric gauntlet.

“I don’t now about that,” Tony said, “but it’s definitely not one of ours, or any other that we’ve ever encountered. So here’s my plan. Steve, Wanda, Thor? I want you guys on weapons duty. Look through some old files, anything you can think of that might even be remotely similar. We have to start somewhere. Barnes, Nat, Bruce? I need you three to look through location files. Any secret or abandoned bases you’re aware of. We’ve gotta try and track these people down, especially if they attack somewhere  again.”

Bucky, Nat, and Bruce nodded. Everyone was ready to help. 

“Okay. This doesn’t need to be something that you dedicate every waking second to, but try and spend an hour or so a day doing whatever research you can.”

“What about me?” Peter asked. 

“Help out where you can. But kid, please do not go back out looking for these guys. In fact, I’d like to keep you in the next couple of nights, just in case they try to go after you now that you’ve gotten involved.  They’ll probably see Spider-Man as a threat and make you a target. These people are unpredictable and they have crazy weapons. There’s no telling what they could do.”

Peter wanted to argue really badly but everybody else was in the room, so he decided it wasn’t the time. Also Tony had shot him The Look, which meant that he wasn’t dropping his decision so Peter shouldn’t bother arguing.

Tony dismissed the meeting and everyone left the conference room. Peter was a bit irritated that Tony wouldn’t let him go after these people, but he knew that Tony was probably right. 

Peter heard the others talking about going down to the gym, so he decided to go along.  

Down in the gym, Peter kept pace with both Steve and Thor when it came to weight lifting. Even after all these months, working out with the Avengers was still surreal.

After doing a bunch of his exercises, Peter decided to go to one of the boxing heavy bags and blow off some steam. He was still frustrated over everything that had happened last night.

He sat on the bench next to one of the bags hanging from the ceiling and wrapped the white tape over his hands. Looking across the gym, he saw Thor and Steve and Bucky lifting extremely heavy weights, while Nat and Wanda worked on some fighting combos they could use with Wanda’s power. 

Peter put the boxing gloves on and started in on the bag. This wasn’t the first time he’d come down to the gym to do this. While Peter wasn’t someone with a lot of pent up anger- or any for that matter -sometimes school stress got to him and it was a good way to relax. 

When Peter had almost knocked the bag off the hook it was hanging from, he stepped back and rested. He was breathing heavily and sweat was running down his forehead, making his brown curls stick to his forehead. 

He sat on the bench and grabbed the water bottles. It was one of the ones that when you squeezed, the water shot right out into your mouth. 

Peter drank a bunch of water while he caught his breath. He took his gloves off and unwrapped the tape on his hands, flinching in pain. His arms were weak and sore and felt like jelly.

Peter threw the tape out, grabbed his water bottle off the bench, and headed for the elevator. 

He went up to his room, and would’ve collapsed on his bed if he wasn’t so sweaty. He decided to take a shower first. 

In the shower, he had a lot of time to think about the meeting. He was still pretty frustrated with Tony for telling him to stay in. He knew if he went out he could stop them this time. He knew how they fought now and wouldn’t be caught off guard by their weapons. 

Even though it was exactly how he got into a big problem during homecoming a year and a half ago, he was older now and more experienced. Then, he’d only been Spider-Man for eight months. Now it had been about two years. 

Peter brushed the thought away; for now.

Peter was noticeably distracted by his thoughts all throughout dinner and Wanda asked him multiple times if he was alright. He, of course, said he was, just so he wouldn’t raise suspicions. 

After dinner Peter went back to his room and started pacing the floor. He knew if he went out and got caught, Tony would be so disappointed in him. But if he went out and caught them, Tony wouldn’t really be able to be mad at Peter for being successful. 

Peter liked to think he had common sense, but given the choice he made, saying that was questionable.

Peter put on the suit and jumped out this bedroom window into the cold winter air, hoping he’d find some clues about these criminals.

***

Two hours later, Peter was wishing he’d listened to Tony. 

Naturally, Tony had been right and the exact person these criminals had been waiting for was Spider-Man. Peter had taken another beating too, only to watch his mission end in another failure. And a nasty black eye.

I’m definitely losing the suit, Peter thought.

He swung back toward the Tower hoping that he’d be able to sneak in unnoticed. He came to the window in the hallway where everybody’s rooms were, and slowly pushed the window open. 

Peter crawled in and  closed the window behind him as quietly as he could. He snuck down the hall as quietly as possible to his room. 

And of course, right when he got to his room, Wanda walked out of hers. 

Peter facepalmed. 

“Peter? What’re you doing?” She asked.

“Uh...nothing, just going to bed,” Peter was staring at the floor, actively avoiding eye contact so she couldn’t see the massive bruise.

“Why do you have your suit on?” 

“Oh...that...uh, no reason! Look I’ve gotta lot of homework, I’ll see you in the morning!” Peter hoped that would work but as he reached for the doorknob his hand froze in the air in front of it. 

Peter looked down to see the red energy around his hand, then looked up to see Wanda’s hand outstretched. 

She kept her hold on Peter with her powers and walked toward him. 

“Look at me,” she said running low on patience. “Also, Peter it’s Saturday, why would you have homework to do?”

Peter sighed, defeated, and looked up. Wanda let out a slight gasp. “It’s not that bad, Wanda,” Peter tried to explain.

“Seriously? Peter it’s the darkest purple I’ve ever seen!” 

“Shhh! Wanda please! Don’t tell Tony! He’ll kill me if he finds out I went back out as Spider-Man.”

“I’d like to take your side, Peter, but he specially told you not to got out for this exact reason. What if you get hurt?”

“I know! I know!” Peter said throwing his non trapped hand up. “Please just...don’t tell.”

Wanda finally released her powers from his hand. “Fine. But please, Peter. Promise me you won’t go back out? I don’t want you to get hurt either and everyone is so worried after what happened last night.”  

“I promise Wanda. Just please don’t tell!”

Wanda sighed. Why’d she always have to get caught up in crap like this? 

“Fine. And come by my room tomorrow morning if that’s still bruised, I’ll help you cover it with some makeup.”

“Thank you so much!” Peter ran up and hugged her. 

Wanda hugged him back. “Now go get some sleep,” she said lightly pushing him toward his room.

Wanda watched him close the door and smiled fondly. She couldn’t help but think of how similar Peter and Pietro were.

***

Peter woke up the next morning and immediately went to the mirror to see his face. His eye was still pretty purple, and it hurt like Hell to push on it, but it was becoming slightly yellowish, which meant it was healing. 

He walked over to Wanda’s room, who let him in and led him to the bathroom. She seemed to be ready because she had makeup strewn all over the place. Peter wasn’t sure if it was always like that, or if it was because she knew she needed to help him.

Wanda spent about ten minutes perfecting the makeup around Peter’s eye. Peter was impressed. Even with his enhanced eyesight he couldn’t tell a difference.

Thankfully Tony never noticed Peter’s eye, but Peter still felt guilty for sneaking out. 

That afternoon Peter went back to the apartment after his weekend at the Tower. He worked on his homework, which ended up taking hours because of how distracted he was.

He had to figure out some way to deal with these criminals.

Chapter Text

When Peter showed up to the Tower on Monday, FRIDAY instantly informed him that Tony wanted to see him in the lab.

Peter was stressed out about it now, because Tony had probably figured out he’d snuck out on Saturday night. Last time that happened the suit was taken away, so Peter expected nothing less this time.

It’s not that had done it out of pure defiance. He genuinely believed that he’d be able to catch them and put a stop to whatever it was that they were planning before it got out of hand. All he had to show for it was a mostly gone black eye.

Peter got up to the penthouse and greeted Steve, Bucky, and Nat who were all talking over coffee at the table. Peter walked past them and went up the flight of stairs to the lab.

Peter opened the door to see Tony tinkering with one of his hand repulsors. Tony looked up to Peter and didn’t exactly frown, but he definitely didn’t smile like he normally would. “Hey kid. Sit down will ya?”

Peter sat at one of the lab chairs about ten feet away from Tony. “So kid, how was your little adventure the other night?”

Peter smacked his hand against his forehead. “Shit, you found out.”

“Okay first off- language. And of course I found out. Peter I told you to stay out of this but there you go, completely defying what I asked from you.”

“I didn’t defy you I-“

“Then why’d you still go out?” Tony said interrupting.

“Because I- I just thought I could stop them. Before it got out of hand you know? It was stupid, I know that, and I feel bad for what I did.”

“I know, but kid this is dangerous. I just want you to understand that I’m not keeping you in just to be a jerk and make you miserable. It’s for your own good.”

“I know, I’m so sorry. I promise I won’t do it again. The guilt has already eaten me alive, I’d have probably turned myself in by the end of the day.”

Tony laughed. “God Kid, you make it hard to stay mad at you,” Tony paused for a second like he was trying to make up his mind about something. “Fine. I’m giving you grace on this one. I know you were just trying to do the right thing, but kid, you need to stay in for the next few days. I don’t want them going after you. You could get hurt- or worse and that’s,” Tony stopped for a minute trying to keep it together. “That’s not something I could live with.”

“I’m sorry. I really am, I promise I’ll stay in, I’ll even give you the suit if it’ll make you feel better.”

Tony shook his head. “No. Hold onto it in case there’s an emergency and you absolutely have no other choice. But don’t be surprised when your windows are locked just to be sure.”

“Ugh, fine.” Peter started to walk away when he remembered what else he wanted to ask Tony. “Hey, has anybody found anything suspicious or worth looking into about these people?”

Tony shook his head. “Steve, Nat, Wanda, and Thor took the jet out this morning to scout out some old warehouse, but they didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.”

Peter nodded. “Okay. Well I’m gonna go get my homework done. See you at dinner.”

“See ya then kid.”

Peter walked off and went to retrieve his backpack from the couch where he’d shrugged it off earlier. Almost everybody was at the table, so Peter brought his work there. He didn’t want to be all alone in his room, he got way too bored.

He spent a little too long catching up with everyone but it wasn’t a big deal, he didn’t have too much to work on.

Once he was done, dinner was ready which was great because he was pretty sure he was about to starve to death. He heard Nat and Steve talking about their mission and wondered what exactly had happened. “Tony told me about your mission, anything interesting happen?”

Thor shook his head no. “Just an old abandoned building. Wasn’t even anything inside.”

“Basically a cold lead,” Steve explained.

“But we do have some other places we’ve thought of looking into. We’re not gonna give up,” Nat added trying to sound optimistic about the unsuccessful mission.

“If you guys don’t mind, maybe I could help out a bit after dinner?” Peter asked.

“Of course, Peter,” Steve said.

They finished their meal and Peter went with Nat and Steve to the library in the Tower. The library wasn’t the biggest, but it was definitely one of the most beautiful rooms in the Tower.

The library had several state of the the art computers and books lined on shelves that were built into the walls. A dark colored wood with intricate designs on the edges defined most of the shelves, which were built into the walls themselves. Peter looked up at the tall ceiling to see a royal blue Avengers logo on the beige ceiling. The room was truly beautiful.

Peter had only ever even been inside once. He was allowed access at anytime, but it was several floors below the penthouse, which made it very lonely while he did work. Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly his go to place for studying.

Nat and Steve both went to the large desk they’d been working at. It held two computers and more papers and files than Peter had ever seen. The files and papers appeared to be strewn everywhere, which made Peter question how they knew which papers belonged with which files.

“Organized chaos,” Nat said with a smile as she addressed his thoughts.

Steve sat at his computer an began digging through some weapons files. Anything ranging from Hydra tech, to the Chituari, to Ultron at Sokovia.

“Steve, did you ever hear back from T’Challa about those weapons potentially being vibranium?” Nat asked.

“Yep. He had Shuri look at them, she said they weren’t any of her designs which is a relief. If they had vibranium weapons, they’d be an even bigger threat.”

Nat nodded. “Okay that means I can cross a few places off the list.” Peter watched
as Nat marked off a few spots on a map. He assumed those were potential bases.

“Speaking of Shuri,” Nat began, “how are things going with you two?”

Peter blushed a bit. “Things are fine. We just- you know- miss each other.”

“Aw how cute,”

“Nat. You’re embarrassing him,” Steve said.

“That’s my job, Steve.”

Peter rolled his eyes. “So uh...is there anything I can do?”

Nat smiled. “Yeah I’ll teach you how I’ve worked out some location cluster algorithms based off of the information we have in the files. It’s pretty simple, and you’re smart, so you’ll catch on quick.”

Peter was actually really interested to see how much thought and details had to go into the work. Putting in incorrect range coordinates could throw the algorithm off by miles and give you an inaccurate range.

“Steve do you have the Rumlow file I gave you yesterday?” Nat asked.

“I handed it back to you when we stopped,” Steve said not bother to look up from his work.

“No you didn’t, I wouldn’t have misplaced something so important,” Nat defended.

“Nat I gave it back right as we wrapped everything up.”

“Bull, It has to be around here somewhere.” Nat shuffled some papers around looking for it. “Steve are you hiding it from me?” She asked after a few minutes.

“Yes Natasha, I’m hiding it just to bother you,” Steve said sarcastically.

Nat glared at him.

“You know Tony always said you guys bickered like a married couple, I see it now,” Peter said laughing.

“It’s only because he’s wrong about everything,” Nat said.

Peter laughed again as Steve rolled his eyes. Bucky walked into the room with a mug of coffee, carrying a file. “Hey guys here’s the Rumlow file. I took it yesterday to do some work, sorry.”

“Who’s desk did you get it from?” Steve asked.

“Your desk,” Bucky replied simply.

“I told you!”

“But that’s not possible, I specifically remember setting it down on Nat’s desk.”

“Hmm, that’s weird. But it was definitely sitting right on top of your keyboard.” Bucky said.

Nat shot Steve an “I told you so” look and went back to work.

They worked for another hour until they decided to call it a day.

Peter left around nine and went back to the apartment. He was exhausted and really needed a good nights sleep.

After saying bye to Tony and the rest of the Avengers, he headed home. At home he spent a little while talking to May before both of them went to bed.

Peter put on some pajamas, set his alarm on his phone, and crashed.

***

The next day was extremely slow. All of his classes were full of lectures and note taking, making for an extremely dull day.

When the bell rang to dismiss him, Peter had never been more ready to leave.

It was a cold, snowy day in January that made Peter just want to sit down, watch a movie, and take a nap. But he had work to do with Tony, so the nap would have to wait.

He reported straight to lab when he got to the Tower, pretty anxious to get to work. Peter opened the lab doors and slung his backpack off on one of the unoccupied lab tables.

“Okay kid, change of plans today,” Tony said.

“What do you mean?”

“I have a mission for you.”

Peter’s face lit up. “Really?”

Tony nodded. “Yes, really. Nat and Steve were doing some searching and found a place of interest I guess you could say. Anyway, we have reason to believe this criminal group could be involved with it. So, I’m sending you along with Steve, Nat, Thor, and Wanda to go check it out. Just make sure you take your backpack in the Quinjet. I don’t want you to get back late and use it as an excuse to not do your homework.”

“Deal!” Peter beamed. “But wait, what about you?”

“Pepper’s been feeling a bit nauseous today, so I’m going to stay behind and make sure she’s alright.”

“It’s nothing serious is it?” Peter asked.

Tony shook his head. “No, no, I’d say at worse it’s a minor case of the flu. No reason to worry.”

“Okay. So when do we leave?”

“Meet everyone at the hangar in twenty minutes,” Tony said.

“Cool! I’ll be there!”

Peter went off to his room to get his suit on and make sure it was all running smoothly. Peter grabbed his mask and headed for the hangar. He was beyond excited to go on a mission with the Avengers.

When he got to the hangar, everybody was there waiting for him. “Nice to see you Spider-Man,” Steve said patting him on the back.

“Glad to be here, Cap,” Peter said with a salute.

Nat walked down the ram of the Quinjet. “We’re all loaded up and ready to go. Just waiting on you guys.”

“Let’s get moving,” Steve said heading into the ship.

Steve sat in the cockpit and got the jet up and moving. Peter sat with Wanda in the back of the jet while they took off, once they were steady on course they could move about. Steve would also be briefing them on the mission at that time.

Peter admired how awesome all of it was. Thor was decked out in his Asgardian armor, holding Stormbreaker. Nat was in her old Black Widow suit, complete with the electric weapons on her wrist, and the two pistols strapped to her side. Cap was using his stealth colored shield, which Peter had only ever heard of. The whole mission was something Peter could hardly fathom.

After about five minutes, the jet leveled out and Steve had FRIDAY take control of the piloting system. The middle of the ship lit up with a hologram projection of the building they were headed for.

Steve cleared his throat as he began. “Okay, so this old warehouse is the point of interest. Nat has found reason to believe this could be a base of operations for this criminal group. If that’s the case, it’s probably covered with traps so any other interested parties can’t get inside. Peter that’s part of why you’re here. Tony told us about your Spider sense that can alert you to danger before it happens, that’ll be extremely helpful today.”

Peter nodded. “I’ll do my best.”

“We’re not sure if we’ll even find anything, but if we do, we’ll handle it as a standard recon situation,” Steve looked around. “Everybody understand?” Everyone nodded. “Good, we’ll be landing soon, so you guys might want to strap yourselves in.”

Peter never realized how serious Steve could be. It was almost like Steve had two personalities, Captain America, and Steve Rogers.

Peter sat quietly while waiting for the jet to land. It was immediately clear that a mission with the Avengers was far more serious than a typical patrol as Spider-Man. He wasn’t sure if he liked the seriousness or not.

The jet began descending and landed in a small clearing in the middle of a forest. Everyone gathered at the back of the ship and the ramp descended. Everybody stepped out into the cold air. It was cloudy, windy, and the dark gray clouds made snow seem likely.

“Where are we?” Peter asked.

“Far upstate New York,” Nat replied.

“No wonder it’s so cold,” Thor said rubbing his hands together. Thor had decided not to wear his armor sleeves, which he was now regretting. His bare arms were freezing.

They walked through the forest for a few minutes until they came up on the large clearing where what appeared to be a munitions warehouse was located.

Cap and Nat scaled a nearby tree, needing the high ground to scout out the base and make sure there weren’t any perimeter guards.

The clearing was a large circle, so Peter ran through the trees to get to another vantage point.

“Clear on this end,” Cap reported.

Peter used Karen’s abilities to scan the area around the building. Nothing suspicious on his end. “Clear here,” Peter said.

“Clear.”

“Clear.” Thor and Wanda both reported.

“Alright. Let’s head closer,” Cap said.

They all met up at on of the side entrances. In one hand, Nat held up a small scanner to have FRIDAY check the building for heat signatures, in the other she held a pistol with a suppressor screwed onto the end.

“No heat signatures detected, the building is clear,” FRIDAY reported.

“Let’s head in.”

Steve broke the lock with his shield and pulled the door open. Everybody stepped inside and headed down a dark hallway that led to what they assumed was the large opening of the warehouse. They kept their weapons ready, just in case there were any surprises.

It was extremely dark inside, making it nearly impossible to see anything.

“I bet there’s a circuit breaker around here somewhere,” Steve said.

“I can look for one with my night vision mode,” Peter offered.

“Good idea.”

Peter activated it and swung up to a metal support beam toward the ceiling. The room was full of boxes and crates. They had writing on them but Peter was too preoccupied to read them.

A few minutes later, Peter stumbled across the circuit breaker. He shot a web at it and had Karen activate the taser web function in his suit. Just like that, the lights came on.

“Good work Peter!” Nat said through comms.

“Meet up in the middle,” Steve requested.

Everybody headed there. The middle of the warehouse held the majority of the crates. On the outside they had a old weapons company brand that Nat was familiar with.

“Hammer?” Thor asked curiously reading the crates. “I used to have a hammer once.”

Steve shot Thor a look.

Thor held his hands up. “Sorry, sore subject. My bad, I forgot.”

“Thor-“

“Unworthy!” Thor said through a fake cough.

Peter laughed but Nat seemed extremely focused. “No. Hammer as in Hammer Industires, an old business rival of Stark, basically out of business since the Stark Expo incident.”

“What incident?” Steve asked.

“Wait I know what you mean!” Peter said catching on.

“You do?” Nat asked. “You’d have only been like ten, did you keep up with the news or something that young?”

“No, I was there.”

“You were?”

“Yeah! My Uncle Ben knew how much I loved Iron Man and his inventions, so he got us tickets. He really couldn’t afford them, but he wanted to surprise me. Tony saved me that night. I had a little Iron Man mask on and stood in front of one of the robots, trying to be brave. I held my hand out like he always did, even though it wasn’t going to do anything. Tony came up behind me and shot it, told me ‘nice work’ then took off to fight some more bad guys.”

“That’s so weird. I was there, too infiltrating one of the bases and taking out some of Hammer’s lackeys.”

“But I still don’t understand.” Steve interrupted. “What did this Hammer Industries do that caused such a big problem?”

“Justin Hammer and his company were an old business rival of Stark Industries, jealous of the success Iron Man had brought to Stark. Basically what Hammer wanted was to sell his own version of the Iron Man suit and use it as a reinforcement for the various branches of the United States Military. But the man he had help build the suits wanted revenge on Stark because of his weapons. He hijacked the suits and basically attacked the Expo. Hammer was arrested and his ally was killed. The business pretty much collapsed after that.”

“So why would there be Hammer weapons here?” Wanda asked.

“My question exactly,” Steve said.

“Do you think they could’ve been running underground and behind our backs this whole time?” Peter asked.

“I don’t know,” Nat replied. “Let’s go through these boxes, see what we can figure out.”

Thor opened a big crate that contained several metal gauntlets. “Hey Peter? Isn’t this one of the weapons they used against you?”

Peter came over to Thor. Sure enough, it looked almost identical to the one they’d used on him a few days ago. “Yeah that’s it. Hammer must be behind this. What do you think Nat?”

“It looks likely. We’ll have to report this back to Tony. But first, let’s see what else we can find.”

While Peter was looking through a crate, his Spider sense went off. In the distance he could hear something roaring towards them.

“Peter, there is a short range missile inbound,” Karen warned.

Peter’s heart skipped a beat. “What? Who fired it?”

“Unknown. You have ten seconds to impact.”

“Wanda make a shield!” Peter shouted.

“What?” She asked confused.

At this point, the roar of the missile could be detected even by normal hearing.

“Shield!”

Thankfully all of the Avengers were close by and Wanda was able to throw her hands up just as the missile collided with the building.

There was an impossibly loud noise as the missile exploded and the building crumbled around them. The ground shook violently upon impact, sending debris flying in all directions and bouncing off of Wanda’s force field.

The rubble settled around them after a minute or so and it was finally safe for Wanda to deactivate the force field. The red energy around them faded, revealing the destruction of the building.

Everything had collapsed all around them.

“That was really close,” Thor said a bit stunned.

“Too close,” Steve replied. “Whoever launched it definitely doesn’t want us here. Let’s take one of these crates back to Tony and Bruce, maybe they can break them down and figure a few things out.”

Not nodded. “Good idea.”

Once the crate was loaded on the jet they took off back to the Tower. The ride was extremely quiet, Peter was pretty sure everybody was shaken up after what just happened. He knew he was. The only one who could’ve survived that was Thor.

That’s why Thor was glad Wanda had been there. If she hadn’t made the shield they’d have all died except for him. In a second he couldn’t be lost a big chunk of the people who he thought of as his family. And with all that had happened to him in the last seven months, he didn’t think he could handle loosing anyone else.

They got back to the Tower around seven o’clock. Tony, Bruce, Sam, and Bucky we’re anxiously awaiting everyone’s arrival, and we’re concerned when they saw how down everyone looked.

Steve explained everything to Tony, who glared when he heard about Hammer Industries. It made it clear to Tony that there was a lot more going on than they were aware of. Tony said he’d take the equipment to the lab and see what he could figure out. If Hammer was back, that was probably really, really bad news.

Tony gave Peter a pat on the back. “I’m proud of you kid.”

“For what? All I did was go on the mission.”

“If it hadn’t been for you and Wanda, things would’ve gone very differently. You did good.”

Peter smiled. “Thanks Mr.Stark.”

“So, are you staying for dinner tonight?”

“Actually I was gonna go home and spend some more time with May. She’s had a normal shift today and I promised her I’d be there.”

Tony was a bit sad to hear that, but he understood. “Alright kid, see ya later,” Tony said giving Peter a hug.

Peter returned the hug then took off into the city below on his way home.

Tony watched him go for a couple moments before walking back toward the Tower. Tony really didn’t know what he would have done if Peter and Wanda hadn’t been there today. Tony couldn’t imagine losing anybody else who meant so much to him.

He was also extremely grateful for Peter’s Spider sense, without it, Peter would’ve died too, and Tony knew he truly couldn’t ever live with that.

He really loved that kid.

Chapter Text

“You did what?” Ned asked in disbelief when Peter told him about the mission he’d been in with the Avengers the day before. “Tell me everything!”

Peter laughed nervously. “Okay, first Ned, you have got to keep you’re voice down in public, and second, it was more scary than cool.”

“How?”

“Well we went to investigate this old suspicious munitions warehouse to see if it could be a base or hideout of some sort that those criminals I told you about are using. We’re still not sure.”

“Okay, but how was it scary, it still sounds awesome!” Ned really couldn’t stop geeking out, and he was being loud, which was really stressing Peter out. 

“Ned please! Shhh!” Peter lowered his voice. “You’ve gotta stay quiet.”

“Right...sorry.”

“So we were looking through some of the crates of weapons when my sense went off because someone had fired a short range missile at us. Pretty sure we stung a trap when we walked in. So I panicked and told Wanda to make a shield, which she did in just the nick of time.”

“Holy crap, Peter. You could’ve died,” Ned said a bit shocked. 

“I know, we all could have. Except maybe Thor, I’m pretty sure he’d have made it out without too much damage. But regardless, everybody was pretty shaken up afterward. I’ve never seen the Avengers so tense in my life, and I helped them fight a universe ending threat.”

Ned didn’t really know what to say at that point. Knowing he could’ve lost his best fiend was terrifying. Sure it could happen at any time with him being Spider-Man and all, but it was still a scary thought. 

The bell rung, announcing the end of lunch, dismissing Ned and Peter to their next class. Unfortunately they didn’t have that class together. 

The rest of Peter’s day was pretty slow, but that wasn’t anything new. All he wanted to do was go back to the Tower and help Tony take the weapons apart and figure out where they were from. It would be hard, but at least it would be a fun challenge. 

When the finally bell finally rang, Peter was more than ready to be out of school. He went to his locker to grab one of his books then headed out into the cold. This year had been one the coldest winters they’d had in a long time and Peter was getting tired of it. 

The ride to the Tower was quick and Peter was thankful for the warmth inside. He went up to the lab as he always did after school. Inside, Tony was busy looking at one of the electric gauntlets that he’d been attacked with. It was mostly dismantled at this point. Bruce was also there, studying some of the parts Tony had taken from the weapon.

“Hey, Mister Stark!” Peter walked all the way in and dropped his backpack on one of the empty desks. “What’re we doing today?”

“Trying to figure out where the hell this thing came from,” Tony said through the screwdriver he was holding in his mouth. He was trying to pull a part off the gauntlet, but it wasn’t budging. 

Tony stopped for a second to rest. “How was school?” 

“Same old same old. Boring, got better things to do, like help out here.”

Tony and Bruce chuckled. Peter walked close to look at the pieces they’d taken apart. “Doesn’t look foreign to me,” Peter observed.

“That’s the thing,” Bruce said from the other part of the lab. “It’s made of normal materials, no alien materials or anything like that, so we can’t figure out what makes it so powerful.”

“So it’s not a weapon that Vulture used?” Peter asked look toward Tony.

Tony shook his head. “Don’t think so, kid. They used the Chitauri tech and there’s no trace of it here.”

“What about Hammer? Did he ever have anything like this?” Peter asked.

“Not that we ever came across. Nat did some more extensive research on him to make sure. She’s one of the only others who’s ever been to one of his facilities. Freaky as they were, she even found the old drone schematics, nothing like that was on them.”

“Yeah those things were creepy,” Peter said remembering his moment of somewhat foolish bravery.

“How do you know?” Tony asked.

Peter realized he’d never told Tony about that night. “Oh my God I forgot I never told you.”

“Told me what?”

“I was there! Uncle Ben knew how much I loved your inventions and how awesome I thought Iron Man was. I knew he really couldn’t afford it, but his double shifts began to make sense when he got us tickets to go.”

Tony slowly began to realize where Peter was going with it. “Wait...no...was that- was that little boy...you?”

Peter smiled. “Yep. You saved my life at nine years old.”

“Holy crap, kid! You realize you would’ve died if I hadn’t been there, right?”

“Yeah, but nine year old me thought I could actually fire a repulser beam from my hand and protect those people.”

That made Tony proud of Peter. Even as a little kid, he’d wanted to look out for other people. But Tony also felt a little guilty that Peter’s poor uncle had to pay so much to get into that event. He wished he’d known Peter sooner, he couldn’t gotten them in for free. Also, if he had Peter in his life sooner, one of the best things that ever happened to him would’ve been there even longer.

“God I can’t believe that kid was you,” Tony said shaking his head. “Come here kid, see if you can help me get this thing out of there,” Tony motioned to the gauntlet. 

Peter walked over and grabbed hold of something on the inside of the gauntlet.

“Okay, do you feel a thin-ish metal rod?” Tony asked.

Peter fumbled around for a second, his hand finally connecting with something that fit the description. “Yeah I’ve got it.”

“Alright I just need you to pull on it.”

Whatever it was, it managed to give even Peter’s advanced strength a run for its money. Eventually Peter felt it give, then yanked it out. The electric beam on the gauntlet went out.

“What is this?” Peter asked, inspecting the piece in his hand.

“The power coupling. It’s what allows it to function. I think if Bruce and I study it, we may be able to find its origin.”

Tony handed the piece to Bruce, who began to do a few scans on it. 

“So, kid, got any homework?” Tony asked clapping his hands together and looking back toward Peter.

Peter groaned. “Ugh, yeah, chemistry quiz tomorrow. Definitely not looking forward to that.”

“Well why don’t you do some studying while Bruce and I work on this?”

“Okay. Stupid quizzes are keeping me from working on stuff that’s actually, you know, interesting and fun,” Peter complained.

Tony chuckled and went over to help Bruce. Peter pulled out his chemistry book and grabbed his flash cards from his backpack pocket. He began flipping through them, encouraged by the fact that he seemed to know most of the terms and the chemical formulas.

After a couple hours of reviewing notes, flash cards, and everything in between,  Peter pretty much had everything nailed down, so he decided to take a break. Tony and Bruce had left the lab a little while ago anyway. 

Right when he set his pencil down, FRIDAY informed him that dinner was ready. Good. Peter was suddenly aware that he was absolutely starving. 

He moved down the stairs quickly and saw several boxes of pizza sitting on the counter in the kitchen. “Eat up, kid!” Tony called from the table.

Peter grabbed six slices of pizza and sat at the table. He was glad to be away from his books and be able to actually interact. Studying for a long time like that always wore him out. 

Around eight o’clock, Peter decided to head home for the night. It had been a long day and he wanted to make sure he got a good nights sleep before his test the next day.

Peter put on his suit so he could just swing his way home. It was a much faster way to travel than the train.

“Bye, kid,” Tony said as he was leaving. “Be careful, and make sure you avoid those criminals. Just go straight home, I don’t want you getting hurt.”

“I will, I promise. See you tomorrow!”

“See ya!”

Peter swung off into the cold night air, wanting desperately to be home. He could practically hear his bed calling his name, even though it was pretty early. Studying always drained him of his energy faster than anything else.

He tiredly swung through the buildings, not feeling the normal rush of adrenaline as he swung above the streets. 

About halfway home, he caught sight of a mugging and groaned. Normally he’d be more than happy to help, but he really just wanted to get home. 

After fighting the five embarrassingly incompetent muggers, he quickly made his way home, hoping to not get caught up in any more crimes.

Peter had been feeling... off, ever since the missile was launched at them yesterday. It’s like his sense never totally calmed down from the incident. 

He’d had that before, when he fought Vulture and then again with Thanos, and even with the occasional larger crime in the city. But his sense always relaxed when he’d been away from danger long enough.

But for some reason, this time it was being persistent. And it wasn’t like it was screaming danger either, it was just a little dull felling really. He figured he should probably tell Tony.

He landed on the roof of a building to relax for a minute. He was just about six blocks from home so he didn’t have much farther to go.

That’s when he heard the scream. A shriek, really, coming from several blocks away from home. Without his advanced hearing, he’d have never detected it.

He sighed and leaped form the building heading toward what he hoped wasn’t as big a deal as it seemed. 

He rushed through the buildings as fast as he could to find the source of the noise. Back in a deep alley, were two people, one man and woman who both appeared to be in their late thirties.

“Karen, run scans,” Peter said.

“These people appear to be employees at the building that was attacked last week,” Karen replied. “These are the criminals that Mister Stark has warned you to stay away from.”

“I know, I’m just gonna hang back for now. Don’t contact him.”

Peter listened in on the conversation between the criminals. There were eleven of  them. All of them armed with assault rifles and machetes, one person had that electric gauntlet thing, and the other weapon that had thrown Peter into the wall.

“Not good. Very not good,” Peter whispered to himself.

“Why don’t we just kill them?” One man asked. 

“No!” A woman harshly whispered. “I told you, we need them, and until we have the information, they stay alive. Only shoot if things go south. Clear?”

“Yes ma’am.”

Interesting, Peter noted that they were, or at least this particular group, was run by a woman. That’ll help narrow down suspects.

Peter knew that he should call Tony or go home or something, but he was worried it would take too long. Plus, while he may have lost to a smaller amount of these people, he was pretty sure he could handle it.

He decided to call Tony but before he could confirm the call they started interrogation, and that’s when Peter knew he had to intervene. 

“Hey!” Peter shouted from his little perch.

“My God, again?” 

“FIRE!” The woman roared.

As crazy as it sounded, Peter was grateful when they started firing at him and not the civilians. Being shot at was not something he ever thought he’d be thankful for.

He swung around the bullets as best as he could and kicked the rifle away from one attacker. He shot him with web, then threw him at two more, knocking them all over. He hit them with a web grenade which stuck them to the ground.

Peter ripped the gauntlet off the arm of one criminal, then threw it back, smacking them hard in the face and knocking him unconscious. 

Seven to go.

The woman who seemed to be the leader drew a strange short truncheon weapon that extended into an electric sword type thing. 

Can’t make it easy, Peter thought. 

He shot the blade of the sword, but just like the gauntlet, the electricity dissolved the web.

He webbed her leg next, taking her off her feet and about to hit her with a web grenade when more of them appeared behind him. 

He punched, kicked webbed, and did everything possible to make sure they were down. 

It came down to a man who was at least six and a half feet tall and the woman with the sword. She picked her self up and Peter fired at her. 

Pttt pttt Peter tapped the web shooter but nothing came out. Empty. 

She ran at him and he dodged her blow as he reloaded his web fluid and kicked he man away. 

He fought hard against the woman, using every skill he knew. He felt a shock and burning pain as the blade made a minor cut in his torso. 

Finally he ended up kicking her away and taking the sword. He held it at her throat. He had no intention of killing her, just let her know that he would hurt her more if he had too. She and Peter both already had several bruises. 

Peter attempted to call Tony again but was interrupted when he was lifted from the ground and thrown nearly a block away.

He spun through the air and landed on a short, four story building with a large concrete balcony. He landed on his left arm with a hard thud and rolled across the large balcony until he hit his head against the brick railing. 

His head spun violently on contact. His vision was going black around the edges. In the area he could see, he was literally seeing stars. He was also fairly certain he’d just totally shattered his left arm. 

The hostages, he had gotten distracted. He had to get back to them in case these criminals decided their usefulness had run out. 

He picked himself up, ready to go back into battle when suddenly, the man and woman were on the balcony with him. 

Shit, Peter thought. He assumed they used that weapon that threw him to get to the balcony. Thank God it was large, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to fight. 

He ran up to them dodging blow after blow as his senses screamed at him. Too many things were happening at once and he knew that he was going into sensory overload. He wasn’t able to focus on anything when that happened. 

He was now getting hit left and right yelling in pain when the blade made contact or when his left arm was hit.

As Peter fought he could feel the blood running down his torso. He managed to get a few kicks in here and there and a punch or two with his good arm. Eventually, he knocked the woman away. 

The man saw her collapse, then drew his pistol and fired at Peter. Peter narrowly avoided the bullets that shot at him. The pistol was empty, and Peter, if his senses weren’t going crazy and he hadn’t been hit so hard in the head, would’ve jumped at the man. But instead it didn’t register until he was sliding another magazine into the butt of the pistol. 

Peter ran at him and was smacked across the face multiple times by the butt of the gun. He heard a crunch and was pretty sure it was his nose breaking. Sure enough, blood began to trickle from his nose.

Each blow made his vision swim and his head throb in a pain he’d never felt before.  

He willed his senses to react but he was still in overload, his reaction time was back to a normal human now.

He managed to web the hand that held the pistol, or at least, the hand that he thought had the pistol. The man raised the gun and fired. 

Peter registered the ear splitting sound of the gun and the sudden, intense burn in his left shoulder as the bullet hit.

Peter cried out and fell to the ground in pain. The woman was struggling to her feet, and the man took the sword from her. 

Peter couldn’t believe the feeling in his shoulder. He’d never felt anything even resembling pain like that. He willed himself to pass out so he wouldn’t suffer anymore, but he remained conscious.

He let out a cough and blood came up, sticking to what was left on the inside of his mask. His suit was in tatters from all the cuts, and Peter could feel the blood running from his wounds. 

He groaned and the man came over with the sword. “You’ll never get in our way again Spider-Man.” The man leaned down and dragged the knife across Peter stomach. Making a massive cut that began to squirt blood all over the place. Peter screamed in pain and watched in shock as he literally saw his life drain out of him.

The man raised he sword and aimed at the center of Peter’s chest, intending to impale him. 

This is it, Peter thought, this is how I die.

Peter’s vision went dark, he told himself that the sound of thrusters speeding toward him was his brain giving him one last false sense of hope.

Chapter Text

Tony returned to the lab once Peter had left. There wasn’t much more for him to do, he was just bored. Besides, sometimes just tinkering could lead to an unexpected breakthrough.

Tony had FRIDAY scan a part from one of the weapons when Pepper walked into the lab.

“Hey, Pep!” Tony said walking toward her. He gave her a big hug. “Feeling better?”

She nodded. “Yeah I feel fine now, I think it was just a little twenty four thing. Nothing to worry about,” she smiled at Tony.

While Tony wasn’t known for being the most observant, he seemed to notice something in her eyes as she was talking. Was she...lying? Tony shrugged that off. If Pepper still felt sick she would have said so, plus she didn’t look sick anymore either.

“So whatcha working on?” She asked.

“Taking those weapons apart. I can’t believe Hammer may be involved. It doesn’t seem like any of the weapons that he used but the crates did have his logo on them.”

“What makes you think it’s not his tech?”

“Because it works,” Tony said matter of factly.

Pepper chuckled. “I don’t seem to remember him having the best plan. Plus Nat took him down and got him to talk in five seconds flat.”

Tony did a fake shiver. “Anyone who values their life would’ve done the same thing.”

Pepper nodded and laughed again. “So Nat and Wanda got bored and are making cookies? Why don’t you come on down? Visit with everyone then go get a good nights sleep?”

While Tony wanted to stay up in the lab, he really didn’t have a reason to. They weren’t making much progress and he wasn’t very likely to stumble upon something tonight. “Okay. Let me clean this place up a bit and I’ll be down,” he said smiling.

Pepper gave him a kiss. “Hurry down.”

Tony smiled as she walked off. He grabbed some of the papers he had scattered around and set them in one of the file folders.

He reached for one of the papers when FRIDAY interrupted him. “Boss? Mister Parker’s vitals are in critical condition.”

Tony was sure he felt his heart stop. “Wha-What do mean?”Tony stammered.

“Mister Parker is in imminent mortal danger and in need of immediate medical attention.”

Tony activated his nano tech suit instantly and the lab window slid open so he could fly out.

“Give me his location!”

The location popped up on screen. Tony knew he was about to have a panic attack. What could’ve happened to Peter in the half an hour he’d been gone?

Tony flew toward the marked location so fast that FRIDAY had to warn him to slow down. Tony ignored the warning as he sped toward Peter. He felt nauseous with worry and was pretty sure his blood pressure was at an all time high.

Tony finally saw what was happening. There were a few men webbed to walls just a bit before he got to Peter.

Tony panicked when he saw Peter. There was a man above him holding a large sword, about to stab him with it.

Tony put his arm out and aimed. The same canon he’d threatened Drax with on Titan formed. That same fear Tony had felt when Quill had the gun to Peter’s head was the fear he had now, although this was probably multiplied by fifty.

Tony didn’t hesitate to fire. A blue energy blast shot from it and barreled into the man just before he could stab Peter. The man went flying into the brick wall with a sickening crunch, leaving a dent in the bricks.

Tony landed and thought he was going to pass out from pure overwhelming sadness and desperation when he saw Peter.

The kid was a mess. Peter was in a puddle of his own blood with his left arm visibly broken. One of the bones threatened to break the skin. He suit was in tatters and he had a massive cut in his stomach with several other in his torso. What Tony could see if his face from the ripped mask was covered in cuts and blood. But most horrifying was the gunshot wound in his shoulder.

“Oh God,” Tony whispered so Peter wouldn’t panic, then at normal level. “Kid you’re gonna be okay, alright?”

Peter didn’t reply. Tony used the nano part that he’d used on Titan. He managed to seal the wound up, but he knew from experience, it wouldn’t help much.

Tony picked Peter up and shot off toward the Tower faster than he ever had. Peter felt limp in Tony’s arms, and Tony was worried he wouldn’t make it back to the Tower. FRIDAY kept the vitals on the screen. Peter was alive: at least for now.

Tony told FRIDAY to alert Bruce to get to the med bay and to be ready. Bruce was confused, but saw the look on Tony’s face and knew something bad was happening.

Peter somehow gained semi-consciousness, just enough for him to be aware of his surroundings. “Mister...Mister Star’?”

“Yeah- yeah kid it’s me. You’re gonna be okay. I promise,” Tony’s voice broke off at the end.

That surprised Peter. Was Tony crying?

“I don’t- I don’t feel so good.”

“Kid stay with me! You’re gonna be okay! Just keep your eyes open alright? Stay with me kiddo!” Tony was borderline hyperventilating and at this point couldn’t stop his tears from falling.

“I-I’m sorry...I...” Peter tried to finish his sentence but his body wouldn’t let him. He slipped into unconsciousness once again.

“PETER!”

***

That night at the Tower could only be described in one way: abnormally quiet. At least that’s how it seemed to Wanda.

Nothing was out of the ordinary, in fact quite the opposite. Steve, Bucky, Sam, and Thor were all playing video games, Tony was in the lab, and her and Nat were making cookies.

Wanda wasn’t the only one who had been extremely bored that night so her and Nat decided why not?

God knew the boys could eat an ungodly amount of food so they sent a long time making them.

Wanda would’ve enjoyed cooking for everyone much more though if it wasn’t for that nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. She couldn’t put her finger on it but something just felt...off.

“Nat?” Wanda asked quietly. “Doesn’t something feel...off?”

Nat gave her a somewhat concerned look. “What do you mean, ‘off?’ The boys are playing video games, Tony’s in the lab, and Pepper is with him. Everything seems fine to me.”

“Maybe I’m just going crazy,” Wanda said returning to stirring the ingredients to make the cookie dough.

“I wouldn’t say that, I mean like, is something bothering you?”

“Nothing than I can think of, something just doesn’t feel right. Maybe my powers are acting up, I don’t know.”

Nat gave her a positive smile. “If you want, go lie down for a few minutes, you might just be tired. I’ll take care of this,” Nat said gesturing toward the cookies.

“I don’t want to make you do this by yourself,” Wanda said.

Nat scoffed. “I think I’ll be okay.” Nat’s face softened and she put her hand on Wanda’s shoulder. “Now seriously, just go lie down and get some rest.”

Wanda gave Nat a tired smile. “Okay.”

Wanda started toward the living room adjacent to the kitchen when Steve came in looking like he’d seen a ghost.

“Guys,” Steve’s voice was breaking.!Nat and Wanda looked to him. “Peter. He’s- he’s hurt.”

Nat and Wanda shared a look of shock. “What happened?” Wanda snapped urgently.

“I don’t know for sure, but it’s bad. Really bad, we have to get to the med bay.”

Nat, Steve, Wanda, and everyone else made a beeline for the elevator.

When they got down Tony was sitting in the waiting area crying.

“Tony? Where is he?” Steve asked.

“Bruce is working to keep him stable but that’s all he can do. And it’s bad,” Tony started crying again. “Oh God it’s so bad. Bruce doesn’t even know if he can keep him stable until Doctor Cho can get here.” Steve and Pepper Star next to Tony, each one putting a comforting hand on Tony’s shoulder. Nat and Wanda were hugging and both crying, while Bucky, Sam, and Thor sat down with the saddest looks on their faces that anyone had ever seen. Thor began to cry as well. Everyone loved Peter so much.

“How long will it take Cho to get here? Is she in Korea?” Steve asked.

Tony shook his head. “No, by some miracle she’s in LA. The jet is on its way. But it’s still a three hour flight. I don’t...I don’t know that Peter will make it,” Tony said putting his face in his hands to cry some more.

“Did you call May?” Pepper asked.

Tony just nodded, he was too busy sobbing to react any other way.

As of on cue, May walked- or more accurately- ran into the me bay with tears running down her face.

“Where is he? I need to see him!” She said hysterically.

Steve walked over to her. “Bruce is taking care of him, he’s doing everything he can. Doctor Cho is on her way as well, but Bruce can’t help if you’re back there.”

“I don’t care! Please I have to see him! I can’t- I can’t lose anyone else,” May fell into one of the chairs crying.

She got up after a couple minutes and walked over to Tony. “This is your fault!” She shouted at him. “If you hadn’t ever gotten caught up in all this, made him a suit, and encouraged him, none of his would have happened!”

“May...I-“ Tony actually thought he was about to die of sadness then and there. Because May was right. And the amount of guilt Tony felt was so overwhelming that he couldn’t even begin to explain it, much less process it.

May was clearly going into hysterics at this point so Pepper took her hand and led her through the double doors that took them to the hallway.

May was still crying impossibly hard. “It’s his fault!” She insisted.

Pepper knew sticking up for Tony would be really hard without sounding biased, but she had to try.

“May, please, don’t blame Tony-“

“But it’s- it’s his fault,” May said sobbing.

Pepper was crying too and it was making it really hard to even have a conversation.

“May, please don’t blame Tony, he’s already going to blame himself enough.”

May didn’t even seem to be listening, which really frustrated an already emotional Pepper.

“May! Please! I need you to listen!” Pepper rarely yelled, but when she did, Lord did you hear it.

She definitely got May’s attention. “I’m sorry,” Pepper said, “but I need you to listen, okay? Please, don’t blame Tony for this. It’s not his fault this happened, or Peter’s, it’s the fault of the people who attacked him. Yes, Peter wouldn’t have the suit if it wasn’t for Tony, but Peter still would have been Spider-Man, regardless of that.”

May seemed to be actually listening. “Tony-“ Pepper started crying again, “Tony loves that kid so much that he thinks of him as his own son. The guilt is going to eat Tony alive for the rest of his life probably, so please don’t put more on him. Tony has been through so much, and I know you have too, but please, don’t blame him.”

“I-I’m sorry, Pepper. It’s just, Peter is all I have left in the world. I raised that boy and if I lost him, I don’t know what I’d do. After losing his mom and dad, and then Ben, I don’t think I can take anymore. That kid is my world, he’s all I’ve got left.”

“No,” Pepper said. “You’ll always have us.”

Pepper brought May in for a long, tear filled hug. “Thank you, Pepper,” May wiped her eyes. “I think I should apologize to Tony.”

Pepper and May walked back to the waiting room where Tony was surrounded by the Avengers who were all still crying.

Steve saw May walk in and stood up. “Guys? Maybe we should give Tony and May some space?”

The others reluctantly agreed. “Please, let us know,” a teary eyed Wanda requested.

“He will,” Pepper said speaking for Tony.

Pepper walked away with the others so that they could talk in private.

“Tony. I’m sorry for what I said.”

Tony looked at her confused. “Why? You’re right. Its all my fault. That kid would be living a nice, normal, happy life where people don’t shoot at him and constantly try to kill him if it weren’t for me. None of this would have happened.”

As much as May wanted to agree, she knew that she couldn’t blame something that happened two and a half years ago on something that happened an hour ago. She knew that Pepper was right when she said that Peter wood have been Spider-Man no matter what. That kid was already going out behind her back for six months before Tony, and eight months before May herself, found out.

“Tony, no, don’t blame yourself. I was wrong to blame you, and I’m sorry. The people who did this to him are the ones to blame. Peter wouldn’t be hurt if it wasn’t for them. It’s not your fault. I reacted poorly, and wasn’t thinking straight enough to know what was really going on.”

Tony wiped the tears from his eyes and gave her a sad look. “May. I’m so sorry.”

May brought Tony in for a hug.

“Please, tell me what happened.”

Tony sniffed and sighed. “Multiple cuts on his torso, some of them, especially one, are very deep. An extremely bruised face, and what appears to be a broken nose,” Tony had to stop and get his composure before he said anything else, “he’s was also...he was also shot, in the upper left shoulder.”

May started crying again and Tony did as well. “Is he- is he going...,” May wasn’t sure if she dared to say it, “is he going to die?”

Tony shook his head. “Bruce is keeping him stable, but he isn’t exactly a surgeon. He has medical training, but nothing that advanced.”

May nodded sadly. “But,” Tony continued, “Doctor Cho will be here soon, she’ll be able to operate on him.”

A tear and stress filled hour later, Doctor Cho arrived.

“Bruce is in the med bay,” Tony said.

She nodded and addressed May quickly. “My name is Helen Cho, I’ll be working on Peter. I promise I’ll do everything I can to save him.”

May shook her hand and watched as she quickly left into the med bay.

All they could do now was wait, hope, and pray for the best.

***

After twelve tormenting hours of waiting, Helen emerged from the med bay. She looked exhausted and the blood on her scrubs wasn’t exactly a positive sign. But when she saw Tony and May, she smiled brightly. “Peter is doing well, he’s going to be okay.”

Tony and May hugged for an extremely long time. May walked over to Helen and gave her a hug as well, thanking her to no end for saving Peter.

“Can we see him?” May asked.

Helen nodded. “Yes, but I’m afraid you cannot come into the room yet. He needs some undisturbed rest, but you can see him through the window on the door. As much as I’d like to let you in, he really needs to stay asleep so he can recover. It was not an easy fix by any means.”

May and Tony both accepted that, it was much better than nothing.

Helen led them to the room that Peter was in. When Tony saw Peter, he had to stop and make sure he was looking at the same kid.

The skin on Peter’s face that wasn’t cut or bruised was as white as a sheet. He had an oxygen mask over his mouth and a large assortment of different tubes were stuck into his arm.

Tony and May both cried again at the sight of him. Seeing such as horrible thing happen so such a sweet kid was physically painful for both of them.

“What exactly happened to him?” May asked.

Helen took a deep breath, she knew that it would be hard for them to hear granted that it was quite a long list. “The radius and ulna in his left forearm are both shattered, along with a cracked humerus. He has a major concussion, along with a broken nose, three broken ribs, multiple cuts in his torso, and he has a gunshot wound in his upper left shoulder.”

May let out a tear-filled gasp. “Oh my God.”

“But I do have good news,” Helen continued. “Peter will eventually make a full recovery. A normal human would not. Due to his advanced healing, his body will eventually put itself back together. It will take quite some time, but he’ll eventually be back to normal.”

“How long?” Tony and May asked simultaneously.

“The average human would take six to twelve weeks to recover from a broken bone, with healing factor and the severity of the breaks, I’d say it’ll take more like seven. The other wounds will heal up fairly quickly as well. The head trauma will take the longest. A normal human would have permanent brain damage. It wouldn’t be severe, likely just have a slight effect on his memory, but I think with a few months of rest, he’ll be back to normal on that front as well.”

“Thank you so much Helen,” Tony said.

“When will he wake up?” May asked.

“His body has been through a lot of trauma, so he’ll likely be out for the next twelve hours or more. That is totally normal given the circumstances. But now, it’s you two who need to get some rest. You’ve both been awake for more than twenty four hours. I will call you as soon as he wakes up.”

Tony wanted to object, but he was totally exhausted and so was May. Tony nodded at Helen and walked away with May.

He showed her to one of the many guest rooms and went up to fill everyone in on what happened to Peter.

When Tony walked into the elevator, he saw that literally everybody else had stayed up all night too, or at least they all crashed in the living room.

All eyes fell on Tony, eagerly waiting to find out what happened to Peter.

“He’s alive,” There was a sigh of relief from everybody in the room. “But he’s severely injured and still unconscious. Doctor Cho said he should wake up within the next twelve hours. She also said that she expects him to make a full recovery.”

Pepper came up to Tony and hugged him. “You need to get some rest,” she stated.

Tony knew she was going to say that and everybody else seemed to agree, so he reluctantly trudged to his room. He knew there was no way he would be able to fall asleep, but he figured he may as well try.

He got into bed and laid there staring at the ceiling. He felt so guilty about everything that happened. Peter would probably blame him for everything and hate him for it.

That thought hurt Tony. He loved that kid so damn much that he wouldn’t know what to do if Peter didn’t want to be around him anymore.

Tony spent a long time crying and hating himself, until he somehow managed to cry himself out and fall asleep.

***

When he woke it was a few hours later. He looked out the window and noticed that it was already dark.

“Boss,” FRIDAY cut into his thoughts. “Doctor Cho has requested I inform you that Mister Parker is now awake.”

Chapter Text

Tony didn’t hesitate to leave his room and head through the penthouse to the elevator.

A million thoughts were going through Tony’s head, but all he really wanted was to make sure his kid was okay. He knew he shouldn’t think like this, but if Peter had just stayed away from it all like Tony asked...

Steve saw Tony walking through the room and stopped him. “Tony, wait.”

Tony groaned. “Peter’s awake, I’m going to check on him,” Tony said, the irritation obvious in his voice.

“He is?” Steve sounded surprised. Tony assumed Cho must have only wanted him there so Peter didn’t feel too crowded. “Anyway,” Steve said. “Nat and I went to the crime scene to see what all happened. From what we gathered from the police, Peter was there to stop a hostage situation. But the hostages,” Steve’s voice broke. “The hostages didn’t make it.”

Tony felt cold spread all through his body. Not only were these criminals stealing government files and blowing up buildings, but they were executing innocent civilians as well.

Tony looked Steve dead in the eyes. “Peter does not find out about that.” Tony said the words to sternly and with such a fire in his eyes that Steve took a step back.

“O-okay,” Steve stammered.

“If Peter finds out about it, he’ll blame himself forever and he doesn’t need that on his conscience.”

“Tony it’s not his fault.”

“I know. But he’ll blame himself no matter what. He’s just like me in that sense. Peter will be a complete wreck if he finds out those people died, so you tell the team to make sure that around Peter, if it comes up, that he managed to save the hostages, okay?”

“Of course, Tony. We don’t want to see Peter suffer anymore than he is now, he means a lot to all of us,” Steve replied.

“Thank you,” Tony said.

Steve did something Tony didn’t expect would ever happen again: he gave Tony a hug. Tony wasn’t quite sure how to respond at first, but he ended up returning the gesture. Things between Steve and Tony after Thanos were way better than they were when the team was split, but there was always an unspoken chill in the air. Tony didn’t feel that way anymore. For some reason, just a little hug from Steve, made Tony feel like everything between them was finally back to the way things should be. And it was nice. Even though Steve and Tony never really did see eye to eye, Steve had always meant a lot to him, whether he’d let on about it or not.

Tony and Steve pulled away and Tony nodded awkwardly as he turned toward the elevator.

“Tony,” Steve said and Tony turned around. “Let us know how he’s doing.”

Tony nodded and boarded the elevator. His heart was beating a mile a minute in anticipation of seeing Peter. He had no idea what he’d say to the kid or what he could do. Peter was hurt, and Tony blamed himself.

***

Peter wasn’t exactly sure what was happening. His eyes were shut but he was completely conscious, sort of feeling like he was floating.

He wanted to open his eyes and see where he was, but he couldn’t manage to get them open. All he knew was that he was seriously hurt. He remembered enough from...the previous night? Peter realized he didn’t even know how long he was out. But he figured, given his injuries, that it had been a little while.

Peter recalled Tony flying him back to the Tower and that he was trying to apologize for disobeying Tony’s orders and fighting. He knew he had to do something for those poor hostages but Peter wished he had just listened like he was supposed to. None of it would have happened if he had.

Peter began to feel that he was waking up more, he could hear sounds around him now. A woman’s voice registered, she was saying his name.

“Peter? Peter?” A hand touched his shoulder and he jerked away startled.

That was a mistake. Every single part of his body ached. He knew he must be on pain meds, but there was still a dull ache all throughout his body.

“Peter it’s okay. My name is Doctor Helen Cho, I’m a friend of the Avengers.”

Peter settled down, and finally managed to open his eyes. He was met with the painfully bright lights of he med bay and a kind-faced woman looking down at him.

“‘M sorry,” he slurred.

“It’s okay. You’ve been through quite a lot recently. I’ll call Tony and your aunt down to see you.”

“Lights, too bright.” Peter said squinting. The bright lights were extremely painful and he figured he had a bad concussion.

Doctor Cho went over to the wall and turned the dial on the lights down to fifty percent.

“Thanks,” Peter croaked. He felt extremely dehydrated even though he saw and felt the IV stuck in his arm.

Cho nodded and went over to the computer. What she was doing, Peter didn’t know.

There was a knock on the door to the room, and Cho went to open it. May walked in and came right over to Peter’s bedside.

“Peter,” she said desperately.

“Hi, May.”

“Oh my God I’m so glad to see you again. I was so worried about you.”

“‘M sorry, May.”

“No Peter it’s okay, it’s not your fault. You’re gonna be okay and you’re going to make a full recovery.”

Peter didn’t know if that was true, or if May was just wishfully thinking out loud. Peter looked her in the eyes. “Wha’ all happen’ to me?”

Cho spoke up. “You have a very extensive list. I imagine you’re aware of the gunshot, cuts and broken arm, but there’s more. You have three cracked ribs, a broken nose, and a major concussion.

Peter felt sick. He only had himself to blame for everything. If he’d just listened to Tony, none of it would’ve ever happened. He could only imagine how upset Tony would be with him.

Peter felt tears welling up in his eyes. The thought of Tony being upset with him hurt more than any of his wounds. He’d never be able to look at Tony again.

“Oh Peter don’t cry. You’re going to be fine. Are you in pain?” May had the same look on her face and tone of voice that she had whenever Peter got sick.

Peter shook his head. Talking was becoming painful due to the sore throat and the sound of his own voice was enough to hurt his head.

May held onto Peter’s right hand at his bedside. He felt truly miserable. He wished he’d just go to sleep and wake up to find out it was all one big nightmare. But he knew better, he knew it was his real life and he was going to have to deal with it all.

A few minutes later and the door knob turned and Tony walked in looking very poorly rested.

Peter’s heart jumped in his chest. Tony would never think of Peter the same after all that’s happened now.

Tony put his hand on May’s shoulder. “Do you mind if I talk to Peter alone?”

Peter felt like his heart stopped. He could tell how disappointed Tony was in him and it just hurt to think about.

May nodded to Tony and gave Peter a gentle kiss on the forehead as she walked out of the room.

The door closed, leaving an uncomfortable silence in the room.

Tony sat in the chair May had been sitting in on Peter’s bedside.

Tony gave him a sad look. “Peter. I’m so sorry this happened.”

Peter was surprised. Why would Tony be sorry? Peter was the one who didn’t listen and got himself hurt because of it.

“If I hadn’t ever gotten involved with you being Spider-Man, you never would’ve gotten hurt. I’m so sorry.”

“‘S not your fault. I didn’ listen to you, and got hurt. You should be mad.”

Tony’s face softened. “Peter I’m not mad at you. I’m not mad at all. This wasn’t your fault. You were just doing your job as Spider-Man, and even if you mixed up with the people I told you to avoid, you were still just doing your job. So don’t be sorry. This all happened because I encouraged you to be Spider-Man and made you a suit and got you involved with the Avengers when you were fourteen.”

“‘S not your fault either. You didn’ hurt me, they did. And it’s ‘cause I didn’ listen.” Peter scrunched his face up in pain. He was sort of hoping this conversation would end quick.

“Peter don’t blame yourself. You were just trying to help.”

Peter knew Tony was going to keep insisting that it never would’ve happened if he hadn’t helped him be Spider-Man, so he decided there was only one way it would work.

“Fine. I won’ blame myself, but you can’ blame yourself either. Deal?”

Tony chuckled. “Deal.”

Doctor Cho walked into the room carrying a bottle of water. “Good news. You still have to stay hooked up to the IV for another day or so, but I think I can give you some fluids orally now as well. I need to give you your pain medicine as well.”

She handed Peter he water bottle and he drank the whole thing in seconds. He nodded his head at her as if to say “thank you.”

Cho injected the pain medicine into his IV bag and Peter almost instantly felt tired. All he wanted was to be unhooked from the IV and allowed to sleep in his own bed again. The hospital bed was definitely not as comfortable.

May came back into the room a few minutes later and sat on the other side of Peter’s bed. She gently placed her hand on his broken one covered by the cast.

Peter realized his vision was becoming blurry and he was about to be out cold. But he was happy that for now, Tony wasn’t upset with him, and that maybe after all this, things could go back to normal.

Chapter Text

Peter woke up the next day, not feeling better in the slightest. If anything, he felt worse. 

He knew he’d slept the whole night but even with the drugs he didn’t feel he’d fallen into a deep sleep at any point. 

Peter was sure he’d never been so miserable in his entire life. His head still throbbed with every beat of his heart, and his shoulder and torso had a sort of numb pain to them due to the medicine. He knew he was in for a long recovery.

He glanced at the clock and saw that it was only seven in the morning, much earlier than he’d normally wake up. All he really wanted to do was sleep for a week so he’d could wake up and maybe be able to at least get out of bed. 

With nothing to do, Peter’s mind wandered. If he remembered right, he’d gotten in the fight on Tuesday night, which meant that, according to what he knew, it was Thursday morning. Which meant he was missing school. 

Another thing to worry about, Peter thought. 

He wondered what Ned and MJ were up to. They were probably worried about him given he just hadn’t shown up to school the past couple of days. He wished he’d had his phone to text them and tell them what happened. 

Then he thought about Shuri. Did she know what happened to him? Was she worried that she hadn’t gotten any texts either? Surely Tony or somebody had told her or T’Challa what happened to him.

Peter’s thoughts were cut off by the sound of a snore nearby. He looked to the left and grunted in pain at the movement. But he saw that Tony was lying in the bed next to him, still dressed in normal clothes. 

Peter let out a light chuckle and winced in the pain that it caused. He just wished he wasn’t in pain anymore.

The door knob turned and Doctor Cho walked in. “Hi, Peter. How’re you feeling?”

“Everything hurts,” Peter replied. 

Doctor Cho made a sympathetic face. “I’m sorry. The pain meds are probably wearing off, I’ll give you another dose. Hopefully in a couple days, you won’t need to be hooked up to the IV anymore.”

Tony woke up, stretched and hopped off of his bed. “How ya doing kiddo?”

“Not good.” 

Tom also made a sympathetic face. “Where’s May?” Peter asked.

“She had to go back to work. She pleaded with her boss but she ended up having to go. I’m sorry.”

Peter just nodded sadly.

“He should be able to leave the room in a couple days,” Helen said cutting into the conversation. She was preparing Peter’s next dose of medicine. 

“Thank you,” Tony said.

“T-Tony?” 

Tony turned back to Peter. “Yeah?”

“Did someone tell Shuri what happened?”

Tony nodded. “We let them know. T’Challa said they may be able to come here and see you but he does have a nation to run, and Shuri has her responsibilities.”

Peter nodded. “I just wanted to make sure.” Peter switched subjects. “So what am I gonna do about school?”

“May called and told them a cover story. She said you were injured in a mugging and that you are recovering.”

“Thanks. Do you know where my phone is? I wanna text Ned and MJ so they know that I’m doing okay.” 

“Got it charging over there,” Tony said, motioning toward the wall. Peter looked over and saw it plugged in.

“Could you grab it for me please?”

Tony did and handed it to Peter. “Thank you.”

Peter sent a text to his group chat with Ned and MJ letting them know what all had happened to him. 

Peter set his phone down and shut his eyes. Even the light from the phone had bothered him.

“So,” Tony said. “I’m set to go to the Raft prison today. I’m going to go have a talk with Justin Hammer and hopefully get an answer, or at least some information, out of him. I’m taking Nat with me to make sure that happens. I hope we can come back with an answer for you.”

Peter nodded. “Good luck. From what you’ve told me about him, he’ll talk. Especially if Nat is with him.” Peter paused for a second when something occurred to him. “Wait, you should take Wanda. Can’t she read minds?”

“I’ll ask her about it. Mind reading is a sort of touchy subject with her though. It’s an aspect of her power she doesn’t like to exploit.”

Peter nodded. He understood why it would bother Wanda. Of all the other Avengers, Peter had gotten closest to Wanda over the past nine months and he knew how she felt. He knew that there wasn’t a day that passed where she didn’t feel regret for helping Ultron, or guilt over what happened in Lagos. 

“Alright Kid, I’m going to leave you in the extremely capable hands of Doctor Cho, I’m also going to send Thor down to help take care of you while we’re gone.”

Peter felt a bit guilty, he didn’t want to bother Thor by making him help take care of him. “Tony you don’t have to make Thor-“

Tony put his hand up, cutting Peter off. “Thor volunteered. Cant believe he didn’t dislocate his arm with how fast his hand shot up when I asked if anyone would be willing. Don’t sweat it kid.”

“Okay.”

Tony gave Peter an awkward hug given that Peter was laying down and had an arm in a cast.

“Good luck, Tony,” Peter said.

Tony winked at Peter as he left the room. Tony still felt guilt gnawing at him over what happened to Peter. He’d never be able to fully forgive himself for what happened. 

The elevator ride to the penthouse was short and Tony went looking for Wanda. He found Nat, who was with Steve, Bucky, and Thor. They were all up and eating breakfast together. It looked like Steve had made pancakes.

“Is Wanda up yet?” Tony asked to no one in particular as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

“Not as far as I know, why?” Nat asked.

“I think she may be helpful to take along today.” Tony sat down at the table with the others.

“Tony...you’re not going to make her read Hammer’s mind...”

Pshh no, that’s not why,” Tony said looking away from her and doing a very poor job of lying.

“Jeez, Tony you cant make her do that.” Nat said sternly. “She’s still basically a kid, and you know how much she hates using that part of her powers.”

“I know Nat. I don’t want her to dig deep, but she could be able to differentiate truth and lies.”

Steve chimed in. “Tony, that’s probably not the best move. Maybe you should just take me with you as extra support, and not make Wanda get involved?” Steve suggested. 

Tony considered it. While Steve may not be able to read someone’s mind, he did carry a powerful presence. And given that Hammer would say just about anything to protect himself, taking Steve along would probably be enough. 

“You’re right,” Tony said.

That got him a confused look from everyone. 

“Did you just agree with me?” Steve asked.

Tony nodded. “Yep. You’re right. If we take a well known Avenger like yourself along, he’s probably going to talk. Hell when we dealt with him years ago, all Nat had to do was push his face against the desk and bend his arm behind his back.”

Nat chuckled at the memory.

“Alright so it’s settled. I’ll go along with you two and Wanda stays and doesn’t get involved.”

Tony and Nat nodded. It was time to figure out what was going on.

***

An hour later, Tony met Steve and Nat at the hangar to board the jet. Tony boarded and saw that Nat and Steve were both flying. 

“It’s a bit of a flight so get comfortable,” Nat said.

Tony did so and waited anxiously as the jet took off toward the Raft.

About an hour and half later and they were landing. Tony was ready to confront Hammer. He had no intention of leaving without an answer or at least some information.

They made their way off the jet and approached the door that led them further inside. 

“The Avengers,” Secretary Ross said with a slightly hostile tone as they approached. 

“Secretary,” Steve said with a head nod toward him.

“We need to see Hammer,” Tony said. He knew Ross would know this, but after all that happened, Tony’s respect for Ross was less than nonexistent.

“Still making demands I see,” Ross replied sarcastically.

“Still full of bullshit after we saved your ass,” Tony retorted, not even remotely worried about what he’d said.

Ross looked like he was about to lose it, even thought legally, he obviously couldn’t. 

“Just let us speak to Hammer,” Steve said. 

Ross allowed them in and had somebody else escort them to the interrogation room that Hammer was in. 

“Let me go in first,” Tony said. “It’s been a while.”

Steve and Nat let him go. Tony opened the door and saw Hammer sitting with his hands handcuffed to the table. He looked much too thin, with his glasses appearing that they could slide off his slender nose at any time. The blue and black suit that was standard for Raft prisoners also appeared to be a bit too large for his now too thin body.

“After all this time Anthony, now you come to visit me.” Hammer looked up at Tony and glared at him. “Why?” He said with a bit of malice behind his words.

“I think you might know why.”

“What do you mean?”

About two weeks ago, a group of criminals attacked one of the government’s buildings in the Financial District, injuring several people and successfully stealing a government file. They showed up again later that week. And on Monday, a few of the Avengers found an old warehouse in upstate New York.”

“What does any of this have to do with me?” Hammer said becoming impatient.

“The crates that they discovered were full of new, high-tech weapons. ‘Hammer Industries’ was written on the box. After it was discovered, a short range missile was fired, destroying the building and the evidence. Wanda Maximoff  saved them. The next day, Spider-Man, who is now an associate of the Avengers, was severely injured after trying to foil an execution. I want to know why these people have new Hammer tech, how they managed to get ahold of it, and why they’re killing innocent people.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Ever since the Expo when you ruined my perfect idea, my company basically went out of business. You watch the news, I’m sure you saw the company stock crash.”

“That doesn’t explain why your logo was on those crates,” Tony said sternly.

“I don’t have any other associates who could pull this off. And even if I did, why would I wait so long to try and strike back against you. I mean look around,” Justin gestured with his hands as best as he could with them handcuffed. “I clearly didn’t have any chance.”

“Nat, Steve.” Tony said signaling them to come in. 

Nat and Steve walked through the door. Hammer tried to back away a bit when he saw Natasha.

“You again? Great.”

“How’s the arm? I’m sure it’s healed after eight years,” Nat said cooly. 

“Ha Ha,” Justin said sarcastically. “And you two don’t need to be here. I told you, I don’t know anything! I’m just as confused as you as to why my company name was on the crates. Manufacturing stopped about a year after the Expo. What more can I say?”

Tony called a private huddle. “Nat you’re a spy. Does he seem to be telling the truth?”

Nat nodded. “As far as I can tell. I haven’t noticed a single one of his tells that might show he’s lying, not watching through the window or in here. I think he’s genuinely confused.”

“Shit,” Tony muttered.

They turned back around. “Okay,” Tony began. “You clearly don’t know what’s going on with all this, and it looks like you’ve probably just been framed. Don’t think this means we won’t be keeping track of you though.”

Hammer nodded and the trio walked from the room.

The flight back was long. Everybody was disappointed with the false lead, which undoubtedly meant they were set back even farther from the real culprits. At least they now knew, or were pretty sure, that it wasn’t Hammer, but they still had a lot of work to do.

Tony sighed. He was hoping that they’d get a lead, and maybe, just maybe, he’d have been able to come back and cheer Peter up with some good news.

Unfortunately, it didn’t look like that was going to happen.

Chapter Text

“Uno!” Thor whisper shouted placing his card on the stack. Since Tony had gone with Steve and Nat to talk to Hammer, Peter was bing watched over by Thor and Wanda.

Peter and Wanda groaned. For someone who just learned how to play the card game, Thor was surprisingly good.

“I’m convinced you’re cheating,” Wanda said at a lower level acknowledging Peter’s noise sensitivity from his concussion. She looked Thor over, not entirely trusting him.

Thor made a mock offended face. “Me? Cheat? Wanda please.”

Peter chimed in. “I don’t know, Thor. It’s a little suspicious.”

“You guys are mean,” Thor whined. He crossed his arms and made a fake pouting face.

Wanda and Peter rolled their eyes and Wanda set another card down. When Peter’s turn came around, he would raise up the card he wanted and Wanda would place it for him since his left arm was still stuck in the sling.

Peter picked a wild card and Wanda grabbed it for him, then looked at his cards and considered the color. Thor had hit him with a draw four card early on and Peter hadn’t ever really come back. He had three blue and three yellow. Right now the color was green, and he didn’t know if Thor needed that color, or if he needed a different one. That’s the one part of uno that Peter didn’t like. Peter finally decided on the color. “Yellow.”

If Thor was affected in a positive or negative way, he didn’t show it. Something he’d learned the hard way when he played Poker with the other guys.

Peter fondly remembered as Thor got a good hand and boasted about it, giving away his cards and basically telling everybody how to beat him.

Thor dramatically looked over his last card, then put it down“And...I win!” Thor said throwing down a yellow card with the number “7” on it.

Peter groaned in both pain from Thor yelling and from losing. Wanda tossed her hand of cards into the middle with the others, defeated.

“One more round?” Peter suggested.

The door to the room opened and everyone turned to see Doctor Cho walking in. “Just checking in,” she said pleasantly. She turned toward Peter. “You feeling okay right now?”

Peter nodded. “Head just hurts really bad still.”

Cho made a sympathetic face. “I’m sorry Peter. With a concussion like yours, there is only so much we can do for it.”

Peter understood. He knew he’d been hit hard. Getting thrown into a brick wall and beating up the barrel of a pistol with his face would positively give him a bad concussion. If he didn’t have advanced healing, he’d have permanent brain damage.

“I’ll be back in a couple hours with your pain medicine,” Cho said, then walked form the room, closing he door behind her.

“Okay, one more round. Whoever wins this wins the whole thing, how about that?” Wanda suggested.

“Sounds good to me,” Peter said.

Wanda used her powers to lift the cards and shuffle them. They’d learned long ago that Wanda could shuffle the most effectively that way.

As Wanda was dealing the cards, the door opened again and Tony walked in.

Peter’s face lit up at the sight of him. “What happened?” He asked enthused.

“Well we definitely got to talk to Hammer, but unfortunately, he didn’t know anything. We asked him many times, even threatened him a bit, but got nothing back. Nat couldn’t pick up on any tells that he was lying and him being Hammer, he would of told us if it meant he was protecting himself.”

Peter nodded. He couldn’t pretend he wasn’t disappointed, but he tried to put a positive spin on it by considering that Hammer was now one less person they had to worry about.

“So how you feeling?” Tony asked trying to change the subject.

“I’d be better if Thor wouldn’t cheat at Uno,” Peter said winking at Thor.

Thor just sighed by couldn’t hide his smile.

“He do okay?” Tony asked Wanda.

She nodded. “Seemed like it. We just had to make sure we kept our voices down and the lights dim so we wouldn’t bother his head. He also drank about five bottles of water.”

“That’s good,” Tony said. “Cho said you need to make sure you stay hydrated. She also told me that tomorrow she’d like to try and get you out of bed and moving again. That sounds good doesn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Peter said happily. “I just hope it’s not going to make it impossible to do everyday things.”

Tony sighed. God, it hurt to watch this poor kid suffer. A kid who normally had so much life in his eyes, and was so happy, was now replaced by a kid who looked exhausted, sad, and scared most of the time. Peter could of course be distracted from his injuries and still be happy, but they always reared their ugly head.

“It’ll be hard to do some things, but we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, and soon, you’ll be back to normal like it never even happened.”

“Thank you,” Peter said, truly grateful.

Tony nodded and ran his hand through Peter’s hair.

“Still feel up for Uno?” Wanda asked Peter, holding up the cards.

“Sure.”

The next hour was filled with laughter and a lot of losses by Peter. Tony and Peter decided to play as a team and Tony took care of placing he cards for them. Tony and Peter lost just about every game, but Peter forgot about his injuries and the things that were dragging him down lately.

After the final round, Peter had to have his medicine again and he quickly drifted off to sleep.

A few minutes after he was out, May showed up from work. Because she’d missed a day when Peter was first hurt, she’d had to work a double shift.

“How’s Peter?” May asked as soon as she saw Tony leaving the room with Thor and Wanda.

“He’s asleep,” Tony explained. “Doctor Cho gave him his medicine so he’s out, but tomorrow she thinks it’s time for him to try and get out of bed. His cuts and bullet wound are healing well.”

“Okay. Do you mind if I at least go see him?”

“I don’t think it’ll be a problem, but just ask Cho to make sure.”

Cho was happy to let May in while Peter was resting. May walked in and sat next to him and took his hand. She’d been so worried about Peter all day, it was nice to see that he seemed to be alright, and encouraging that Cho thought he’d be ready to get out of bed tomorrow.

She looked at his face and noticed that the cuts were healing well and the black eye was healing nicely, too. She brushed a hand through his hair and planted a kiss on his forehead.

Peter’s eyes fluttered just a bit. He slowly opened them. “May?”

“It’s okay Peter, go back to sleep. I love you, kiddo.”

Peter gave a slight content smile, not quite showing teeth. “Love you too, May.” The words didn’t come out very clearly, but May knew what he was trying to say.

She gave Peter one last kiss on the forehead and got up from the chair.

“Sleep well, buddy,” she whispered, and closed the door to his room.

***

The next day, when Peter woke up, he was surprised to realize that he didn’t feel quite as bad. He was still sore as hell and his head hurt, but he seemed to feel better.

Doctor Cho walked in. “Hi, Peter, how’re you feeling?”

“Better today. I’m still sore and my head hurts, but still: better.”

“That’s good. Tony is going to come down soon and we’re going to finally get you up and out of that bed, sound good?”

Peter nodded. The long road of recovery ahead of him was cause for dread, but at least he was making improvements. He just wished that his broken bones and head would heal as quickly as his cuts.

A few minutes later, Tony walked in. He was dressed in casual clothes that he’d wear just for a day at the Tower so Peter figured he was going to spend the day helping Peter.

“Hey kid. Ready to finally get back on track to normal?”

“For sure. Being stuck in bed is getting really old.”

Cho walked back in and unhooked him from the IV and the assortment of other wires that had been stuck in him for the past three days.

“Your medicine will have to be taken orally now. It shouldn’t be an issue but the first few doses are very strong so you’ll probably feel loopy for a while when the medicine in your system wears off.” Cho warned.

Cho and Tony grabbed each of Peter’s arms and slowly got him up and on his own two feet again. His chest was extremely sore from his broken ribs and Cho put a warp around him to keep them in place when he moved. The wrap was sort of like a brace, as it could be removed when he needed to do certain things, like shower.

He spent a few minutes gaining his balance back and basically learning how to walk again. He got the hang of it again quickly.

Doctor Cho had him lift his arms up and move his legs in a few certain ways to make sure he’d be okay. Raising his arms hurt in ways he couldn’t describe but he was able to move everything else just fine.

“Okay Peter. Everything seems to be alright. You’re cleared.” She opened up one of the drawers and pulled out an arm sling. “I’m afraid you’ll have to keep this on for the next week or so. It’s just to make sure your arm stays in place while it’s beginning to heal.”

“That’s okay, if it helps me get better faster, I’m all for it.”

“Good. So you’re clear to go now, Tony will help you with any problems you may have with the broken arm.”

“You ready to go kid?”

Peter nodded anxiously. He’d been trapped in that horrid room for the past three days and couldn’t wait to be free. Even the dim lights were still white and florescent and the walls a bright white as well, if he never had to be in one of those rooms again, it’d be too soon.

When he walked from the room, he felt like he took his first full breath in days. It was a relief and also nice that the lights of the Tower were dimes for him as well.

“So what do you want to do first kid? Watch a movie? Eat some breakfast?”

“Take a shower,” Peter said. “I feel really dirty and grimey.”

“I understand that. Let’s go to your room.”

Peter and Tony took the elevator up and arrived at the residential floor. Peter was so relieved when he walked into his room.

Peter headed toward the bathroom and Tony grabbed him some comfortable clothes from the closet.

“Hey, Pete, make sure you put one of those plastic covers over your arm before you get in,” Tony called from Peter’s closet.

“Okay!” Peter took his shirt off and groaned in pain. Then he took off the wrap that was supposed to help keep his ribs in place. Peter was a bit stunned at what he saw in the mirror. His chest and stomach looked too thin and almost hollowed in and they still had scars from the cuts just like his face. The major cut he’d suffered was still a large scab that he was hoping his powers would heal soon. There was also the very prominent bullet wound in his shoulder. The stitches had been removed but the wound was still a ways away form healed. Peter was a bit shocked at all there was to take in. He knew he’d been hurt, but this was the first time he’d really seen his injuries.

Peter looked away, shuddering at the sight of himself. He was Spider-Man, he wasn’t supposed to get hurt, he was supposed to protect others from harm. If he couldn’t protect himself, how could he protect them?

Peter grabbed on of the special plastic bags Doctor Cho had given him to cover his cast while he showered. He got it over his arm pretty quickly but he couldn’t get the rubber band around it to keep it from falling off.

He fumbled with it for a couple minutes without making progress and ended up knocking his hair gel onto the floor.

Tony knocked on the door. “Kid, you need some help putting that on?”

“No, I’m okay,” Peter said, lying.

“Really, is that why I just heard you knock your bottle of hair gel off the counter?” Tony asked, teasing him.

Peter sighed, defeated. How the hell had Tony known that?

The door knob turned as Peter opened it, holding his covered arm out and the rubber band out in his other hand.

“Kid, I know you’re already hating the recovery life, and it going to be rough, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Literally anybody will be happy to help if you need it okay? That’s why I’m here right now.”

“I know, it’s just...I don’t want to bother everyone, and I just want to be better. I’m supposed to be Spider-Man and out there helping people but I can’t even help myself.”

Tony gave Peter a soft look. “Peter it’s okay to not be perfect. Everybody has hard times, you just have to work through them. And sometimes that means having people help you.”

Peter gave Tony the biggest one-armed hug of his life. “Thank you, Mister Stark.”

Tony hugged him back, but not too hard so he didn’t hurt anything.

“You’re welcome kid.” Tony broke away. “Now go take a shower and get dressed. We’ll have a movie marathon when you get out.”

Peter cheered up at that idea and closed the bathroom door. He got undressed and stood under the warm shower water. It was so nice to finally really feel clean again.

The water stung a bit when it was too direct on some of Peter’s cuts, but it wasn’t too bad.

Once Peter needed to wash his hair, it became pretty clear that only having the use of one hand would make it difficult. For one thing, he had to figure out how to get the shampoo out of the bottle and into his good hand, and then he had to rub it in, which would be easier, but still take more time than usual.

He finally managed it by using one of his web shooters that he’d strapped on when he got back in his room. He shot the web at the ceiling and then onto the shampoo bottle. The stuck them together and had the shampoo bottle hanging up side down.

After that fiasco he washed his hair and turned the water off. Drying off was also a difficult process but he managed to figure it all out.

Getting dressed was a bit of a challenge as well but he managed. Next thing he knew, he had his arm back in its sling, and he was headed to the screening room to watch movies with Tony.

It turned out that all of the other Avengers were waiting for him when he was done. Everyone gave him hugs and was so relieved to see that he was doing okay.

They all settled down in the screening room with snacks and started a Star Wars marathon. Peter sat in between Tony and Wanda, and Pepper sat on Tony’s other side.

Peter happily watched the movie snuggled up with everyone around him. Tony had his right arm around Pepper and his left arm around Peter. Tony was so happy that Peter was finally out of that room and on the road to recovery. But having those two people next to him, that meant the most to him, he felt like that aside from the Avengers, he had his own real family again.

Peter decided that he was going to try and not worry so much about his injuries. He knew the recovery process would be long and hard, but with the help of everyone around him, he knew he’d get through it.

Chapter Text

Peter woke a few hours later. It surprised him, he hadn’t even realized that he’d fallen asleep. He was still on the couch between Wanda and Tony, his head having been comfortably settled on Tony’s chest.

Peter sat up, seeing that everybody was still watching Star Wars. By the looks of it, Peter had slept through nearly two movies.

He rubbed his eyes and his vision blurred a bit, as the pain in his head returned, worse than he’d felt it in a long time. His ribs and torso were hurting too. He groaned in pain as he stretched.

“Hey kid, you feeling alright?” Tony asked him.

“Everything hurts, really, really bad,” Peter complained.

Tony grabbed his phone and checked the time. It was just after five, and Peter’s medicine that had been in his system before had likely worn off.

“It’s time for your medicine, that’s why. Doctor Cho told me to warn you that it’s very strong, so it’ll probably make you loopy, like someone who just had their wisdom teeth taken out. So do you want to have something for dinner first, then take the medicine?”

Peter nodded. His head hurt terribly, and his ribs and arm weren’t feeling great either, but he needed food. Plus he wasn’t too far off from not having any idea what he was saying, doing, or what was happening.

Tony declared a pause on the movie marathon, and everyone headed into the kitchen. Tony ordered a bunch of pizzas for dinner since Peter was hurt and it was his favorite.

Peter sat at the table with everybody and set his head down on the table, resting it there, and absentmindedly listening to the conversations around him.

Being hurt was Peter’s full on definition of miserable. He couldn’t stand the constant pitying looks form everybody, he wasn’t supposed to have to deal with that. Spider-Man wasn’t supposed to get hurt and leave the people out there to fend for themselves. He hated it.

A few minutes later, the pizza arrived and Tony brought Peter over a large plate with six slices of pizza.

“Thank you,” Peter said. Tony winked at him.

Peter hadn’t even realized how starving he was until he saw the pizza in front of him. He dug into the food, eating at a pace far faster than normal. Wanda even gave him a curios glance.

Before he knew it, Peter had practically inhaled his pizza. He pushed his plate forward and and leaned back in his seat, causing Wanda to chuckle. “Feel better?”

Peter was surprised to realize that he did feel a bit better. Of course everything still hurt, but he felt refreshed. “Yeah,” He said with a light laugh.

The rest of the dinner was typical with the usual laughter and jokes that Peter had come to expect and love.

After dinner, everybody split off and Tony, Pepper, and Peter remained in the kitchen. Tony and Pepper were washing the dishes together. Tony was constantly giggling because he kept splattering water on Pepper, earning him annoyed glares, and eventual smiles.

Peter was seated at the counter watching those two act like kids. It made him smile to see them fool around without a care in the world. If anyone deserved it, it was those two.

Tony eventually decided to leave Pepper be and dried the dishes off. Pepper walked from the kitchen, past Peter and gently ruffled his hair, making him smile.

“Okay kid,” Tony said, grabbing Peter’s attention. “Medicine time. I’m gonna stick with you tonight just to make sure you don’t do anything crazy.”

“Alright. I’m kinda nervous. What if I do something stupid?” Peter asked.

Tony scoffed. “Please. You’ll be fine. I’m not worried about it. Besides, your body may react in a calm way instead of in a hyperactive way.”

Peter wasn’t sure he believed that, but Tony didn’t sound too worried, so why should he worry? “If you say so...”

Tony popped the pill out of the packet thing that Cho had left for him to give Peter. The larger pills contained the larger doses, which were supposed to be taken first.

Tony handed Peter the pill and a glass full of water. “Drink all the water too,” Tony instructed. “You need to keep yourself hydrated.

Peter took the pill, and drank the water extremely quickly. “I feel okay right now.”

“I think you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it, you’ll probably be out before you know it.”

***

Two hours later and Tony was eating his words. Not only had Peter’s body reacted to the medicine as a stimulant, he reacted at above hyperactive levels.

“Peter If you don’t get off the damn ceiling!” Tony shouted.

“Im too stickyyyyy!” Peter said with a woozy voice and a hysterical laugh. He crawled around even faster.

Tony was just about done with Peter’s crap at this point. This kid was honestly going to put him into cardiac arrest.

“Peter please get down, I swear to God!”

Peter stopped crawling and looked to Tony. He seemed to really consider what he said. “Tony, I’m sorry.”

Tony knew something was up, the medicine definitely hadn’t just magically worn off. “Please come down Peter.”

“I would come down but I can’t,” Peter said.

“Why not?” Tony asked.

“Because...because...”

“Because why?”

“Because I’m Spider-Man!” Peter shouted and continued to crawl around.

“Lordy,” Tony mumbled. Tony was about to do something that he really didn’t want to have to do, but at this point he had no choice.

He went into the other room and found Wanda.

“Having fun?” She asked laughing at how visibly frustrated he was.

“Don’t start. I need your help. I’ve gotta get him to sit and relax.”

Wanda couldn’t help herself and kept laughing. She followed Tony into the main living room of the penthouse with the extremely tall ceilings. Peter was still crawling around on it.

“Can you get him down?” Tony asked.

“I think so.” Wanda’s hands began to glow red and the energy flowed around them. Soon the energy was surrounding Peter up on the ceiling. Slowly Wanda got him off of the ceiling and pulled him down.

“I’m flying!” Peter shouted and laughed as Wanda brought him to the ground.

“Okay, keep your hold on him Wanda or he’ll get away again.”

“I’ve got him.”

Peter kept laughing, sitting on the ground. “Whoa, I’m glowing! This is so cool!”

“My God, Tony what did you give this kid?” Wanda asked.

“What Cho said to!” Tony shouted back from the kitchen.

“What’re you doing?” Wanda asked, frustrated. She kept her hold on Peter and headed into the kitchen with Tony. Tony was grabbing something from the refrigerator. He pulled out a gallon of milk and poured some into a cup.

“Duh. Warm milk? I’m hoping it’ll calm him down.”

Wanda tilted her head. “Do you really think that’ll work?”

Tony nodded. “I hope. Just give him a glass and a maybe a cookie and hopefully he’ll clam down.”

Wand laughed. “You’re talking like he’s a two year old.”

“Has he not been acting like one?”

Wanda considered that. “I would say he’s acting more like what Peter would call a ‘crackhead.’”

The microwave beeped and Tony took out the warm glass of milk. He grabbed a cookie from the pantry as well and set them on the counter. “Okay now lift him up and set him down in the chair.”

Wanda did and Peter hardly reacted, he just had a big, dopey looking smile on his face. She carefully sat him down in the chair.

“Okay. Let him go.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Can’t you just catch him if he tries to run off?”

“Good point.”

Wanda let Peter go and he instantly picked up one of the cookies. Tony sat next to him and rested his hand in the middle of Peter’s back, hoping he wouldn’t run off again.

Peter looked at the cookie and took a bite. A few seconds later and his eyes began to water, then he started to cry.

“Oh Peter, what’s wrong?” Tony asked rubbing his hand over Peter’s back.

“I just...I just...”

“Are you in pain?” Tony asked becoming worried.

Peter shook his head ‘no.’

“I just...love cookies so much,” Peter sobbed.

Tony and Wanda had to use every ounce of self control in their bodies to keep from laughing.

Tony didn’t know what to do, so he just continued to pat Peter on the back and telling him that everything was okay.

Peter finished his cookie and milk and stopped crying. Tony was sure this was the absolute craziest thing he’d ever been through.

Peter got up and wobbled. He would’ve hit the floor of Wanda hadn’t caught him. She hadn’t even used her powers, he’d basically fallen on top of her.

“Why don’t we get you to bed?” She suggested, looking toward Tony.

“Good idea,” Tony agreed.

“Wait, wait!”

“What Peter?” Wanda asked, sounding surprisingly patient after the last twenty minutes he’d spent around the crazy kid.

“Guess who my favorite superhero is guys! It’s...its...Spider-Man!”

Wanda and Tony laughed. Tony finally spoke up. “Well that makes sense because you are Spider-Man so,”

“I’m WHAT?” Peter said, shocked.

Tony and Wanda rolled their eyes but couldn’t help themselves from laughing a little bit.

They helped walk him to the elevator which was not easy granted that Peter had no idea what was going on.

They stumbled off the elevator and all the way down the hallway until they finally had him to his room. They opened the door and all but threw him onto the bed.

Peter was still acting really strange, but Cho had said Tony could give him a a sleeping pill, and hopefully that would knock him out.

Getting Peter to take the pill and drink the water was another fiasco on its own, but at least Tony would be able to get Peter to sleep.

Wanda left the room, wishing Tony goodnight and good luck.

Tony got Peter under he covers and to lie down. Thankfully, whatever sleeping medicine that Cho had suggested worked quick, and Peter’s eyelids were already drooping.

Tony got in bed on the other side and Peter instantly moved closer to him. Tony wasnt sure if Peter was doing that unknowingly or not, but he didn’t care. If Peter wanted to use Tony as a giant pillow, so be it.

Tony put his arms around the kid and pulled him close.

Peter smiled happily. “Love you, Tony.”

Tony was pretty sure his heart stopped. Had that kid really just said that he loved him? Was Tony actually a dad to this kid? Tony realized that he’d left the kid hanging and hadn’t said anything back. “Love you too, Peter.”

Peter let out a contented hum and curled up closer to Tony. Before either of them knew it, they were both asleep.

***

Many hours later, Peter and Tony both woke up. Thankfully, there hadn’t been any incidents with Peter throughout the night and both of them were able to sleep peacefully.

Peter opened his eyes and sat up in bed with a groan. He rubbed his eyes a bit and woke up fully. The clock on his bedside table said it was almost ten.

Peter looked over and saw Tony laying next to him, eyes still closed and mouth hanging open slightly, there was the faint sound of a snore.

He wasn’t sure exactly what had happened last night after he’d taken the medicine, but he was fairly certain that he’d just passed out. Peter also felt more rested than he had in years, the only downside was that his head was still hurting.

Peter hopped out of bed and went into the bathroom to wash his face. The cuts were healing up nicely and were nearly gone. It didn’t even sting to get water on them.

Peter walked back into his room and saw Tony sitting up in bed. “Hey kiddo. Sleep well?”

Peter smiled. “Yeah really well- great actually.”

“I’m glad. You definitely needed it.”

“Apparently you did too,” Peter said, referring to how late they’d slept.

“After last night...definitely.”

Peter’s face softened. “I’m so sorry if I was a lot of trouble last night, I honestly don’t really remember what happened but I hope I didn’t keep you up or stress you out too much.”

Tony had planned on telling Peter how crazy he’d been, but seeing the poor kids face full of worry about Tony, he knew he couldn’t do it.

“No, you were fine. You cried over some cookies, but other than that, just fine.”

Peter looked both embarrassed and relieved at the same time. He ran up to Tony and gave him a big hug. “Thanks for taking care of me.”

Tony literally thought he was going to die from kindness overload. He loved Peter so much, like his own son that he never had.

“Of course, kid. Let’s go get some breakfast.”

Peter still wasn’t totally convinced that what Tony had said was ally what had happened, but he trusted him. Besides, there’s no way he’d been that bad right?

Chapter Text

The rest of the day passed with nothing new or interesting happening. 

Peter spent the day with Tony and the Avengers until later that afternoon when he was officially cleared by Doctor Cho to go back to the apartment with May and go back to school the next day.

Peter wasn’t exactly sure how he felt about school. He’d been away for most of he past week and was extremely far behind in his work. He’d probably have at least one or two chemistry labs he’d have to make up- God knew those took forever. And not to mention the paper they’d been working on in English. Yeah. Going back was not going to be fun.

The only positive spin Peter could put on it was that he’d be able to see Ned and MJ again. He’d texted them a few times, but usually had to end the conversation before it really began due to his concussion and the light sensitivity that came with it.

He was just hoping that nobody would make a big deal over the very obvious cast and sling that supported his left arm. Peter wasn’t someone who was usually noticed-unless, of course, Flash was in his face- but still, an injury could bring plenty of unwanted attention. 

So after a long day of relaxing with everyone at the Tower, Peter found himself  in the back of one of Tony’s cars, with Tony next to him and Happy at the wheel. 

Traffic was decent and Peter was back home before he knew it.

Tony insisted on walking Peter up to his apartment and had Happy wait out front for him to get back. 

Tony knocked on the apartment door for Peter and stood patiently waiting for May to answer. 

The knob turned and May opened the door, instantly brining Peter in for a hug. 

“Oh, I missed you! I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to see you this weekend! Work had me going overtime.”

“It’s okay, May,” Peter said smiling slightly.

She gave him a look. 

“Really, it’s not a big deal. Besides, Tony and everybody else took care of me,” Peter said looking to him.

May’s face softened. “I’m sure he did. Thank you.”

Tony nodded. “Any time. Glad to see he’s doing better.” Tony grabbed something from his pocket. “By the way, this is his pain medicine. The doses are much lower than the first one, so side effects listed shouldn’t be an issue.”

May took the small bottle of pills from Tony. “How often does he need them?”

“Twice a day, once in the morning, once at night. Doctor Cho said if there is still some pain between those times he can take basic ibuprofen.”

“Thank you. I’ll let the nurse at school know.”

Tony put his hand up. “Already taken care of, no questions asked. All Peter has to do is give it to the nurse tomorrow.”

May did something that, a few years ago, she and Tony would have never thought would happen. She gave Tony Stark a hug. Someone she used to dislike with a passion. 

“Thank you for taking care of him. To me, he’s my son. I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

“I know, May. And you’re welcome. I’m glad he’s home and recovering. Hopefully soon, this’ll all be a distant memory.”

May nodded. 

“See you guys later,” Tony said. 

“Goodbye,” May said.

Peter heard them saying goodbye from his room, he ran out to give Tony one more hug. He wrapped his good arm around Tony and felt Tony’s arms wrap around him.

“Bye, Tony. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, kid. See ya later.”

May closed the door as Tony walked off down the hall, she turned back to Peter. “So, finally back home.”

Peter hugged her again. “I’m glad, I missed it. It seems like it’s been so long and it’s only been five days.”

“A lot can happen in five days. But I’m just happy that you were able to come back. As nice as that room in the Tower is, there really is no place like home,” May said gesturing to the apartment.

Peter just nodded and slumped down on the couch, flinching when he moved his left arm a bit recklessly. He was still getting used to the whole arm stuck in a cast and sling situation.

Peter just sat there looking depressed and making May feel helpless and desperate to cheer him up. She couldn’t really imagine what he was going through, hell the kid had nearly died five days ago. 

May decided she had to at least try something to get this kid back to his usual energy.

“Okay Peter, get up!”

Peter looked startled. “What? Why?”

“We’re gonna go get some ice cream!”

“Okay but, again, why?” Peter was skeptical. He didn’t want May to act all energetic and happy just because she felt pity for him. He was tried of being treated like a charity case.

“‘Cause it’ll be fun, that’s why. Here put on your jacket,” she said tossing it too him. 

“Ugh,” Peter groaned. He reluctantly put his right arm through the sleeve and pulled the other side over his left shoulder so it would still cover him, but his arm could remain in the sling.

“Let’s go!” May said, still chipper and happy.

They walked out the door and May locked the apartment behind them. 

As much as Peter had wanted to just stay back at the apartment and mope, he was actually glad he’d agreed to go out. 

The cool breeze blowing against his face was a luxurious feeling after being tapped in the Tower for the past five days. Walking without having a doctor worried that he’d pass out at any given second. Just being back in his own neighborhood was a relief. You never know what you’ve got til it’s gone, Peter supposed.

They went to a small little ice cream shop on the corner about three blocks from the apartment. Peter and May had been going there ever since they’d opened a couple years ago and now, it was a special place for them.

Peter ordered a chocolate milkshake and May ordered a hot fudge sundae. They sat at their favorite booth by the window.

They ate their ice cream in a comfortable silence for a few minutes until May finally spoke up, bringing up the one topic Peter didn’t want to discuss. “Are you feeling okay?”

Peter sighed. “Yeah I’m okay.” He bit at the top of his straw, trying to avoid the topic.

May leaned forward. “You know you can talk to us right? Me, Tony, Wanda, the rest of the Avengers; we’re all here for you.”

He nodded, fiddling with his straw. “I know.”

“Then please...talk to me.”

“May, can we not have his conversation in public?” Peters voice broke a bit and May could see the tears welling up in his eyes. 

She nodded, dropping the subject...for now.

They finished their ice cream and headed home. When they walked in the door, Peter went straight to his room and closed the door, making it clear he didn’t want to talk.

May sighed, defeated. Did Peter really not trust her enough to confide in her? She knew she had made it more than clear that she was there for him, so she decided that, for now, there was nothing she could do.

Peter flopped down on his bed. He took a deep breath and let out what was supposed to be a sigh, not a sob. The tears just came out without permission. 

He put his good hand up to his eyes and cried. 

Why was he so weak? Why couldn’t he be the strong hero that everybody expected Spider-Man to be? He was a failure. He couldn’t even protect himself from being injured, so how in the hell was he supposed to protect others? 

Already he’d been away from Spider-Man for five days and God knew what all had happened since he’d been gone that he could’ve prevented. More potential blood on his hands.

On top of it all, Peter’s injuries were a constant reminder of his failure. They were a part of him, and would be for a long time to come. Guilt that Peter had to live with.

Peter kept sobbing and couldn’t get himself to stop. He’d been strong in front of Tony and the Avengers. Bottled everything up inside. But now it was time for his emotions to come out.

Peter wasn’t sure when it happened, but his door opened and the next thing he knew he was sobbing into May’s shoulder, her arms around him.

May let Peter cry for as long as he needed, and even let a tear or two fall as well.

Peter finally began to slow down, giving May a chance to speak.

“Peter? Peter look at me, please,” she pleaded.

Peter looked up to her. “I’m a failure,” he said sobbing again. 

She threw her arms around him again. “No you’re not Honey, no you’re a hero! You have saved so many people, so many lives. How could you think that?”

He jumped from her grasp. “Because I failed!” He shouted, surprising himself and May. “I failed,” he said again, quietly this time, more obviously tear-filled. “I can’t even keep myself safe, how can I help them?” He said gesturing torward the city. 

“Honey you can’t save everyone. You’re only one person, you can’t be there for everybody all the time. Ask Tony. Hell ask any of the Avengers.” May walked toward him again. Peter didn’t move away. “But I’m a terrible person.”

“Peter Benjamin Parker, you are the strongest, bravest, kindest, and most selfless person I’ve ever met.”

Peter sniffed. “How?”

“How? Well how many people can say that they got special powers and used them for pure selflessness? You didn’t abuse the powers you got, you used them for good. You used them to help the people out in the world who couldn’t help themselves, even if it put you in danger. That’s what makes you a hero. Your kind heart and your dedication to helping those around you. That’s what makes you a hero. And I’m so proud of the hero that my nephew has become.”

Peter brought May in for a huge hug, that lasted longer than either of them could count. 

“Thanks, May.” He said finally.

“You’re welcome, Peter.” She kissed him on the head. “I love you.”

“I love you too, May.”

“You want to get some sleep?” She asked. 

Peter shook his head. “I’m worried I’ll have nightmares,” he admitted, embarrassed. 

May nodded her head, understanding. “Then sleep with me in my bed tonight. I’ll be right there with you, and make sure nothing bad happens.”

“I don’t want to cause you a prob-“

May held her hand up, shushing him. “Peter, it’s not a problem. I want you to know that I’m here for you, no matter what, and I’ll always be.”

Peter hugged her close again. 

“Now go get on some jammies and let’s get some sleep,” she said nudging him towards his room. 

“Jammies? Lordy, you’d think I was six.” Peter said teasing her.

May laughed as she headed off to her own room. 

Peter threw on a pair of Star Wars pajamas that were donned with stormtrooper helmets, then headed towards May’s room. 

They crawled into bed and Peter cuddled close to her, May wrapped her arms around him as well. 

“Night, May,” Peter said, suddenly feeling very drowsy. 

“Goodnight, Sweetie. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

***

“So Peter was doing better today, huh?” Pepper asked from the bathroom.

Tony was actually getting to bed at a normal time the last few nights, which was no doubt because of Peter, but there was something nice about it. When he was with Pepper, she would always take longer to get ready for bed, and they’d often times have conversations across the bedroom, just like they were doing. 

“Yeah, Doctor Cho cleared him and said he was ready to go back to school. I’m gonna worry about him though.”

Pepper smiled at him. “Of course you are.”

Tony looked at her confused. “Well...uh...yeah of course I am because I just said so?” It ended up coming out like a question. 

Pepper laughed that laugh that could make Tony smile like the biggest idiot in the world. God, he was so in love. 

“I just meant, you’re such a dad to that kid. It’s all everyone talks about behind your back.”

Tony gave her a fake stern look. “You guys talk about me? How rude.”

“It’s cute though. The way Peter looks up to you, they way you two are constantly together, he’s like the son you never had.”

Tony smiled. “That he is. I really do love that kid, Pep. He means so much to me, that’s why I’m glad to see he’s okay.”

Pepper nodded. “I know. And thats why I fee confident telling you this.”

Tony looked concerned. “Telling me what, exactly?”

Pepper’s heart was racing, this was a huge step forward in their relationship and she wasn’t sure if Tony would think he was ready. He’ll, she did know if she was ready. 

“Tell you that...if you can take such good care of a kid that isn’t even yours, I’m confident that you’ll be a great father to our kid.”

Tony liked to think he was a brilliant man, but he took a good amount of time to connect the dots. 

“Does that mean...do you mean... are you trying to say...are you...are we...having a baby?” 

Pepper smiled. “We are,” she whispered. 

Tony leaped from the bed and hugged Pepper tight. Both of them began to cry tears of joy. 

“We’re really...oh my God we’re really having a baby!” Tony shouted, more full of excitement than he’d been in years. 

“We are,” Pepper said laughing and crying at the same time. Tony threw his arms around her again, then kissed her.

“When did you find out? How far along are you? When are we telling the others?”

Pepper laughed at him again. “Okay, slow down a bit, you’re getting ahead of the game. I was planning on telling everybody in a couple of weeks, just to be safe. I’d like to keep this a secret from the press though, give our future son or daughter as peaceful a life as possible.”

Tony nodded, not really following what all she was saying. He was just so excited that he was going to be a dad!

“So, you want to get some rest now?” Pepper asked. 

“Good idea, although I think I’m too excited to sleep.”

Pepper scoffed. “Enjoy it while you can, in a few months, we won’t be getting any sleep at all.”

Tony looked deep into her eyes, then placed his hand on her stomach. “For this little one, it’ll be worth it.”

Chapter Text

Peter woke up early the next morning, happy to realize that he’d slept through the night without suffering any nightmares. His head wasn’t feeling as bad today either, boosting his spirits even further.

Then Peter remembered he had school. Any good feeling he’d had before vanished as the thought of school crossed his mind. He’d been away for nearly a week and he knew from texting Ned and MJ that he was extremely far behind.

Peter rubbed his hand across his forehead, willing himself to relax and not get to worked up over going back to school.

May was next to him and sat up as well. “Is everything okay, Peter?” She asked, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Peter nodded. “Yeah...yeah everything is fine.” Not believing his words. “I just need to get ready for school.”

“Okay,” May said. “I’ll make some breakfast.”

Peter left the room and headed toward his own. He looked through his closet for a while and decided on a simpl hoodie and sweatpants. It was barely February and New York was still miserably cold every day.

He went into the bathroom and started a hot shower. He fumbled with the cover that went over his cast, but eventually figured it out.

He stepped into the shower and stood under the warm rain. He felt better and more relaxed like this, letting the idea of going to school slip from his mind for a short while.

Peter stayed in the shower as long as possible, but he knew if he stayed in much longer he’d be late. He sighed, frustrated at everything happening in his life. He just wanted to rest and get better, not to suffer at school all day. But if he did that, he’d get even further behind.

After getting dressed and being slowed by the cast, he barely had time to eat before he left. May -God bless her- had even made Peter pancakes which he loved so much.

May gave Peter and hug and kissed him on the forehead as he left, saying how much she loved him and to be safe. Peter of course said he would be, then went on outside and toward the train.

The day outside was abnormally bright and sunny, if still cold. Peter was just half to see the sunlight, the last several days had been mostly cloudy the whole time.

Peter made it to the station and waited on his train. He waited for a few minutes before deciding to sit on one of the benches. His teeth began to chatter from the cold and he wrapped his good arm around himself to keep warm.

He sat for a while, doing his best to be patient and not lose faith in the train being on time. He whipped his phone out of his pocket seeing that it was seven thirty. School started in half and hour and it took twenty minutes to get there on a good day.

Peter put his phone back into his pocket and buried his head in his hands, demanding of himself to not to start crying from stress and anxiety.

He took several deep breaths just like Tony had taught him, so he could deal with his anxiety. Somehow, he managed to calm himself down.

At seven thirty-five, the train arrived and Peter was quick to board. Thankfully, the train ride wasn’t any longer than usual, but he only had five minutes to get to class.

Peter fast-walked as quickly as possible to look normal and went to his locker. He grabbed his books for first period and turned right around to see Flash standing right behind him.

“Sup Penis Parker,” Flash said with a stupidly arrogant grin. Why now? He’s left me alone for so long...

Peter sighed and tried to hold in his emotions. 

“Leave me alone, Flash. I’ve got class and so do you.”

“I’m not really worried about it.” Flash looked down to Peter’s arm. “See someone roughed you up, huh? Must suck to be such a weak little bitch.” Flash grabbed Peter’s shirt.

Peter shoved him off with his good arm, pushing him back farther than mist would have. Flash didn’t fall, but he stumbled back a couple steps. “Piss off, Flash.”

Peter walked away quickly, hoping he wouldn’t be late to first period. Half way there, the bell rang and Peter felt all hope for a good day vanish into thin air.

He walked into his English class, face burning red from the attention he was getting.

“Nice of you to join us Mr.Parker,” his teacher said. He didn’t hate her, but she want his favorite teacher at the moment.

“Sorry, it won’t happen again, ma’am,” he said quietly, then sat down and grabbed his book from his backpack.

It’s was going to be a rough day.

***

Peter got to see Ned and MJ at lunch and could’ve cried tears of relief when he got to hug them again. They were the only people all day who had made him feel okay.

Worse than being late that meowing was flash picking on him again and the fact that their was a cast on his arm. Peter was always one to stay in the shadows, doing his best to not be noticed. It was Spider-Man’s job to make a scene and act confident.

When the bell rang to dismiss lunch, Peter left and headed to chemistry. All he wanted to do was go to the Tower and relax. Maybe help Tony in the lab or watch vines with Thor and Wanda. Not be miserable at school.

Chemistry went by quickly and Peter was informed of all the work he missed. Most of it was fairly simple, and he felt that he’d be able to catch up pretty quick. Most of his classes seemed that way, which was at least something positive he could say.

After his last class, he went to his locker as quickly as possible, hoping to avoid Flash so he couldn’t make his life a living hell.

Just like that morning, Peter turned around, and Flash was waiting for him.

Damn

Flash slammed Peter into his locker hard. Peter’s head smacked against the locker, and he saw stars. “Aw look at the poor pathetic Penis Parker. Getting the shit beat out of him and being a total wimp.” Flash got uncomfortably close. “Weak little bitch, I bet your attacker had a real nice time with you before they broke your arm didn’t they? Poor Par-“

Flash was cut off by MJ running up to him and slamming him into the wall. “Shut the hell up and back off Flash,” she hissed.

He gave her a cocky grin, then looked to Peter. “Have to have a girl stand up for you?” Flash sneered.

“Says the one who’s a single word away from getting his ass kicked by one.”

MJ shoved him away from the wall, and he walked off.

Peter stood by his locker, looking embarrassed. “Thanks, MJ,” Peter said, his face red.

“Don’t mention it. Now go home loser, see you tomorrow.”

MJ gave him a hug and walked off.

Peter headed out the front door of the school and looked for the black car that Tony would be waiting for him in.

Peter opened the door and Tony wasn’t there.

“Had a late meeting kid, he’ll be waiting for you at the Tower,” Happy said.

Peter nodded sadly and buckled his seatbelt. He’d really been hoping to see Tony right away. It had been such a long day and all he wanted to do was hug his mentor and finally feel at ease.

When Peter arrived at the Tower and got to the penthouse, he saw Tony in the kitchen and threw his arms around him right away.

Tony hugged him back. “Everything alright kid?” His voice heavy with concern.

Peter kept hugging him and mumbled “Rough day,” into Tony’s shirt.

Tony ran his hand through Peter’s hair. “How come?”

Peter separated himself from Tony. “My train was late this morning and I was late to class, not to mention I’m behind in all of them. I just want to rest,” Peter said tiredly.

Tony’s face softened. “What do you say we go into the screening room and go watch some lame sitcom for a while and relax? You can work on your homework later.”

Peter really needed to do some work to catch up. But he figured he’d be alright if he just spent an hour relaxing with Tony, he’d still have plenty of time.

Peter shrugged. “Okay.”

Why didn’t you tell Mr.Stark about Flash? You know he’ll help you.

Tony looked at Peter, not totally convinced by his answer. “Is something else wrong, Pete?”

Peter shook his head. “No.”

Yes.

Tony was still suspicious and made a mental note to keep an eye on him tonight to make sure he’s okay.

They went into the screening room where Wanda and Thor were already watching a show.

Wanda and Thor turned to look and see who had opened the door.

“Hey, Peter!” Thor greeted in a cheery voice. Wanda waved at him.

Peter sat down with Thor, Wanda, and Tony on one of the bigger couches and watched Friends.

After three episodes, Peter excused himself to his room and got started on his homework.

He worked on the classes with less homework first, so he’d maybe be able to fully catch up before dealing with the harder classes.

Two hours later, FRIDAY informed Peter that dinner was ready. He’d managed to get finished with history, English, and most of Spanish, and decided it was a good time to take a break.

Peter went up to the penthouse to see that Tony had ordered Thai food for dinner. Peter quickly filled up his plate with food and headed to the table to eat.

He sat across from Wanda, as usual, and began inhaling his food.

“How’s your homework coming?” Wanda asked him.

“Good. I’m finished with English and history, and I’ll probably have Spanish done soon.”

“That’s great, I know it’s been stressing you out.”

Peter nodded. “It has, but I feel better about it now. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.”

“I’m sure it will,” she said encouragingly.

Peter smiled at her and went back to his food, finishing it extremely quickly. He talked with everyone at the table for a bit longer. After that, he went back to his room to keep working on his homework.

He worked until ten thirty, when he decided to quit. His eyes were becoming droopy and he knew he’d fall asleep soon.

He got up and lazily walked to the closet and put on a pair of pajama pants and a T-shirt to sleep in.

Peter got in bed, set his alarm on his phone, then went to bed.

***

Peter was in so much pain. He had no idea where he was or what was happening, his whole world was pain.

When he could finally see what was going on around him, he knew where he was from a bad memory.

He was on a concrete balcony, and a man was standing over him with a sword, the same one that nearly killed him.

The man raised the sword, but this time, Tony wasn’t there to save him.

Peter jolted awake and let out a loud shout.

He was breathing heavily and trying to tell himself that it was just a dream. But it had been so real. So real.

Peter got out of bed and noticed that he was drenched in a cold sweat. He walked into the bathroom and slaps her some water on his face, trying to tell himself he was alive.

He took a bunch of deep breaths, then headed back to bed. As he was about to lie back down, there was a knock on his door.

The knob turned and Wanda crept in. “Peter? Are you okay?”

Peter sighed. Great. Now he’d woken Wanda up.

“I’m okay. You can go back to sleep.”

“Are you sure?” She asked hesitantly.

Peter remembered everything that had happened the day before and choked back his tears.

“Yeah,” He said, his voice breaking. A single tear ran down his face.

Wanda walked in further and hugged Peter. He quietly cried while she did so.

She rubbed his back gently with her hand, trying to relax him.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“It was about everything that happened last week. But this time...this time Tony didn’t save me.”

Wanda gave Peter a sad look. “But he did save you, and you’re okay now. You’re safe, you’re right here with me and everyone else is close by. No one will let anything bad happen to you, okay?” She gently moved Peter’s head up, so he’d look at her. “Everything is alright.”

Peter nodded, hanging onto her words, and hoping that they were true.

“You think you’ll be able to sleep?” She asked.

“I don’t know. What time is it?”

“My clock in my room said five thirty, the sun will be up soon.” She said.

“It’s only an hour before I was going to get up, I think I’m just goin to stay up,” Peter said.

That gave Wanda an idea. “Hey,” she said nudging his shoulder, “What do you say we go upstairs and watch TV until you need to get ready? Take your mind off of things?”

“That’d be great.” Peter said. He didn’t want to go back to sleep, and if he was going to stay up, he didn’t want to be alone.

He went upstairs with Wanda and they spent the next hour watching Friends.

After spending time with Wanda, he thought that maybe he’d end up having a good day after all. Or at least he hoped so.

Chapter Text

Looking back at his day, Peter hadn’t been either totally right, or totally wrong in hoping it would be good.

After he spent an hour watching Friends with Wanda, his phone alarm had gone off, and he’d been forced to start the day. He’d given Wanda a hug, thanking her for helping him feel better.

He walked toward the kitchen, and passed the large windows that gave an amazing view of the city. Peter looked out to see a dull gray day. The sky was covered in clouds and it almost promised snow.

Peter headed into the kitchen. Tony was already there with Pepper, making breakfast together.

“Hey kid, Wanda said you had a nightmare last night, you okay?”

Peter nodded. He was okay, for now. But he reminded himself not to get down on himself too quickly. It may not turn out to be a bad day. “I’m hungry, though.”

“I’ll get you some waffles.” Tony turned to the waffle maker and poured in the batter that he and Pepper had been mixing. He finished making Peter’s breakfast and grabbed his cup of coffee off the counter.

“By the way, I’m going to drop you off and pick you up today, it’s supposed to be freezing all day and start snowing around the time you get out of school.”

“Thank you,” Peter said taking a bite of a waffle. “How much is it supposed to snow? The clouds looked really dark when I walked past the windows.”

Tony sipped his coffee. “Not really sure. We have a blizzard watch though, so probably looking at six or eight inches minimum. May be snowed into the Tower for the day tomorrow.”

“Doesn’t sound so bad to me.” Peter said.

Tony smiled at him. “Me neither, it’ll get me out of a meeting I’ve got tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to it.”

“A meeting for what?” Peter asked.

Tony groaned. “Ugh, plans for the next fiscal year, it’s gonna be so boring!”

“That does sound boring.”

“But Tony doesn’t have a choice,” Pepper interjected as she walked over with her breakfast. Peter noticed that she had a bigger plate than usual. “He already skipped out on the last meeting.”

“You are never gonna let that go.” Tony said.

“Because I had to deal with the sales reps all day and we both know they’re as incompetent as they come.” Pepper pointed out, her tone not as sharp as the words.

“Fair point. I said I’ll be there tomorrow though, unless, God willing, it snows.”

Pepper laughed at him and went back to her breakfast.

When he was finished, Peter rinsed his plate off and went off to his room to take a quick shower and get ready for the day.

He got ready quickly and went back up to the penthouse, where Tony was dressed and ready to go as well. They went down to the garage and got into Tony’s black Audi. Peter knew Tony’d had the car for years, but it still managed to smell like it was brand new.

They drove to school in silence and Peter mentally prepared himself for an ungodly amount of teasing from Flash.

Tony pulled up in front of the school a few minutes later and Peter got out and grabbed his backpack form the back seat.

“Bye, kid,” Tony said.

“Bye, Mr.Stark!”

Peter walked toward the school trying to keep a positive attitude. His day hadn’t been bad yet, maybe it wouldn’t be.

He walked past a bunch of students until he reached his locker. He spun the dial on the lock until it opened, and grabbed his chemistry textbook.

As he suspected, Flash was standing right in his face when he turned around. “Sup, dickwad?”

Peter did his best to stand his ground. “What the hell do you want now?” He tried to play it off that he was bored, even though his face heating up in embarrassment proved otherwise.

Flash looked at him a bit surprised. “Is that anyway to talk to me? I’m just trying to have a conversation. Like I was saying-“

Peter wasn’t totally sure what came over him, but he snapped. He shoved Flash. Hard. Not too hard to expose himself, but hard enough to probably raise questions. Flash flew back into the ground.

“Leave. Me. Alone.”

Peter turned and walked off to his class. Surprised to see that Flash hadn’t followed behind.

Peter made it through the first half of his day without any other incidents. Surprisingly things were fine at lunch as well and Peter had been able to enjoy a nice lunch with Ned and MJ. An uneventful lunch was either really good or really bad.

The bell rang and Peter used his good arm to grab his books. Getting used to carrying around his books with one arm in a cast was easier than he’d expected, but he still wanted the damn thing off.

Peter went on to his next class, hoping to just get through the day and go back to the Tower.

***

Everything was fine that afternoon until he’d been just a few steps away from the doors of the school. Naturally Flash would make him wait until school was over and give him a false sense of hope.

Flash called his name but Peter kept walking until he was outside and walking down the front steps of the school.

“Hey!” Flash called. “I’m talking to you!”

Peter continued to ignore him, spotting Tony’s black car not too far away and hoping to get there.

Flash ran up behind him and turned him around grabbing Peter by the straps of his backpack, forcing him to face him. Peter’s bad arm was in an uncomfortable position, making this feel worse.

“You listen to me when I talk to you.” Flash sneered. He shoved Peter back with disgust. Peter fell to the ground and hit the back of his head on the pavement.

***

At first, Tony had thought the kid who was trying to talk to Peter was friend. Tony didn’t recognize him personally, but he knew there were probably a lot of other kids Peter knew, just wasn’t close with.

Then the kid came up behind him and latched onto Peter hard, getting right into his face. The kid shoved Peter to the ground.

Tony’s face burned with rage. Something came over him that was rare, but there was no way in hell the kid was getting away with that.

Tony got out of the car quickly, and shouted. “HEY!” Tony roared. Much like Pepper, he didn’t yell much, but it was scary when he did.

Peter turned to see him and Flash looked up in horror.

Tony marched up to him. “Who the hell do you think you are? Pushing an injured person? You’re disgusting. Who are you?” Tony’s looks shot daggers through Flash.

“I-I’m F-F-Flash T-Thompson s-sir.” Flash’s face had gone white with horror.

Tony scoffed. “That’s got to be the stupidest name I’ve ever heard.” Flash gulped. “You know who I am right?”

“T-Tony Stark.”

“That’s right, and that kid? He’s my intern. He works at the Tower with me, and the Avengers. So you never touch that kid again, or I’ll personally come with the Avengers and beat the shit out of you? Okay?” Tony now had a calm sarcastic voice, which no doubt meant he was still pissed. “I can make your life real shitty real fast.”

Flash was too panic stricken to respond, so he just bolted off in the other direction. Tony turned to help Peter.

“You okay, kiddo?” He asked offering Peter a hand to help him up.

Peter took it. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Tony and Peter got in the car. It was quiet for a while, until Peter spoke up. “Mr. Stark you didn’t have to say-“

“Yes I did.” Tony said sternly. “He pushed you with a broken arm and concussion! Your head hit the concrete! What if you’d been hurt worse from that?”

“But I wasn’t.”

“But you could have been! And I’m not going to let that happen. Why didn’t you stand up to him anyway?”

“It’s not that easy,” Peter said. He felt tears forming.

“Why not?” Tony asked. There was anger in his voice but not directed at Peter. He was mad at the situation and most of all, Flash.

“Because it’s been this way for years!” Peter shouted. “He’s picked on me for years and I can’t do anything about it! If I fight back enough, it’ll look suspicious! I have to be Peter Parker, not Spider-Man!” Peter began to cry from frustration.

Tony pulled the car into the garage of the Tower. He rested a hand on Peter while he cried.

“You don’t know how hard it is.” Peter said.

Tony hugged him. “You’re right. You’re right, kid. I don’t. I’m sorry I said that. I’m just so mad at that damn kid. I was worried he was going to really hurt you.”

“I know. But now he’ll go pick on somebody else who can’t handle it like me. I don’t want that for somebody else.”

Tony hugged the kid tighter. “My God, you really are the greatest kid in the world.”

Peter let out a tear-filled chuckle. Tony ran his hand through Peter’s hair until the kid quit crying.

“Hey,” Tony said grabbing both of Peter arms gently. “I mean it, Peter. Only a great person could deal with something like that for years just so someone lose wouldn’t have to.”

Peter nodded and sniffed. He was relived that this was out and Flash would probably leave him alone now. He was pretty sure that a direct threat from Iron Man would be enough to get him to leave him alone.

Tony and Peter got out of the car and headed up to the upper levels. Peter stopped off at his room to work on his homework before dinner, while tony headed up to the penthouse.

He greeted Thor, Nat, Bucky, and Steve on his way to the lab. The three of them seemed to be getting started on dinner while Thor stood by and watched. Poor Thor never really had gotten the hang of cooking, Tony could tell he felt a bit helpless when the others would all work together to cook the meals.

Tony walked to the lab to see what projects he could work on. He hadn’t expected to see Pepper waiting for him when he walked in.

“Hey, is everything okay?”

Pepper came up to him and hugged him. She smiled softly and looked into his eyes, then kissed him.

“Couldn’t be better.” She said.

“Miss me that much today?”

Pepper scoffed. “In your dreams. By the way, I invited May over for dinner tonight, too.”

“Great! But doesn’t she have to work?”

“Said she’d be able to make it. I want to make the announcement tonight, Tony. I think it’s a good time for it.”

Tony nodded his head. “I agree.”

Pepper looked him over. Tony shuffled some papers around and was mumbling something inaudible.

“What’s wrong? You seem distracted,” Pepper stated.

“I’m fine.” Tony said shortly. He hadn’t meant for it to come out that way.

Pepper gave a small smile. “You can’t fool me, Tony. I can see your head is in a thousand different directions. Do you not think we should tell everyone yet or something?”

Tony sighed, defeated. “It’s Peter.”

Peppers face softened at the mention of him. “Peter? What about him?”

“It’s ...there’s this damn kid at school that apparently had been picking on him for years. He shoved Peter down today and Peter hit his head on the concrete. It wasn’t too hard or anything, but still. The kid has a concussion. So I did what any normal person would do and told the kid off by threatening to sic the Avengers on him.”

Pepper hadn’t quite been expecting to hear a story like that. “Why hadn’t Peter ever told us? He knows he can trust us.”

“Apparently the kid had left him alone for awhile. Peter said he didn’t want the kid to move on to some other kid who couldn’t handle it.”

“He’s a great kid.”Pepper said.

“He is. I’m just worried about him. He’s already depressed after nearly dying a week ago and then this kid has to pick on him. I just feel bad for him. He’s the best damn kid I’ve ever met, he shouldn’t have to go through that.”

“I know,” Pepper said. “I feel bad for him, too, but I think he’ll be okay after what you did.”

Tony set his papers down. “I hope.”

Pepper kissed him on the cheek. “You did. Now let’s go get cleaned up. We have an important announcement to make.”

***

FRIDAY alerted Peter that dinner was ready.

He’d been working on his homework and still attempting to catch up on what he’d missed. When FRIDAY chimed in, Peter was annoyed, but realized that he was starving.

Peter went up to the penthouse for dinner and hadn’t expected to be greeted by May.

She ran up and hugged him harder than normal. “I love you, kiddo,” she said.

Peter hugged her back and smiled. “I love you, too, but what’s all this about? Didn’t you have to work?”

“I had the night off. Tony invited me over for dinner. I think something special is going on.” May said winking at Peter. She walked off toward the kitchen with the others.

Peter was confused. Something special? What was that supposed to mean? The only special thing that had happened was Tony standing up to Flash. But why would that be special?

Peter decided to just walk to the kitchen and eat with everyone else.

He sat with May, Wanda, and Thor and couldn’t really notice anything out of the ordinary except that all the adults were drinking wine. But even that wasn’t completely abnormal.

After Peter and most of the others had finished eating, Tony and Pepper both stood up and Tony tapped on his wine glass.

“Listen up!” All eyes went to Tony and Pepper. “Pep and I have a very special announcement to make.”

Peter could hear the excitement in Tony’s voice.

“We’re...” Pepper began. “We’re having a baby!” She said beaming.

 

Everybody clapped and cheered. Peter was stunned. A baby? As in a mini Tony Stark? That would be the most amazing thing ever! He didn’t even know the kid yet and he was already so excited!

After about a million questions, Tony and Pepper got everybody to settle down. The excitement was still in the air, but everyone was able to go on to other conversations.

Peter helped clean up after dinner and Tony came up to him.

“Congrats Mr.Stark! Do you know the gender yet? Why are you gonna name it? Are you hoping for a boy? Or would you rather have a girl?”

Tony laughed. “Whoa kid slow down. We don’t really know any of that yet. But no matter the gender, I’m just excited to meet that adorable bundle of joy.”

It made Peter happy to see Tony so overwhelmed with joy. He was glad to see that Tony’s life was beginning to settle down and slowly become more domestic.

“Me too! It’s gonna be amazing!”

Tony hugged Peter. He couldn’t wait for his kid, to one day, have Peter as the best big brother possible.

Chapter Text

A few weeks later and a sense of normalcy had fallen back on Peter. Doctor Cho had finally cleared Peter to get his cast taken off and his concussion was almost completely healed.

School had been better, too. Ever since Tony had told Flash off, Peter hadn’t been bothered and he’d been able to go to school like normal and hang out with Ned and MJ. Life had gotten a lot better for him.

Once Peter had been cleared from his injuries, he finally went out as Spider-Man again, much to Tony’s disapproval. Peter had begged him for two days, and eventually Tony broke. It wasn’t easy to tell the kid ‘no.’

Being out in the cool, March air made Peter truly feel alive again.

Peter wished he was out patrolling right now, but he was stuck in chemistry, trying to pay attention to his teacher and the notes he was taking. Considering it was a beautiful Friday afternoon, and the last day of school before spring break, concentrating was nearly impossible.

All day Peter had been able to feel the jittery energy of everyone around him. A week off school always made people excited. Peter was looking forward to a week of patrolling as Spider-Man, working in the lab with Tony, and going over to Ned’s to build Legos.

The bell finally rang and Peter quickly packed up his backpack while the teacher wished them a safe and fun spring break.

Peter walked to his locker to put away his chemistry book. Ned came up behind him.

“Hey, Peter! You wanna get started of that LEGO set tonight?” Ned was practically vibrating with excitement.

Peter really wanted to go out as Spider-Man, but he didn’t want to let Ned down either. “Okay, how about eight ish?”

Ned smiled. “Sounds great!”

Peter and Ned went their separate ways.

Peter walked toward the Tower. Since he’d been having Happy or Tony drive him a lot while he was hurt, he’d been walking to and from school. It wasn’t too far from the Tower either. Plus the warmer spring days put Peter in a good mood.

About ten minutes later, Peter rounded the corner of the block. The Avengers Tower stood tall in front of Peter, with that bright blue “A” that you couldn’t miss if you tried.

Peter kept walking until he felt his sense perk just a bit. The warning was coming from in front of him, the same direction of the Tower.

Next thing Peter knew there was an explosion about halfway up the Tower. It wasn’t huge but it was enough to provide an escape for the people that jumped out and activated what looked like some sort of grappling hook to get away.

Peter had seen that before. It was the same people who nearly killed him.
Peter jumped into an alley and threw on the suit. The attackers were gone but he had to get to the Tower quick, and dressed as Spider-Man would be the best way.

Peter swung up through the burning gap in the Tower. Down below, fire trucks and police cars were gathering.

Peter landed in the library of the Tower. Not exactly where he would have expected someone to attack. Nobody was hurt and it seemed that the damage was only to the windows and a stray table or chair that was nearby.

The door flew open as everybody rushed in.

“Kid! What happened?” Tony asked.

“I don’t know! I was just walking home when the explosion went off. About five people escaped with grappling hooks.”

“What could they have been after?” Thor wondered.

“Our work,” Nat said, clearly shaken.

Steve nodded. “I bet they’re the ones who attacked and hurt Peter a month and a half ago.”

“Thy escaped in the exact same way,” Peter pointed out.

“What did they take?” Tony asked.

Steve and Nat looked over the tables they’d been working at.

“All of our digital files...they’re gone, even the ones about us,” Nat said.

“They took our personal files?” Bruce asked, confused.

“Makes sense,” Thor added. “Gathering intel on your enemy.”

“Shit,” Tony mumbled angrily.

“So what do we do?” Wanda asked.

“We go on lockdown,” Steve suggested.

Tony nodded in agreement. “We have to. And we suit up. If they’re trying to get intel, the Compound is their next target.”

“I thought we moved everything here?” Steve said.

“We moved ourselves here. I still have tech and other resources stored there, which means they can get it.” Tony said.

“Hold up a sec,” Sam chimed in. “How do we know for sure they’re going to attack the Compound? What if they already stole all of the intel they needed?”

“We don’t know for sure they’re going to the Compound,” Tony said

“But we also don’t want to give them the opportunity,” Steve finished.

Tony nodded and the others dispersed to get ready to fight. Tony walked up to Peter.

“Kid, call May. You’re gonna be out late tonight.”

***

Peter boarded the Jet with everybody else. The trip to the Compound would only take a few minutes that way.

The hangar door opened and the light from the setting sun seeped in. Peter was full of nervous energy. Hopefully they’d be able to stop these people before they ever began.

Steve walked to the center of the jet and activated the screen.

“Okay. We’re going in and we’re going in as quiet as possible. We don’t want to start a fight if it can be avoided. I would think if they saw almost the entire Avengers team they’d surrender pretty quickly.” Steve swiped on the big screen. “We’re landing in the back woods. We sneak across the open field and toward the storage buildings. That’ll be their main target. So drop down, stay quiet, and capture these people. Sound good?”

Everybody nodded.

“Steve we’re coming in,” Sam said.

Sam landed the jet in the woods and everybody walked out. They split up and quietly made their way toward the large storage buildings. Peter could see movement.

“Droney,” he whispered. “Recon report.”

The little drone on his chest detached and quietly flew out toward the buildings. It did a scan of the area and took count of the number of people hey were up against.

The drone flew back and reattached to his chest and the list of hostiles appeared on Peter’s HUD.

“There are thirty hostiles in the area,” Karen informed him.

“What? Thirty?!” Peter whisper-shouted. It was definitely going to be a fight. He had Karen send the info on the hostiles to FRIDAY so Tony would have it as well.

Suddenly, something started to feel...off. Then Peter’s sense went off. “Wanda, shield!”

Wanda’s hand flew up and blocked a laser blast that was fired at them.

The people started making weird shrieking sounds and fired their energy weapons at the Avengers.

Thor jumped up in the air glowing with lighting. He dropped down hard and slammed the ground with Stormbreaker, sending some of the attackers in many different directions. Thor was just gentle enough to not kill them.

Tony flew in and set his weapons on a lower mode. He’d hurt them, not kill them. Tony shot a few and Peter fired webs. Peter picked one person up and slung them toward another. They fell over but were up quick and firing again.

Steve ran in with Nat. She used her electric batons while Steve used his shield.

“I think we lost the element of surprise!” Peter shouted.

“What gave you that idea?” Bucky said sarcastically as he hit one in the head with the stock of his rifle.

The people kept firing their weapons and one hit one of Tony’s boot jets, sending him to the ground.

Steve’s voice came over comms. “They’re fighting to kill! We’re going to have to fight the same way!”

Thor swung his axe and knocked one down. Thor would’ve moved to someone else if the person’s skin color hadn’t changed. Actually, the whole body was different, it was...green.

“They’re not human!” Thor shouted.

The others began to notice that as well.

“What the hell is happening?” Rhodey asked.

They kept fighting while Tony ran scans on one of the bodies. FRIDAY couldn’t even compute what the creature was.

They let out roars again and ran off toward the main building of the Compound. They were trying to escape.

“Mr. Stark?” Peter said.

Tony and Peter chased them. Peter swung over one of the storage buildings and was knocked to the side by an explosion that came from the top of the building. Peter flew off to the side and rolled on the roof of the building.

Three of the people jumped through the hole the explosion made and pointed their weapons at Peter. Peter got up as quick as he could. But he wasn’t quick enough, and they fired.

Wanda dropped in front of him just in time and blocked the blasts with an energy shield, which she pushed at them, lifting them into the air.

Sam flew by and threw them down on the roof, before going to help Steve.

Peter clutched his chest as he breathed heavily. “I had that under control.” He said.

“Is that why the building is on fire?” She said with a chuckle.

Thor came up behind Tony who was chasing the people who were running away and slammed the ground. This time, just with his own weight and not the axe.

The seven creatures that were still alive circled up.

“Stop!” Thor shouted. “We don’t want to kill you!”

They gave Thor and the others a demonic stare. “Good,” one of them growled.

They pulled out some sort of ball. They pressed the button on top of it and a blue energy cloud opened up beneath them. The seven attackers disappeared through it.

The Avengers stood shocked.

“Was-was that...”

“The Space Stone,” Steve said confirming Thor’s thoughts.

“How the hell did they get that?” Sam wondered.

Nobody knew what to say. It was clear that it had been stolen from the Wakandan vault, but how? Security in Wakanda was among the best. Getting into the damn country was hard enough, let alone through the palace.

“What do we do?” Peter asked.

“Nat, Sam, Buck. Come with me back to the ship. We’ll contact T’Challa and let them know what’s up. Somehow they’ve gotten into Wakanda, and if they have one Stone, they may have the others,” Steve explained.

“Crap, that didn’t ever occur to me.” Tony said. “I’ll contact Fury, we’re gonna need all the help we can get. FRIDAY?”

“On it, Boss.”

Fury connected faster than anybody would have expected. He didn’t look good. He looked stressed and it seems it had been a good amount of time since he’d gotten a any sleep.

“Stark? Is this about the Tower? I’ve been meaning to contact you all day. But there have been some other strange disturbances around the world.”

“Well the Tower and the Compound. The Compound has been attacked, too. We fought most of them off but they’re not humans.”

“Not human? What do you mean?” Fury asked.

“See for yourself.” Tony pointed his suit cam at one of the creatures on the ground.

Fury felt his heart skip a beat. That skin, those pointed ears, he’d seen them before. The first alien contact he’d ever had, that had changed his life. He knew exactly what they were, and exactly what he had to do. Exactly who he needed to contact.

And she was just the click of a pager away...

*cue Avengers theme that is played during the title cards*

Chapter Text

Carol fired a photon blast from her fist, blowing up a Chitauri speeder. The aliens had arrived in a large squadron and were attempting to destroy a fueling settlement.

One of the aliens blasted her and she absorbed the energy, then fired at it, burning a massive whole through its chest. She fired at multiple others while punching at kicking at the ones that got to close.

She leaped off the ground and flew at one of the leviathans. It bared it’s sharp teeth and fired everything it had at her. She took hit after hit and absorbed the energy. When would they learn that doing that made her stronger?

Carol’s fists lit up as she flew through the mouth of the beast and out the other side, blowing it up and watching it fall to the surface of the planet.

The Chitauri screeched and ran at her again firing everything they had at her. She jumped high into the air and dropped down onto the ground, hard. A shockwave of photon energy radiated from her as almost all of the remaining Chitauri were blown away.

The stragglers still tried to put up a fight.

“You know, this would go a lot better for you guys if you just gave up.” She said to all of them. “Any takers?”

The Chitauri didn’t move. Instead they cocked their weapons and aimed at her.

“None? Okay.” Her face hardened as she blasted them left and right. One hit her across the face which did no damage to her and resulted in a broken blaster barrel for the creature. She kicked the alien away and blasted it.

Another flew behind her and she grabbed it by the throat, before crushing it and tossing it to the side.

The few fighters that were left finally realized that they were outmatched and started flying away. She fired a few stray blasts at them as they flew off toward space.

She gently floated down to the ground and deactivated her powers.

The Krylorian people around her began to applaud and cheer for her. She modestly waved or gave a head nod here and there.

It was a good thing she’d gotten there when she had, or the fueling station would’ve ignited and caused major damage to the nearby city and the planet itself.

The Krylorian leader approached her. She was tall and carried herself differently than the others, but she didn’t appear to think herself any better. Interesting qualities for a leader.

Carol also admired how beautiful the people were. There bright pink skin made them very distinct in the galaxy and she could safely say there were no others like them.

“Miss Danvers, you have our undying gratitude and respect. You have saved countless lives on my people’s behalf today. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. It’s my job to keep things at bay in the galaxy, and I’m happy to help anytime.”

The leader nodded. “I’m glad to hear that. But do you know why the Chitauri would suddenly want to attack our land?”

Carlo shook her head. “I don’t, I’m sorry. This sort of thing has been happening for nearly a year. I’ve fought off countless patrols.”

“You don’t think it’s,” the leader leaned closer and whispered, “Thanos?”

Thanos? Didn’t they know that Thanos was dead?

“Not if the transmission we got last year was true. The king of Asgard took his head off. I think this is his army running scared. He’s been dead almost a year, and they don’t know what to do.”

“I hope you’re right,” she said.

“Don’t worry. If he somehow comes around here I’ll make sure he regrets it,” Carol winked at her.

“Thank you, Miss Danvers.”

Carol nodded and readied herself to leave when she heard a beeping sound coming from her belt. She looked down and saw something she never would’ve expected.

The pager.

It was finally going off! But that didn’t make sense, it had been nearly twenty five years, why now? And what could be wrong? She remembered telling Fury for emergencies only, and she trusted him to honor that, especially given how long it’s been.

She was sure of only one thing, she better get to back to Earth.

***

Shuri was working on some new advancements in the lab, like normal. Actually everything had been really normal lately. So much so that it was starting to get almost boring. Not that she wanted something crazy to happen, but she’d really like to be able to get out and do something. Maybe steal a jet and fly to America and see Peter again. It had been nearly four months since she’d last seen him and she really missed him.

Stealing a jet was probably not a good idea. But if it was her family’s jet, then technically it wasn’t stealing, right? Regardless, all she would do is cause a problem.

She sat back in her chair and rolled back a few inches. She sighed and put one of her little tools down, and looked at the mess of tech she had scattered all over her work desk. She was attempting to make a more battle efficient version of her Panther gauntlets. She considered producing them to the Wakandan army if she could figure out a more dangerous setting. All she had right now was one that would hurt and stun, none that could kill like the army needed.

Shuri stood up and stretched, letting her arms fall beside her and then seeing the picture on the far end of her desk. She picked it up. It was a picture of her and Peter from Christmas in New York. Peter had his big, adorable smile and was wearing a headband with reindeer antlers, she was behind him him laughing and giving him bunny ears. Both of them were dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters. She smiled at the picture and the fond memories that came with it. What she wouldn’t give to see him again.

Deciding that her break was over, she set down the picture and got settled back in her chair. She took a deep breath and started messing with some more wires.

The last thing she ever would’ve expected to happen would be for the emergency alarm to go off. The lab lights went red and the people around her ran to safety positions.

She grabbed the one gauntlet that she hadn’t been working on and slid it over her hand.

Her Kimoyo bead buzzed and T’Challa appeared.

“Brother? What’s happening?” She asked frantically.

“The vault...the Gauntlet...it’s gone!” T’Challa couldn’t hide the panic behind his words if he wanted to.

“Who took it? Where did they go?”

“We don’t know! They opened up a portal and disappeared!”

Shuri couldn’t believe what was happening. Who would betray Wakanda like that? And how could they have gotten into the vault? Only her, T’Challa, and their mother had access.

“What do we do?” She wondered.

“Meet me in the throne room. We have to figure this out.”

Shuri left the lab quickly and made her way to the throne room. Her gauntlet was still active in case she saw anyone or anything suspicious. Nothing stuck out to her.

When she walked into the throne room, T’Challa, along with the tribe leaders, seemed panicked. Okoye was there as well, talking frantically to T’Challa, trying to figure out a solution.

“Brother, what are we going to do?”

“We have to contact the Avengers, we’re going to need all the help we can get, and they’re our best bet. First I’m going to contact Director Nick Fury. He can help, too.”

T’Challa did just that, and Fury gave them the coordinates for the Helicarrier. T’Challa got Shuri and Okoye loaded on the jet and they took off, he could only hope they’d be able to figure this out.

Right after takeoff, a transmission from the Avengers popped up on one of the screens. T’Challa was quick to answer, and Steve’s face popped up.

“Captain,” T’Challa greeted.

“Your highness. I wish we were contacting you under better circumstances, but we believe somebody has accessed your vault and stolen an Infinity Stone. The Space Stone, specifically.”

“We know,” T’Challa said. “But unfortunately they took more than one Stone, they took them all, Steve. What do we do?”

Steve’s face went pale when T’Challa said they’d taken every Stone. That meant they had the Gauntlet, too. They were in deep trouble.

“Then you have to meet us at the Helicarrier, we’re going to need all hands on deck if we’re going to stop this.”

“We’re on our way, we just talked to Fury,” T’Challa said.

Steve nodded and ended the transmission.

Steve turned to Nat. “Get everyone back to the ship. I’m afraid this is going to be much worse than we ever expected.”

“What do you mean?”

“They didn’t just steal the Space Stone. They stole them all, and the Gauntlet.”

The same look of shock and horror came across Nat’s face as well. It was Thanos all over again. But he was dead, and who would be able to harness the power of the Stones and wield them?

Back at the scene of escape, Peter stood with Thor, Tony, and Wanda, all still shaken up. How could someone have possibly stolen an Infinity Stone from the Wakandan vault?

Thor turned to Tony. “We should probably take a look around. They did a lot of damage and we don’t know what they stole.”

Tony nodded his head. “Lets go take a look.”

The storage building with the explosion had clearly been looted. There were weapon crates scattered all over the floor and burning debris thrown about. One of the other jets was on fire because the left wing had blown up in the fight.

“Not much seems to be missing, but they did make a mess of the place.” Tony stated.

“I know.” Thor said. He sounded almost spooked, which stressed Peter out. It wasn’t good if the God of Thunder was worried. “It’s weird.” He continued. “Why would they have come here then, if not to steal weapons?”

“A distraction, maybe?” Rhodey suggested.

“But why? What could they be distracting us from?” Tony wondered.

“I don’t know, none of this is right.” Thor said. Thor normally didn’t look like this, it was really starting to worry Peter.

Tony’s helmet beeped, signaling Steve wanting them all to meet back at the jet. They made their way quickly, hoping to have some sort of news from Wakanda.

Steve gave them all a grim look and tried to think of an easy way to say everything.

“So...” Tony started, trying to prompt a conversation.

Steve gave them all a grim look. “They took the whole Gauntlet, not just one Stone.”

Everybody gasped at once. In any other situation it would’ve been almost comical, but now it meant everyone’s potential demise.

“What do we do?”

“We’re screwed now.”

“It’s last year all over again.”

“Could someone really wield the Stones who isn’t Thanos?”

“Hey! Everybody settle down!” Steve said. They all quieted down. “We’re going to figure this out. Thanos is dead and not exactly able to wield the Stones, which makes our chances a little better. We just need to get to the Helicarrier and we can get this sorted out.”

“Let’s go.” Thor said. His eyes lit up slightly with blue electricity.

The Avengers loaded up on the jet and headed to the coordinates. Peter sat next to Wanda. Both of them were trying to stay calm. Whoever and whatever these things were hadn’t used the Stones yet, and there was a chance that they could stop this before it really began. At least Peter hoped so.

Chapter Text

The Avengers sped toward the Helicarrier as fast as their jet could take them. At roughly the speed of sound, Sam and Steve cut through the clouds like it was nothing, needing - wanting - desperately to find out anything they could.

Peter sat in the back of the jet with Wanda and Thor. They tried to keep themselves calm and relaxed, but so many things had gone wrong, it was hard to stay positive. The only good thing was that the Stones hadn’t been used. Yet.

Tony was talking on the phone with someone and Peter had a suspicious feeling that it was May. If it was, Spider-Man wouldn’t be involved in this mission for much longer.

Tony walked over to Peter with his phone to his ear. He held the phone out for Peter. “Someone needs to talk to you,” Tony said.

Peter sighed. This mission was over for him. “Hello?”

“Peter Benjamin Parker!” May shouted. Peter cringed, she was super pissed.

“May, I-“ Peter tried to get out.

“No! Nope, not happening! A mission to help stop people from destroying he Avengers Compound? Okay, that’s not too dangerous, you’ll be fine. But the freaking INFINITY STONES? Absolutely not! You got caught up in this once and I’m not letting it happen again. You’re going home as soon as you get to that Helicarrier!”

“May please, The Avengers need me!” Peter pleaded.

“Peter, I need you more! I can’t lose you! So much as happened, I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you too.”

“May, I know, but I’ll be fine. I have to do this. I became Spider-Man so I could make a difference and help people. Well this is the ultimate difference. If I don’t and the enemy wins, it could be because of me. May,please, I have to try.”

There was a long pause on the other end of the phone. May loved Peter so much, she couldn’t imagine her life if something bad ever happened to him. Hell, she’d already almost lost him a few months back. But he also had a point. He was given an extraordinary gift that he used for good, and this was a chance to do that.

May sighed. “This probably makes me the most irresponsible adult ever, but okay. I swear to God, Peter you better not get hurt and you better come home to me. Ya hear that, Tony?”

Tony had FRIDAY tap into the call so, of course, he heard it. “May, I promise I will return the kid to you in one piece. I won’t let anything happen to him.”

“Alright.” May let out another sigh. “I hope I don’t regret this.”

“Oh before you go,” Tony spoke up. “Pepper is in the lower panic level of the Tower. It’s nearly a thousand feet under ground. Why don’t you meet her there? That way Peter and I also have peace of mind about you guys?”

“Okay, I’ll pack some stuff and head over.”

“Great, Happy will be waiting for you.”

“Alright. Be careful. I love you, Peter.”

“I love you too, May.”

The call ended and Peter was relieved that she was actually going to let him help fight. He had to do this.

Tony put his arm on Peter’s shoulder. “I’ll let you stick around kid, but if I feel it gets too dangerous, your ass is on a ship to the Tower with Pepper and your Aunt, got it?”

Peter nodded. “Got it.”

With that fiasco over, Peter went back to sit with Thor and Wanda. Wanda had a blank expression but Thor was clearly shaken up and worried. Peter wished he could tell Thor it would be okay, but Thor was the strongest among them, if he was so worried, maybe Peter should be too?

While the others waited to arrive, Nat was tasked with calling in Clint who everyone knew would have no desire to deal with an issue like this, but they needed all hands on deck for this one.

“Nat, please God, tell me you’re kidding,” Clint said after she filled him in.

“I wish I could say I was. We need you on this. You know I wouldn’t call if I didn’t have to.”

Clint sighed. “What’s with this crap? I’m retired, I’m supposed to be living a happy life with my wife and kids, not fighting anymore intergalactic wars.”

Nat rolled her eyes. “It’s not a war. But the fate of the world depends on this. Please Clint.” She begged.

Clint sighed again. Why was it that every time he said he was retired something bad had to happen again? “I don’t know, Nat.”

Natasha raised her eyebrows and gave him a smile when she knew she had him. “There’s coffee on the Helicarrier.”

Clint looked back at her on the hologram and raised an eyebrow. “What kind?”

Nat walked back toward the cockpit after convincing Clint to come help.

“Steve? Clint’s in.”

Steve smiled. “Great! Did the coffee thing work?”

Nat nodded her head, smiling as well. “Like a charm.”

“We really do need to let that man retire.” Steve laughed.

“Hopefully everything can go back to normal after this. I never realized how much I took all those cozy movie nights at the Tower for granted,” Nat said, longing for the comfy couches back in the screening room.

“No kidding!” Sam chimed in. “I’d love to be on the couch in the screening room, half way through a bucket of popcorn.”

“You and me both, bud.” Steve said patting him of the shoulder.

Sam looked back at him and smiled, then the ship beeped, signaling that they were coming up on the Helicarrier. Sam turned back to the controls.

Peter walked toward the front of the ship with all the others. All he could really see through the cockpit were a bunch of navy blue clouds from the now night sky and the stray star here and there when there was a break in the clouds.

“Where’s the ship?” Peter wondered.

“You’ll see it,” Tony said, smiling and making a face that said “I know something you don’t.”

Peter smiled at him and looked back. Slowly, lights began to appear and a massive ship seemed to materialize from thin air. As they flew closer Peter could see all of the Helicarrier and gaped at it in awe. The Compound was awesome, the Tower was even better, but this, this was something else.

Tony looked to Peter and smiled in admiration as the kid was literally gawking at the marvel that lie in front of him.

Sam landed the ship on the Helicarrier and the ramp at the back of the jet slid down. The cold air from the high altitude flooded into the ship blowing Peter’s curls all over the place.

The Avengers stepped out and Peter had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. The Helicarrier was the most amazing thing he’d ever seen, and he hadn’t even been inside yet.

Peter followed Tony and the others inside and was still in awe at all that the Helicarrier had. The bridge was by far the coolest thing. There were so many stations where people were working and keeping things running and Peter just wanted to learn everything about everything there.

Nick Fury greeted them as they walked in and sat around the command table that had far too many seats set around it. Peter sat next to Tony and Wanda, listening closely to Fury.

“Welcome back, Avengers. As you well know we are facing another potentially world ending catastrophe.”

“So essentially, nothing’s new?”

Everyone turned back to see Clint standing with one arm resting on the side of the wall.

Nat got up and hugged him. “Good to see you again.”

“You too,” Clint said looking at Natasha but speaking to the whole room.

“Nice to have you back Agent Barton.” Fury said nodding his head toward Barton and turning back to the meeting.

Clint sat at one of the empty seats then turned his attention back to Fury and the whole end of the world meeting.

“So, the knowledge we have on these creatures dates back to nineteen ninety five. They’re called Skrulls, a shapeshifting species from space. They sought out Earth at one point as a potential new home for their species that was dying off.” Fury clicked on button on the control pad and a picture of Carol appeared.

“Who’s that?” Steve asked.

“This is Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel. She was from Earth and in an accident involving the Tesseract that granted her extraordinary abilities. She helped me and the likes of Shield figure out a way to deal with the Skrulls and help them. Unfortunately, they’re not all good people and some are extremists who want to have ultimate power.”

“So wait a second,” Tony said. “If this Carol person helped you back then, where the hell has she been all this time?”

“If she’s as powerful as you say we could’ve used her help on several occasions.” Thor said. He looked to Steve and Tony who nodded in agreement.

“That might be the case but you were always capable of handling the threat. Besides, I’ve contacted her through this old pager. She specifically told me for emergencies only, and if the Skrulls are invading Earth again but with all the Infinity Stones this time, I’d say its an emergency. Besides there are a lot of other planets out there, and they don’t have a group of heroes to defend them.”

Nobody could really argue with that point, but still, it felt like there was a lot Fury hadn’t been telling them.

“So is she on her way here?” Bruce asked.

“Yes she is, I’m hoping she’ll be able to provide us with intel on the Skrulls and help us find who is behind this.”

Tony spoke up. “How do we know that these creatures are the same people that attacked Peter? Plus we found a warehouse a while back with Hammer tech, that doesn’t add up at all?”

“The Hammer tech was a set up. They were trying to distract us by making us think he was onto something, and the warehouse was trap to try and kill some of you Avengers. They knew you were strong enough to stand in the way. That’s why they stole files, too. They were trying to gather as much intel as possible on their enemy.”

Tony looked a little stunned by how well Fury had been able to answer his question. “Okay...that actually...” He trailed off trying to find a hole in the argument, but coming up empty. “Perfectly explains everything.”

“Glad to have you filled in. Now that leaves the matter of finding the Stones and preventing them from destroying the universe.”

“Okay this is where I’m confused.” Clint said waving his hands around. “The Infinity Stones are the most powerful objects in the universe, yes?”

Fury nodded in confirmation.

“And to wield them you have to be incredibly strong and damn near immortal?”

“Yes,” Fury said.

“Then who do they have with them that can wield the gauntlet?” Clint wondered.

“That’s what we don’t know. When Carol Danvers arrives, I believe there will be more she can tell us on the issue. We have also contacted the Guardians of the Galaxy, along with Wakanda. T’Challa and his team will be here soon, the Guardians will take a bit longer. There will hopefully be more that they can fill us in on.”

Fury was about to have the Avengers dispensed and set Tony and Bruce up in the lab, but there was a sudden bright flash of light outside and a deafening roar.

Fury felt the corners of his mouth tugging up. After so many years...she was finally back.

The doors to the bridge flew open and there she stood, still glowing with photon energy, and her long blonde hair blowing around with it.

Carol Danvers: Captain Marvel.

“Fury!” She ran over to him and brought him in for a huge hug. “It’s been far too long, and I’m sorry that I haven’t been back. The Galaxy has been in desperate need of someone who can help them.”

“I understand perfectly,” Fury put a hand on her shoulder. “It’s great to have you back.”

All of the Avengers stared at her in awe and confusion. They’d never met her before and she seemed extremely close with Fury. Just as close with him as they were even though it had been more than twenty years.

Carol looked over to the Avengers and then back to Fury.

“Oh! Of course! Avengers, this is Carol Danvers. Carol,” Fury gestured toward the team, “the Avengers.”

Carol smiled at them and gave a small, somewhat awkward, wave. “Hi! It’s good to meet you all! I hear you’re the ones who killed Thanos?”

Thor stood up quickly. “That would be me, if you must know! Thanos stood no chance against the god of thunder!”

The others rolled their eyes but Carol seemed genuinely interested and somewhat intrigued.

“So Carol, now that you’re here, I was wondering what you could tell us?” Fury said on a desperate attempt to shift the conversation back on track.

She smiled at them again. “Well I’m sure you told them the basics, right?” She lifted an eyebrow in question at the Avengers who nodded their heads in confirmation.

“Okay. The past several years, Skrull activity has been at an extreme minimum. I haven’t heard anything of them in years.” She looked to Fury. “And my last contact with Talos was well over a year ago.”

“Who’s Talos?” Natasha asked.

“The Skrull leader. Or the leader of the good Skrulls. I don’t even know who leads the others, or how many there are. All I know is they have the Stones, and with that, they can end the universe.”

“I’m still confused!” Clint said, drawing attention to himself. “How can they wield it? Don’t they have to be like...stupid strong?”

Carol laughed at his wording. “Yes they do,” her face hardened, “but if they’re desperate enough, someone could snap and be willing to die for the cause. I would imagine they have someone willing to do that. Actually, I bet any of them would be willing.”

“Then why haven’t they snapped yet?” Fury asked her.

“I don’t know. Right now, we should start our search for the Stones, do you have an energy signature algorithm?”

“Yes we do. Stark, Banner, head to the lab and get to work. We’ll send Shuri down when she arrives with T’Challa.”

Tony got up with Bruce and signaled for Peter to join them in the lab. Peter quickly got up and went along with them.

“So whatcha think, kid?” Tony asked.

Peter’s face lit up. “This is the coolest stuff I’ve ever seen in my life! I only could’ve imagined what the Helicarrier was really like and it’s so much cooler!”

Tony smiled at the kid. “Lets go to the lab, we’ve got a universe to save.”

Peter followed Tony and Bruce down to the lab, which was bigger than Peter had expected. The Helicarrier was massive but so far almost everything on board had been pretty compact and tight.

Tony activated some of the digital display screens and he and Bruce began firing up an old technique they’d used to find the Tesseract years before. There had been an Infinity Stone inside, so the energy signature should be similar.

“So this will tell us where the Stones are?” Peter asked.

Tony nodded. “Yep. Bruce and I used this years ago to find the Tesseract and it should be able to find the others.”

“Not to be a downer,” Bruce chimed in, “But this will only work if the Stones happen to be on Earth, if they’re not, we still won’t know. But at the least we’ll be able to rule Earth out as an option.”

Peter nodded, happy to be talking science again. After being stuck in school and jumping through the not-so-difficult hoops, it was nice to have something more challenging and interesting to do. He just wished that the fate of the universe wasn’t at stake.

Peter got to work with Tony and Bruce to figure out a way of expanding the range of their tracking technology.

About thirty minutes later, Peter heard a familiar voice at the door and he felt the corners of his mouth turning up.

“Peter Parker.”

Peter looked up and saw Shuri. The next thing he knew he was across the room and bringing her in for the biggest hug of either of their lives.

Peter smiled at her. “I missed you so much!”

Shuri beamed back. “I missed you, too!”

Shuri cupped his face and brought his lips to her own. She kissed Peter for a long time.

Tony scoffed. “Geez, kids, could you guys please get a room? And not do anything gross in it?”

Peter pulled away and smiled awkwardly, his cheeks heating up and turning red.

“Oh, does this make you uncomfortable, Stark?” Shuri asked, her tone was sarcastic. She brought Peter in for another quick kiss then broke away and headed toward Tony to help.

Peter stood flustered for a moment, his face still red from embarrassment, before heading over to join the others. Peter noticed that the monitor said it was at eighty nine percent progress, they’d have the Stones in no time.

Peter could hear something approaching and listened closer. He walked towards the window and a bright orange ship flew past, leaving a blue-orange trail of light behind it.

The Guardians were there.

Everybody in the lab headed toward the bridge, where he Guardians were already getting a mission report form Fury.

“That’s what we know as of now.” Fury finished.

Carol and Thor walked over to them as well.

Thor’s eyes lit up. “Sweet Rabbit! It’s so good to see you again!” Thor ruffled up Rocket’s fur on his head.

“Hey! Hey! Knock it off!” Rocket complained.

“Quail, it’s nice to see you as well.” Thor said, talking to Quill.

“Uh it’s Quill, by the way, not quail.”

Thor smiled and patted Quill on the shoulder. “Close enough.”

“Not to disrupt your reunion,” Nebula began. “But I may be able to tell you more.”

Everyone turned their attention to her.

“Even Thanos, for all his arrogance, had a backup plan, but what that plan consisted of, he never said. All he ever said was that no matter what happened to him, his plan would be completed. This backup plan must be in motion right now. But we still have the upper hand.”

“How so?” Fury asked.

“The Time Stone is in an ally’s possession.”

Tony smacked his hand on his head. “Damn it! I knew I was missing something!”

Everyone looked at Tony for an explanation.

He sighed. “Stephen Strange has the Stone.”

Chapter Text

Doctor Stephen Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, had been living an abnormally simple and happy life for nearly a year. With the death of Thanos, the amount of supernatural threats had decreased exponentially, and there was an unusual sense of peace among the Sorcerers.

After declining Tony Stark’s invitation to join the Avengers last year, he’d gone on with the Guardians of the Galaxy to try and help bring back one of their fallen allies. Unfortunately, there hadn’t been anything Stephen could do to save Gamora.

They had pleaded with the Stonekeeper to resurrect her, and even offered to return the Soul Stone in exchange for her life, but it was no good. The exchange was permanent.

Peter Quill had taken her body from the cliff and given her a proper ritual that the Zehobereian people would perform in the event of a death.

While Stephen never knew her personally, he greatly respected her courage to turn against Thanos and fight against him for the good of the universe. Especially knowing that Thanos could’ve tracked her down and killed her if he so chose.

After that, he’d returned home to the Sanctum and helped Wong repair the damage that had been done to it and the city.

He’d also began to further rekindle his relationship with Christine Palmer. While things were moving pretty slow at this point, the two were growing closer.

Stephen had been hesitant to start a relationship with her after he became the Master of the Mystic Arts due to the dangers that came with that job. He didn’t want to put her in harms way. But she had been persistent, and quite honestly, he was pretty sure he was in love with her.

Now his days mostly consisted of staying at the Sanctum and studying ancient texts for knowledge of new spells or other super beings who might be a threat. He still couldn’t believe he had let someone like Thanos escape his list. Ever since then, he’d been sure to triple his efforts to keep the planet secure.

“Stephen.” Wong tapped on the bookshelf behind him to get his attention.

Stephen looked up from his book. “Wong, what’s up?”

Wong carried a look of dread on his face. Not that he ever showed much emotion to begin with, but it was a bit unsettling.

“You need to see this.”

Stephen got up, quickly and headed after Wong.

“Wong! Wong! What’s going on?” Stephen asked, chasing Wong throughout the Sanctum.

They made their way to the kitchen in the Sanctum where the one little TV they had was.

Wong gestured to it. “Look.”

On the screen was a headline that read ‘Avengers Tower Attacked!’

“Oh God.” Stephen whispered. “What do they know about it?” His voice rose to a normal level.

“They don’t. All they know is that there has been an explosion and that several people escaped from the building via what appears to be grappling hooks.”

“Keep me posted, I’ll contact Tony Stark.” Stephen turned to walk away but was hit by a powerful energy blast and knocked off his feet.

“Stephen!” Wong shouted after. The person fired a blast at Wong who quickly conjured a energy weapon to block it.

Stephen got up and tapped his fists together, conjuring a weapon on each. His trusty cloak flew to him and rested on his shoulders.

Stephen conjured a rope and grabbed one of the attackers, throwing them into a wall. The persons skin turned green.

Stephen turned to see Wong slash through one with a energy sword. His turned green as well.

“They aren’t human!” Wong shouted.

Stephen blocked the attack from one of them and knocked them back. “You don’t say!”

He lifted off the ground and then slammed down sending a energy shockwave and knocking the attackers off their feet.

“I think that’s all of them.” Wong said, glancing around with his weapons up, still not certain they were clear.

Stephen approached one of the dead creatures.

“What are they?” Wong asked.

Stephen stared at the creature. “I don’t know. But they’re obviously up to no good.”

“Allies of Thanos?” Wong wondered aloud.

Stephen shook his head. “I don’t think so. Why wait so long to attack? It doesn’t make sense.”

Wong nodded in agreement.

Just as sudden as the first attack, another blast hit both of them and sent them flying off their feet.

Stephen’s vision was swimming and his head hurt like hell.

Next thing he knew one of the creatures had him by the throat and ripped off the Eye of Agomotto necklace that housed the Time Stone.

Stephen was instantly back to reality and jumped after the creature but it was already across the room.

A blue cloud of energy formed and right as Stephen was conjuring his own portal. Thankfully, he’d managed to open it below where the creature was, and it fell through. Stephen closed it on the arm that held the necklace and it thumped on the ground, disconnected from the body.

Stephen got to his feet as quickly as he could and ran to grab the necklace from the ground. He put it back on, feeling safer now that he had it with him.

“Where’d it go?” Wong asked. He’d been hit extremely hard in the head as well and was disoriented.

“I opened a portal, it almost got the necklace.”

“You have it, right?”

Stephen turned around to show that he did, and Wong breathed a sigh of relief.

Stephen was preoccupied by the blue cloud and portal that had formed. While he may not be an expert on the other Infinity Stones, he was fairly certain that was the Space Stone. It looked just like the portals he’d seen Thanos open when he’d arrived and left Titan. If that was the case, this was a severe threat and they’d need all the help they could get.

“I think they already have a Stone.” Stephen stated.

“What?” Wong asked, shocked.

“I think they have a Stone. The Space Stone. I saw the creature attempt to open a portal before I stopped it.”

“What do we do?”

“We contact the Avengers.”

***

Back on the Helicarrier, Fury gave Tony a hard look. “Where is he now?”

“Uh... the Sanctum? The Sanctum Sanctorum. It’s in Manhattan.”

“Then we need to get to him, now.”

“Don’t bother.”

Tony turned around in shock to see the man himself walking towards him. All eyes fell on Stephen.

“The Stone is safe, for now.”

Tony noticed the cut on his forehead. “Did they come for it?”

Stephen nodded. “And they very nearly succeeded. What other Stones do they have? I believe saw them with the Space Stone but that’s all I know.”

“They have all the others.” Fury said. He didn’t sugarcoat it at all. They were in for a fight.

Stephen’s face went pale. “All of them?”

Fury nodded.

Carol looked at their new ally with distrust. Her and Thor were standing by the staircase that led to the upper levels of the bridge. She looked to Thor who seemed to have no misgivings. Carol couldn’t place it, but something was definitely off.

“Tell them something only they would know.” Carol said suddenly.

Stephen looked at her, curiously. “I’m sorry, I don’t believe we’ve met, Doctor Stephen Strange.”

“Carol,” her face hardened. “Now tell them.”

“Look, Miss Carol, I don’t know what you think-“

Her fists lit up, and her whole body glowed with energy. Stephen looked concerned. “Okay, okay. Someone ask me something.”

Stephen looked pale and Carol noticed the bead of sweat on his forehead. Fury began to feel suspicious as well. His hand moved to his pistol in the holster. Peter’s senses were starting to flare as well, but he wasn’t sure if it was the verge of conflict or if it was Stephen.

Tony spoke up. “On Titan last year, how many futures did you see using the Stone?”

Stephens face dropped. “Uh...” everyone stared.

Carol knew at this point that this was not who they said it was. She extended her right arm and fired a blast from her fist. It made contact with him and he flew back against the wall, a hole burned through his chest.

The appearance of Stephen Strange shifted into the ugly face of a Skrull.

Carol floated down to them. “Like I thought.”

There were suddenly orange sparks behind them that turned into a portal, and the real Strange walked through.

Everyone was ready to strike again. Thor summoned Stormbreaker and Carol’s fists glowed with photon energy.

Tony’s suit formed a large repulsor and pointed it at Strange.

Strange held his hands up. “Whoa! Whoa! Calm down!”

“Tell us something only we’d know!” Tony said.

“Like what?”

“How many futures did you see when you went through time last year?” Tony demanded.

“Fourteen million, six-hundred and five.”

Tony’s weapon shut down and his normal hand retuned as he dropped it down to his side. “It’s him.”

“What happened before I got here?” Stephen glanced at the body of the Skrull on the ground. “And what the hell is that?” He said pointing to it.

“Those are Skrulls, They’re shapeshifters that are in league with Thanos, and his forces as far as we can tell.” Fury explained.

Stephen gave them a confused look. “I thought Thanos was dead? Thor, you killed him.”

Fury nodded. “Thor killed him, but according to his daughter, Nebula.” Fury motioned to Nebula.

Stephen nodded and raised his hand in a quick wave. “We’ve met.”

Fury continued. “Apparently he has a contingency plan, but we don’t know what that consists of. Likely having another being wield the Stones and snapping their fingers. We still can’t figure out why it’s taken them this long.”

Stephen didn’t say anything for a short while. Peter could practically see the gears turning in his mind. “If they’re going for the Stones, we’ll have to track them down and take them back. It’s the only way to stop them.”

“We’re working on that,” Fury explained. “But there still exists the possibility that the Stones aren’t on Earth, in which case, we won’t be able to find them.”

Carol interjected. “I think I can power the system to reach deeper into space. Just show me the energy system and I’ll blast it.”

“Won’t that destroy it?” Bruce asked.

“Not if I concentrate the energy properly.”

Bruce nodded, then looked at Tony. “Let’s give it a shot.”

Carol followed Tony and Bruce to the lab where Bruce got to work on disassembling the router so Carol could power the energy system.

“You sure this’ll work?” Tony asked her.

“Yeah... mostly. You might wanna put on some protective glasses and watch from outside the lab though.”

“Please don’t blow up our router,” Bruce pleaded.

Bruce gave the router one last tug and the router broke open, exposing the energy system. All Carol had to do was hit it with just the right amount of energy so she didn’t blow the whole Helicarrier up.

“Okay, that’s it. Fire here.” Bruce gestured to the wires of the energy system.

“Alright, you guys might wanna head to the hall, this is gonna be dangerous.”

“What about you?” Tony asked.

Carol laughed lightly. “I can take it.”

Tony and Bruce both gave her a questioning look, but decided they better not argue it.

They headed to the hallway and Tony activated his suit while Bruce put a welding mask over his face.

Carol looked at them through the window and they gave her a thumbs up. It was now or never.

Carol’s fist lit up with photon energy and she aimed for the energy core. She fired and the blast hit it. The router started to spark and crackle with energy. The lights on the Helicarrier started flickering and the energy surge from the router was growing. The sparks started going off in every direction and some of the lightbulbs in the lab were overloaded and popped. The router started glowing and Tony was almost certain it was going to explode. It released a massive energy surge, and everything began to settle down.

Carol looked back to the router and saw that the signal had greatly increased. The screen said that it was scanning for energy signatures that matched the Stones.

Tony and Bruce rushed back into the room.

“Did that actually work?” Tony asked in disbelief.

Carol nodded. “Yes, it did.”

The screen shifted views as it reached a match of ninety five percent. Earth appeared on the screen along with an orange planet that Tony recognized all too well.

Titan.

“Oh my God.”

Before anybody could make a move, there was a loud thundering boom outside and a massive blue cloud began to open in the sky.

Carol turned around slowly and upon seeing what was happening, activated her powers and flew through the glass in the lab and out into the clouds.

She flew up in the air and saw a lighting blast strike the Helicarrier. Carol turned to see that it was just Thor, and he jumped into the air to join her.

In the lab, Tony activated his suit and his thrusters.

“Wait! Tony! What about me?” Bruce asked.

“FRIDAY activate Hulkbuster.”

Tony took off and saw Rhodey meeting up with Thor, Carol, Sam and Wanda. He looked to the cloud that was now a massive portal. From the portal came a massive swarm of Chitauri speeders and three of the leviathan worm like things that that were extremely destructive. After that came an even bigger leviathan over twice the size of a normal one, and clearly, more heavily armored.

“FIRDAY? Send the Iron Spider as well.” Tom demanded, surprisingly with a clam tone. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, they were in huge trouble.

The large leviathan fired a alien missile at the Helicarrier. It collided with the surface and a huge explosion erupted.

Thor lit up with electricity and flew towards the big leviathan and summoned storm clouds around it. He flew high above it as a massive blast of lighting stuck him, sending his powers into over drive. He dropped onto the leviathan with all of the power he could muster and stuck it with lightning from the surrounding clouds.

When he landed, all he did was dent the armor of the creature, nothing more.

“What the hell?” He said to himself. He pressed his finger against his ear activating comms. “The armor is nearly impenetrable. I hit it with all I had.

“Let me try!” Carol said.

She flew towards it at full speed, blasting the speeders along the way. One of the normal sized leviathans was right in her path, and she flew straight through it, leaving a massive explosion behind her and a trail of fire and destruction. She flew full speed and power towards the big one and hit it head on. Unfortunately, she skidded along the front of it and only damaged the armor, same as Thor. How could it be so strong?

Carol flew around and blasted it repeatedly with photon energy, only to get the same result, and an even more pissed off alien.

On the Helicarrier surface, Peter, Shuri, T’Challa, Nat, Clint, Bucky, and Steve all fought off the ground soldiers who were trying to invade the Helicarrier.

Stephen rose up and formed the energy ropes and grabbed a speeder, throwing it into another and opening portals and firing magic projectiles to take them out.

He opened a portal on one of the other normal leviathans and closed it, leaving only the head of it. Wanda caught it with her powers and Rhodey, Sam, and Tony swooped in to finish it off.

Thor flew towards the last of the normal leviathans and as it opened his mouth, he threw his axe into its mouth and it cut through the creature from the inside out. As the axe flew out the back of the creature, a huge explosion of fire and lighting erupted through what was left of the creature.

Peter fired multiple webs and swung the creatures around. Five of them ran at him, so he hit them with a web grenade and flung it into the air.

“Hawkeye!” He shouted.

Clint turned and saw the creatures stuck together in the air and fired an arrow through them. “Nice call, Kid!”

Peter was about to fire at another one when he was hit in the back by something. The nano parts formed around him and he realized that he was in the Iron Spider suit again. He figured Tony must’ve sent it when he’d seen what they were up against. “Thanks, Mister Stark!”

Tony happened to be flying above the Helicarrier at that time and blasted one of the creatures that was coming up behind Peter. “Don’t mention it, kid.”

Nat and Steve took out a multitude of them fighting together and T’Challa, Shuri, And Bucky gave hem a run for their money.

Stephen rose up into the air and began opening a portal to cut the huge leviathan in half. He was about to close it on the alien when a whole squadron of Chitauri speeders fired at him and knocked him several feet back. He hit his head hard on the ground and slumped back down before he could get up.

The leviathan fired three more missiles at the Helicarrier missing the Avengers, but further damaging the ship.

The hangar doors of the Helicarrier opened and Bruce appeared in the Hulkbuster armor. He lifted off into the air towards the huge leviathan. Behind him, Quill and the rest of the Guardians were loaded up on the Benetar and manned every gun they had.

Bruce landed on top of the leviathan and pounded the fists of the suit on it, along with firing a multitude of repulser lasers in an attempt to damage it, but having almost no effect.

The alien missile cannon on top of the leviathan fired at Bruce and knocked him off of it.

Quill flew around it and and blasted it with everything the ship had. Nebula, Drax, Mantis, Rocket, and Groot all fired every missile and torpedo they could. They did a small amount of damage but not enough to amount to anything.

Carol fired a few more blasts at it, not having much effect, but refusing to give up. It opened its huge mouth and revealed a massive laser cannon on the inside. It began to glow blue and before Carol could avoid it, it hit her head on. A normal energy blast would’ve been something she could absorb, but this one knocked her back quite a ways.

“That’s gonna cause a problem!” Steve said.

“No kidding, Cap.” Sam said, sarcastically.

“Boss, a squadron is headed for the Avengers on the Helicarrier.” FRIDAY informed.

“Peter, you got incoming!” Tony warned.

Peter saw them approaching and fired a web at one, pulling himself into the air. He took out the alien that was firing from the back, and fired at another speeder, throwing it into another one, watching them explode.

He backflipped off of the speeder he was on a fired a web at it, tossing it into two others, blowing them up as well.

Wanda rose into the air and used her powers to throw several speeders into the face of the leviathan. It turned and fired a missile at her, which she caught with her powers and threw it back at it, watching as the missile blew up in its face. It did much more damage than she had expected, and the face of the creature was permanently damaged.

“I figured something out!” She said over comms, “Its own weapons do a lot more damage to it!”

“Noted,” Thor said.

Wanda’s hands glowed red and she spun them at her sides, forming huge masses of red energy in the sky. She lifted her hand up, and threw one of the masses of power into the face of the creature, knocking off parts of the armor and angering it.

It opened its mouth to fire but she was faster, and threw the second mass of energy into its mouth, knocking it away. She formed one more mass and it it with an upper cut sending armor pieces flying everywhere.

She began to form others but was hit by a blast from one of the speeders and fell toward the Helicarrier.

Peter saw her falling and swung from the speeders and jumped to catch her before she hit the ground. He grabbed a hold of her before she hit the surface and the arms of his suit protected them as they collided with the surface of the Helicarrier.

Wanda got up, breathing heavily. “Thanks, Peter.”

The eyes on the suit winked at her. “No problem.”

Peter swung off towards the creature and swung around its mouth. “Karen, activate web grenades!”

He fired twenty of them around the mouth of the creature, hoping to stop it from firing a blast from its mouth again. It worked...for about five seconds. The creature struggled and broke free, opening its mouth to fire directly at the Helicarrier.

“NO!” Thor shouted, and flew in front of the blast, taking the full force of the laser.

It threw him back to the Helicarrier and he collided hard against the surface, Stormbreaker skidded across the surface as well, a decent ways away from him.

“Thor!” Peter shouted in horror.

He swung up to the top of the leviathan so he could jump off and get to Thor faster. He landed on top and it fired a missile. Peter moved to the side for it to go past him, then he fired a web at it and threw it back to the cannon and blew it up, destroying the cannon and damaging the creature.

Peter jumped off of the alien and swung towards where Thor was. He landed right next to him on the Helicarrier and almost had a heart attack when he saw Thor face down. He rolled him over and despite some soot and a couple scratches on his face, he appeared to be alright.

“Ow.” Thor said, dryly.

“Are you alright?” Peter asked.

Thor nodded. “I’ll be okay.”

Before Thor got up Peter’s sense altered him that an alien was running up behind them. Peter saw Stormbreaker laying about fifty feet away. He fired a web at it and pulled it towards him. He caught it and turned around and swung it at the creature. He hit it right in the face with the back end of the axe and it flew off into the air until a lone lightning strike hit it and disintegrated it.

Thor groaned as he got up, and took a deep breath when he got to his feet. Peter handed him his axe.

Thor clapped his hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Thank you, Peter.”

Thor took off into the sky with a blast of lightning.

The leviathan fired another missile at the Helicarrier, but this one was aimed directly at the Avengers who were fighting on it.

Wanda saw it from the air and threw her energy towards them. Her power struck the Helicarrier and formed a shield around them just before the missile collided with it. She threw another mass of energy at the creature, still not getting very far.

“We have to figure out how to kill this thing! It doesn’t fire enough missiles for us to throw back at it!” She took deep breaths between her words, all the fighting made her winded. Things were not looking good.

As the creature approached the Helicarrier again she used her powers to forcefully push it back.

Carol swooped in and blasted it with everything she possibly had, while Rhodey flew over the top and did a bombing run on its surface. A trail of fire went up behind him.

Carol noticed that the hull of the creature was beginning to crack. They were finally wearing it down. Rhodey turned back and fired as much as his suit would allow.

Wanda began breaking off much larger chunks of armor and pieces of the creature were coming apart.

Carol was starting to break through as well and the creature was roaring in pain.

The clouds around them grew dark and Thor flew in above them. A massive bolt of lightning stuck the top of the leviathan and Thor focused all the lighting he could on it.

With all of the combined power and energy striking the creature, it eventually gave in and the midsection of it gave out and blew up. The rest of the creature followed with it.

A massive explosion of energy knocked Thor, Carol, Wanda, and Rhodey back as the creature went down.

They had finally defeated it!

The few Chitauri speeders that remained headed back to the portal that they had come from and it closed behind them.

On the surface, Stephen came to and tried to get to his feet, but another portal opened, and a Skrull was on top of him before he could move.

It smacked him hard in the head and ripped the Eye of Aggomotto off of his neck.

Stephen couldn’t conjure enough energy to stop it.

“You’ll find breaking my spell troublesome.” Was all he could get out.

The Skrull glared at him. “The Power Stone can break it.” It swung its surprisingly powerful fist again and Stephen was down.

It stalked back through the portal with the sixth Infinity Stone, now in the possession of the enemy.

The rest of the Avengers rendezvoused back on the Helicarrier. The Helicarrier was still up in the air but it had taken a good amount of damage. The flight systems were still up and running but it was a struggle. The massive rotors hadn’t been hit but the areas around a couple of them had taken some damage. Not to mention the fires that were scattered across the surface of the Helicarrier.

“Great work.” Steve said, panting and out of breath from the fight. He turned to Carol. “Danvers. Do you know any reason why they would’ve attacked?”

“Probably because Stephen had the Time Stone. They were going to come for it eventually so they’d have all six.”

“Wait, where is Stephen?” Tony asked.

Nobody knew or had seen him recently. Tony took off and flew around the debris looking for him, until he finally spotted him on the far end of the Helicarrier in the middle of a ton of rubble and debris from the fight.

Tony landed next to him and had FRIDAY read his vitals. “Heartbeat detected.” She informed. “He appears to have a moderate concussion.”

Tony shook him gently. “Stephen. Hey, Stephen come on.”

Stephen’s eyes fluttered and he eventually woke up. He jumped to his feet and conjured two orange weapons from his hands.

“Whoa! Stephen, hey! The fights over!” Tony said trying to calm him down.

Stephen gave Tony a grim look. “They took the Stone.”

Tony’s face drained of color. “Does that...does that mean...?”

Stephen knew what he was going to say, so he answered the question for him, by nodding and saying. “They have all the Stones.”

Chapter Text

Tony half walked half carried Stephen through the debris and back to the bridge of the Helicarrier. Tony couldn’t believe that the ship hadn’t been destroyed with the amount of damage it had taken. The areas around three of the rotors were severely damaged but the rotors had managed to make it. The area around the bridge had taken a hit, but the bridge had no direct damage. Essentially, the Avengers got lucky.

Tony walked through the door to the bridge and helped Stephen to a seat at the meeting table with the rest of the Avengers.

They all looked like hell. They’d just fought off an impossibly strong creature that had nearly blown up the base they were standing on. Not to mention that Thor and Carol has both taken direct blasts from the strongest lasers.

Carol noticed that Tony had returned with Stephen and walked over to them, groaning as she stood up. Her hair was disheveled and she had a bit of soot on her face and uniform.

Stephen was barely clinging to consciousness after the hits he’d taken to the head. He rested in the chair and caught bits and pieces of the conversation that Tony and Carol had.

“They got the Stone.” It didn’t come out as a question, Carol could tell by the look on Tony’s face that it was what happened.

Tony only nodded, he couldn’t bring himself to say it.

Carol nodded slowly and didn’t show much emotion at all, much to Tony’s surprise.

“If that’s the case, we need to keep moving. I know everyone has taken a beating, but the enemy won’t rest, so neither can we.”

Tony knew she was right. Things certainly weren’t looking good, but they hadn’t lost yet. There was still time to stand and fight back.

“Okay. Let’s grab Bruce and head to the lab. We can figure out a new plan based on where the Stones are. Plus that gives the rest of the team at least a little bit of time to rest and prepare for the fights that are sure to follow.”

Carol nodded in agreement and headed for the lab. Tony located Peter and Shuri along the way and brought them to the lab as well.

When they arrived, Carol and Bruce were at work rerouting the power after the attack so they could get the router back to finding the Stones. Tony knew he’d seen both Earth and Titian appear on the map, but for all he knew, the Time Stone was taken to a different location or they’d taken all of the Stones somewhere else while they had been fighting. There were too many unknown variables for Tony’s liking.

Eventually, with the help of Peter and Shuri, the power was successfully rerouted and the screen came back to life.

Earth and Titan we’re still the only planets that were displayed on the screen.

“We need a plan.” Carol said.

Tony nodded in agreement. He pushed against his earpiece. “Cap, you copy?”

There was a very brief lapse before Steve replied. “What’s up?”

“Can you meet us in the lab please?”

“On my way.”

Steve arrived in the lab quicker than Tony had expected. He walked in, face bruised and a marked up shield was on his back.

“I’ve just contacted Scott Lang. He’s been out of the picture for a while, but this situation is going to require all hands on deck.”

Carol have him a confused look. “Who is Scott Lang?”

“Ant-Man. He can shrink to be extremely small but still very powerful. He can also grow to be twenty times the size of a normal human being. He’ll be very helpful in a fight.”

“Good thinking.” Carol said.

She brought Steve’s attention back to the holograms. “These are the locations of the Stones. Three are on Earth, and three are on Titan. I was thinking two groups to each spot but I wasn’t sure how to divide us up. I haven’t been around you guys near as long.”

Steve studied the maps for a moment and zoomed in on the location on Earth.

“What is this place?” He asked Carol.

She stepped up closer to the map. “It appears to be some sort of abandoned military base, the radiation spikes from the area have been fairly extreme in the past day or so.”

Steve nodded. “Okay. So what about Titan? Anything special here?” Steve zoomed in on the location.

All that was visible to their eyes was an extraordinary amount of debris and ruin scattered all over the place.

“The radiation from the Stones seems to be coming from underground. Titan has been essentially abandoned for nearly a thousand years. But it was Thanos’ home, so it makes sense that his army would be there.”

Steve studied the two locations for a few moments, switching back and forth between the two, trying to settle on a plan.

“Okay. I agree, two teams makes the most sense: divide and conquer. Carol? You, Thor, and the Guardians head for Titian. You all have the most experience when it comes to space. The rest of us Avengers will head for the military instillation and check it out. We get the Stones, and we bring them back here. We’ll figure out what to do after that.”

“Sounds good. Tony?” Carol turned to him and gave him a look that asked if he was on board with the plan.

“Yep, let’s do it. Let’s fill the others in.”

They headed back to the bridge and got the attention of the rest of the Avengers and Guardians who were now gearing up for another fight.

Steve walked up to the Avengers and commanded everyone’s attention.

“Alright, everybody listen up.”

The Avengers settled and turned all of their attention over to Steve.

Steve cleated his throat. “After analyzing the radiation signatures from the Stones, Tony and Bruce discovered that the signal is originating from two places.” Steve presses a few buttons and the hologram lit up.

“Earth and Titan are the two locations of the Stones. We’ll be splitting up into two teams. Carol, Thor, and the Guardians will be heading for Titan as they all have the most experience with space and space travel. The rest of us will be heading to this abandoned military instillation in upstate New York.”

Thor chimed in from the table. “Do we know which Stones each group is coming into contact with?”

Steve shook his head. “Sadly, we don’t. The Stones all give off the same radiation and there isn’t any way to differentiate them. Right, Tony?”

Tony nodded in confirmation. “Unfortunately, we don’t exactly know what to expect for either group. But the plan is simple: retrieve the Stones and regroup back here. We can figure out what to do with them after that.”

Steve grinned quickly at Tony, then looked back to the others. “Does everybody understand the mission?”

The Avengers nodded.

“Then suit up.”

Everybody split and headed for the armory to stock up on any and all weapons they might need.

Steve saw Carol, Thor, and the Guardians off to their ship.

Steve shook Carol’s hand. “Thank you for helping us, Captain. Good luck.”

She winked at him. “All part of the job, Captain. Good luck to you as well.”

Carol followed Groot and Rocket onto the ship and the thrusters lit up as Quill fired up the ship.

Steve walked up to Thor who instantly threw his arms around him. Steve returned the gesture.

“Be careful, Steve.”

Steve patted Thor on the back. “You too.”

They broke apart and Thor summoned Stormbreaker to his hand.

“I’ll see you back soon?” It came out more as a question than a statement.

Steve nodded. “Of course. Good luck, Thor.”

Thor smiled. “You as well. Make sure to tell the others as well.”

“I will.”

With that, Thor boarded the Benatar and took the seat behind Quill.

“Okay, everybody strap in, the jump point isn’t very far.”

The ship’s engine grew louder and louder as they ascended into the air. Thor watched the Helicarrier get smaller and smaller until it was out of sight and they had gone through the jump point.

***

Steve watched as the others took off into space, hoping the mission they were embarking on would be a success.

Steve walked back into the Helicarrier and to the bridge where Bruce was using the scanner Carol had left that would tell if somebody was secretly a Skrull.

“Bruce?”

Bruce looked back to Steve. “All clear, Cap.”

“Good.” He turned back to the Avengers planning to give one last briefing when Peter spoke up before anyone else could.

“If we’re dealing with shapeshifters, shouldn’t we have a code word? Just in case we’re in a situation where we see two of someone on our side?”

“Kid, really with the pop culture? That only happens in movies.” Tony states.

“Actually, Peter has a really good idea.”

“I’m gonna ignore the fact that you said ‘actually’.” Peter said.

Steve smiled slightly then focused back in. “The Skrulls are unlike any enemy we have ever faced, so we must be prepared for anything. But our word must be something they could never figure out.”

“I’ve got it!” Shuri shouted.

Steve and the others looked at her, expectantly.

“If we’re ever confused somebody says ‘road work ahead’ and the other person responds with ‘uh yeah, I sure hope it does.’ If they don’t, we know they’re a Skrull.”

Steve and every other adult wanted to protest that as the code word- code phrase? - but it would also be very unlikely that a Skrull would know how to properly respond to that.

Steve sighed. “Okay, that’s the code.”

Tony and T’Challa both looked ready to object so Steve put up a hand, telling them to just roll with it.

Steve pressed a couple buttons on the control panel, pulling up the holographic map of the base.

“The recon drones have found that the base also has five squads dedicated to perimeter guard. There’s almost no way to get past them, so we’ll have to make sure we engage silently. Suppressors on all firearms. We’ll land in the far woods and make our way into the base from there.”

Everyone knew their assignments and the mission. It was time to take back the Stones and put an end to Thanos’ contingency plan.

Clint, Bucky, Nat, and Sam all headed for the armory on the Helicarrier to stock up on weapons, silencers, and ammunition.

Tony had designed a new pair of glasses for Clint to wear when on missions. While Clint could easily take out targets by shooting multiple arrows at once new specialized arrows Tony designed had tips that would split into multiple smaller ones. It was capable of taking out ten enemies at once. The glasses allowed Clint to lock the special arrow onto targets via a heads up display. It also allowed him to see thermal scans and had perfectly clear night vision.

Nat grabbed her pistols and loaded them both, taking several spare magazines of ammo. She also upped the voltage on her electric bolts and batons. On the end of each pistol was a screwed on silencer.

Bucky and Sam screwed on silencers and stocked up on a massive amount of ammo.

Peter went through his web settings multiple times and made sure all of the webs that he figured would be most convenient for the fight were more readily available.

Everybody was ready for a fight.

They boarded the jet with Steve, Nat, Sam and Clint in the cockpit. The rest sat in the seats in the back, anxious for the fight that was most definitely going to take place.

The ride was shorter than Peter had expected and before he realized, they were descending to land in the far woods from the base.

Steve set the jet down as gently and quietly as possible. They approached low from several miles away and Steve still set down a good mile away from where the farthest perimeter squads reached.

The ramp to the back of the ship lowered and the Avengers prepared split off into the woods in the groups that Steve had assigned them.

There was a rippling appearance and suddenly Scott appeared next to Steve.

Steve jumped a bit, startled by Scott’s sudden entrance.

“Glad you got our ride. It’s good to see you.” Steve said, reaching his hand out for Scott to shake.

Scott took it and shook it for a bit too long. “It’s great to see you too,Captain America.”

Steve chuckled and filled Scott in a bit more on the plan. The chopper they’d sent for him was one of Stark’s and FRIDAY had briefed Scott on the mission, but Steve wanted to make sure he was completely up to date.

Afterwards, Steve ordered everyone to split into their groups and make their way towards the base. Clint split off with Nat and T’Challa. Peter, Shuri, and Wanda went their own way. Steve went with Sam Bruce, and Bucky. And Tony, Rhodey, Scott, and Stephen went another way.

Clint, Nat, and T’Challa quickly came across a squad of Skrulls. Clint drew the new prototype arrow from his quiver, loading it into his bow and pulling back the string in one expert motion.

Eight red targets lit up on his heads-up display and started blinking green when he had lock. He fired the arrow with a flick of his fingers and all of the targets disappeared from his screen as the arrow tips took down the Skrulls.

Clint noticed a couple other heat signatures, but T’Challa was already driving the claws of his suit into one of them, while Nat fired a shot from her pistol. The quieted crack of the pistol still echoed off into the woods, and Clint couldn’t help but grin. Being with Nat and taking down bad-guys was just like old times.

Clint, Nat, and T’Challa kept moving towards the base.

Steve, Sam, Bruce and Bucky came across a squad closer to the base. Steve tossed his shield and it ricocheted off of the Skrulls, knocking several over. Sam and Bucky swooped in and took them out with their weapons, while Bruce used the powerful fists of the Hulkbuster to take out the last couple of Skrulls.

Peter, Shuri, and Wanda approached a squad and Peter fired a web grenade, sticking two of them to a tree. The others turned to investigate and Wanda grabbed three of them with her powers and slammed them against the trunks of the large trees. Shuri fired stun blasts form her panther gauntlets, taking inspiration from the stun setting on the Star Wars blasters. It was definitely effective. The whole squad was down in less than a minute.

Tony, Rhodey, Scott, and Stephen stumbled upon a squad as well, and both Tony and Rhodey set their weapons to silent while Scott shank down and leaped into action. He punched a Skrull in the head and looked it out, gaining the attention of others. Scott knocked two others out as well. Tony and Rhodey fired their silent blasts and Stephen opened a portal at the feet of two of the Skrulls and they fell through.

Each team made their ways through the woods and slowly closed in on the target. With all of the patrol squads eliminated, the mission had become much easier. Of course they still had to get inside the base and locate the Stones.

Clint pressed against his earpiece. “Standing by, Cap.” He whispered. Nat and T’Challa slid up behind him. They were concealed just inside the tree line, the base finally in view.

The other groups confirmed their positions and they all split through the tree lines and headed across the open field towards the base.

Tony had scanned ahead and found the warehouse that stored the munitions had an elevator that led underground, the radiation signature was coming from there. Breaking in undetected was still going to be a problem.

“Nat,” Steve whispered through comms. “We need your team to take point. You guys have the silent weapons. Give ‘em hell.”

Nat, Clint, and T’Challa ran forward and Nat took out two soldiers. Clint pulled three arrows from his quiver, loaded them into his bow, and fired; taking out all three of his targets.

Clint paused, making sure no alarms or anything that signaled the enemy was aware of their presence.

Nothing happened. They were clear.

The others moved forward. Peter fired webs at a couple of Skrulls and activated taser webs. He fired two more and lurched forward towards the other Avengers.

Peter landed next to the others as Stephen opened a portal against the side of the building.

A large crate fell off a shelf as the portal opened and Peter fired a web to stick it to a wall so the crate wouldn’t bust open and make a huge clang that would expose their position.

“Nice call, kid.” Stephen whispered. The lens of Peter’s mask winked back at him.

They all slipped into the munitions warehouse and split up into the teams they were in before.

Nat drew both of her pistols from her holsters and aimed them forward, preparing for a fight.

Clint found the large area of the warehouse that had several aisles of shelves filled with munitions crates. He scaled one of the shelves and stopped at the top, drawing an arrow from his quiver and loading it into his bow, fingers at the ready on the string.

Peter stood ready with Wanda and Shuri. Peter couldn’t pinpoint it exactly but his spider sense was definitely warning him of something.

Scott stood shrunken on Steve’s shoulder as he scoped out the area, making sure they were clear.

Peter’s sense suddenly went off. “Everybody find cover!” He whispered frantically into comms.

The Avengers responded quickly and ducked behind crates or walls or anything they could find.

Clint adjusted his glasses and saw a mix-matched squad of both Skrulls and Chitauri soldiers walk through a large door.

Tensions rose among the Avengers. Peter’s sense was was a constant thud in the back of his mind. Wanda tightened her fists in anticipation. Nat, Bucky, and Sam all curled their fingers a bit around the triggers of their guns. T’Challa unsheathed the claws on his suit. Tony and Rhodey had their hands at the ready to fire. Steve and Scott were on pins and needles as well.

Clint took a step forward to get a better angle to see them and the metal shelving creaked extremely loudly. Clint cringed.

“Shit.”

The squad turned towards him and one of the Skrulls fired at him. He flew back and landed on the next shelf over. His bow was lying next to him with the arrow still loaded, so he grabbed it and fired at the creatures. The arrow exploded on impact and knocked the creatures back.

The rest of the Avengers made their presence known and managed to catch the others off guard.

The doors opened again and a massive squad of aliens ran through and started to attack.

Wanda threw her hands up to form a shield and then pushed the energy towards a few of them, slamming them into the wall behind them.

Tony and Rhodey stood back to back, defending each other and taking the disturbing creatures out.

Clint continued to fire at them, running low on arrows faster than he realized due to the amount of enemies.

Nat fired at a couple and snuck up behind a few more. She did her signature wrap her legs around their necks and knock them down move, then seamlessly transitioned into firing one of her electric disks at one of the Chitauri aliens.

Scott knocked several of them around and laughed as they looked around for an enemy that was seemingly invisible to them. He ran towards one with his leg out to kick it in the face and grew to full size right as he made impact. He sent the creature flying and Peter’s fist hit the creatures face.

Steve threw his shield at a squad, watching it ricochet off each one and fly back to his arm, just in time to turn around and wack a Skrull hard across the face.

Peter and Shuri found themselves surrounded and Peter’s sense was screaming at him. So much was happening at once and his reflexes couldn’t react fast enough to everything. A blast from a Skrull weapon hit him in the back and knocked him face down on the ground.

“Peter!” Shuri cried out. She tried to help but would’ve quickly been overwhelmed. She was forced to stand her ground instead.

Shuri continued fighting to defend Peter and got hit by a blast as well. The Vibranium in her armor kept her from being injured, but the force knocked her down. The Skrull cocked its weapon and Wanda dropped down in front of them in the nick of time. She created a shield which absorbed the blast. She pushed her power at the Skrull and sent it flying back. The force of being knocked back made the Skrull fire it’s weapon and hit a Chitauri soldier in the chest.

“Thanks, Wanda.” Shuri said. She turned to Peter and helped him up.

“Are you alright?” Shuri asked.

Peter groaned, but nodded. “Yeah...I’ll be okay.”

Stephen used his orange rune weapons to fight off a pack of aliens. They were coming from all different directions and he was struggling to keep up. He opened a portal and transported three Skrulls into the middle of space, then blocked a Chitauri blast and threw a rune circle right into the chest of another creature.

The doors opened again and even more aliens ran through.

“This is pointless!” Steve shouted. “Anybody who has a clear shot, get through those doors and get the Stones, the rest of us will hold them off.” He turned and jumped into the air, spinning and kicking a Skrull in the face while growing his shield and hitting a Chitauri soldier into two others.

Peter, Shuri, Wanda, Sam, and Stephen all bolted for the door, kicking away a few enemies that were in their path.

Somehow, they managed to get inside and the doors sealed shut behind them. They walked forward and saw that the Mind, Space, and Time Stones were all floating, held in place by some strange blue energy.

They all cautiously walked forward.

“How the hell are we supposed to get them out of there?” Sam asked.

Stephen looked to Wanda. “Can you move them from the energy and place them in the orbs the Guardians gave us?”

Wanda nodded. “I think so.”

Peter, Shuri, and Sam stood back, while Wanda used her right hand to hold the orbs to contain the Stones and her left to remove them from the energy field.

Wanda’s scarlet energy formed around the Stones and they began to glow red. But the shade of red they were glowing in didn’t match her powers, and the Stones suddenly disappeared into small clouds of dust.

Wanda dropped the orbs and took several steps back in shock while the others stared.

“What the-? What...what happened?” Wanda asked.

Stephen had recognized it perfectly. The wave of energy that washed over the Stones before they disappeared, it was just like the Reality Stone when he’d confronted Thanos on Titan. They’d been manipulated.

“It’s the Reality Stone.”

“What do you mean?” Peter asked.

“The red Infinity Stone. It can alter reality. They set us up. There were never any Stones here but we were meant to think there were. This whole thing was a distraction.”

“A distraction from what?” Sam asked.

Before Stephen could say a word, the wall across the room blew out and another wave of aliens ran through. Stephen, Sam, and Wanda were all hit by the blast. Peter and Shuri were stuck fighting off the massive number of Chitauri soldiers.

Peter and Shuri held their own for a while but soon realized there was no way they could take them all on and save the others.

Peter reached out over comms. “Is anyone there? We were set up! Were being overwhelmed! We need backup!”

Clint heard the call and ran through the opening to the doors that they had disappeared through. He pulled one of his most explosive arrows form his quiver and fired it at the control panel. The panel exploded and the doors flew open.

Clint ran in to see several soldiers with their guns aimed at Shuri and Peter’s heads. Peter’s mask from the Iron Spider suit was torn up and most of his face and head was exposed.

He reached for an arrow in his quiver but found it empty.

He began to put his hands up and halfway there, he fired a few darts from his wrists and took out the creatures around them. He pulled his katana from its sheath on his side and ran towards the others.

Right as he jumped into the air, a blue portal opened in front of him and Peter and Shuri both fell through with the other soldiers.

Clint slammed into the ground and his sword clinked against the ground and slid across the room.

He got up quickly, looking desperately for any sign of Peter or Shuri, refusing to accept what had just happened.

Wanda groaned on the ground across the room and lifted the debris off of her with her powers. She saw Clint across the room on his knees, staring at the ground.

She ran forward and dropped the debris behind her.

“What happened?” Clint didn’t reply. “Clint?”

Clint just stared at the last place he’d seen the two kids.

They were gone.

Chapter Text

Thor, Carol, and the Guardians passed through the jump point and appeared near Titan. The orange planet held bad memories for Guardians and their fight against Thanos.

They were far enough away that the whole planet, and it’s moons were easily visible.

“What happened to that moon over there?” Thor wondered aloud. Half of it was gone, with large chunks of debris and asteroids floating in the orbit of the planet. The half that was intact looked completely devoid of life.

“Thanos threw it at us.” Quill said. Remembering the horrible fight.

“He what?!” Thor and Carol both said, shocked.

“I am Groot?!”

“He used the Power and Space Stones, and threw it at us.” Quill explained.

“My God.” Thor said in awe.

“How did you survive that?” Carol asked.

Quill shrugged. “We got lucky.”

“No kidding.” Nebula agreed.

The team entered the planet’s atmosphere and the wreckage on the surface became visible.

Thor stared out the window in shock, seeing the debris and wreckage from a now extinct species.

“What the hell happened here?” He asked to himself.

“I am Groot.”

“It is a wasteland.” Carol agreed.

All eyes fell on her.

She looked back at them, scanning through the shocked faces and confusion.

“What? What is it?”

“You speak Groot?” Rocket asked, surprised but with a hint of joy in his voice.

“Yeah,” she held up her wrist device. “I have a universal translator.”

Everyone seemed to relax at that. The only other person they’d met who already spoke the language was Thor.

“We thought you had actually learned it.” Rocket explained. “Thor knows it, but I’d never heard of anyone else respond to him without spending a long time around him.”

“Makes sense.” Carol said. “It can’t be easy to learn a language that only has three words and nearly infinite meanings.”

“I found it rather enjoyable!” Thor said excitedly. “But I always thought learning languages of other species was cool.”

“Dork!” Rocket said through a fake cough.

Thor rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to the planet.

Quill began to land the ship. “This is a few miles away from the signal. I figured you guys could fly and we’ll walk. They’re much less likely to notice us that way.”

Thor and Carol agreed. “That’ll work.” Carol stated.

Quill set the ship down and the ramp at the back descended.

Thor, Carol, and the Guardians all walked out into the warm air of Titan that carried a strange, coppery scent. All around them lie wreckage and debris from a planet that had collapsed in on itself well over a thousand years before.

Quill walked up to Thor and shook his hand. “Good luck. We’ll report in with anything we find.”

Thor shook his hand back and nodded. “Good luck to you as well. We’ll see you back here soon.”

Quill nodded as Thor and Carol took off into the air in the opposite direction, heading to their area with the energy signature.

They quickly covered the few miles and located a large rectangular structure that they needed to head into. Thor and Carol landed on top of it and found a hatch that would let them drop in from the ceiling.

“Which would be quieter? Me hitting the hatch with the axe or your... fire fists?” Thor trailed off, unsure of what to call her powers.

Carol gave him a confident smirk as she fired at the hinge of the hatch. She picked up the hatch with almost no effort and threw it off the top of the structure and onto the ground.

They both dropped down and headed down an old, rusted, soot stained hallway.

They walked forward carefully, approaching a door that looked like something from a Star Wars movie.

Carol held her wrist up and the signal grew stronger as she held it closer to the door.

“Through here.”

Thor moved to the control panel but before he could press any buttons, the door slid open revealing three Chitauri soldiers.

Thor stepped forward and sent a blast of lighting at them from his axe. The soldiers shrieked as they flew back and slammed against a wall.

Carol grinned. “Nice.” Her wrist device beeped and signaled that they needed to keep moving forward. “This way.”

Thor followed after her through the maze of hallways her device led them to. They tried their best to avoid the soldiers that were there so they wouldn’t leave too much evidence that the base might be dealing with some unwelcome guests.

Eventually they came around a corner that led them to a much longer than usual hallway. Carol quickly ducked back when she saw several Chitauri soldiers lying in wait. She grabbed Thor’s arm and yanked him back around the corner.

“Ow! What the-?” Carol covered his mouth with her hand to shush him. She let him peek his head around the corner so he could see the issue.

“Okay, my bad.” Thor whispered. “But there’s only a few of them, I think we can take them out without making too much noise.”

Carol nodded. “But we have to make sure we’re quiet. The Stones are being held through the doors according to my device, which means there’s probably even more soldiers and other defenses inside. They wouldn’t have left such a weak outer defense if they didn’t.”

Thor peeked around the corner again and did a quick evaluation. He turned back to Carol.

“I’ll take the six on the right, you take the six on the left.”

Carol gave him a knowing nod and they rounded the corner at the same time, blasting their powers at the creatures. They instantly took them all down, leaving a clear path to their objective. They both ran down the hall to the large door.

This control panel was much more complex than the other, so Carol got to work on dismantling it. While she did that, Thor kept lookout for any stray patrols of Chituari or Skrulls.

“This place gives off a big Star Wars vibe.” Thor said.

Carol paused her work and looked back at him excitedly. “You like Star Wars?”

“Yeah! Pe- a fellow Avenger,” Thor quickly amended, “introduced all of us to the movies and we all love them!”

Carol had completely forgotten about her work and stood up to talk to Thor. “Me too! Which of the three is your favorite?”

“Three?” Thor asked, confused.

“Yeah, three. You know... the trilogy?”

“It’s just that the best I can remember there are ten Star Wars movies.”

“TEN! There’s ten movies?!”

“Yes, did you not know that?”

“I haven’t spent much time on Earth since nineteen ninety five! I have got to catch up when this is all over!” Suddenly,the fact that she was totally off topic had occurred to her. “Crap! The mission! We can talk more Star Wars later.”

Carol turned back to work on the panel, embarrassed that she’d been so easily distracted. She was supposed to be all business during missions, and let nothing get in the way. Fun Carol was for when people weren’t in danger and the universe wasn’t at stake.

After another few minutes of working, Carol finally got the door panel to click and the door slid open, revealing what appeared to be a safety room, with large, thick glass windows.

They slowly walked in as they heard voices coming from a massive lab down below. All around them was an array of control panels with various buttons whose uses Thor and Carol could only guess. They took a few steps inside to get a better view of the lab. The energy signature tracker that Carol had in her suit started beeping intensely. She quickly covered it, muffling the sound and praying that if there was anybody near by they hadn’t heard her.

They continued to the windows and about fifteen feet below was a massive lab with even more control panels and buttons. Expertly operating the machines were six Skrulls, all moving quickly as if their lives depended on it.

“We have to get them ready. A blast from them will test if our experiments worked.”

Thor leaned closer to Carol so she could hear him whisper. “What are they talking about?”

Carol shook her head to signify that she didn’t know. Down below, the Skrulls continued to work diligently.

“Should we strike?” Thor wondered.

“No. Not yet. We still have the element of surprise and we need to gather more intel.”

Thor couldn’t argue with that logic. “Good call.”

“They’re ready, sir” one of the Skrulls said.

Thor assumed that the one they were calling sir was the leader, or at the very least, in charge. Carol looked the Skrulls over and didn’t recognize any of them, and the one they were taking orders from definitely wasn’t Talos.

“Good. Wake him up.”

About thirty feet from the control panel that the Skrulls were working at, the floor split open and a large, almost coffin-like, device slid up onto the main level of the floor.

It moved until it was mostly upright, to where it was at just a slight angle, and the doors to it split open from the middle.

Steam poured out of it as the doors opened and a man with bright yellow-gold skin was strapped down on the inside. He wore a simple tunic and pair of pants. Carol and Thor instantly observed that he was a member of the Soverign species.

He saw them, and the machine that had descended from the ceiling of the lab, and his eyes grew wide. He began to struggle against the restraints but they were too strong. They were made of an extremely strong metal and the poor man had no chance of escape.

“Blast him.”

“No! Stop!” The man protested. He had a deep and authoritative voice that neither Carol nor Thor would’ve predicted. He didn’t beg either. His words sounded more like a demand than anything else.

Another machine descended from the ceiling, but this one had a metallic claw on the end, and it was holding something that was gold.

Thor realized what it was and felt his breath hitch and his heart skip a beat.

It was another Infinity Gauntlet.

***

Quill wasn’t quite sure what to expect when they had been sent out on the mission, but he’d definitely expected more fighting. All they’d managed to to was make their way into a massive facility through a huge abandoned hangar.

The Guardians headed deeper into the facility, which so far was just a maze of hallways and random doors that opened like something from Star Wars. So far, they hadn’t been able to go in any direction that had a stronger trace of the radiation, they were essentially wandering.

“This is pointless.” Nebula stated, her usual dry tone a bit more prominent than usual. “Every hallway looks exactly the same and I’m pretty sure we’re going in circles.”

“I am Groot.”

“Really Groot? Who’s side are you on?” Quill asked defensively.

“I am Groot.”

Rocket swatted Groot’s arm. “Language!”

Groot glared at Rocket as they moved forward.

“Nebula’s right though,” Rocket said. “Every hallway does look exactly the same. Let’s assume we find a Stone, how the hell are we going to find our way out of here? A map?”

“Okay, everybody relax. No, we’re probably not going to find a map with a ‘you are here’ symbol on it, but I’m sure we can find our way out. But first, we have to figure out where this Stone is.”

Rocket groaned but went along with it.

Nebula kept pace right behind Quill. One of her head sensors went off, suggesting that they had picked up the trail again. “Here.”

She walked past him and rounded a corner up ahead. She barely stopped herself from running directly into a statue of a Chitauri soldier.

“What is it?” Quill asked. He hadn’t rounded the corner yet behind her.

Nebula motioned for him to come forward.

“The hell is this?” He wondered aloud.

“I am Groot.”

Rocket nodded. “I agree: creepy.”

The statue didn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary at first, just the fact that they hadn’t seen one like it before, and they’d been wandering the halls for at least thirty minutes. Aside from it being creepy like Rocket and Groot had suggested, neither Quill nor Nebula could come up with any sound logic for why it was there.

Nebula checked the entire statue over. The blaster rifle it held was pointed with the barrel in the air, not held in position across its chest, but that wasn’t that strange.

After several minutes of looking around, Rocket ran his hand over the base of the statue and he froze. He moved his hand back to where he’d just put it. Yep. Definitely an air draft.

“Guys, there’s a draft here!” Rocket said.

That was enough to even get Drax and Mantis to focus up and look at what was happening.

“Where?” Nebula demanded.

Rocket hovered his hand over it again. “Right here.”

Nebula put her hand over it too and felt the unmistakeable draft coming from below. She put her hands on the rifle on the statue, and turned it so that it was across the soldiers chest.

The statute was lifted into the air revealing an opening, and a long set of stairs descended down to a lower level. Nebula gave a slight triumphant smirk.

“We’re in.”

Nebula led them this time with Quill directly behind her, Rocket and Groot behind him, and Mantis and Drax brining up the rear. The room they stepped into was pitch black, the light from the hallway somehow didn’t go through the doorway, something none of them could explain.

Nebula’s eyes began to glow slightly as she activated a night vision mode. Quill tapped his earpiece and his mask formed over his face so he could see as well.

“Something is very wrong with this place.” Mantis said, slightly fearful.

“Ah!” Quill stepped back, startled. “What the hell is that?”

Nebula turned to see what she was looking at.

“What? What the hell is what?” Rocket demanded. He already couldn’t see, and Quill talking about weird things was making the whole situation even more unsettling.

“It is a Chitauri soldier.” Nebula stated.

Quill gave her a useless confused look under his mask. “Aren’t they...you know... like human sized? These are as big as Thanos was.”

Nebula nodded. “You’re right. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know how this is even possible.”

“Yeah this is freaky, maybe we should get out of here.” Quill started backing toward where he thought the door was, when a tile below him moved when he stepped on it. He’d seen enough movies as a kid to know what that meant.

“Oh crap.”

Lights suddenly flickered on in the room, which was much larger than anybody would’ve expected. The eyes of the Chitauri soldiers began to glow a bright blue and they broke out of some sort of chain that was holding them down. They had massive swords in their right hands.

Quill dodged a swing from one of the swords and unholstered his blasters as fast as he could. He fired multiple times into the creatures body to no avail. The alien swung at him again, and he spun around pointing his blaster in its face and firing several times. Eventually the creature fell to the ground.

Quill turned back to see Drax on the back of one of them, stabbing it repeatedly as it moved violently to shake him off. Drax ripped one of his knives from the creatures back and reached around the creatures throat. He dragged the blade along its neck and drove the other into its head.

Rocket fired at any creature that he saw moving and Groot extended one of his arms into a point, impaling one of the creatures. He lifted it up, grunting in effort as he threw the creature into another one. The sword from the creature he threw left a massive cut in another creature and they both slumped to the ground.

Mantis jumped on the shoulders of one and commanded it to sleep as Nebula swooped in and blasted it in the head.

“Quill! We must get out of here!” Nebula shouted.

Quill grabbed one of his antigravity grenades which dragged all of the creatures into the same pile. Rocket tossed one of his grenades towards them, and it detonated, blowing the creatures up. The room grew quiet as the fight ended.

Drax started laughing. “Yes! We did it! We have conquered these beasts!”

His celebration was cut short when one of the far walls blew out and more creatures swooped in.

Rocket tossed a grenade at the other wall, and another at the creatures. With that slight distraction they managed to escape, but the creatures were still hot on their tails.

There was a long fight ahead.

***

Thor and Carol stared in a mixture of shock and awe at what they were seeing. Somehow, another Infintiy Gauntlet had been formed.

“Etri, what have you done?” Thor whispered quietly to himself.

The Skrulls down below had given an order to fire at the man they had prisoner. There was no way he would be able to survive a blast like that.

The Gauntlet started glowing as the powers of all the Stones were being activated. Thor and Carol gave each other knowing looks. They busted through the glass from the upper level of the lab and both slammed the ground with their powers. The combination of the lighting and photon energy knocked every Skrull back and slumped against the ground. One hit the control panel and the new Gauntlet stopped glowing, the powers of the Stones having been deactivated.

Thor cautiously approached the man the Skrulls had captured and released his restraints. The man had a wild fear in his eyes.

The man shot out of the container he was trapped in, and bolted from the room. He ran through the doors and took off down the hallway.

“Stop!” Thor shouted. He was worried the man would run into trouble.

Thor and Carol followed him and they froze when they saw him come across a squad of Chitauri soldiers.

The man grabbed one of the rifles right from the creatures arms, and impaled that soldier with it. He fired the rifle that was still stuck in the creature at another soldier and blasted it. He pulled it out of the creature and used the blade on the end to cut the throat of another. A soldier ran up behind him and he elbowed it hard in the face and its neck snapped. He turned around and fired three shots at the three soldiers, blasting them all directly in the center of their chests.

He turned around and looked at Thor and Carol. He raised the rifle at them and the both put their hands up to show that they weren’t a threat.

“Who are you?” The man’s voice was trembling in fear. Or was it shock? Neither Thor nor Carol was sure.

Thor slowly, gestured to himself with his hand as to not scare the man further. “I’m Thor Odinson. I’m a protector of the Nine Realms, King of Asgard, and God of Thunder.”

“I’m Carol Danvers. I help defend people of the galaxy who cannot defend themselves.”

“We mean you no harm.” Thor assured.

The man lowered the rifle.

“Who are you?” Carol asked.

He seemed hesitant to answer at first, not trusting theses new and unfamiliar faces. What if they were really Skrulls and this was one of the many sick, cruel tests he’d endured before? He couldn’t be sure, but something he couldn’t quite place about them felt genuine. “They call me Adam... Adam Warlock.”

Carol took a few steps closer and saw the red scratches, bruises, and scars on his face and arms. “Are you okay? What did they do?” Carol asked. She was very kind and gentle with the questions, knowing she was probably prodding into business that he didn’t want to talk about, but the information could prove vital to the mission.

Thor looked at the man with curiosity. He’d clearly been beaten and abused for a long period of time, and even though he’d just met the man, he ached for him. He must have gone through hell with these creatures.

“You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.” Carol said.

He looked at at her, slightly confused. “Why are you people here?”

“An evil creature, by the name of Thanos, attempted to obtain all six of these objects called Infinity Stones. Their combined power has the potential to destroy the universe. Thanos set out to get them all and wipe out half of all life. Thor, here, killed him. But he has a contingency plan, and I’m worried you might be a part of it.”

Adam gave her a knowing look. “I know of Thanos. Our species is born as fully grown adults, I myself am only a few years old. But we are born with a great amount of knowledge. I know I must be a part of Thanos’ plan. I was handed over to these people roughly six months ago. Because of my perfect genetics, they were able to take a strand of Thanos’ DNA and inject it into me. They have made me as strong as he was. They intend to have me wield the Stones and finish his plan.”

“My God.” Thor muttered.

“I’m not their only creation either.” Adam continued. “From what I’ve gathered, they’ve managed to stretch the strand of DNA that they have to create some type of mutant Chitauri soldier. They’re much larger than normal, and quite a bit stronger. Thanos must’ve decided it would be best to expand his army in any way he could.”

“That explains the larger and stronger Chitauri leviathan we encountered on Earth.”

Adam looked to Thor, worry painted over his face. “Earth? Did you come here from Earth?”

Thor and Carol both nodded.

“That sounds like its bad.” Carol said, concerned.

“I’ve heard them talking when they’ve awoken me. Thanos ordered them to destroy the planet as revenge. I believe it has something to do with a group of people called the Avengers preventing him from destroying the planet several years ago. But I’m not entirely sure if I heard them correct.”

Thor sighed and rolled his eyes. “Shit.” He took a deep breath. Everything had just gotten a lot more complicated.

“We’re the Avengers.” Thor explained.

“Only you two? You must have extraordinary abilities.”

“Not just us. There’s a much larger part of the team on Earth. We tracked the energy signature of the Stones and it led us here. They went somewhere on Earth... which I guess must have been a set up since all the Stones are here.”

“Not for long.” Carol said, walking past Thor and Adam and heading back towards the lab.

“Wait!” Thor said. “What’re you doing?”

“I think I can handle the power of the Stones. I’m going to grab the Gauntlet, we’re all going to fly out of here with the Stones, meet the Guardians, and I’ll use the Stones to open a portal directly to Earth. Simple.”

Thor had to admit she seemed to have thought it through pretty well. If they took they Stones right now, the Skrulls didn’t have them. They could find a more secure location for them, and end Thanos’ plan before it went too far.

“Okay.” Thor turned to Adam. “Will you come with us? You’re clearly a fighter and I can imagine you have no love for these people here.”

Adam considered it. He was definitely going to go with them but he didn’t know if he wanted to fight. He really just wanted to go back to his home world and live a normal life. But this was also his chance to get revenge on the Skrulls, the Chitauri, and Thanos. Not to mention that he didn’t think he could live with himself if he knew he could’ve helped save trillions of people and didn’t do anything about it. They needed him, and damn it, he was going to do everything he could.

He gave them both a confident look and shook Thor’s hand.

“I’ll do it.”

Chapter Text

Carol, Thor, and Adam rushed back towards the lab. Thor was finally beginning to get a new sense of hope, they might actually be able to keep things from getting out of control.

They ran through the large doors that led to the lab and Carol launched herself into the air towards the Stones. Her body suddenly froze mid air, and Thor saw that the Gauntlet was in a fist and the Space Stone was lit up. The next thing he knew he was floating in the air as well, the blue energy floating around him.

He and Carol were thrown back against the wall, hard. Thor hit the wall headfirst, and saw stars. Carol hit it face first and heard her nose crack as she slumped to the ground.

Adam panicked and tried to run, but he was caught in the blue energy field as well. The Skrull that was controlling the Stones through the mechanical arms brought Adam closer.

“Trying to leave? We’re just getting started!” The Skrull said apathetically.

Adam was frozen in place, there was no way he’d be able to escape. The Mind Stone began to glow bright yellow and strange tendrils of energy floated through the air towards Adam. He couldn’t even attempt to struggle.

The yellow tendrils approached his head and went into his brain from his temples. For a brief moment he felt like his entire body was being split in half. Like his normal brain was being removed and something else was being stuffed inside. His eyes rolled back in his head, and the version of himself that he used to know was gone.

He straightened himself and awaited orders.

The Skrulls moved the mechanical arms and slid the Gauntlet off, grabbing onto it and holding it out for Adam to take.

“Put it on.” The creature demanded.

Adam did as he was instructed and slid the Gauntlet onto his arm and made a fist. All of the Stones glowed in their respective colors and the energy absorbed itself into Adam’s body. He groaned in pain until the energy had settled and the Stones were at a level that he could contain.

The Skrull approached him from across the lab. “You are now the ultimate power in the universe, and you will finish Thanos’ plan. You will leave this lab and head to the portal generator we have set atop this building. Place the Space Stone in the generator and open the portal. Thanos’ old ship, the Sanctuary Two, will head through a jump point to Titan and go through the portal. You will take the fight to the Avengers on Earth. Once you have killed them all, activate the Power Stone and destroy the entire planet. Then return here, we will return the Space Stone to you and you will snap your fingers and balance the universe. Understood?”

“Yes, sir. But would it not be simpler to snap my fingers right now? That way we do not run the risk of the enemy gaining possession of the Stones.”

“No!” The Skrull screeched. “You will do exactly as I have commanded. Those were Thanos’ direct orders. I don’t expect you to disobey them. I’d hate for you to endure the torture Thanos has demanded for you should you fail him.”

“Yes, sir.”

Behind Adam, Thor and Carol began to regain stability and get to their feet. Adam made a fist and activated the Space Stone. He lifted them off the ground then activated all the Stones and fired a massive blast at them, sending them through the rest of the building and out onto the top of it.

Thor spun through the air and hit the ground, Stormbreaker flying from his grasp. He skidded across the ground many times and slammed into a large rock, hitting the back of his head against it.

Carol also skidded across the ground desperately trying to stop herself. She finally began to roll across the ground and slumped down, struggling to get up.

Adam flew through the hole they had made when he’d blasted them. He approached Thor, who was unconscious. He stood above him and held out his hand. A large, double-bladed sword flew from the lab and into his hands. Thor was gaining consciousness as Adam was raising the sword.

Suddenly, Adam was blasted to the side and flew a long way as Carol flew over to Thor. Adam crashed into the ruins of an old building and a large piece of a structure fell on top of him.

Carol extended a hand to help Thor up.

Thor took it. “Thank you.” He got to his feet and summoned Stormbreaker.

Carol nodded. “What do you think they did to him?”

“I’ve seen this before. I’m almost certain they used the Mind Stone on him. His brain is corrupted and he’ll follow any order they give him. It can be reversed but it’s not easy.”

“How do you reverse it?” She asked.

Thor remembered Natasha saying that she’d hit Clint really hard in the head when he’d been under Loki’s control way back when. The Mind Stone had been inside the Scepter so Thor didn’t see much difference. Expect for the fact that this man wasn’t a mortal.

“We have to hit him really hard in the head. It worked on humans, I think it’ll work on him.”

Carol opened her mouth to speak but was cut off by loud cracking noises and a large purple explosion coming from the building she’d dropped on Adam. The pieces of debris froze in place, blue energy surrounding them. The next thing Carol and Thor knew the debris was being thrown at them.

Thor fired a blast of lighting from his axe and Carol fired her photon blasts, preventing the larger pieces from hitting them.

Thor turned around to see Adam walking through a portal and summoning his sword. Thor and Carol both ran at him. Stormbreaker collided with Adam’s sword with a loud clang as the metal struck. Carol fired photon blast at Adam while hovering a bit out of the way. She didn’t want to accidentally hit Thor or get cut up by the axe or sword.

She had a shot at Adam but he pushed Thor back and planted his blade in the ground, the top blade deflecting Carol’s photon blast right back at her and knocking her away.

Thor yelled as he ran forward and jumped with his axe held above his head. The axe and sword collided as Thor swung at Adam. He swung at Adam with the back end of the axe. He’d seen what they’d done to Adam, the torture the man had needlessly endured, and couldn’t bring himself to kill him when he knew he could stop him.

Adam’s brainwashed form knew no mercy unlike Thor, and was not going to pull any punches. Adam swung at Thor’s head, who ducked and swung at Adam’s who used the other end of his blade to block it.

The melee between the two went on for quite some time until their weapons locked. Thor pushed back against Adam as hard as he could, and was succeeding, until Adam made a fist with the Gauntlet, activated the Power Stone, and sent Thor flying back.

Carol swooped in from behind Adam and punched him in the back of the head. He stumbled forward slightly and fired the Power Stone at her. She fired a photon beam directly at it and the energy collided in the middle, sending out a shockwave of energy. She flew towards him as fast as she could and blasted him in the face. He was slightly stunned and couldn’t block her punch. His head was knocked back and he was struggling to gain control of his surroundings. She jumped on his back and wrapped her arms around his neck to put him in a choke hold. Carol clamped the Gauntlet open by stepping on his hand, preventing him from making a fist and activating the Stones.

Thor flew in from where he’d been knocked away and went towards him with the hammer end of his axe. They didn’t want to kill Adam. He had no control over what he was doing and he didn’t deserve to be caught up in something like this. Thor was about to swing when Adam finally managed to get Carol off of him. He threw her off and blasted her with the Power Stone. He barely managed to block Stormbreaker with his sword.

The weapons locked and he knocked Thor back a bit. He fired a blast at him and Thor used Stormbreaker to block it. Thor lit up with lightning and used his lighting beam to push against the Power Stone. The lighting couldn’t quite beat out the power of an Infinity Stone but it caused some push back.

Adam activated all of the Stones and fired all of them at once, pushing Thor away. Thor raised his axe and threw it at Adam, making sure that the blade end wouldn’t hit him.

Stormbreaker flew through the air and Adam fired the Stones again, but Stormbreaker didn’t stop. At the last second, Adam sidestepped the axe and it smacked the ground behind him. Thor summoned the axe back and it spun through the air.

Adam had expected Thor would attempt something like that and activated the Space Stone. The axe itself became intangible as the space it took up was manipulated. The axe flew right through Adam with no resistance and back towards Thor. Adam released his hold on it and it returned to its normal state.

Carol flew back and landed next to Thor.

“He’s unbeatable. Somehow he’s prepared for every move we make.” Thor said breathing heavily.

“There has to be something we can do. We just need to figure out how to catch him off guard.”

Adam was ready to charge at them again when he was suddenly caught in large explosion. Misssles flew towards him and hit him head on, creating a massive explosion.

Thor and Carol looked to the sky to see the Benatar in the air.

Quill fired at him again, blasting him with all the different lasers that his ship could fire. Adam got to his feet in a break between fire and made a shield with the Space Stone. He gripped his sword and threw it at the ship, striking one of the wings. The blade went through and the ship started flying erratically.

Adam summoned the sword back to him as the Benatar skidded across the ground. Luckily, the ship hadn’t been to high up in the air and didn’t sustain too much damage as it crashed. The Guardians got off of the ship and ran to help Thor and Carol.

Adam began to realize he could be overwhelmed by them if they were as strong as Thor and Carol were. He called on the mutated Chitauri soldiers for backup. He had to get to the portal generator and with this many enemies to fight off, he was going to struggle to make it there.

The Chitauri ran across the Titan landscape and were ready to attack before anyone could realize. Thor and Carol were forced to go and help the Guardians.

Thor dropped down and threw his axe through one of the soldiers, summoned it back to his hand, the turned and cut the head off of another.

Carol blasted one if the face and fired several shots into another.

They fought them for just enough time for Adam to get away. He headed towards the generator.

Thor saw him running off and flew towards him. He sped at him as fast as he could and fired a blast of lightning at him. Adam deflected it and hit Thor head on with a blast from the Stones. Thor flew back and crashed on the ground next to the Guardians. Adam fired and other blast from all of the Stones and a massive explosion stunned all of them.

Adam removed the Space Stone from his Gauntlet and placed it in the portal generator. The generator began to spin incredibly fast and a blue beam fired from it and a massive portal began to open.

In the sky, Thanos’ ship the Sanctuary II, flew through a jump point to Titan. The ship housed Thanos’ entire army that Adam now had control over. The ship approached the portal and flew through.

The battle was coming to Earth.

Chapter Text

Peter stood defeated with the Skrull’s blaster pushed against his head. He and Shuri had been quickly overwhelmed by the Skrulls and Chitauri soldiers and now they had no way to escape.

Clint stood in front of them, his quiver empty of arrows and lacking the upper hand in the situation. He raised his bow in surrender and fired a couple darts from his wrist gadget at the creatures.

Peter thought for sure the Skrulls would kill them now, but instead the room he was in was fading from view as he and Shuri were taken through a portal. God only knew where they were now.

Peter tried to gain a sense of his surroundings considering they’d just so quickly and drastically been changed. He could see that the Skrulls and brought them to some other base but he didn’t know where or what was going to happen.

The Skrulls pushed him away from Shuri and down a long hallway. Had he been in better condition, Peter would’ve beaten up the guards, grabbed Shuri, and figured out where they were and how to contact help. But none of those plans were going to work out.

They threw Peter in a cell and a Skrull injected some sort of sedative into his neck. Peter instantly felt his grip on reality slip as he sank down on the bunk in the room. The bed springs squeaked as he dropped down onto it. The last thing he saw was the door closing before everything slowly went black.

***

Tony and the other Avengers rushed into the room where Clint stared, baffled, with Wanda next to him, questioning what had happened. Stephen and Sam were just getting to their feet and approaching the others. The blast from the wall had knocked them down hard.

“What happened?” Tony asked. “Where’re the kids?”

Clint turned to Tony and gave him a sad look. “They...they’re gone.”

Tony took a step back, his brain working in overdrive to try and comprehend what was happening. It couldn’t be real, he couldn’t lose Peter. He’d been through too much to lose that kid.

T’Challa handled it better than anybody had expected. T’Challa knew that Shuri was a brilliant, strong, and capable young woman, he knew that she would be smart enough to keep herself, and Peter too if need be, alive.

Steve came over to help steady Tony who looked like he was on the brink of collapsing. Tony seemed to be able to compose himself, and gave Steve a much stronger look. “We have to get them back.”

“How?” Steve wondered.

“Peter has a tracker in his suit. I can use that to locate him. Wherever he is, Shuri is likely there as well.” Tony explained. “But I’m going to need a couple minutes to figure out where they are and a bit more time to figure out if they have something rigged. I’m worried that they may be aware of the tracker and luring us into another set up, or a trap.”

Tony didn’t want to add that all of this was a hunch and that it was conditional to the Skrulls or Chitauri or whoever they were fighting not killing the two kids before they got there. Tony pushed that thought aside. Peter would be fine, he had to be. Peter’s injuries back in January had been enough of a scare for Tony, he couldn’t live with himself if something like that happened to him again, or something worse.

Steve seemed to follow along with what Tony was explaining to him. “Okay. You do that and I’ll check on the team.”

Tony nodded to Steve and activated the helmet on his suit. The heads up display engaged immediately and FRIDAY was already locating Peter and Shuri.

“Boss, I have a location.”

Tony sighed with relief. The Skrulls didn’t seem to suspect a tracker on one of the kids.

“Where is this?”

“Further upstate. They seem to be in a warehouse at and abandoned plot of land with a large factory compound.”

“Noted. Render three dimensional map of the premises and give me the level and building that the kids are located in.”

“Just a moment.”

Tony saw the map render and FRIDAY pulled up Peter’s exact position. Peter was in a small room near a window, Tony could see that waiting outside of that window was a strange looking drone.

“FRDIAY, what is that?”

“A Chitauri assassination drone. Any prolonged disturbance or unfamiliar noise and the drone will fire.”

Tony cursed under his breath. “Transfer this map rendering and information to the control console in the middle of the room.”

FRIDAY did, and Tony walked closer.

Steve examined the information. “Okay, I have a plan.” He looked to Tony. “But I don’t think you’re going to like it.”

“Why not?” Tony asked, dreading the answer.

Steve cleared his throat and got the attention of the rest of the team. “Listen up. Peter and Shuri are essentially being held at gunpoint. These drones are rigged to fire, any foreign noise that’s is too loud, and it’ll take them out, which means stealth is of the essence. I want Natasha, Bucky, Clint, T’Challa, and Wanda being our rescue team. The rest of us will be ready to stand by to assist with their escape once Peter and Shuri are no longer in danger from the drones. We’ll get them out of there, and hopefully, by that point, we’ll have heard from Thor and be able to figure out where to go from there.”

Steve was right, Tony didn’t like it. But he had to accept it. Tony had a stealth mode for his weapons, not his thrusters or the general sound of his suit. He would be too loud.

The Avengers understood their mission. All they had to do now was make sure they pulled it off, and God willing, they would.

***

The Skrulls forced Shuri away from Peter and she saw red, she fought as hard as she could to get past them but her weapons were down and she’d been weakened and worn down from the earlier battle.

They threw her into a room and closed the door behind her. There was a small window on the door with bars across the view point. Behind her was another window with bars on it. She was trapped.

Shuri sat on the bunk that was in her room and let a few tears fall. They’d taken Peter from her and he had been in bad shape. They’d hit him over the head several times with their rifles and they’d worn down his nanotech mask to the point where it was barely still there, and the torso of his suit was badly damaged as well. She could only pray that they hadn’t killed him.

While it wouldn’t have been her first move, she had no choice but to accept her situation. She was locked in this room and the odds of her escaping were slim to none.

She laid back on the bunk and stared at the ceiling. What else could she do?

After what couldn’t have been more than an hour, but felt like and eternity to her, she heard a strange whirring sound outside of her window, along with the weird metallic and garbled speech of what seemed to be two or three Chitauri soldiers stationed outside her room.

She looked out the window and staring her dead in the face was a drone with a small laser canon aimed directly at her. Shuri remained clam and slowly sat back down. The barrel of the canon followed her.

Clearly they were hellbent on keeping her here, but she was quickly formulating a plan. She didn’t know much about Chitauri tech but she was fairly certain she’d seen a lens on the drone. That suggested that the drone was remote piloted, not programmed. And if the soldier behind the controls of the drone was as simple minded as the other Chitauri soldiers...

It was a big risk, and one that she was basing solely off of a hunch, but it was her only option. She’d seen this move carried out in movies she’d watched with Peter and they had worked. She knew they were just movies and that it was a crazy plan, but it just might be crazy enough to work.

She hit the floor and started doing a quite convincing fake cough. She carried on and called for help, hoping the soldiers were fool enough to open the door. She heard them rattling at it and went to hide on the side of it.

The door flew open and barely missed Shuri. She jumped on the back of the soldier in the middle and the drone fired, blasting a hole in his chest. She elbowed a soldier behind her and punched the other one. She used the soldier that and been shot and held it in front of her long enough for the drone to fire again. She grabbed the soldier’s rifle and blasted the drone dead on, blowing it up. She turned to her right, blasting the alien, and then, behind her, blasting a hole clean through the chest of the other.

She sighed in relief as she cautiously exited her room, clutching her weapon for dear life, and scanning for other enemies.

She did her best to retrace the steps they had taken to put her in her room, and when she stumbled upon six soldiers guarding a room, she knew she’d gone the right way.

She fired off a shot at them but it missed wildly, and hit the ceiling above them. These weapons were foreign to her. She managed to take the ones in her cell out, but they were at point blank range. She couldn’t have missed those shots if she wanted to.

The layout of the weapon was the same as any projectile rifle, but aiming with it was much different. She took a deep breath. She could figure this out.

The soldiers fired several shots at her and, in a break in the action, she rounded the corner and fired a shot, managing to hit one in the lower left torso, but seemingly wasting him.

She managed to fire a few more shots and hit another but it was only by blind luck. Shuri tried not to panic. She did her best to focus and eventually got a pretty good feel for the rifle, not perfect by any means, but much better. Somehow she managed to take the soldiers out.

She cautiously approached the door and opened it, seeing two soldier inside. She blasted both of them before they could raise their rifles.

She went over to the control console and found Peter’s location through the security cameras. He was lying still on his bunk. Shuri choked back tears and grabbed her weapon, running towards Peter’s cell, praying that his unmoving body wasn’t devoid of life.

Running from the room with her rifle in hand, Shuri couldn’t help but notice how eerie the place was. There had been guards outside her room and at the control room, but she didn’t see any more of them on her way to get Peter.

She rounded the corner to the hallway that contained Peter’s room. At the end of the hallway stood two more guards. She ran towards them and fired her rifle, her aim much better.

She hit both of them in the chest and quickly turned to fire at the drone that was outside of Peter’s window. She grazed the side of it on her first shot and the drone fired off a wild shot. The second shot she fired hit it dead on and it exploded.

She saw Peter lying on a bunk. She blasted the door lock and went inside.

***

Peter had a strange, floaty feeling about him. He wasn’t unconscious, but he certainly wasn’t very ware of his surroundings. All he knew was that he had been captured, his suit was badly damaged, and he wouldn’t be able to rescue Shuri.

Peter couldn’t guess how long he’d been out, but he could feel that whatever had been injected into his neck was slowly wearing off. But when he heard a shout from Shuri and saw the two soldiers outside his room get blasted, he was pretty sure he had been hallucinating.

Shuri fired at something above his head and he heard a small explosion as the laser collided with something metallic. Peter had no idea what it was. Shuri had blasted the door and ran inside to get him.

“Oh my God! Peter!” Shuri ran to him and hugged him, pressing a kiss onto his forehead.

He looked at her still not convinced he wasn’t imagining things. “Shuri?”

“Yeah. Yeah it’s me. I broke out, I’m getting us out of here.”

A majority of the cobwebs that were still clouding Peter’s thoughts seemed to clear away.

“This is real?” He asked.

“Yes. I’m real.” Shuri said, a few tears falling.

She looked closely at his face and gently moved it from side to side. “What did they do to you?”

Peter shrugged her question off. “I’m okay. I’ll be alright. Let’s just worry about getting out of here.”

Shuri wanted to argue but for all she knew, reinforcements were coming and their escape was going to be a lot more difficult. “Okay, lets go.” She grabbed one of the rifles from an alien she’d shot and threw it to Peter. “You might need this.”

Peter instinctively caught it and examined it. “I don’t think I’ll need it, I’ve got...” he trailed off when he saw that both of the spare nano particle housing units were gone.

“Crap.” He muttered.

“What?”

“My spare nano particles are missing.”

“Guess you’re stuck with the rifle”

Peter nodded in agreement. At that point he was extremely grateful that Natasha and given him a few lessons with a pistol and rifle at the Tower. She taught him the basics of aiming and adjusting to the recoil of the weapons. He wasn’t exactly a stellar shot, but he could definitely manage.

Peter and Shuri took off down the hallway and ran back towards the control room, hoping they they’d be able to find a hangar or something that would allow them to escape, contact the Avengers, and regroup.

As they rounded the corner of the hallway that led to to control center, Peter and Shuri ran directly into a group of people.

***

After Steve’s rundown of their new mission, the Avengers left the facility they were in and headed back towards the jet.

They took off and headed towards the strange place Peter and Shuri had been taken. Tony was starting to wonder what it was with Skrulls inhabiting all of these abandoned warehouses and bases. They seemed to jump to a knew one every time they caught up with them.

A few miles out from the base, the jet was beginning to fly lower over a massive, empty field that stretched about five miles every direction. Far in the distance were the warehouses of the factory that Peter and Shuri were at. It was settled right in front of a large expanse of woods, where Steve was planning to fly around to and land at.

The lights on the ship went red and there was a loud beeping sound coming from the cockpit.

“What’s happening?” Steve called behind him.

Tony quickly fired up the control console in the middle of the ship to get a three hundred and sixty street view of the ship. Directly behind them was a massive blue portal with a monstrous looking ship that appeared to have come from it.

A small cloud of smoke was flying from the head of the ship, heading right for the jet.

Before Tony could shout a warning, the missile collided with one of the wings of the jet and exploded, the jet spun through the air and the Avengers were tossed every which way inside.

The ship quickly approached the ground and Steve did his best to keep it in the air. But it was futile, they were going to crash.

Wanda managed to get a hold of herself and her surroundings and made a shield around the jet just before it collided with the ground. The jet skidded across the field, throwing up dirt and leaving a massive trail behind them in the ground.

The jet eventually stopped and Wanda’s red energy faded from the perimeter of the ship.

Steve got out of the cockpit and went to check on the team who were okay for the most part, nothing more than some bumps and bruises.

They released the ramp and headed out into the cold air. Far in the distance and high in the air was a blue portal with a terrifying ship hovering in front of it.

They watched as the ship transported its forces down to the ground and the large carriers that had been in Wakanda not quite a year before collided with the ground.

“What do we do?” Natasha asked.

“We finish the mission.” Steve’s brain worked in overdrive trying to figure out if his new plan would actually work. “Stephen? Can you open a portal to that factory for the rescue team?”

“I can open one close to it based on what I can see here, but I haven’t seen the facility, so I can’t open one directly there.”

“Good enough.” Steve said.

Stephen opened a portal for Natasha, Clint, Bucky, and Wanda and they walked through.

“The rest of us are going to head towards that ship. There’s going to be a fight, so we need to go get an idea of what we’re up against.”

The rest of them -Steve, Tony, Sam, Stephen, Bruce, Scott, T’Challa, and Rhodey were the only ones left to help fight.

“Steve,” Stephen spoke up. “That’s Thanos’ entire army. If we want to have any chance to take that on, we’re going to need more than just the Avengers.”

“What do you mean?” Steve asked.

“I’m going to go rally some troops. I know a lot of people who can help.”

Steve had only known Stephen for a couple of days, maybe not even that long, but he was a smart man, and Steve trusted him to provide them with help. The only downside was that Stephen was extremely powerful, something that they’d need in this fight.

“Okay. Go ahead.”

“I’ll be back soon. And I’ll pick up our friends at that abandoned factory on the way.”

Stephen conjured a portal at his feet and he disappeared through it.

That left Steve with a team that was far too small for his liking. He knew how strong and powerful the Avengers were, but with only a small portion of the team, Steve couldn’t help but have some concerns.

Tony gave Steve a lift to the ship and Rhodey carried T’Challa and Scott, who shrunk down and hung onto a small part of the armor of his back.

They landed well in front of the alien forces and slowly approached on foot.

A blue beam of light appeared in front of them and slowly the shape of a man appeared. He held a massive double bladed sword and had a large metal glove on his left hand.

Steve recognized it as a gauntlet and noticed that five of the Stones were there. He assumed that Space Stone was what was opening the portal.

The man had golden skin and hair and Steve knew he was definitely not human.

“Who are you?” It was a question, but it came out more as a demand.

“I am Adam Warlock. I presume you are the Avengers?” Adam scanned over the group of heroes. There were far fewer of them than he’d been anticipating. Thanos’ plan would finally be complete.

Tony, Rhodey, Scott, and T’Challa all brought their helmets up over their heads.

“Yes.” Steve answered hesitantly.

Adam gave Steve an evil smirk. “Good.”

Adam made a fist with the Gauntlet and fired a blast from the Power Stone at them. Steve managed to block the majority of it with his shield and he ran forward.

Steve, Scott, and T’Challa directly engaged, while Tony, Rhodey, Sam and Bruce used their weapon systems to take him down.

Adam swung his sword at T’Challa who dodged and planted his claws into Adam’s chest. Adam flinched and threw him off. T’Challa was horrified to see the holes he had left in his chest instantly seal up.

Scott ran across Adam’s arm while he swung his sword at Steve’s shield, the weapons colliding and sparks flying off. He ran up Adam’s arm and jumped towards his face, knocking him back with a hard upper cut.

Adam fell flat on his back and Tony dropped down, using the nano parts to clamp down on the Gauntlet. Tony punched him again with a massive battering ram fist from his suit. He picked up Adam’s sword and held it up, ready to impale him with it.

The next thing Tony knew, he was being lifted up and thrown from the battle. He skidded across the ground and got up as fast as he could. In front of him stood a massive Chitauri soldier, one nearly the size of Thanos. Tony didn’t know how it was possible, the Chitauri were definitely not that big.

The creature ran towards him and Tony formed large repulsor cannons on his fists. He fired multiple shots at it, causing almost no damage. He flew around it before it could strike him, and fired at its head multiple times. He eventually wore it down and it collapsed onto the ground.

Rhodey punched and fired at a trio of creatures. He took off into the air and headed away from the battle, taking the creatures with him. He turned and flew up into the air and fired a multitude of bombs and bullets at the creatures on the ground, killing them all.

Bruce ran towards Adam in the Hulkbuster and decked one of the mutated Chitauri in the face, spinning its head around backwards and breaking its neck. He flew at Adam and punched him right in the face. He clamped down on the Gauntlet like Tony had and activated the automatic arm. He punched Adam in the face at least a dozen times before Adam’s sword was driven through the arm of the suit.

Bruce looked over to see another Adam summoning the sword away. Bruce looked down and saw a strange red dust fade at the edges of the Adam he’d been fighting, then it disappeared. Adam had used the Reality Stone to trick them.

Adam ran at Bruce and Bruce attempted to fire at him, but the arm of the suit was damaged. Around him, the other Avengers were struggling to deal with the the swarm of massive Chitauri soldiers.

Bruce raised the working arm of the suit, but before he fired a massive blast of blue electricity and orange heat collided with Adam, threw him across the battlefield, and his body struck a piece of debris.

Thor and Carol landed on the ground, and a shockwave of their combined powers tore through the air.

Thor raised Stormbreaker and threw it at Adam, the hammer end hitting him directly in the head. He called it back and raised it into the air, dark clouds formed low in the sky. Thor targeted the dozen other mutated soldiers and hit them all with simultaneous blasts of lighting from the clouds, unleashing as much of his power as he could. Thor stopped the lighting and the aliens all fell to the ground.

The others ran to rendezvous with Thor, Carol, and Bruce.

In the sky, the Benatar flew down to the ground and landed near them. The Guardians exited their ship to meet with everyone else.

“Good to see you again.” Steve said to Thor. “But what the hell is with this guy?”

Thor cleared his throat, preparing a long explanation. “He’s a member of the spices known as the Sovereign. They have perfect genetics so the Skrulls targeted him. They took a strand of Thanos’ DNA and injected into into him. It made him as strong as Thanos was and he can easily wield all six Stones.”

“Then let’s finish him while he’s down.” Steve started walking towards Adam’s body on the ground, still removing from the hit from Thor.

Thor ran Steve down and jumped in front of him. “No no no. We can’t!”

“Why not?” Steve asked. He trusted Thor so he figured there was probably a good reason.

“Because he’s under the influence of the Mind Stone. His actions are not his own, just like Clint years back. Nat said she reversed it by hitting him hard in the head, and Wanda snapped Helen Cho out of it with a flick of her hand.”

“But why should we try to save him?”

“He was taken from his family and tortured for a year to ensure he could handle the power of the Stones. He’s a frightened man and shouldn’t have been caught up in all this. And, if we can turn him, he can wield the Stones against Thanos’ army, and destroy it.”

“Aren’t you and Carol strong enough to handle that?”

Carol stepped forward. “Truthfully, I don’t know. I could definitely handle one, but the full power of all six, that could be pushing it. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but I’m not saying it is either.”

“So doesn’t it make sense that we get an ally that we’re certain can wield them?”

Steve sighed. “Yeah, I suppose it does. So that’s the plan. We have to somehow pin him down and get Wanda close enough to use her powers to break the trance that the Mind Stone has him in. We just have to wait until Stephen returns with reinforcements for Wanda to get here.”

“Why is that?” Carol asked.

“Peter and Shuri were kidnapped. Wanda was part of the rescue group.”

The Guardians met up with them just in time for Adam to get to his feet. He raised his sword and the compartments at the bottom of Thanos’ ship opened up. Thousands of Chitauri speeders poured out along with countless leviathans. The remaining drop ships filled with outriders fell from the larger ship as well.

Steve adjusted his shield. Tony and Rhodey landed behind him, with Thor and Carol to his left, and Sam to his right. The Guardians and the others prepared for the fight.

Steve really didn’t like the odds without having his whole team here, but he’d make do with what he had.

“Avengers...” Steve began, “as-“

He was cut off by a bright orange light behind him. Sparks flew from an expanding ring of magic.

Backup had arrived.

Chapter Text

Peter and Shuri rounded the corner of the hallway and stopped dead in their tracks when they saw a group of familiar faces. They both cried out in surprise before Peter dropped his weapon and fell into Wanda’s arms. He was so relieved to be back with them.

Wanda hugged Peter back, but gently separated him from her so she could figure out what exactly had happened to him and Shuri.

“How did you find us?” Shuri asked them.

“Stark has a tracker fitted into Peter’s suit,” Clint explained. “All we had to do was follow the signal.”

“Where is Tony?” Peter asked. Nobody could deny the fact that Peter sounded sad that Tony wasn’t there to help with the rescue.

“He’s with the others, fighting the army.” Bucky said.

“Army?” Peter and Shuri questioned in unison.

“Whatever is left of Thanos’ army has come through a portal to Earth.” Nat said. “They’re taking them on right now, and we’re going to help.”

“Great!” Peter said. “I’ll go look for my spare nano housing unit.”

He started walking away to the control room, and Shuri was following until Nat put her arm out to stop them. She moved in front of them, blocking their path.

“Maybe I should’ve been more clear.” She gestured to the others behind her. “We’re going after Thanos. We need to get you two to a safe place. After what you’ve been through, and just by looking at you, you’re in no condition to fight.”

“No way, we’re going too. If what you’ve said is true, you’re going to need every fighter you have!” Peter insisted.

“Peters right!” Shuri chimed in. “You know we’d been able to help you guys.”

Before Nat could argue, an orange ring of sparks formed behind them and Stephen walked through.

“Ah, good. You’ve found the kids, they’ll be helpful in this fight.”

Nat facepalmed, Stephen had inadvertently undermined everything she’d just said.

“What’re you doing here?” Wanda asked, confused.

“I’ve been trying to round up allies for the fight. I need you guys to wait here for my signal, okay?”

“What’s the signal?” Clint asked.

“You’ll know it when you see it.”

Stephen walked back through the portal and closed it.

“That was obnoxiously vague.” Clint muttered.

Peter and Shuri left for the control room and found their weapons.

Peter walked back and looked at Natasha who didn’t seem to pleased to see him about to suit up.

Peter clamped the nano housing unit on his chest and looked at her through the heads up display. Shuri walked up next to him and activated her gauntlets.

“We’re ready to fight.”

***

Steve stared in awe as the portals expanded from behind him. Several massive portals opened up and the one he was standing directly in front of contained Stephen with a wise looking man by his side, and an entire army of sorcerers behind them. From the portal to his right, Okoye walked forward with M’Baku with the Wakandan army behind them. From the portal to Steve’s left came the Asgardian army, led by a beautiful, dark toned woman that almost seemed to have fierceness radiating from her, and behind her was what appeared to be a creature made entirely out of rocks. The next portal down opened fully and Nat, Clint, Bucky, Wanda, Peter, and Shuri all walked through. A very small portal opened and a woman quickly expanded to normal size and went to embrace Scott. Steve assumed that she must be Hope, Scott’s girlfriend that he had mention a few times before.

Peter stared in awe at the massive armies on either side that was unfolding, but quickly stopped gawking and focused. It wasn’t necessarily going to be an easy fight.

Steve looked back at Adam with confidence, knowing that they had a far better chance of beating him than ever before.

Adam’s face held a mixture of intimidation, but also arrogance, as if the army he would have to fight would pose a small set back but not a major challenge.

Steve raised his shield high in the air as he started walking forward. “AVENGERS...ASSEMBLE!” Steve broke out in a run.

Thor and T’Challa both let out battle cries as they ran forward, the Wakandan army letting out a battle cry as well.

Adam raised his sword as he ran towards the opposing army, with Thanos’ army behind him.

The distance between the two armies shrank until they collided. Thor jumped high into the air and dark storm clouds formed around him as he landed in the middle of a group of aliens and destroyed them, lighting raining down and a massive shockwave of energy spreading from the impact.

Carol did the same thing, slamming the ground and sending out a massive shockwave that burnt the creatures and sent nearby ones running away.

Wanda built up a massive ball of her energy and threw it at the creatures, knocking them all far back and to the ground.

Tony, Rhodey, Sam, and Quill flew through the air, working on picking off the many speeders that were flying around.

Peter started webbing up the soldiers on the ground and trapped about ten of them with one massive web grenade.

He picked them up, and slung them towards Clint. “Hawkeye! Heads up!”

Clint saw the creatures flying in front of him and he quickly drew an explosive arrow form his quiver, loaded it, aimed, and fired all within a second. The arrow hit the creatures and they exploded on impact.

“Cap? What’s the plan here?” Bucky asked through comms.

Steve punched a Chitauri soldier in the head and it’s neck snapped. “Alright everybody listen up. Adam is under the control of the Mind Stone. His actions aren’t his own. We need him to be restrained so Wanda can reach him and attempt to use her powers to reverse it. He’s not a mortal, so it’ll probably take some time to do it. If we can get him back to our side, he can use the Stones to destroy Thanos’ army.”

There were several affirmative responses and Wanda made her way towards Adam.

Rhodey and Tony flew past one of the leviathans, attempting to draw its attention away from the soldiers on the ground. They were successful and it turned to pursue them. They both turned so their back were facing the ground and Tony used a massive nano canon and Rhodey turned his wrist guns and back turret towards the creature. They both fired their weapons and the head of the creature exploded in a mass of fire, smoke, and debris.

Stephen opened a large portal beneath the debris of the creature and it fell through. He didn’t want it to inadvertently hit somebody on the ground.

Thor and Carol made for an excellent team when it came to taking out a majority of the leviathans. Carol flew through a countless number of them and blasted them with her photon blasts. Thor used his lightning and Stormbreaker to destroy the creatures.

Another leviathan flew low to the ground, deploying more ground soldiers for the team to fight. As it flew by, Clint fired a ballistic arrowhead at the creature and the top split into multiple smaller ones, each one spinning through the air and connecting with the bottom of the alien. They all detonated and the creature roared in pain as it fell to the ground.

Clint turned to see a soldier with its weapon pointed right at him, he didn’t have enough time to react and he feared the worst.

Nat threw one of her electric disk Widow’s bites at the creature and it lit up with energy, before falling to the ground.

“Thanks, Nat.”

She turned and fired at a creature coming up behind her. “No problem!”

Steve used the shoulder of a Chitauri soldier as a launch pad to gain some air and landed in a group of aliens with his shield. He threw it at one and it bounced back to his hand. Another one fired at him and he deflected it, hitting the creature in the head. Many of them started swarming him and he used his combat skills to the best of his ability to take them out.
Nat quickly holstered her pistols and grabbed her electric batons off her back. She activated them and took on a squadron that ran after her. She shot an electric blast form her wrist weapon taking one down and hit another across the face. Two more ran at her and she jumped on the shoulders of one, using her trademark move to snap its neck, then unholstered a pistol from her belt and wasted the other one with a perfect shot to the head.

Wanda struggled to get across the field to Adam. Peter, Shuri, and T’Challa did their best to clear a path for her but they were quickly becoming overwhelmed by the sheer number of creatures they were fighting. Even with the back up Stephen had brought, the battle wasn’t going as smoothly as expected.

Wanda ran through a group of soldiers and blasted them into the air with a wave of energy.
She could finally see Adam from across the field and used her energy to halt his sword before he could swing at one of the Wakandan soldiers. She lifted him into the air and brought him towards her. He struggled to get free but she had him completely frozen in place, he couldn’t even make a fist to activate a Stone and escape.

She brought him to the ground in front of her and her hand began to glow bright red. The energy slowly seeped into his head. He groaned in pain form Wanda’s energy trying to clear out what was manipulating him. One part of his brain was fighting to stay under the Mind Stone, the other welcoming the eventual relief that Wanda’s powers could bring.

Wanda knew she was close to having him cleared, but one of the massive mutated Chitauri soldiers landed behind her and blasted her with its weapon. She was knocked off her feet and she collided with the ground, rolling until she finally stopped.

Adam groaned as he fell the few feet back to the ground when her powers faded. He raised his sword and pointed at her body on the ground.

“Kill her!” He said as he got to his feet and ran forward, a squad of mutated soldiers behind him.

Wanda was barley clinging to consciousness after being hit so hard by the creature.

Carol flew through a leviathan and saw that Adam was running after Wanda on the ground. She flew down, firing photon blasts at the squad of creatures he had as back up, before landing on the ground between Adam and Wanda.

“You again?” He snarled.

Thor landed on the ground next to Carol, as did Tony, Rhodey, and T’Challa ran up next to them.

Adam ran towards them, knocking Tony to the side with a blast from the Power Stone, which he quickly recovered from, Carol flew in and fought Adam a close quarters, trying to keep him from using the Stones on herself or any of the others.

T’Challa jumped onto his back with his claws, knowing that it wouldn’t do much, but refusing to give up. Adam kicked Carol back, grabbed T’Challa off of his back and threw him into Rhodey. Thor flew at Adam and swung his axe at him. Adam blocked it with the sword.

Thor and Adam fought in a short duel with their weapons before Carol blasted Adam with a direct shot in the face with her photon energy.

Adam was knocked away from the fight, and Carol went over to Wanda, who had recovered enough to fight again.

“Are you okay?” Carol asked her as she helped her up.

Wanda nodded. “I’m alright.”

“Glad to hear it.” Carol said.

Wanda’s face grew serious. “We need to finish the plan.”

Adam was clear across the battlefield now, and the two mutated leviathans were in her way of getting to him again.

One of them opened its mouth and fired one of its powerful blasts from it. Wanda threw her hands up and made a large shield, protecting herself and a few of the soldiers who happened to be behind her.

Wanda got a footing on the ground and groaned, pushing the energy of her shield back towards the leviathan. The creature wasn’t smart enough to realize that her shield would be able to deflect its blast.

Her shield pushed against the laser from the creature until it collided back with the creature, creating a massive explosion and destroying the head of the creature. What remained of it landed on the ground with a loud thud, sending dust and debris into the air.

One down, but another still to go.

The other fired three missiles from the canons on it body, which Wanda caught and threw back towards the creature, unfortunately, Adam used the Power Stone to destroy the missiles before they could collide with the creature.

Wanda ran for him, but was thrown back when the creature fired its laser along side of her. She fell backwards, but quickly got back to her feet.

She saw Thor, Carol, Rhodey, Tony, Sam, and Quill all fly towards the creature, attacking it with their various abilities.

Thor jumped on top of it and slammed Stormbreaker into the top of the creature’s head, but it didn’t do significant damage.

Where Thor had hit, Rhodey flew by and dropped a bomb, causing some more damage, but still not enough. Carol blasted the spot as well but the armor was still too strong. They’d have to keep hitting it.

Scott saw them struggling and knew what he had to do. He shrank and kicked a Chitauri soldier in the head, before growing and hitting another one in the face.

Hope had her back against his, blasting some of them and using hand to hand combat skills when they got too close.

Finally they had a second.

“Hope, I’m going to help them take that thing down!” He quickly took off in run.
“Scott how?” She shouted after him.

Scott pressed down on the button on the suit and the next thing he knew he was towering over the battlefield.

Hope looked up at him. “I guess that’s how.”

Scott had gotten the leviathan’s attention and it turned towards him. He punched it across the face as it flew by, sending it towards the ground.

He grabbed onto one of the fins that extended along the side and tore it off. The creature roared in pain. Scott took the fin and drove it through the side of the creature, creating a massive stab wound.

Wanda saw what Scott had done and used her powers to drag the fin across the side of the creature almost all the way down its body.

Carol and Thor flew by the massive cut it the creature and blasted it with their powers. The alien roared in pain again as it’s body was torn apart in a massive explosion.

Peter swung around the creature, avoiding the fire and debris from the explosion. “That was awesome!”

Satisfied with those awful mutations being out of the battle, Wanda ran back towards Adam.

Stephen had come to close quarters with Adam, conjuring a energy sword to combat the one Adam was using. Stephen eventually managed to knock the sword away and wrapped his energy ropes around Adams’s left hand which housed the gauntlet. Wong and a few other sorcerers came to help and restrained Adam’s other arm and his legs.

Wanda wasn’t far off from where Stephen was and she ran faster than she ever had before to get there.

Carol flew above her and jumped on Adam’s back, restraining him in a headlock. Adam groaned and tried to shake everybody off but he couldn’t. Stephen’s spell would not be easy to break and Carol could easily crush his throat if she wanted to. He was stuck.

Wanda used her powers to leap into the air and land right in front of Adam. She raised her hands towards him as the started glowing red and red tendrils of her energy protruded form her hands towards his head. Adam groaned in pain as they made contact with his head.

Adam fought more against the sorcerers that had him rather than Stephen as he had recognized that Stephen was stronger than the others. He tried his best to focus on that rather than the fact that Wanda was in his head and successfully clearing out the power from the Mind Stone, she would need only another thirty seconds to fully change him.

He flexed his right arm and strained as hard as possible to open his hand and summon his sword. finally his hand was able to open enough. The sorcerers nearby hadn’t thought much of him being able to open his hand considering that they still easily had him in place.

The sword lifted off the ground and flew to Adam’s hand. The sorcerers were knocked out of the way, their magical restraints receding and and freeing most of his body.

Adam threw Carol off of his back and she tired her best to hold on by grabbing at the Gauntlet but he had thrown her too hard.

Wanda barely managed to conjure a very weak shield before Adam swung the sword at her. The impact of the weapon on the shield sent her flying backwards into Stephen and knocking them both on the ground.

Carol landed hard on the ground and felt a sharp, burning pain in her right hand. She opened it and saw the Power Stone. She had inadvertently pulled it from the Gauntlet when she’d been tossed away from Adam. She made a fist and absorbed the energy from it. Exactly as she had expected, there was a massive difference between using the power of the Stones and having that power used against her.

She saw Adam from across the field and fired an incredibly powerful blast of both photon and Infinity Stone energy at him.

Adam looked at her in shock for just a moment before he used his sword to block the energy. It ricocheted off of his blade and shot up toward Thanos’ ship. The area around the ship flowed bright purple and the shield around it collapsed. The blast of power shot right through the ship, leaving a trail of fire and destruction behind.

Adam stared in awe for a moment at what had just happened. A moment that would cost him.

Carol shot into the air at nearly the speed of sound and tore through the hull of Thanos’ ship, causing it to blow up from the inside out.

From there she flew toward the portal and went through it, suddenly finding herself on Titan. She flew towards the portal generator and blasted it with the Power Stone. The shield around that was overpowered and the generator exploded. Carol grabbed the Space Stone and shot back towards the collapsing portal.

Carol flew back through the portal in just the nick of time before it closed, separating the two worlds. She saw that Thanos’ ship was now a massive piece of burning debris on the ground.

Carol flew back towards the battlefield, searching for Adam and hoping that if Wanda’s powers wouldn’t be able to reverse it, Thor’s plan of hitting him really hard in the head would. She figured a direct blow at six hundred miles per hour with the combined energy of her powers and an Infinity Stone would be more than enough to do the trick.

Adam looked to the sky as the portal closed and saw the bright, comet-like figure of Carol shooting down towards the ground. He summoned his sword and threw it in her path. It collided with her and she spiraled through the air on a collision course with the ground.

Adam ran after her and leapt high into the air, grabbing the Power and Space Stones before they hit the ground and somebody else got their hands on them. Adam didn’t know if any of the others could wield them, but with Thor in the field, he didn’t trust it.

He successfully retrieved the Stones and added them to the Gauntlet. The energy surged through him and he groaned in pain as he, once again, harnessed the power of all of the Infinity Stones.

Tony saw the energy surge from the air and fired a barrage of lasers at Adam.

“Is anybody else seeing this?” Tony asked through comms.

“I am, Stark.” Thor said. “But I have a plan.”

Wanda couldn’t figure out where Adam was at this point, so she resorted to helping the other Avengers fight off the massive swarm of aliens that were still strewn across the battlefield.

Thor landed with a lightning shockwave behind her.

“Wanda, I have a plan.”

Wanda threw her hand out and sent a creature flying into a pile of burning debris. “What is it?”

“Hold on to me, and I’ll fly you to Adam. Carol is near his position and Stephen will meet us there to help restrain him. We have enough of the other obstacles out of the way, we just have to keep him from escaping.”

Wanda nodded. “Okay, lets go.”

She grabbed onto Thor and he shot into the air. Wanda could fly, too, but Thor was faster and she hadn’t exactly been able to come up with another plan for how to take him out.

Thor landed on the ground behind Adam and hit him in the face with the back end of Stormbreaker. Adam fell to the ground, but got to his knees quickly. Wanda held him in place and Thor jumped on his back, using Stormbreaker to choke him. Stephen materialized from a portal, then opened another beneath Adam’s sword on the ground, sending into to an entirely different realm, before restraining his arms. Wong opened a portal and he restrained Adam’s legs. Wanda began to creep inside his head.

Wanda gave it everything she had to clear out the Mind Stone and restore Adam to the person he was before. Adam groaned in pain again from a the pain of having the corruption cleared form his mind. There was nobody that could stop them from getting him this time. Wanda’s powers worked and his head cleared.

The process of completely clearing out his brain caused Adam an excruciating pain and he lashed out at everyone around him, eventually breaking their hold. He stumbled around, his head still fighting over whether or not to succumb to the Mind Stone, or return to normal.

In his earpiece, the Skrulls demanded that he snap his fingers, that the plans had changed and that he was to not bother with Earth and that he was to wipe out half of the universe.

The small bit of corruption left made him comply with his orders.

Tony saw him struggling, and that the team that held him had once again been knocked away. Nobody else was close enough to stop him. Tony was the only one.

Tony flew down to Adam right before he snapped his fingers and hit him in the face with a battering ram made of nano particles. Adam swung at Tony and missed, giving Tony the opportunity he needed. He clamped down on the Gauntlet and pulled. Adam swung again, and this time, the blow landed, sending Tony into a piece of debris.

Adam collapsed to the ground. The Skrulls orders were meaningless now. His head was almost completely cleared of the Mind Stone.

Tony felt a massive surge of energy flow through him and his left hand gauntlet lit up with the power of the Infinity Stones. He groaned as the energy surged through him.

In the distance, Quill saw Tony, and he knew what he was doing. But he was mortal, and there was no way Tony could survive. Quill knew what he had to do. He didn’t know if it would work, but at this point, they were pretty short on options.

Quill flew towards Tony and placed a hand on his shoulder, the power of the Stones now flowing thorough him as well as Tony.

Steve saw what Quill was doing. It just might work. “Avengers! Go!”

Steve lead the others towards Quill and Tony.

Thor grabbed Tony’s other shoulder, then Carol, Wanda, Stephen, and Peter.

Natasha, Clint, Rhodey, T’Challa, Shuri, Okoye, Scott, Hope, Bucky, Bruce, Sam, Mantis, Drax, Nebula, Rocket, Groot, Valkyrie, Korg, and as many of the other soldiers that could make it all joined together to share the power of the Stones.

“How? You’re mortals.” Adam managed to get out.

Tony smirked at him. “Because...we are...The Avengers.”

Tony snapped his fingers.

There was an impossibly bright flash of light as all of the Stones were activated and their power was used.

The Avengers collapsed on the ground

All of the creatures on the battlefield around them started fading away into clouds of dust. The few leviathans that still plagued the skies faded into nothingness, as did the debris of Thanos’ ship.

Adam stared in confusion at what was happening around him, then looked at his own hand expecting it to turn to dust and fade away as well.

Nothing happened.

Thor got to his feet and ran for Tony, who was groaning on the ground. The left arm of his suit was very badly damaged and the skin that Thor could see beneath was badly burnt.

Stephen, Bruce, and Peter ran over to Tony’s side as well.

“He needs medical attention, immediately.” Stephen stated. He tore the broken and weakened metal off of Tony’s arm, leaving the Stones loosely attached to Tony’s armor. Stephen opened a portal and lifted Tony off the ground.

Bruce ejected from the Hulkbuster armor. “I’m coming, too.”

Stephen nodded and they headed towards the portal.

“Wait!” Peter cried. “Let me come, too! Please!” Tears of worry we’re streaming down the boy’s face.

Stephen motioned with his head for Peter to follow him through the portal. It closed behind them.
Thor summoned Stormbreaker back to his hand and he cautiously approached Adam.

Adam looked up at Thor, surprised. “Thor? What happened? Where are we?” Adam glanced at the massive group of people surrounding him, most of them ready to fight. “And who are these people?”

Thor bent down to be closer to him. “These are the Avengers. Remember, Carol and I told you about them?”

“Yeah, I remember. But what’s going on?”

Thor helped Adam stand and took him away from the group so he could explain everything to him. For a man who found out he had nearly destroyed half of the universe, he took it better than Thor expected.

“Thor...I...I don’t know what to say. I had no idea what was going on I’m so sorry.” Adam began tearing up. He’d killed some of these people on the battlefield around them, and he’d tried to kill Thor, Carol, and all of their friends.

“I know you are. And I know you didn’t know what you were doing. The others know that too, but they probably are going to be a bit wary of you until we can get you back to your world.”

Adam nodded. “I understand. I just hope they understand that I never meant any of it, I had no idea what was happening was happening.”

“They will...eventually.” Thor assured.

***

Peter stumbles through the portal behind Stephen and Bruce. Stephen had taken them to the med bay in the Tower and instantly set Tony down on one of the operating tables.

Bruce looked back to Peter.

“Hey, Pete. I know you want to be here with Tony, but right now, the best thing you can do for him is give him his space. Stephen and I need to get to work on him right away and I’m afraid we can’t have you in here when we do.”

Peter knew that was true. Right now if he wanted to be there for Tony, he would have to not be there. Peter wiped at his eyes and nodded, showing that he understood.

Bruce placed a hand on his shoulder. “But we still need you kid. I need you to go get Pepper and your Aunt from the bunker in the below the Tower. Have FRIDAY alert me when you get back to the Med Bay with them. By then Stephen and I will have a better idea of what we’re working with and we can give them a more accurate idea of the injuries Tony has suffered. Can you do that for me, kid? This is how you can help Tony.”

Peter nodded.

Bruce gave him a pat on the shoulder. “Thank you.”

Bruce turned back to the operating room and Peter ran at a full sprint down the hallway and into the elevator.

“FRIDAY, bunker level. Quick!” Peter demanded.

A small pad protruded from the panel inside the elevator which housed the buttons for the floors.

“This level is only accessible through thumb print identification.”

Peter cursed as the nano particles receded from his right arm and he hastily placed his thumb on the pad.

“Scan not verified.”

“Shit.” Peter muttered.

He forced himself to take a deep breath and slow down, pushing his emotions down, trying not to think about the fact that Tony could die.

The pad lit up green and beeped, signaling that the print had registered.

Peter nearly sobbed in relief.

The elevator shot down to the underground levels of the Tower. After the elevator doors opened, four more sets of doors made from various, nearly indestructible materials opened behind them.

Peter walked through and found himself in a hallway. There were four separate doors that housed bunker suites in the case of emergencies.

Luckily, they were in the first one Peter had opened.

Pepper looked up suddenly when Peter barged into the room that looked to be essentially an apartment underground. There was a kitchen, a living room, and Peter was the doors to what must’ve been a couple of bedrooms.

Peter barging in her startled her so bad that she nearly grabbed the one of the pistols that Tony had stocked the bunkers with.

“Peter?” She asked surprised.

May walked in the room, just as shocked to see Peter as Pepper was.

“Oh my God!” May cried out, running to Peter and pulling him into a hug.

She took his face in her hands, looking at all of the cuts and bruises from the battle.

“What happened?”

Peter’s eyes filled with tears. “There was a huge battle. Tony...Tony’s hurt.”

Pepper felt her heart stop. “What happened?” She demanded.

Peter didn’t even know how to start. “I-I don't know how to explain. I mean he grabbed all of the Infinity Stones and then everybody else grabbed onto him and we all shared the energy. But he had to deal with the most.”

Pepper pushed right past Peter and headed for the elevator, tears streaming down her face. She loved Tony so much, and she loved that he had seemingly been willing to sacrifice himself to save everybody else, but she didn’t know what she’d down if she really lost him. They’d been through so much and with them having a child on the way, she didn’t even want to think of how difficult it would be for her to have to move on without the love of her life.

Peter and May followed after, getting on the next elevator behind Pepper who had left to fast for them to catch up.

May didn’t ask Peter any more questions about the fight, she knew it would probably bring back traumatic memories. She was just happy that he was back and relatively non injured.

When they got back to the med bay, Bruce was wearing scrubs and giving Pepper the rundown on his injuries. Bruce told them all that Tony was definitely going to survive, but he had what Bruce had called “moderate to severe nerve damage in his left arm.” Tony would heal from his injuries, but it would take time, and his nerves would probably never quite make a complete recovery.

The news was hard for everybody to take, but it was far better than Tony dying from the injuries.

All they had to do now was wait until the could see him.

***

The others made it back to the Tower and learned of Tony’s condition, all of them beyond relieved to find out that he’d be okay.

The other Avengers had met Adam on the battlefield who was quick to tell them that he couldn’t even explain his apology and that he never meant to cause any harm to them or anybody else.

Thor and Carol agreed to let Adam open a portal to his home world. As soon as he did, he hugged Thor and Carol goodbye and walked through the portal, back home.

Thor had already made a plan to go and check up on him in a few days to make sure he was okay. Thor couldn’t imagine the guilt Adam must feel for what he’d done. Thor already felt enough guilt for not being able to stop Thanos from slaughtering half of his people on their ship, or being able to save Loki and Heimdall. He couldn’t imagine the weight that Adam must have on his shoulders.

The other Avengers were pretty relieved when Adam left. They knew that his actions hadn’t been his own, but looking at the face of someone who had caused so much damage and destruction wasn’t easy.

In the med bay at the tower, Bruce and Stephen had finally finished operating on Tony, and Pepper, Peter, and May were allowed to come back and see him.

Pepper looked at Peter. “Do you mind if I see him alone first?”

Peter shook his head. “Not at all.”

Pepper gave him a half smile. “Thank you.”

Ordinarily, Pepper wouldn’t have cared that Peter was there, but she really needed to see Tony alone. Honestly, she really just didn’t want Peter and May to see her have a breakdown when she saw Tony. Even though he would survive, Pepper was still worried. What if what Bruce had said wasn’t accurate? What if the damage was worse than they had thought or the nerves don’t heal like Bruce had said they would?

Pepper loved Tony so much, and to see him hurting, it hurt her, too.

Peter sat and waited for a solid forty minutes before Bruce came back to lead him back to Tony’s room.

Bruce opened the door for Peter as he walked inside, Bruce walking in behind him.

He saw Tony lying in one of the beds. All things considered, he looked like he was doing alright. His skin was a few shades paler then usual, but his eyes still lit up when he smiled at Peter walking into the room.

“Hey, Pete.”

“Mr.Stark?” Peter wasn’t sure why it came out as a question. Bruce placed a comfortable chair on the right side of Tony’s bedside. Pepper was currently sitting on the other side.

Peter sat down next to him and grabbed his hand, tears falling down his face.

“Hey, Pete, don’t cry kid. I’m alright.” Tony reassured.

Peter nodded. “I know. It’s just...you scared me. I was so worried. I thought your were going...that you were going-“

“Not going to make it?” Tony finished.

Peter nodded. “Yeah. That.”

“I’m sorry I scared you kid. But I knew what I had to do.” Tony looked into Peter’s eyes and used his hand to give Peter’s a reassuring squeeze. “Kid, look at me will you?”

Peter did, eyes red and tears forming.

“Kid,” Tony began. “You're like a son to me, like the child I’ve never had. Ever since I met you, and saw the heart in you that was good for the sake of good, a selfless heart for others that I’ve never seen before, you became one of the best parts of my life. I wouldn’t have done what I did if I didn’t know for sure that you, Pepper, and the rest of the team would be safe because of it.”

Peter started to cry again.

“I love you, kiddo.”

Peter wiped at his eyes and gave Tony a semi smile. “I love you, too.”

“Now do you think you can do me a favor, Peter?”

“Of course.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’m going to be okay. And in no time, we’ll be right back to wasting every Friday night down in the lab together.”

Peter chuckled. “Deal.”

Peter spent the rest of the night down in the med bay at Tony’s bedside until May had come in and said that Peter should probably change out of his suit.

Peter had gone up to his room and showered and change into sweatpants and a comfy hoodie before heading back down to see Tony.

Around nine o’clock, Bruce had said that Tony needed to get some rest. Pepper argued that she would sleep in one of the other beds but Bruce prompted her to go back up to the penthouse and sleep there due to her being pregnant.

Pepper reluctantly complied.

Peter requested to stay just for a few more minutes. Bruce agreed, but said no longer than ten more minutes and then Tony would need to rest.

Tony had fallen asleep in just a few minutes and Peter had fallen asleep hunched over in the chair with his head resting on Tony’s bed.

To Peter’s own surprise, falling asleep hadn’t been too difficult. The fight was finally finished, the aliens were destroyed, and, Peter hoped, everything would go back to how it should be.